Grace Birck recognized in Vogue design contest

Junior’s dress one of 10 entries favorited by the Vogue Couch Couture Challenge

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Birck

On Jan. 30, Grace Birck posed on El for photos to be submitted to Vogue Couch Couture Challenge.

Junior Grace Birck had just started to dabble in dressmaking when she entered the Vogue Couch Couture challenge to remake a couture dress.

On Feb. 2, Vogue announced their favotire challenge entries. Birck was one of 10 selected favorites from over 500 entries and her design was reposted on the @voguerunway Instagram page.

“I was just so excited. I found this out at like ten o’clock at night and I didn’t sleep the whole night,” Birck said after hearing the news that she was selected.

She was really excited. The only stress came in that when she read the article there was only about less than a week – definitely under seven days for sure – before the deadline and she hadn’t even started constructing the dress”

— mother, Beverly

With Paris Haute Couture Week happening this year from January 25-28, many people were unable to attend due to Covid-19. Vogue Runway understood that watching the show virtually was not the same as being present in real life, so they created a challenge that was “all about creativity, inegnuity, and improvisation (and a little humor too),” wrote Vogue Senior Fashion News Writer Emily Farra.

The point of the challenge was to pick a couture design to recreate and submit to #VogueCouchCouture on Instagram.

Birck decided to enter the challenge and remake a dress from Giambattista Valli fall 2020. She chose this dress because it looked least out there to her out of the list of 27 options.

“I just thought it was really pretty… a lot of the other dreses are kind of weird and couture dresses are known for being out there and you wouldn’t really wear it to a normal event,” Birck said.

Birck recreated the Giambattista Valli fall 2020 couture dress (Vogue/Birck)

There were virtually no rules surrounding the challenge except for the deadline, leaving optimal room for full creative expression.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Birck received a sewing machine from her grandmother, who used to sew all of her father’s and his sibling’s clothes.

Before this dress, she had designed one other, so dressmaking is fairly new to her. Birck has always been interested in fashion and saw this challenge as an opportunity to exhibit her love for design.

“She was really excited. The only stress came in that when she read the article there was only about less than a week – definitely under seven days for sure – before the deadline and she hadn’t even started constructing the dress,” said her mother, Beverly.

Birck got to work creating her dress quickly, sometimes staying up into the early morning to get it completed on time. Then Birck and her mother went to the El to take pictures of Birck in the dress to submit.

“She has always been creative, and that has manifested itself in various forms [such as] ice skating or horseback riding,” Beverly said.

Birck has always been involved in art and dance which has led to her love for designing. Being a part of the arts from such a young age has influenced her interest in design, along with the newly acquired sewing machine.

The article with all of the designs favored by Vogue as well as the original article with the challenge guidelines can be found on Vogue’s website. Birck said she would participate in any future events hosted by Vogue, and that she is looking forward to designing more. While she has always been interested in fashion, her interest in design has been more recent, but she plans to continue to explore it in the future.

“I definitely would love to, they haven’t pushed anything out yet… but if they do put out another challenge, I’ll definitely try it again,” Birck said.