Not many little girls get to spend their childhood in their father’s clothing store immersed in textiles and fashion. So began the story of Event Producer, Kacy Irwin, who started sewing as young as nine, driven by her desire to explore, design and create. With a fashion degree from Chicago’s Institute of Art and having produced designer events for names as big as NIKE, we’ve asked Kacy to share with us how she fuses fashion to the world of event design.
Parallels of Fashion & Event Design
There are many parallels to designing an event and a perfectly tailored blazer or jaw dropping evening gown. “It’s the same formula,” explains Kacy, “of playing with scale, structure and detail to create that brilliant moment of the unexpected. It could be a contrasting thread or exposing an interesting texture or color in the lining.” At Kehoe Designs, these creative twists are expressed in the fabric choices of our tailored lounge collections, unique bar and table finishes, floral colors and textures, and much more. The goal, whether it’s a fashion show or a special soiree, is to leave a lasting impression with a fresh perspective that strikes wonder and enchantment.
* Images from Kehoe Designs’ master archive collection | Photography: Ryan Sjostrom
Inspired by Red Carpets & Runways
With her fashion background, Kacy is always looking to the red carpets and runways for emerging trends to incorporate into event design. “I can pour over the newest ‘W Magazine’ or ‘Women’s Wear Daily’ for hours, picking up inspiration from artistic approaches, colors, eras, and themes… these are all ways I re-envision events to create a unique experience.” Kacy equally loves indulging in all the red carpet events to see what everyone is wearing, with the music awards being her favorite for gleaning cues on cutting edge fashion. “What I find so exciting,” says Kacy, “is that at Kehoe Designs, I’m surrounded by creatives and craftsmen capable of executing any of these fashion looks into an actual event at an equally, if not more, spectacular degree.”
Gowns : 1. Giorgio Armani, 2. Zuhair Murad, 3. Oscar de la Renta, 4. Tex Saviro, photo by Tim Palen for Vanity Fair
Kehoe Designs Canopy & Decor photo credits: 1.Richard Shay, 2. Phil Farber, 3. Bob & Dawn Davis 4. Charles Cherney
“Fashionable” Corporate Events
When asked how she brings her fashion sense into the corporate world, Kacy explains, “it’s not just about what’s in fashion but what’s fashionable. Where are the destinations that everyone is dreaming of?” Enchant your guests with a collection of vibrant Moroccan lanterns and sumptuous silks transporting them to the warm climates of Casablanca. “What shows are on the tips of everyone’s tongue?” Designing a recent holiday party for an IT giant, Kacy created an entire environment inspired by the “Game of Thrones.” As the world looks to Sochi for the Olympics, she predicts a spike in crisp, icy, and almost frozen events. “Think ice bars, cool blues, and accents in primary and secondary colors to reflect the Olympic rings.” It’s these modern crazes that give us a glimpse into what is relevant and in turn, creates high impact parties that elevate a company’s brand.
BIO BITES: Kacy Irwin
What is your guilty pleasure? Anything on the Bravo network.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Preparedness. The best things in life are often ones you aren’t prepared for.
Which living person do you most admire? My father. He is my best friend, and the person that has given me the most inspiration and guidance in life.
On what occasion do you lie? When the waiter asks if I’d like dessert.
Do you have any advice for new brides? Keep your focus on what’s most important. You’re getting the opportunity to marry the one you love in front of people that love you most.