The crowds that milled around the airy, dimly-lit loft space of
EnVent Studio prior to the Horacio Nieto Spring 2010 show had a couple
reasons to be psyched. For one, they were among the privileged crowd
that were able to gain access to Nieto's highly anticipated premiere
solo show; and two, Nieto was planning the debut of his men's wear line,
Arlo, to coincide with the Spring 2010 show of his eponymous women's wear
collection. Needless to say, guests were all aflutter mingling
throughout EnVent, the offsite space for Chicago Fashion Focus this
year. As everyone took their seats, queries floated up about the
surprisingly long runway carved along the glossy wooden floor and how
the models would fare. Yet once the show began it was soon apparent
that the runway's length was not superfluous, but necessary in catching
a glimpse of every angle of the sumptuous collection.
The debut of menswear line, Arlo, was a vibrant mosaic of separates ranging from tight-fitting shorts to trenchcoats to tailored shirts. Nieto catered to his playful side in the use of color throughout Arlo, contrasting neutrals like navy and gray with candy colored accents in purple, turquoise, and pink. Though the men's collection seemed to resonate with a preppier aesthetic than his women's wear line, it mirrored a same sense of urban sexiness and cool.
The similarity became more abundantly clear when the women took center stage to show off their stylings of spring. Flirty, feminine, and fun was the name of the game as beautiful, sculptural pieces unfolded themselves along the runway. Much of the collection boasted different styles of dresses—from sleeveless sheaths to capped sleeved minis—in similar punchy tones like fuchsia and canary yellow. Some styles were colorblocked while others carried a cheerful patterning. The smart tailoring and cut of the pieces—like a full-skirted trench coat or knee length shorts—prevented the collection from coming off as adolescent. Anyone who watched the movement of the pieces could see the seriousness of the collection, despite the bright palette and youthful prints. Overall, Nieto turned out an impressive bevy of items that came off as both elegant and wearable. He also successfully laid the groundwork for becoming a household name in men's wear as well as women's—a feat for Chicago that virtually no one, until now, has stepped up to. We wish him all the best!
Photo Source: Second City Style