Eco-Couture Fashion Show Draws Large Crowds, Winners Announced!


With more than 300 visitors, the Eco-Couture Recycled Fashion Show, created and organized by graduating Architecture student Amira Ajlouni, was a resounding success.  On Thursday, March 27th, a large crowd gathered in the Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture courtyard to witness the first of hopefully many more events like this.

The evening started with the USGBC South Florida Chapter’s GREENworking social, which was held underneath a canopy of woven plastic bags, custom-made for the event.  Blue lighting, music, 30 chairs fabricated from salvaged and recycled wood by John Gioiello (ARC) and Martina Gonzalez (LAA), made for an elaborate display and transformed the courtyard into a dreamy environment. The fashion show started at 8:30PM, and was comprised by thirty-five entries that used recycled materials to create various types of apparel.  An illuminated runway guided the models through the courtyard.  The group of models included Associate Professor Gray Read, who wore a full paper outfit created by Amira Ajlouni.  The evening ended with the AIAS FIU Chapter’s Archi-Prom after-party to celebrate the end of the semester.

The winners of the fashion show competition were the following:

Claudia Fernandez and Jorge Rodriguez (ARC): first prize: $1000-split
Ana Maria Reyes (ARC): second prize: $500
Jennifer Luis (ARC): third prize: $250

Aljouni organized the fashion show as a part of her thesis project and worked closely with the Florida International University Office of Sustainability.  After months of careful planning and preparation, Aljouni said that she was proud of the event, stating:

“…I am very happy with the results. The students’ work was well designed, the materials they used were unique, and the way they used them was innovative. Furthermore, the presentation and modeling were high quality, very impressive. The attendance was amazing….While we started setting up for the event, random volunteer students pitched in, the collaborative spirit … was great, and the courtyard never looked so lively. I am happy with the way the building was used [and how] every balcony and stair was occupied….[A]ll installations looked better than expected[;] for example, the 800-plastic bag canopy was a big hit. It was moving with the wind, it filtered light to the ground beautifully, and it created a nice ambiance below it.”

She added, “I wanted people to see recycled materials in a different light, and I think that worked out. I also wanted people to be inspired, and…that worked. Finally, I wanted to start a tradition.”

The images in this article are provided by the Eco-Couture FIU’s Facebook page.

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