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Artist Turns NYC's Oldest Hardware Store Into Fashion Show

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The city will soon be a buzz with the latest designer looks, since Fashion Week kicks off on Thursday.

But one Brooklyn designer already got a head start, and is proving a venue for your show could be just as creative as your clothes. CBSN New York's John Dias has more on how new style was introduced to old New York.

It's lights, cameras and flashy fashion in a rather simple setting at the oldest hardware store in the Big Apple.

"I don't have any interest in doing art or fashion in like a standard setting. I'd rather just not do it," artist/fashion designer Amanda Mehl said.

Hardware fashion show
A Brooklyn designer recently turned the oldest hardware store in New York City into a fashion show. (Photo: CBS2)

Mehl recently transformed Garber Hardware in the West Village into a fashion show.

"It's artistic fashion because fashion in America is so commercial and to me that's a whole other breed," Mehl said.

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In all, 55 models were strutting her looks around the shop's aisles, most of the designs inspired by or created with items found inside the hardware store.

"Every time she has a new vision, it surprises us," model Winnie Song said.

"Her garments are more artsy than anything else. We are basically paintings walking through a runway," model Abigail Klitzing added.

Mehl even used plastic buckets as seats for the crowd.

"Different, definitely something I would have never thought about," Bronx resident Meeshie Bravo said.

"She was able to take the line and use the space, so innovative," added city resident Remi Lubcher.

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The shop is almost 135 years old. It has been in Nathaniel Garber Schoen's family for five generations. Never did he expect that one day a designer would ask him to turn it into a catwalk, and he did it all for free to support the arts.

"To be honest, I loved the idea immediately. There was no 'Let me think about it,'" Garber Schoen said.

Mehl always picks uncommon venues for her shows. Her first was on a school bus. Then came a parade around Midtown, Manhattan, and most recently she used a floral shop.

"For me to do it, it has to be really conceptual and really exciting and something unique," Mehl said.

Unique clothes, shown off in unique places.

It took Mehl only a month to design the clothes and plan the entire thing. A staff of 30 helped out on the actual day. You can buy her clothes at her Long Island boutique, "Beverly Mehl."

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