Architecture and fashion come together on Cosmo Couture runway

Fashion, charity and architecture come together for a night that demonstrates the power of creative thinking.

Cosmo Couture Runway
Photo courtesy of Scott Kelly Photography

Architecture and interior design firms bridge the gap between architecture and fashion with garments they’ve prepared for the International Interior Design Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter’s Washington Metro City Center Cosmo Couture fashion show on Sept. 28. Twenty-four teams will explore and build on their design skills as they work together to produce a one-of-a-kind garment using interior building materials—think carpet, wood, tile and rubber—to create haute couture garments that reflect different landscapes.

FORM Architecture materials
Photo by Kierra Chinn

Teams selected the landscape their garment would represent by playing a game similar to Plinko during the kickoff party in May. During the game, teams had the opportunity to steal another team’s more desirable assignment. “Our team wanted to have some fun with colors to showcase our sponsor’s products, so we felt inclined to steal the tropical island environment,” says Heather Furman, from the Samaha Architects team. Other team members include Candace Litchford, Jhoel Prevendido and Arielannia Walker.

Samaha Architects’ steal left the Hughes Group Architects design team with the swamp theme, forcing them to move in a drastically different direction.

Nevertheless, both teams seemed jovial about the experience, continuing to problem-solve whilst bringing originality and attention to their garments.

FORM Architects work in progress
Photo by Kierra Chinn

“You’d be amazed by the amount of creativity people have and how they take materials normally used for walls, floors, ceilings and furniture and turn them into couture garments. It’s a visually inspiring show, and the Cosmo Couture event organizers do a great job of incorporating the theme into the décor, food, and beverages,” says Lynn Reda, Hughes Group Architects team member. Holli McKinley and Jessica Gody are her teammates.

Samaha Architects and Hughes Group Architects will be competing against three other NoVA design teams: FORM Architects, Dewberry and Eight Day Design. Cosmo Couture will benefit Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit that aims to preserve and revive homes and buildings in low-income areas. Rebuilding Together also provides free home repairs to veterans, elderly and disabled homeowners that don’t have the financial means to do so. Over the past six years, Cosmo Couture has been able to donate over $100,000. Tickets to this year’s event, held at 5:30 p.m. at The Howard Theater (620 T St. NW, Washington, D.C.) costs $100 for IIDA members and $150 for nonmembers.