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Retro-Futurism Shines at IIDA NE Fashion Show 2019

Earlier this month, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC), the 21st annual International Interior Design Association (IIDA) New England Fashion Show and Benefit Gala showcased how industry leaders can fuse interior design and fashion. The night’s charity beneficiary was YouthBuild Boston, an organization that aims to provide underserved young people with the support and credentials needed to successfully enter the building trades.

Sasaki has been proud to participate in this event for over a decade. This year’s submission wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our four industry partners, ALUR Walls represented by RepSource, Bernhardt represented by Kerwin Group, Erik Rueda Design Lab, and SK & Associates.

This year’s theme was the Jetson’s Orbit City. While the Jetsons depicted a vision of the future rooted in the 1960’s, our team’s garments illustrate a vision of our future. The team’s interpretation of Retro-Futurism envisioned how fashion will repeat itself 100 years from now: in a world where humans and robots coexist, the two garments pull inspiration from an atom’s spherical form as well as the shapes introduced in Orbit City Googie architecture.

Celebrating these accentuated silhouettes, they traced the outlines of these forms, eventually pulling these 2D characters into our 3D reality.

The Fabrication Process

First Look: Human

Utilizing upholstery fabric from Bernhardt, the team applied several layers of epoxy to encapsulate this soft material in a rigid shell. They utilized two fabrics, one to add a solid block of color on top of the shell, and the other to create a glistening shadow below.

After this two week-long process, the team lined the edges of these floating rings with aluminum channels and LED tape. The team took an architectural approach to adding lighting elements to the material: they used lighting to highlight other elements of the design and create a glow that appeared to come from within.

Drawing inspiration from the Jetson family’s seemingly magic ability to change their appearances in the blink of an eye, the team designed a way to make the human’s dress drop, layer by layer, as the model entered the runway. The team worked with Erik Rueda Design Lab to create a motorized mechanism for the dress.

A group of designers and engineers from Erik Rueda Design Lab designed a pulley system and mechanism, while the Sasaki team 3D printed spindles in-house, and SK & Associates figured out how to integrate the dress’s lighting elements so they wouldn’t interfere with the motorized system.

Second Look: Bot

The second look created a retro-futuristic bot that had a robotic, laser cut, acrylic shell that was heat molded into a silhouette to mimic the classic geometric forms of Orbit City architecture.

The team lined the perimeter of the shell with LED tape to create a defined shape.

The look also incorporated a jetpack, fabricated in-house with aluminum and walnut. The team inserted plastic channels, which are used in glass storefronts, and additional colored LED lighting to make it look like the model was ready to blast off of the runway.

The Rest of the Look

Underneath the human’s two sided epoxy-cast orbital skirt and the bot’s custom-molded acrylic shell are hand-sewn garments made out of furniture lining and faux leather. Known as the “hidden hero of glass wall systems,” the team stitched rubber gaskets onto the dresses to enhance the curves in the garments. As a nod to Bernhardt’s signature contrasting stitch, they accentuated these connection points with pops of color.

The team was incredibly proud of their entries and excited to hear the buzz they created throughout the night! They team extends a special shoutout to Julian Osorio for creating an amazing backdrop featuring a futuristic take on 401 Congress Street! Thank you to our models, Stacey MacMillan, Sasaki, and Trupti Pomaje, Erik Rueda Design Lab. Thank you to our glam team: Haley Baker (Hair), Kat Monahan (Makeup) and Maggie Lopez (Makeup). And finally, congrats to the team: Haley Baker, Kathleen Monahan, Madelyn Albright, Kseniia Bimbashi, Marlee Gleiberman, Yasmin Maura-Orihuela, and Jingwen Shi.

Scroll on for more photos and videos from the fabrication process and the show.

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