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A Look at the IIDA CRE8 Fashion Show

"Libra Bad," my favorite look (photography by Kurt Griesbach)

After Thursday’s finale, there is a Project Runway-sized hole in my heart. (Yes, I’ll admit I still watch it. I just can’t say no to Tim Gunn.)

So as a PR fan, you can imagine my excitement attending last Friday night’s third annual IIDA CRE8 Fashion Show, a real-life make-it-work moment. In case you’ve never heard of the event–and didn’t catch Thursday’s segment on D: The Broadcast–here’s the scoop: Participating local interior design groups are given eight days to design and create a couture garment out of architectural materials.

This year’s theme was the zodiac, and for each astrological sign, two looks walked the runway–one “good,” celebrating the sign’s positive traits, and one “bad,” reflecting their darker attributes. Bad may not be the best word though, because I thought all the supposedly evil designs looked unmistakably cool and chic. But I digress.

I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse backstage before the show, where I got to see some of the projects up close. I was totally blown away by the designers’ creative use of their materials. We’re talking entire dresses made out of vinyl wall covering and corsets covered in tile. One of my personal favorite looks, Libra Bad (see above), was constructed from carpet tiles and laser-cut Marmoleum, an all-natural flooring.

Ishi provided the soundtrack for the evening, playing their unique blend of folksy, electronica-inspired tunes. And let me tell you, the crowd loved it. Lead singer JT Mudd brought some serious dance moves as he shimmied up and down the runway in his spandex leggings and bejeweled marching band-esque hat. Even after the winning looks were announced and the models returned backstage, guests hung around the Granada for an extended performance from the local musicians.

Jessica Mitzner is a ShopTalk intern.

Ishi works the stage (photography by Kurt Griesbach)