As I have had said before, I don’t expect Chicago fashion shows to be the same caliber as New York’s, but I do have a certain expectation that they be good. Thankfully, Macy’s presentation Friday night was. The second annual Macy’s Presents Designers of Chicago fashion show at the
Chase Promenade North in Millennium Park on Friday, October 12 did not disappoint.
The show consisted of about ten looks from 7 local designers (of the 20 designers collections purchased by Macy’s North located on State Street). I would like to say they are all carried at Macy’s, but only 4 are. The other three will have trunk shows. Sadly, two of the stronger collections were not two that were picked up by Macy’s (but hopefully they will be after this show).
Lara Miller began the show with a banging spring collection. I was thrilled to see she was showing Spring (apparently Macy’s let the designers chose) and that she was sticking to what she does best…knits. Lara Miller has the most amazing knits and it seemed for awhile that she had moved into jersey (the fabric, not the state), I was delighted to see she went back to her roots and where her designs are strongest and distinct. The only drawback is that you actually need Lara to move in to show you the 50 different ways you can wear a single item. Somehow you forget all but two once you own her garments for awhile. And an extra mouth to feed can get expensive.
Zone by Pamela Vanderlinde was next. This was a collection I didn’t know nor understand what was doing there. It seemed out of place, slightly dated and was mostly heavy winter (coats with velvet ruffled collars).
Katrin Schnabl showed a very progressive, avant garde and stunning Spring ’08 collection. She is a serious Chicago fan favorite and is true to her Jil Sander roots. We particularly loved her white and gray silk dress.
Melanie Nicole by Melanie Clark does amazing things with jersey. A fabric that larger chested and plus size women normally eschew, she somehow manipulates to flatter. I pray this is a line Macy’s Chicago picks up. She deserves more than a trunk show and I can assure once women tried on her garments, they will fly off the racks. Her red a-line jersey dress is one of my favorites and coincidently the one I was wearing that evening (and available at Second City Store).
Michelle Tan is another local favorite and we were pleased she showed spring. We loved her vanilla ruffled shirt dress with butterfly collar and her signature black jacket with puff tux tail. Her line of handbags are impressive as well!
Admittedly, we at Second City Style are avid Orlando Espinoza fans. We make no bones about it. He is one of the strongest Chicago designers and let’s face it, his clothes flatter! I wish he had shown shown Spring, but his fall collection is currently in Macy’s and at Second City Store so, promote away. Besides, I never tire of looking at the dress above.
Cyndi Chan wowed the crowd with her signature trench on her littlest customer…a furry friend. Her black and white polka dot gown is a show stopper. The trench and many items from her current collection are available at Second City Store.
Summary: In the end, we would totally understand if Macy’s wanted to stick to a consumer show format as they are a department store trying to sell what’s on their racks. We just wish they would make up their mind and not leave it to the designer to choose fall or spring apparel. All the other shows during Fashion Focus should show spring, however. Period. Combining two seasons in one runway show is confusing and amateurish.
Photos: Robert Carl
—Lauren Dimet Waters