show of Chicago Fashion Focus Week was Gen Art’s Fresh Faces 07 held at the
tents on Chase Promenade Terrace at Millennium Park on Tuesday night.
commenced with a pre-reception in which guests cocktailed and enjoyed the
accessories installments by Lisa Kingsley, One of One and Winifred Grace. After
the crowd moved into the main tent, the runway show kicked off with Apparatchik
by Tram Nguyen.
taught herself how to sew from a set of TimeLife
sewing books from the seventies, and this was manifested through patchwork tops
and dresses made of shiny metallics complemented by colorful pieces of fabric.
She showed sequin shorts that reminded me of Chanel, trapeze shapes and racer
back cuts. While the metallics seemed a bit overboard, her trapunto-inspired
stitching was innovative and wearable.
Up next was
Dieter Bennet, a quieter line that consisted of understated, modern suiting
options like a short, bright orange skirt with crisp, white button-down shirt
and a work-appropriate black shirt dress. Dieter Bennet is designed by Dieter
Kirkwood and Bennett Cousins. The duo says that they focus on the structure and
line of a garment, and this was evident in their collection’s simple
silhouettes and thoughtful construction.
Arcane showed the solo menswear collection for the night, presenting
comfortable, casual looks and edgy zip-ups and jackets. Designers and long-time
friends Brian O’Neill and Sean Bilovecky started Wrath Arcane in January 2006
and are committed to their new minimalist approach to contemporary sportswear.
and Marcella Volini showed their collection, Nora Marcella, best described as a
“melding of their two unique styles: elegant and quirky”. The first look was a
lovely black dress with cropped jacket adorned with a bedazzled neckline. The
following looks ranged from lingerie-inspired sets to a little, one-shoulder
dress. Many pieces were detailed with gold buttons, a touch that was much more
quirky than elegant.
Conroy, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, presented a
fresh approach to dresses and separates with standout prints inspired by
“cultural crossings”. I enjoyed the individuality of the pieces and would love
to accessorize my outfits with the statement-making fabric necklaces she showed
on the runway.
the “investigation of beauty found in the unlikely”, Abigail Glaum-Lathbury
showed a collection that was both ladylike and masculine. Together, the looks
were elegant and laid-back, and a closer look showed the menswear-inspired
pin-striping and vest details. I loved the skirt and camisole pairing, and
thought it would look perfect on an old-school beauty like Maggie Gyllenhaal.
collection of the evening was Biasline presented by Soo Choi, a graduate of Columbia College. This was one of my favorite of
the night – the fabrics were light and interesting and the looks sophisticated
yet casual. I loved the slightly nautical gray, button-down dress with black
chiffon scarf neck tie and a lilac dress that crossed in the back.
All Runway Photos: Brian Choi