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The theme of the show was "sustainable, repurposed clothing that blends fashion and the environment," which I didn't realize until I started seeing clothes made out of seat-belt buckles and burlap coffee sacks. The handout didn't list individual pieces of clothing or their materials, so I was left to guess that most fabrics were either sustainable, remnants, or otherwise eco-friendly.
Styling is always a strong point in this show. Christina Yi of Columbia College sent out models with headdresses that looked like the bleached skulls of animals (top photo), while Luis Rodriguez of the School of the Art Institute had his models wear face-obscuring masks, perhaps combined with makeup—it was hard to tell, but the effect was deliciously eerie, like a Japanese horror movie.
Columbia College's Dana Farella played with draping and projecting elements—another chestnut in these shows, but very ably done here.
Maureen Sullivan, also from Columbia College, offered a beautiful concoction that combined Jackson Pollock-style splashes with a tufted and gathered poufy skirt—a dress for a pop-art princess.
Amanda-Michelle Olson of the Illinois Institute of Art sent out a slinky-sexy ensemble that included a daring top that appeared to be simply a circle of fabric. It would be hard for most women to wear, but it was beautiful to look at.
A capelike piece from Van Dang of the International Academy of Design and Technology would be just the thing to pop on over anything too bulky for a narrow jacket.
For IADT student Alexandre Chandoa's work, it was best to throw out any conventional ideas about wearability and and enjoy his pieces as artwork (unless you are Lady Gaga, who in all seriousness I think Chandoa should think about contacting). A dress with a skirt made out of strips of wood brought to mind an exquisitely crafted musical instrument, while another piece seemed to substitute curving strips of wood for angel's wings.
All photos by me.