Scarlett O’Hara may have made a dress out of curtains in Gone with the Wind, but her legendary resourcefulness pales in comparison to the recent work of Suffolk students. They walked the runway of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) of New England’s annual Fashion Show – taking home the prize for “best design school entry” – in three ensembles crafted entirely of home decorating and building materials!

“We used some fabrics, including upholstery fabric and wall panels,” explains Julie Jaenicke, a student in the Interior Architecture master’s program who helped design and model the group’s whimsical Wizard of Oz-inspired looks. “We also used laminate, and materials like faux brick that designers use for architectural mock-ups.”

Their secret weapon, according to Jaenicke: “Lots and lots of glitter!”

The IIDA’s Fashion Show is famous in Boston’s architectural, design, and construction industries for its fun spin on materials more commonly used to construct a runway than to walk down one. This year’s theme was “AudaCITY”; participants were asked to interpret this theme and make thoughtful choices about materials and design.

Junior interior design major Luke Tanguay came up with the Suffolk team’s “Emerald City” concept, based on the capital from the Wizard of Oz, because “it is both audacious and an actual city.” The group’s three outfits – modeled by Tanguay, Jaenicke and interior architecture graduate student Sarah Whalen – represented the wizard, the yellow brick road, and the emerald city skyline.

“To add some extra showmanship, we included a long yellow train for my dress,” says Jaenicke. “I spread the train out on the ground so Luke and Sarah could ‘follow the yellow brick road’ down the runway!”

Laura Canfield, Krista Osipovitch, Sarah Gosson and Caitlin Tucker rounded out the student design team, spearheaded by faculty advisor Nancy Hackett. Hackett has been helping her students compete in the Fashion Show since 2006:

“The Fashion Show is great way to show the professional design community how talented and creative our students are. It’s also an opportunity for students to learn to network with the designers and the manufacturers’ representatives, a key collaboration in the field."