The Santa Monica-based architects at Minarc put the “fun” in “fundraising” when they whipped up an extraordinary ball gown made from recycled fishermen’s jackets and repurposed rubber. Juxtaposed with waves of satin and tulle, the “Atmospheric” gown depicts the interplay of fire and water in Erla Dögg and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson’s native Iceland. After collaborating with graphic designer Billi Rakov, fashion designer Helga Solrun, and photographer Brandon Klein on the project, the dress was auctioned off in March at A+D Museum’s annual gala, which featured wearable creations by the likes of Karim Rashid, Richard Meier, Trina Turk, Wolfgang Puck, Jonathan Adler, and Diana Eng.

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“Fishermen are Icelandic heroes,” Dögg, who modeled the dress, tells Ecouterre. “My father was a fisherman and I’ve always had a great respect and admiration for their courage and hard work in the storm and spaces far out on sea.”

Fashion, like architecture, needs to consider environmental, cultural, and social contexts.

Fashion, like architecture, needs to consider the environmental, cultural, and social contexts of the design, Dögg adds. “The Icelandic fisherman depends on his waterproof jacket to protect him against the elements the same as he depends on its bright color to save his life in the dark sea,” she says.

+ Minarc