Art, meet fashion

by Amanda Bedgood

Student designers take unconventional approach for a show that's industriously done

Monday night Acadiana Center for the Arts was filled with designs of a different color. With materials from the rubber edging seen in lawns to custom-dyed coffee filters and dryer sheets, student designers from UL put on quite the show. The ArTech Fusion event included dozens of designs from students inspired by song and given a specific edict to use unconventional materials.

There were floating skirts that upon further examination were fluffed and folded just so to fool us into ignoring they were in earnest nothing more than trash bags. Perfectly manipulated copper and twisted tubing. Razor sharp metal that crossed from fashion into something quite medieval. But, above all we saw more than our fair share of art in a real way. Creations that came not from contrived notions of fashion, but of thoughtful minds tasked with a unique challenge.

Minds like those of architecture student Renee Poole who captured my attention thoroughly with the skinny black plastic twisting up one leg of model Kelli Treuting and eventually ensconcing her face. The snaking design topped a future forward silver bustier and created a look that was truly show stopping.

The dark essence of design was a thread through several designers and my favorites of the evening. The fellas were as creative as the ladies, even when designing for themselves. I loved the edgy attitude of industrial designers Duncan Isiminger and Aaron Depino who looked fierce in their designs inspired by "Enter Sandman."

But, there was a hands down favorite of the evening for this IND Styler - Shelby Kitchen. The raven-haired architecture student modeled her own design (wise move when you look like Shelby) that at first glance looked surely to have broken the rules. A richly done bodice and flowing hi-low skirt appeared at a distance gilded and gorgeous. And so, it was a great delight when I got a much closer look at the work to realize the most ordinary of things had created something quite extraordinary.

"Trash bag, duct tape, loofah, some chicken wire, vinyl tubing " Shelby rattled off as we toured the dress.

Proof that intelligent design can happen, truly, on less than a dime if creativity is in bank.