Evolution Design's New Boho Dress for the IIDA Couture Show

Categories: Fashion
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Photo by Becky Bartkowski
Evolution Design's Dress on display at the team's office in Tempe
For this year's fifth annual International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Couture show, local teams have spent the past few months stitching together interior design principles and materials to make cutting-edge fashion.

The Project Runway-style challenge assigns groups of professional and student designers a color scheme, source material (think carpet, drapery, upholstery fabric), and a theme (military, romantic, or '40s fashion), all inspired by Antron Carpet Fiber's color and trend forecast "Reinterpretations: A Sign of the Times."

Completed designs will duke it out on the runway tonight at 5:30 p.m. at Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, in front of a panel of industry pros and local celebs. (Sorry, no Heidi Klum.)

To get an idea of the work that goes into and designs that come out of the challenge, we met up with one of this year's professional teams, Tempe-based Evolution Design, to check out their dress, made from arts materials, including canvas and frames, with a theme of new boho, and a color scheme of orange, fuchsia, and taupe. 

The team includes Alie Warshaw (the team's most experienced sewer), Erin Dinno, Claire Schoninger, and Aaron Call (resident power tool-wielder). They estimate they've spent between 40 and 50 hours conceptualizing and creating their dress (sans a Tim Gunn-esque sensei), pictured above. 

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Sketches by Evolution Design team; Photos by Becky Bartkowski
Some of the team's original sketches for the dress

With a focus on making their dress textural and incorporating gradients, the Evolution Design visualized their new boho dress as something Mary Kate Olsen might wear, and worked with hand-dyed fabrics to create the feathery, asymmetrical skirting with fuchsia fading to orange fading to taupe, canvas for the corset (complete with frame brackets that serve as lace-up grommets on the back), a necklace of strewn-together frame hardware, and cut-up frame pieces adorning the waist.

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Dress by Evolution Design team; Photos by Becky Bartkowski
Dress Details: Bodice frame pieces and corset lacing

Warshaw says that she'll be modeling the dress tonight, complete with 16-inch hair teased-to-the-max extensions, carrying a full-size frame, with paint brushes tucked into her hairdo. "I'm going to be Carrie Bradshaw," she jokes, referencing the Sex and the City character's runway fall from season four.

"Everybody always brings it," she says, adding that she's particularly excited to see the designs from the teams assigned the military theme.

See all the finished dresses (and, fingers crossed, no catwalk spills) tonight. 

General admission tickets to the IIDA Southwest Chapter's Couture 2012 show start at $75 and are available here. Click here for more information about the event.

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Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel

340 N. Third St., Phoenix, AZ

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