Kawaii-me Fashion Show

A fashion event hosted by the Kawaii-me boutique presented a unique backstage fashion show experience while also displaying a few of the hidden treasures at the heart of Union Square, Somerville. In a reversal of roles, attendees had the opportunity to experience professional hair, makeup and clothing stations, as well as the chance to walk down the runway and pose for a photo op. Intermingled in this interactive experience was a show displaying collections by numerous talented Union Square designers and businesses.

The backstage audience experience was supported by an unconventional runway which wound its way from the entrance of the warehouse past the salon and clothing stations up onto a raised stage, providing visitors a path to follow upon entry and walking models right through the crowd throughout the show.

A large 50 foot long canopy reached from the stage towards the door, welcoming visitors in and connecting them immediately to the space of the stage, inviting anyone who might enter to participate in the excitement Union Square has to offer.

Behind the stage, the canopy dropped 14 feet to create a porous backdrop which further divided the 2250 SF of previously undefined warehouse space into a back dressing area. Further woven articulation of the tyvek strips provided a more human scale and softened ambiance to the large warehouse space.

For the fitting rooms, found objects from the warehouse space were combined with soft custom created fabric curtains and backlit Tyvek faced hollow walls to allow privacy while still creating a sense of warmth and connection to the ephemeral materiality of the event.

Tyvek, generally known only for its waterproof and tear-proof qualites, was explored as a material for its texture and minimal weight. The entire 500 SF canopy can be collapsed into a 5 foot roll weighing only 5 pounds. The interwoven plastic fibers – which are the source of its tear-resistance – give an additional layer of super fine articulation to the otherwise massive scale, while also providing for durability that will allow the canopy to be reused and reconfigured.

Various cut patterns and attachments techniques were explored before deciding on a generic cut with all differentiation created by methods of support. This design will allow the canopy to be reinstalled with completely different textures and formal gestures depending on any context within which it is placed.

Project Credits:
Principal in Charge: Sophia Chang
Principal: Paulis Austrins
Producer: Shu Lai Talun
Clothing Pictured: Kawaii-me and Atelier NiLL
Venue Photos: Paulis Austrins and Sophia Chang
Model Photos: Remy Provost and Christopher Flass
Event Photos: Sophia Chang and Christopher Flass