Hudson resident Margaret Burton, a sophomore at Pratt Institute, exhibited her work in Manhattan as one of 31 students chosen to have their work included in "Organic Matter: Woven Artwear by Pratt Fashion."

Burton, 21, is a graduate of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. She is the daughter of Bill and Jean Burton of Hudson.

The exhibition featured Burton and fellow sophomore and junior fashion students who re-think the form, function and design of knitwear as fine art.

The show, "Organic Matter," was at Gallery Nine, 44 W. 18th St., New York City.

"I think transferring to Pratt was the best decision for my education and for a future career," Burton said.

"The Fashion Design department at Pratt does a fantastic job of creating events and outlets for students to be a part of and showcase work, and it really helps get your name out there.

"I am incredibly thankful that my piece got chosen to be featured in Ralph Pucci's gallery and that it happened in the first place because the professors care enough about all the students to set up events like this and collaborate with other artists in NYC to get students recognized for their hard work," she said.

Burton's knitwear project consists of a loopy and felted dress with an open back.

"The inspiration for my design came from my interest in bees," Burton explained. "Past cultures and historians have looked to the behavior of bees to address their own ways of approaching society and social living. What about clothes and fashion?

"Bee keepers since ancient times have used a technique called bee bearding to bond with their bees. They take the queen bee and place her in a necklace around their neck and then the rest of the bees attach on to their body. When you see old photographs of this technique it looks like the beekeepers are wearing clothes made of bees. I tried to capture the texture you see in the photos in my design by using the loop technique with four different yarns and roving.

"For the back I wet felted wool in the shape of bee wings and have them overlapping. When designing I want to make clothes that consumers will make a bond with, rather than throwing it out the next season for the latest trends," she said.

In addition to highlighting the innovative fashion designers of tomorrow, "Organic Matter" is an opportunity for sophomore and junior level Pratt students to create works of art for a commercial gallery.

"Organic Matter" was a partnership between Pratt Institute and Ralph Pucci International, the world-renowned high-end mannequin, lighting, furniture, and sculpture company. Pucci, a Pratt trustee, partnered with Pratt fashion chairperson Jennifer Minniti and assistant professor Susan Cianciolo to select the top projects.

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