Rachel Nagy models Amanda Robinson's bed sheet dress.
Students in Noreen Richards' undergraduate 400 level design studio at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning have spent the last 16 weeks researching, studying, designing and constructing works of wearable architecture. They are hosting a final fashion show, open to the public, to display and present their collection of art, on Monday May, 6 at 7:30 p.m. in George Pearl Hall, located on Central Ave. and Cornell NE on the UNM main campus.

"The fashion studio presents a range of provocative topics dealing with issues about gender, empowerment, identity, exposure and surrealism," Richards said.

In the spirit of sustainability, it was all accomplished with trash. As an added challenge, Richards required the use of trash and down-cycled materials.

"Our studio got really good at dumpster diving; we literally had mountains of stuff to use," student Amanda Forrest said.

Another student, Shannon Ricketts, added, "It was a whole new way to bring sustainability to light, which is not always a direct focus of our architectural work. We investigated connection and craftsmanship, and, of course, materiality."

"As their final semester in the undergraduate architecture program at UNM, the students really appreciated this particular experience. Though they were not rendering sections or drawing building elevations, being able to apply that same technical, conceptual and creative eye has helped to define a tangible understanding of the universal principles of good design. Design principles remain the same, whether designing a house, an office tower or a little black dress," Richards said.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu