By  on May 6, 2008

ATLANTA — Savannah College of Art and Design chose an "eco-chic" theme for the first scholarship gala at the school's campus here.

The fund-raising event on Thursday night drew 500 people, and included silent auctions of student works, tours of the school, examples of work and fashion vignettes.

A design competition challenged students to create high fashion from organic materials, inspired by circular shapes and natural colors of black, green and cream. Jewelry, from recycled chandeliers and glass beads, continued the green theme, with hair and makeup evoking bird feathers and nests.

Eight winning designs were displayed on models suspended from huge wooden swings, among trees decorated with twinkling lanterns.

The fabrics, including hemp, organic cotton and silk made from a process that spares silk worms, can be costly.

"The dress cost $2,000 to make, the fabric was $30 a yard," said student designer Thomas Gaddis. "Green is not cheap."

Shoes were donated by Jeffrey Atlanta, which will select four of the styles to include in a fashion show sponsored by design firm Modern Atlanta on May 10.

The Atlanta event — the school could not provide information on how much money was raised — is in addition to annual scholarship galas in Savannah, and to SCAD Style, a monthlong series of programs from April 10 that kicked off with a Pierre Cardin tribute in New York and culminates with an appearance by John Galliano on May 16 in Savannah.

In addition to Savannah and Atlanta, SCAD also has a campus in Lacoste, France.

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