Whitehot Magazine

From Trash to Treasures: SVA Student-designed, Fashion-inspired Sculptures

Ukulele Shoes and Banjo Bag by SVA Student Artist, Tae Gyung Kang. Photo: Andrew Werner

By PAUL LASTER, Oct. 2018

Marrying art, fashion and design, “Obsessorize: Common Objects Uncommon Accessories” presents a colorful overview of the inventive work of School of Visual Arts’ 3D Design Chair Kevin O'Callaghan and his BFA Design students. On view through October 29, the exhibition showcases 28 student-designed, fashion-inspired sculptures in plexiglass cases on New York’s posh Madison Avenue between 57th and 86th Streets.

A 1980’s SVA grad who studied with the legendary Milton Glaser, O'Callaghan has been teaching the art of assemblage to SVA design students since 1985. For the past five years he’s curated this collaborative 3D experience, with the help of the Madison Avenue BID and Marie Claire Magazine, in the heart of city’s stylish boutique shopping district. Creating fashionable bricolage from obsolete, cast-off technology and mass-produced consumer products, the student’s new objects both astonish and enchant.

The students selected such common objects as blow dryers, mouse traps, Barbie Dolls, dominoes, transistor radios and toys and transformed them into fantasy accessories that are stopping shoppers in their tracks. Tae Gyung Kang turned an ukulele into shoes and a bango into a bag; Yihui Pan accessorized a hat with postage stamps; Filipa Mota made a headpiece, bag and body jewelry out of a chandelier; Ivo Ilic converted an old-fashioned radio into a backpack; and Noreen Joa split a transistor radio in half to construct a chic clutch.

Scroll through the images below to see these and more imaginative fashion items and join a free Saturday walking tour by registering here. WM 


Banjo Bag and Ukulele Shoes by SVA Student Artist, Tae Gyung Kang. Coffee Can Bags by Min Han (Jasmine). Guitar Pick Jewelry by SVA Student Artist, Vivian Lee. Light Bulb Beret by SVA Student Artist, Lisa Apadula. Photo: Andrew Werner

 Stamp Hat by SVA Student Artist, Yihui Pan. Photo: Andrew Werner

Bubble Tea Shoes by SVA Student Artist, Ziting Zhou. Chinese Take Out Shoes by SVA Student Artist, Kristin Lee. Green Board Bags by SVA Student Artist, James Tsang. Moon Man Shoes by SVA Student Artist, Deborah Adler. Photo: Andrew Werner

Chandelier Headpiece, Bag and Body Jewelry by SVA Student Artist, Filipa Mota. Photo: Andrew Werner

 Pencil Shoe by SVA Student Artist, Zhouyuan Li. 288 pencils were used to create this pair of shoes. Photo: Andrew Werner

Radio Backpack by Student Artist, Ivo Ilic. Photo: Andrew Werner

Glue Stick Ensemble by SVA Student Artists, Bobby Cao and Kemal Yilmaz. Photo: Andrew Werner

Radio Clutch by SVA Student Artists, Noreen Joa. Photo: Andrew Werner

Blow Dryer Shoes by SVA Student Artist, Nakyung Youn. Photo: Andrew Werner



Paul Laster

Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.



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