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Fashion made by students from everyday objects grace Madison Avenue

A dress made of 12,500 pennies, stilettos fashioned out of 288 pencils and samurai armor crafted from 225 RAM chips have joined fashion giants Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino and Alexander McQueen on Madison Avenue.

These items and a dozen others like them -- a raincoat of tea bags, a dress of silverware, a suit made to look like a Monopoly board -- line the street from 61st to 76th streets as part of student exhibit "One-of-a-Kind Luxury."

Each piece has been encased in an 8-foot-tall clear box with a description of how many items were used to create it.

3D design students at Chelsea's School of Visual Arts are behind the works and had about a month to plan out and build their creations using just one type of object, knowing that they'd be placed up against the ranks of fashion's highest designers.

Staten Island resident Matthew Iacovelli, who's a junior at SVA with talent in collage, silk screen and drawing, never designed a piece of clothing in his life, but he ironed on fabric pieces he created on his computer one piece at a time, including a big red question mark, property squares, trains and arrows, among other shapes to recreate Monopoly's iconic board.

Iacovelli, 20, worked for about two weeks alongside his other 19 classmates to finish the entire project, but not without long nights at the school's workshop. "The pressure was on," he said. "We didn't have that long to do it."

Now, his Monopoly suit stands just a few feet away from European designer Anne Fontaine's shop.

"It’s a good feeling to have an actual piece of art on display," he said, explaining that, as a graphic designer, it's not typical to have your work on display somewhere. "It's a good feeling to make real art, not something that’s going to go into somebody’s catalogue."

The 20 students stayed motivated with a little help and inspiration from the school's department head Kevin O'Callaghan, who also happens to be  a member of the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and the designer behind the MTV golden popcorn movie award statuette.

"It's exciting -- the idea of being on Madison Avenue for three-and-a-half weeks," O'Callaghan, 60, said. "There's a saying that youth is wasted on the young. At my age, I realize the worth of that kind of exposure as an artist. A friend of mine who does paintings just paid $4,000 to be in a Chelsea gallery for two days, and here they are on Madison Avenue. It's unbelievable."

The exhibit is part of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District's month-long event, where 36 shops, including Aquazzura, Ippolita and others, will promote "one-of-a-kind" items for sale like a new pair of stilettos, new handbags and more.

Here's a look at the outfits you'll see when strolling along Madison Avenue through Nov. 15.

A Monopoly-themed suit by Matthew Iacovelli

Iacovelli sewed on 13 game pieces and 41
Photo Credit: Thao Hoang

Iacovelli sewed on 13 game pieces and 41 houses and hotels to build his suit.

A gown made of pennies by Mert Avadya

Almost $29 worth of pennies were used on
Photo Credit: Thao Hoang

Almost $29 worth of pennies were used on this dress and almost $97 worth beneath it, a spokeswoman said. That's 42.9 pounds of pennies or 12,500 wishes in a fountain.

A dress of white paint by Fernando Alvarenga

Alvarenga used four gallons of smooth cast to
Photo Credit: Thao Hoang

Alvarenga used four gallons of smooth cast to form the dress, although it took 300 pour casts fused together to hold, the school said.

A shiny dress made of silverware by Filipa Mota

Mota used 382 forks, 59 spoons and two
Photo Credit: Thao Hoang

Mota used 382 forks, 59 spoons and two ladles to create the dress and 50 forks and two more ladles to make a purse that goes along with it. According to the school, that would be enough for 491 people to dine with.

A raincoat made of Lipton tea bags by Christopher Choe

This raincoat could make 1,400 cups of tea
Photo Credit: Thao Hoang

This raincoat could make 1,400 cups of tea if it rained, the school says.

A tree bark gown by Bobby Cao

Cao used Mother Nature to come up with
Photo Credit: Thao Hoang

Cao used Mother Nature to come up with this dress made of 4.5 running yards of bark.


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