NY Moves Magazine

smcoverPublished in: New York Moves Magazine
Published: September 2009
On Friday, September 11th, actor Michelle Monoghan hosted the Moves Design Meets Fashion event party, held at Atlas New York. The judges panel, design teams, and Moves magazine’s editorial staff partied on a night even bad weather couldn’t dampen.

On September 10, 2009, Moves hosted its first annual “Design Meets Fashion” competition to benefit Safe Horizon, a charity promoting justice for victims of crimes and abuse. The contest took place at Atlas New York, a luxury residential building located at the heart of the fashion district. Pier 1 Imports provided furniture and decor – all items used in the event were later donated to Safe Horizon. Moves specifically chose Atlas New York based on its proximity to Bryant Park, home of Fashion Week, and its use in the filming of Project Runway. They also found Atlas New York’s apartments, with their open living style and central location, epitomized New York City living.

The teams consisted of one design professional and a media personality: “Team Yellow” included interior designer Oskar Torres and CBS News Anchor Kristine Johnson. The event would test their design capabilities as well as their ability to decorate an entire room in just 30 minutes; “Team Blue” included HGTV’s Save My Bath host Krista Watterworth and Daily News Real Estate reporter Jason Sheftell.

Judges were Cathy Hobbs, designer and host of WPIX/Channel 11’s real estate and design show Metro Residential; Michael Morris, owner of Concierge Service International and exclusive concierge to Gotham Organization, Inc., developer and owner of Atlas New York; and Aimee Beatty, in-house stylist for Pier 1.

The teams arrived at Atlas New York ready to design – but unaware that they would be subject to a timed design event! Given 15 minutes to choose their furniture and decor, they had 30 minutes to style their rooms. Focus and energy were definitely needed; fortunately, the teams were ready to roll with the punches and put their best design foot forward.

Team Yellow (Torres and Johnson) were tasked with styling a contemporary room and Team Blue (Watterworth and Sheftell) were charged with creating a colonial style room.

The members of Team Yellow were off to a rushed start to tag furniture in the 15-minute selection round, but Torres stuck to his design ethic of making the project personal, even using Johnson’s classic personal style as a muse of sorts. “She came across as simple, classic, and chic, so I tried to convey that in the room. That’s how I approach all design jobs, with a focus on the people involved” he said. Kristine Johnson was in awe to be in company with such talented people who could “look at an object and use it in a way that it wasn’t used before.” The judges were impressed with Team Yellow’s use of wall decor, including a mirror with two screens placed on each side and the clean lines of their contemporary room.

Both teams worked diligently to complete their tasks, but the judges as a whole were more impressed with the layering and innovation used in Team Blue’s colonial style room, which they made “British Colonial.” Their piece de resistance was a Pier 1 wire mannequin that Jason Sheftell demanded be included in the room, to add to its global and exotic feel. Krista Watterworth was reticent to include it at first, but after Sheftell used his own sweater and pillow cover to create a makeshift dress for the mannequin she was convinced. The judging panel agreed that this was a risky idea that truly paid off. Michael Morris, who is familiar with all of the residences in the building, felt the teams “did a really impressive job with the space and allotted times.” Both teams exhibited focus as well as quick reflexes and the winning colonial-style room was the clear victor in its imagination and usage of Pier 1 products. The three judges and the design team were blown away by the new ideas and inspiration the event provided and walked away with more than just a warm feeling gained by taking part in a charity event. Much inspiration was gained from ideas seen in the rooms, providing that the best professionals never stop searching for new ideas at all levels. The versatility, variety and quality of the products provided by Pier 1 allowed the teams to develop interesting ideas and easily convey their respective styles.

The Moves “Design Meets Fashion” event brought together talented individuals, united with a common cause of helping Safe Horizon. “The event was for a great cause. All of the furniture left will go to help someone else live a beautifully designed lifestyle,” said judge Hobbs. “It was a wonderful opportunity to see novices and pros merge in one setting and to create this beautiful space, and to see how they were true to the scene.”

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