DBI Interior Designer Yara Tawfik took on an unexpected, yet spectacular, role at the IIDA Mid-Atlantic Chapter’s Cosmo Couture 2016 fundraising event, held September 29 at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC. The event pairs teams from local design firms with materials manufacturers from the design industry; each team is challenged to create an outfit that showcases its manufacturer’s products and portrays the event’s specified theme. Addressing this year’s “Big Top” concept, DBI teamed with Mayer Fabrics to develop a Sword Swallower ensemble—which Yara gamely agreed to model during the event’s runway show.













To bring the Sword Swallower concept to life, the DBI/Mayer Fabrics team designed and constructed a garment that reflected the robust qualities of a fearless and resilient sword-swallowing woman. The 7-piece costume, which included a cape formed of pointed strips connected with a chain, a striped corset, and pants with blade-cut slits, stylishly suggests sword-like shapes and effects. Yara also donned dramatic makeup—a wide scarlet band criss-crossing her face—to add the finishing touch to the circus-themed outfit. The overall effect? Fierce and unstoppable!


Yara enjoyed her first Cosmo Couture experience. “This year’s theme was outstanding and left a lot of room for creativity,” she says. “I have modeled in other fashion shows, but this was much different—I’ve never seen such bold and creative garments! My favorite part was seeing the designs backstage and listening to everyone sharing experiences and inspiration.”


This year’s event benefited Rebuilding Together of Washington, DC, an organization that repairs homes for low-income populations in our Nation’s capital.