The California-cool location for Boutique Design’s West Coast trade show and conference did not squelch the heat — hot new trends were revealed, exciting conversations sparked creative energy, and exclusive building tours and events were tops on everyone’s schedules.

Wilson Associates interior designers made quite the showing at BD|West 2017, beginning April 4 with Los Angeles Managing Director Amy Jakubowski leading a VIP tour, with Christopher King from AC Martin and Bill Langmade from Purchasing Management International, of the much-anticipated InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown at Wilshire Grand Center. The luxury hotel is housed within a 73-story skyscraper, the tallest building in the western United States, and is scheduled to open in late spring.

Two days later, Amy participated in a dynamic discussion with female thought leaders in hospitality design, management operations, investment and manufacturing during the “Boutique Design Power Players: Women Leaders in Hospitality Breakfast and Panel Discussion”.

Part of the latest class of up-and-coming design talent, Associate Design Director James Lee participated in a panel discussion as part of the Boutique 18, where he shared insights into designing hospitality spaces and strategies for collaborating with clients and consultants.

Finally, the grand finale event featured a show-stopping fashion design created (and modeled!) by our Los Angeles designers in the NEWH Hospitality Fashion Challenge Runway Event.

The team transformed a variety of hospitality fabrics and accessories into their pièce de résistance, “Got me in Stitches” — a spectacular dress and cloak inspired by memories and stories stitched together.

From the design team:

“Memories, stories, and personal riches;
No matter the difference, we are bound together with stitches.
We were born to be altered, tailored to fit in this contrasting life swirled.
Each one of us a product of this beautiful world.
Such as this piece, created from different sources;
The exquisite assortment only reinforces.”

The inspiration for the piece is the creative brainchild of Wilson Associates Los Angeles designer Evan Ledesma, who was motivated by his own heritage as well as the diverse heritages of his colleagues to create a piece of art that speaks to any and all backgrounds. The meaning and expression behind this piece gives it a profound feeling of connectivity between life.

Fellow designers Anne Schuchard, Claudia Arief, Lulu Lu, Shadi Rezaie, and Shelby Beckman teamed up with Evan to bring his idea to life.

The top and skirt were created from an acrylic painting on canvas, provided by Renwil, proving the designers’ creative vision for what the materials could become when assessing the box of items they received. Once the base (skirt and top) was created, the cloak was then crafted using a carpet sample from Surya as well as pieces of fabric stitched onto the carpet to create movement. A sheath was also created to hide the first layer and present a dramatic reveal during the fashion show. The movement of the cloak was elegant and stunning, and the additional Lasvit crystals added a depth and dimension to the movement of the cloak. When turning the runway the cape seemed to glisten and move to its own beat.

There were so many wonderful materials provided, the team could have created multiple designs, but decided on the ‘less is more’ path. The makeup chosen for Shelby, who modeled the creation on the runway, was heavy and dark to create a juxtaposition to the colorful and playful design. The team chose the song “Believer” by the band Imagine Dragons for the runway walk–a more serious song to oppose the playfulness of the garment.

Overall, the fashion show harnessed an energy of creativity, fun and excitement.

“It was a wonderful experience to see all of the collaboration and creativity from the other firms who participated in the challenge,” said Shelby. “The purpose of the fashion challenge was to raise money for NEWH’s scholarship fund, so all involved were happy to donate their time, creativity and energy to a wonderful cause. We’re already looking forward to the BD|West Fashion challenge next year!”

Thanks to our vendor partners who supplied amazing materials for the team to use in their creation:

Fabrics: Fabric Innovations, JLF Collections, Swavelle Hospitality, and Bernhardt Hospitality
Leather: Gasser Chair Co.
Plumbing accessories: Grohe
Kitchen knob: Brizo
Carpet samples: Surya
Art: Renwil
Lighting crystals: Lasvit