One of a Kind: The Dresses of Madison Avenue
School of Visual Arts presents “One of a Kind: The Dresses of Madison Avenue,” an exhibition of garments by BFA Design students curated by 3D Design Chair and SVA alumnus Kevin O’Callaghan. The exhibition will be on view from Saturday, February 17, through Friday, March 16, at the SVA Gramercy Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street, New York City.
Last November, the SVA students’ dresses, each made from a single material or item, were installed along a 10-block stretch of Madison Avenue as part of the Madison Avenue BID’s One-of-a-Kind Luxury event, going mano a mano for pedestrians’ attention with the storefront windows of premier brands Dolce and Gabbana, Bottega Veneta and Hermès. Viewers of “One of a Kind: The Dresses of Madison Avenue” will have the opportunity to once again marvel at these 13 “one of a kind” sculptural achievements, made out of such nontraditional materials as tree bark, tea bags and packing peanuts.
The students’ creations prove that glamour doesn’t have to come at a high cost. Filipa Mota’s 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 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," says O'Callaghan (BFA 1980 Media Arts)