The Unearthed Fashion Show last week was produced by design students at the Illinois Institute of Art. The whole experience reminded me of my own fashion showcasing! Not as rigid as mine, and definitely cooler since it was held at the No Nation Gallery in Bucktown. Upon entering the spacious loft, I immediately noticed art installations from local designers, a DJ booth in the back pumping classical tunes and old school rap in intervals, and bartenders reeling in a dolly full of Busch and Pabst Blue Ribbon cases – a college and wallet favorite.
We all waited a good 30 minutes for the show to start, like any other good fashion production. I had a bit of time so I scoped out the people situation. As usual, the hipsters in the back looking mopey and hungry. The suburbanites were already grouped and chatting away excitedly about their special night out in the city. Fashionistas sprinkled amongst the crowd didn't say much since their clothes did all the talking.
I'm not sure that I've seen a crowd this diverse in awhile, but we can all agree that our main purpose that night was to support the new crop of courageous designers that wanted nothing more than to show their family, significant others, friends and neighbors what they've been tirelessly working on — their designs.
I can tell that everybody was impressed with the well-crafted designs, the students' professional demeanors and their individual strong themes and visions. The show collectively showed original pieces from the designers and some reworked vintage garments donated from Store B, Shangri-La Vintage, and Bunny's Trunk Show. I had a hard time guessing which was which, but all the looks had an undeniable edge of newness to them whether it was new or old.
For an example, there was Edwardian style blouse that I'm sure was vintage but the designer drenched in this shocking lilac hue and paired it with low-rise tie-dye shorts. It looked amazing and totally refreshing at the same time. Even though I've seen both garments styled with a million other things; I don't think I've ever seen it like that before. A couple of other daring combos I was jonesing were the Jack Daniel logo zip dress and cranberry knit mini-dress with the plunging neckline and the exaggerated shoulders. All the designs were very wearable and translated perfectly to our modern aesthetic.
All I can say when the show ended was that I wish my fashion showcasing was this hip and filled with so much support from Chicago! I'm sure everybody that attended the show can agree that we're all proud of the new crop of Chicago designers that displayed ingenuity, guts and deft hands in their craft. I wish them the best and cross my fingers that there will be another show from more designers that needs to be "Unearthed".
Photos: Second City Style
Tags: Bucktown, Bunny's Trunk Show, Busch, design students, designers, fashion show, hipsters, Illinois institute of Art, No Nation Gallery, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Shangri-La Vintage, Store B, The Unearthed Fashion Show, Unearthed Fashion Show, Yen Le