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Winner and Runner-up chosen for Detroit Institute of Arts Samurai Fashion Design Contest - First place design by Janna Coumoundouros, runner up design by Loren D. Jordan

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Contact: Pamela Marcil 313-833-7899 

May 20, 2014 (Detroit)—Creations by 10 local designers dazzled the runway in a standing-room-only Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on Saturday, May 17. The fashion show was the culmination of a competition hosted by the DIA and Detroit Garment Group Guild, in which the designers were challenged to create an outfit inspired by the exhibition Samurai: Beyond the Sword, on view through June 1. The winner and runner-up, chosen by public vote, were announced at the event.
First place went to Janna Coumoundouros of Clawson’s Lilacpop Studio. She won two front-row tickets to the DIA’s annual Fash Bash on Aug. 14 and a DIA membership. Here is how she describes her creation “Recycled Warrior.”
“One of the things that resonated with me at the Samurai exhibit is that towards the end of their era they recycled the sword hilts into beautiful bowls and teapots. I do that with my jewelry line by taking apart vintage machines such as typewriters and using the parts to make jewelry. The necklace is made from two different cash registers, an antique clock gear, and bullet casing. I chose to use bullet casings in the dress to represent the two swords that samurai were required by law to carry; guns being today's weapon.  For the dress itself, I used a new automotive interior material called Inteather ™ from Inteva. It is recyclable and durable. Inteva allowed me to use their sewing lab. Their machine is the only one that can create the stitch on the sleeve and sides of the dress. I am glad I could incorporate recycling into this design in so many interesting ways.”
The runner-up award went to Loren D. Jordan of Southfield, owner of LOJO Fashion and Design. She received two third-row tickets to Fash Bash and a DIA membership. Here is her description of “The Himiko Samurai.” 

“The title, “Himiko” is a Japanese Queen and the “Samurai” is a Japanese warrior. This piece is specifically for the Samurai woman who has went through all of the Samurai rankings and evolved into the Queen.  While she’s sitting on the throne she still has her sword by her side for protection, and she hasn’t forgot what she learned while she was in battle. Her uniform is the essence of royalty and has her warrior marking with the metal bullets she earned while in battle. Her high collar distinguishes her from the rest . The piece has a very unique and perfect feel for a royal woman.”

The competitors have been posting blogs and videos about their participation, which can be seen at 

High-res images are available at

DG3 is a nonprofit that provides education and opportunities for Detroit’s fashion community and beyond. Educational programming ranges from an annual fashion conference focused on the business of fashion to an industrial-sewing certification program, coming this fall. For more information about DG3, visit

DIA Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others, $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.