The fourth annual World Fashion Chicago, presented by Chicago Sister Cities International, definitely provided that global fashion fix needed by style junkies throughout our fair city. This high-end international runway show featured locally and internationally based designers with roots in Chicago’s 28 Sister Cities (although many of the designers have a presence locally). Lush outerwear from Elan Furs -representing Belgrade, Serbia; chic, well-structured couture from Sylwia Wilczynska (she never fails to please) – representing Warsaw, Poland ; flirty little black cocktail dresses from designers representing Birmingham, UK, and flowing, exquisite garments with arresting colors and beading from Rabbani-Rakha and Sahli Exclusive, representing Dehli, India.
Of course Escada and Dolce & Gabbana showed up (and brought it!) – but it was also refreshing to experience the creativity of budding designers such as Viel's Memory collection, representing Busan, Korea. Featured are dresses that are hand drawn and printed and have cloth squares with different facial expressions sewn on the garment designed to spark (hopefully pleasant) memories of people who have come and gone in your life. When a designer for Viel was asked about their inspiration for the collection they passionately replied, “it is our since desire to really bring something different to Chicago, more art based. We do wearable fashion that is art inspired.” This collection is certainly not for the subdued fashionista; but for those down with the different, it delightfully delivers.
A cornucopia of creativity provided me a chance to also connect with design divo Duvall (representing Chicago), who has been in the style game for more than 30 years (and he looks marvelous dahling):
Duvall on who he designs for:
“I design for the entrance maker within – for the person who not only enters, but knocks the damn door down! “
Duvall on his designs:
“I do it all, ready to wear, couture…I am for every man, every woman.”
Duvall on his design influences:
“My influences are the human being itself; the spirit within…each individual comes equipped with something supernatural.”
Although a couple of the designers seemed to phone it in (think prom dress) – overall the show was exciting, produced well, and refreshingly global.
Petac Tikva, Isreal – Lis, D7A and Anya Fleet for Tel Aviv Couture
Designers from Birmingham, UK
Shanhai, China – Zige by Liu Chanming
Birmingham, United Kingdom – 5p1t by Richard Morse
Photos: Jetta Bates
Tags: 5p1t by Richard Morse, Andy Osafo, Chicago, Chicago Sister Cities International, Dolce & Gabbana, Duvall, Elan Furs, escada, fashion show, Horatio Nieto, Jetta Bates, Lida Baday, Petac Tikva, Rabbani-Rakha, Renata Liukiene, review, Sahli Exclusive, SERPICO, Sylwia By Sylwia, Sylwia Wilczynska, Viel, World Fashion Chicago, Zige by Liu Chanming