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Madison Ave's 'One of a Kind' Dresses on View at SVA Galleries

SVA BFA Design students' inventive garments are back on display

Last fall, SVA BFA Design students were able to use a 10-block stretch of Madison Avenue as their own virtual catwalk-slash-gallery. The assignment? Showing off imaginatively fashioned dresses, shoes, suits and garments, each made from a unique single material or object—flatware, pennies, earplugs, Slinkys, peanuts, even sandwiches—you name it.

Curated by 3D Design Chair and SVA alumnus Kevin O'Callaghan (BFA 1980 Media Arts), as part of the Madison Avenue BID’s One-of-a-Kind Luxury event, these dresses were highlighted along the strip vying for pedestrians’ attention while featured within the storefront windows of global brands like Dolce and Gabbana, Bottega Veneta and Hermès.

Now, viewers will have the opportunity to once again marvel at these thirteen “one of a kind” sculptural achievements, made out of such nontraditional materials as tree bark, tea bags and more. The exhibition, “One of a Kind: The Dresses of Madison Avenue," is currently open through March 16, at the SVA Gramercy Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street.

The students’ creations prove that glamour doesn’t have to come at a high cost. Filipa Mota’s (BFA 2019 Design) inventive 1920s-style dress, made out of 382 forks, 59 spoons and two ladles sourced from vintage stores, earned her Portugal’s 2018 "Woman of the Year in the Visual Arts" award. Mert Avadya (BFA 2018 Design) made a dress out of 12,500 pennies to "underline the money that we spend on fashion," says the designer, whose base material cost, apart from the wire used to attach the coins, was under $30. Fernando Alvarenga created a white, paint-pour dress out of four gallons of paint through a process that took 300 pours. All designs were conceived and executed within a tight two-week timeframe.

"If you learn the integrity of materials, you learn what they can and can't do, and there isn't any project that you can't tackle," O'Callaghan said

So, if you didn’t have the luxury of sauntering up and down Madison Avenue last November, this exhibit is a perfect way to catch up with inspired creations. “One of a Kind: The Dresses of Madison Avenue" is currently on view at the SVA Gramercy Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street and runs through Friday, March 16.

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