Every year, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) of Georgia hosts Dressed, which gives designers the opportunity to showcase their creativity while promoting the local IIDA chapter, as well as industry partners and manufactures. The event brings teams from the Atlanta architecture and design industry together to create one-of-a-kind, wearable garments, made almost entirely from their sponsoring manufacturers’ products. A portion of the IIDA Dressed ticket sales from this event are donated to charity.
For this year’s Dressed, each team was asked to re-interpret one famous piece of art from a pre-selected group of prominent artists and given full expression to create a wearable garment influenced by the artists’ culture, period and art style. Team TVS –Anna Zamolodskaya, Genessess Siu, Alyssa Sauce, Lindel Ambrose, Safira Karbowski and Cameron Shapiro worked to build and paint a one-of-a kind look, modeled by Brendan Wallace. Here’s a breakdown of how it all came together:
Q: What was the inspiration for this year’s garment?
We drew inspiration from the renowned artist George Condo, who is celebrated for his thought-provoking paintings characterized by surreal and distorted portraits. The garment effectively captured the essence of his art, portraying a fragmented representation of humanity and surrealism. The pieces incorporate a plethora of imagery, including scattered eyeballs, lashes, strands of hair and teeth, while also mirroring Condo’s approach of blending femininity and masculinity within his work.
Specifically, we examined his painting Up Against the Wall. In this piece and throughout his work, he explores the “horrors of everyday life.” We wanted to interpret that a little more metaphorically by including a deconstructed version of a button up and a tie, some of the most classic everyday pieces of clothing. We were also inspired by the way that Condo paints eyes, teeth and other body parts, and wanted to incorporate those in our design to really drive home the chaos of his work.
Q: How did you balance taking on a project like this with your project work with TVS? What advice would you give to young professionals who might want to take part in the future?
Balancing work projects and fashion preparations simultaneously was undeniably time-consuming. But as a team, we managed our time very well and we sent a look down the runway that we were incredibly proud of. It was important to us to keep a solid work/dressed/life balance, so we started working on the project very early on to keep a manageable timeline. You just have to treat it as another project, but also remember to have fun! In the future, anyone should consider participating in this competition, as it proved to be an unbelievably enjoyable experience, and it fostered strong connections among our colleagues.
We found that planning week to week with our workload or other plans was beneficial in balancing the Dressed workload. For any professionals looking to partake in the future, start with ideas from everyone and have open discussions to comb ideas down into one solid design. Think of innovative ways of using materials and don’t just stick to fabric. Be open to ideas and explore methods. Remember to create a task list and assign responsibility upfront to keep everyone informed as well as enlist help from others.
Also, figure out what it is that you’re good at and be in charge of it. Not everybody has to be a designer to try Dressed, you don’t even necessarily have to be artistically inclined. There is plenty of opportunity to practice teamwork skills and help the whole process running smoothly. Remember to trust artistic process. You have to adapt and ride the flow instead of trying to force it into the direction you want it to go in.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about participating in Dressed?
It’s been fascinating to see how other individuals think, design and work. Another highlight was witnessing our finished look walk the runway and hearing the entire audience cheer for something that had taken us months of dedicated effort to achieve.
The whole experience was very fun! From the very beginning stages of drawing up our ideas to the actual day of running around getting the model ready. It feels like a little side quest of life. When you have a good team by your side who trusts the vision and is equally as excited about it as you are, it’s the best time.
We would love to gather another team for next year, so if you’re interested, please feel to reach out to us!