Students design outfits from recyclable items for fashion show

Architecture graduate student Danyealah Green-Lemons models the winning outfit design at the third annual Eco Couture Fashion Show March 31.

Architecture graduate student Danyealah Green-Lemons models the winning outfit design at the third annual Eco Couture Fashion Show.


By Joel Delgado ’12 MS ’17 

The Eco Couture Recycling Fashion Show, which has become one of the Department of Architecture’s signature annual events, celebrated its third annual show at the Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building’s courtyard March 31.

The fashion show featured a variety of student-designed outfits made completely from recycled materials — such as garbage bags, corks and old magazines — which were then modeled in front of more than 1,000 guests from the fashion and design world, the Miami community, and the university community.

Student contestants from various majors at FIU participated, submitting their fashion designs and competing for scholarship prizes. The first place winner received $1,000 while the second place finisher was awarded $500 and third place team received $250. There was also a $200 people’s choice award that grants a special prize for the best design as chosen by the audience.

This year’s runway showcased more than 30 reusable outfits competing for scholarship prizes, with the winners being chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, which included television personality and fashion expert Candela Ferro.

The winning design belonged to the design team of Laura De La Vega, Andrea Canaves and Sharit Ben Asher. Their design, which was modeled by architecture graduate student Danyealah Green-Lemons, was a three-piece outfit featuring black pants made from plastic garbage bags; a layered white top tied at the neck made from 3D-printed white plastic pieces melted together to create a layering affect; and a flowing cape made from opaque plastic.

“As architecture students, we’re used to designing different projects within limited parameters. But this event is the opposite of that; it opens the door for students to show off their creativity,” said Green-Lemons, who has modeled various designs at the Eco Couture Fashion Show since its first year. “I really loved this outfit because it was meant to be a strong statement look to convey a powerful woman.”

The event, which was created with the purpose of promoting sustainability through fashion, strives to educate and inspire the community about good recycling habits and an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

“I had a lot of my friends come to the event who are not architecture majors and might have never gone to a fashion show before,” Green-Lemons said. “It’s a really cool chance for people to get exposed to design and architecture in a fun and unique way.”