Streets of Detroit Gown

Behind every dress, there is a story. The story behind this dress has two hundred years, two artists, and one city.

Inspired by the deep rooted history of Detroit, Michigan, two Detroit artists, Christina Liedtke, Founder and Creative Director of Christiana J. Paul and Alex Fedirko, nationally known Landscape Painter, designed a hand painted couture gown for the Detroit Historical Society Fashion Exhibition 2015 - 2016.

Through thoughtful exploration, the structure of the gown, hand paintings, and waistline holistically come together todevelop an iconic viewpoint that symbolizes Detroit’s history and journey in timelessness and beauty.

The design of the gown is separated into three distinguished segments from the bottom of the dress to the top developing a historical and present narrative through fashion, architecture, and community:

I. The hexagon design of the dress at the base to the waistline was inspired by the Woodward Plan from 1805 thatdevised Detroit’s street plan on a radial map with hexagon street blocks emanating from the city center.

II. The Detroit architecture hand painted on the dressrepresents several of Detroit’s landmark buildings from the1900’s. Detroit has one of the largest surviving collections of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century buildings in the U.S. which make up the distinctive skyline as it exists today.

Six buildings were chosen, Penobscot building (1905), Michigan Central Station (1914), Masonic Temple (1926), Guardian Building (1928), Fisher Building (1928), and Fox Theater (1928) to represent what composes a city: transportation, ritual, entertainment, and commercial.

III. The waistline is a symbolic representation of the revitalization of Detroit. The dots mirror the community coming together to preserve the character and identity of Detroit while continuing to evolve the city.

“Detroit’s rich history and architecture was the inspiration for the gown, representing structure, craftsmanship, and elegance. This gown inspires the alchemy of the revitalization efforts of Detroit through fashion.” – Christina Liedtke

As the fashion industry has started to carve a path in Detroit for designers, business owners, and developing a unique senseof ‘Detroit’ style that resonates locally and globally, the gown is a deliberate transitional statement of leveraging historywith the development of the new fashion frontier in the city.

“Detroit is this dress, elegant when it needs to be, hard working in its attention to details, and respectful to its richhistoric architecture. Hopefully this dress will further inspire making Detroit the gem it should be.” – Alex Fedirko