chicago Chicago fashion

Fashion Hits The Second City

Saturday, July 06, 2013 Sophie Magdalena Presents The Art of Fashion Spring 2013
By Teresa Espinoza

A Friday evening filled with Fashion in the greatest city in the world? Count me in! hosted their annual Spring Fashion show on the evening of April 19th, 2013. The evening was filled with the who’s who of the Chicago fashion scene. As always, the designers who I have grown to become very familiar with showed some amazing collections and really exemplified the aura of Chicago fashion. Weren’t able to make the sold out show? I have the full break down for you!
As a prior intern at, I had a deep understanding of what it really takes to put on a show of this magnitude. However, this time around, I was both a volunteer and spectator taking in the beauty of the collections themselves. As the fashionable elite of Chicago began to pour into The Museum of Broad­cast Communications, it was clear this evening was not only a fashion show but also a social event that many men and women looked forward to. The venue was filled with hors d’oeuvres and drinks for guests.

Guests indulged in goodies from Peroni, Luna bar and RA Sushi. More importantly the fashion show did not disappoint! The lights dimmed and all attention was on the 10 premier Chicago fashion designers Fall 2013 collections.
Barbara Bates is a seasoned designer that began her fashion career in 1986 and was born and raised in the amazing city of Chicago. She was most recently on NBC’s Fashion Star competition where she had dresses that were purchased by Macy’s. Her Spring 2013 collection was just stunning. If you’re a lover of romanticism then her collection is for you. The collection was filled with beautiful peplums done in variations of high-low styles. The standout piece that made me want to pull it straight off the runway was the taupe peplum lace top; just absolutely gorgeous and feminine.

Borris Powell is an extremely well known designer in Chicago and there are few designers more talented and gracious than he in our great city. A master in elegance and evening wear, he has grown a very large following. The fall collection was the epitome of elegance. So chic and done so well. The collection had emerald and red undertones that were great to see. Perhaps the most notable piece I fell head over heels for was the stunning green leather handbags his models strutted with. So stunning in fact, I had to make sure not to leave the show that night without letting him know how in love I was, and I wasn’t the only one! It was definitely a crowd pleaser.
Calvin Tran is perhaps best known for his modern and unique designs. He knows how to dress a woman’s body extremely well. His skill in draping these pieces leaves you in awe. I remember the first time skim­ming through his collection in 2011. I fell in love with his modernist and strong view of design. His fall 2013 collection included many Asian inspired kimono pieces. While some of those were not my absolute favor­ites, I had one that had me in admiration. A black floor length collared jacket that was paired with a signature draped white blouse. It was reminiscent of what you might see in a matrix movie. A tough exterior layer with a gorgeous delicacy below that. It made me wish I wasn’t 5’3 and had the height to wear that floor length jacket with the attitude it deserved!
Eva Pazola’s designs are made for the sophisticated clientele who appreciates intricate detailing, structure and beautifully crafted fabrics. While I am not the typi­cal Eva Pazola client, I have a great appreciation for her creations in this collection. One in particular caught my eye. I am a sucker for jackets and coats I must admit. Her black caped coat was spot on for me. It was paired with a great knee length pencil skirt that had gold metallic detailing in a leopard print pattern. Completely versatile and wearable by a variety of shapes and sizes.
Lagi Nadeau is a Michigan native who has a sophisticat­ed and edgy esthetic. Her clothing finds a great balance between the two and that was on display in her collec­tion for fall 2013. Metallic gold’s, berry and blush tones graced the runway in various silhouettes. Her drop waist dresses were the stars of the show. Other looks were rather mundane but helped bring the collection all together. What did I want in my closet the most? The drop waist short sleeve knit dress in blush. It was probably one of my favorite dresses of the night. A completely understated and chic dress!

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many of Lara Miller’s collections walk the runway and have really learned more about more about her point of view. She deserves much praise for her use of eco-friendly fabrics in her collections and always striving to make her customer both sophisticated and playful. Her clothing just looks so comfort­able but not in the sweat pants and t-shirt kind of way! Her looks in this collection gave comfort and a playful appeal. Her first look that hit the runway was the epitome of her collection and esthetic. A great outfit that is perfect for day or evening. The knee length skirt was done in a beautiful tie-dye print that just made the outfit so playful while still being office appropriate.
Mark Roscoe’s collection was exactly what he wanted it to be. He prides himself on making clothing for women who want to “make a statement without uttering a word.” So many of his dresses I could see on old and new Hollywood. They are defi­nitely statement pieces that evoke a striking gracefulness. The opening number had a type of belted overcoat that was airy and had a very romantic quality. As she ap­proached the end of the runway the over­coat opened up to a very pretty floral dress that had a slight metallic sheen. Overall just really well done.
This was my first time seeing a collection from MonArrez, a Chicago-based designer, and I was pleasantly surprised. There were a number of looks that were too simple and there were some that seemed too much such as the lace gowns. These particular lace gowns had too much embellishment for my taste and were a little distracting. I am not a huge fan of the one-sleeve gown either. However, his detailing on some of the pieces is really something to be ad­mired. The level of workmanship was really extraordinary. My pick from this collection was a long strapless evening gown that had so much elegance and sophistication without being overpowering.

Swaby is best known for being one of the top 5 finalists for Project Runway Canada.  Her innovative and daring style was showcased in her Fall collection.  She played with shape and very abstract details.  Her collection was very fantasy driven and is for the client who isn't afraid to wear something different.  The collection stayed within the recurring color theme in many of the collections that evening, lots of scarlet red and black.  Some of the looks were definitely more fantasy than practical for the average client but the same fantasy worked extremely well in her gowns; particularly, a scarlet red flowing gown.  It was the highlight of her collection for me.  Truly a great gown that moved so eloquently down the runway.

All in all an amazing evening filled with equally amazing fashion!  Shows such as these by, give a great opportunity for Chicago based designers to showcase their collections.  It gives us, the fashion obsessed, a chance to really see how fashion in our great city is on the rise.  Make sure to check out for their next runway show, The Art of Fashion, in the fall of 2013.  Grab your tickets quick, as they sell out fast and make sure to visit these designers around the city.  Until next time fashionistas!    

This full article is featured in the Half Stack Magazine Digital Print Summer Issue.  Click HERE for this article and to read up on other great articles pertaining to books, music, fashion, and more...  

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