Abel Design Group has won the Best Craftsmanship Award in the 8th annual IIDA Product Runway 2016 architectural fashion show and design competition, which was held at the Revention Music Center in Downtown Houston on Friday, April 22, 2016. The Abel Design Group team consisted of five design members: Kathy Chauvin, Dijana Handanovic, Terri Kohanbashiri, Dana Kuehl, and Merissa Maclaine; and one model, Jeffrey Abel.
The winning Abel Design Group garments were hand-crafted, from top to bottom. “To create the sweater, we cut five and a half miles of carpet fiber, and then loomed and weaved the entire piece by hand,” stated Chauvin, Associate Principal and Product Runway team member. “The pants were hand-stitched, and the accessories were hand-crafted, as well. The basket headdress was hand-dyed and woven, and all of the feathers on the collar were cut by hand.” The final ensemble took hundreds of hours of work to complete.
Each of the 20 competing teams in the Product Runway competition was assigned one hard material and one soft material, which were required to collectively comprise 80% of their final garment. Abel Design Group was paired with Mohawk and 3M for its materials. This year’s theme was Avant Art, and each team was assigned a specific art movement and an artist, as well as a piece of work from the artist representing the movement. Abel Design Group was assigned surrealism as the movement, and Magritte as the artist.
Jeffrey Abel, Managing Principal of Abel Design Group modeled the outfit on the runway. “Being the Product Runway model was easy compared to the countless hours our team devoted to designing and creating this work of art,” stated Abel. “The Best Craftsmanship Award speaks to our team’s level of talent, attention to detail, and dedication. I am very proud of our Product Runway team members for their innovation and hard work.”