IIDA Haunt Couture 2017 Winner CSUN Lights Up the Runway

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IIDA LA Haunt Couture 2017 winner California State University, Northridge blew away the competition last week Wednesday, October 25th — winning both the Animation Category and the coveted People’s Choice Award at the beautiful Avalon Theater in Hollywood, CA.

Drawing an audience of over 700 members of the Los Angeles design community every year, LA Haunt Couture fuses fashion, design & architecture in a spectacular evening of cocktails, dancing and networking. The highlight of the night is an avant-garde runway show where top LA design firms and student teams compete and show off outrageous couture creations based on a specific theme. This year’s theme, “Envelope Please: Hollywood to Bollywood” celebrated our ongoing romance with the silver screen, and dictated the five specific genres under which teams must design for: Horror, Sci-Fi, Musical, Film Noir and Animation. Teams from Gensler, HKS, Wolcott, California State University, Long Beach, College of the Canyons, RCH Studios and more, were assigned to one of these themes, drawing inspiration from iconic films such as Beetle Juice, Alice in Wonderland, and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

IIDA Haunt Couture 2017 Winner

The team from California State University, Northridge, consisting mostly of Interior and Fashion Design students, was a late entry to the competition, along with their sponsors, 2010 Los Angeles Office Furniture and Mayer Fabrics. Under the Animation Category, the CSUN team drew inspiration from the movie Pokémon — in particular the creature Charmander, who evolves to become the fiery dragon-like Charizard.

“This creature gave us a lot to play with as far as inspiration,” says CSUN team member Nicole Esper. “Making a couture gown inspired by fire definitely gives you a lot of potential for that runway wow factor.”

Terri Burkhart of EPIC Solutions, who’s part of the Haunt Couture 2017 Teams Committee, mentored the CSUN team, making sure that they met competition guidelines as well as offered the team objective input. Sponsor Jean Summer of Mayer Fabrics donated the interior textiles — in bright hues of blues, reds, oranges, and golds — that the CSUN team utilized to create their couture separates ensemble. The finished look featured a skin tight crimson bustier top matched with a short fitted teal skirt. Layered over the skirt was a lace-fringed apron skirt and a long tiered train that flowed around the sides to the back while sparkling with LED lights. The pièce de résistance was an extravagant pair of gold-trimmed wings, embellished with hundreds of strategically cut and placed fabric pieces to mimic dragon scales. Finally, Nicole and her teammates created five sphere wedges (each wedge was manned by a team member onstage) that came together to create the Pokemon ball that cleverly covered their model, Alison (who incredibly resembles Lada Gaga) right before her explosive runway reveal on Wednesday night.

Toward the end of the event, the Haunt Couture 2017 winner was chosen by a series of criteria, including story line, stage and runway choreography, performance, and of course the constructed couture garment. The CSUN team rocked the runway amid deafening cheers as the last performance of the evening, beating teams from Smith Group JJR and College of the Canyons in the Animation Category, and snatching the People’s Choice Award to become the victorious star of the night.

“Team CSUN was definitely on fire,” commented one spectator. “Congratulations to them for a win that’s very much well deserved.”

The CSUN Onstage Team: Alison Griner (Model), Shadi Ahmadradeh, Nicole Esper, Ana Leon Martinez, Shahrzad Rahbar & Kristin King (Faculty); Not in Picture: Rodica Kohn (Faculty Advisor)


HORROR: (1) Gensler (2) ZGF (3) Wolcott

SCI-FI: (4) Westfield (5) SAA (6) HKS

MUSICAL: (7) HOK (8) Correy Grosser

FILM NOIR: (9) RCH Studios (10) NAC Architecture (11) Cal State Long Beach

ANIMATION: (12) Smith Group JJR (13) College Of The Canyons (14) Cal State Northridge

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