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playCHIC Fashion Show 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 Avante Edmonds

The gaming world just married fashion. Last Thursday night brought out Chicago’s best and brightest fashion designers to match their skills among the top games. The playCHIC fashion show is an annual event to kick off the Chicago Toy & Game Group 2015 event. Mayfair Games collaborated with three Chicago designers to bring the whimsical nature of their games to life.



Chicago Toy & Game Group, called ChiTAG for short, hosts four events before Black Friday every year to raise awareness about the industry and promote new games to potential holiday customers. An open bar, Mediterranean dinner, and beautiful backdrop of Alhambra Palace in the west loop added a social atmosphere to this event. Chicken kabob, hummus, baba ganouj were on the menu and the seasonings much like the setting- were out of this world. Yet again the organizers pulled together an impressive lineup of fashion designers. “Three years ago Tracey Tarantino approached me to do this event and I’ve been doing it every since,” said Peach Carr of Lake Forest. The way it works is “they give us the game and we played the game.

"I played with the cat [Spin Master’s Zoomer Kitty] and then...this red look was brought to life. It’s inspired by the game  and I pulled inspiration from newspaper offices in the 30’s and 40’s. Right away I went with Katharine Hepburn…” said Carr. The newspaper print for the pants of this look is a Chicago newspaper. It features phrases like “Humboldt Park” boldly. Peach Carr a Project Runway alumna and handbag maven Michelle Tan were the returning stars of the night. This year welcomed a new participant, Laura Thapthimkuna. Thapthimkuna, also familiar with reality show competitions, tested her talents on the American edition of Rihanna’s Styled to Rock.

 Thapthimkuna, also known as takataka for short, was known for her edgy creative style and her showcase for this event was no different. Takataka revealed her “Mystery Dress”. A show stopping end piece for the board game “Mystery-Motive for Murder”. This dress drew audible ahhs from the attendees. Black lace draped around a jewel encrusted bodice was pulled together with an exaggerated collar. “Mystery Dress” followed an eye-catching design by Michelle Tan. It was themed after the Meccanoid G15KS Maker System. Meccano sculpts the engineer in you by creating structures using metal pieces. The “Meccano” dress brought the metal parts to life as they hit the runway lights.

The Mystery Dress
Congrats are in order for Anna van Slee, fashion show director, who usually heads this event, but could not make it due to a new baby. We want to show that “fashion is a legitimate form of expression and career” said van Slee. The show attracts all ages inspiring them to create. This event has even “partnered with the Boys and Girls club of Chicago” said van Slee.

 The annual playCHIC fashion show is a bridge from people in STEM fields to get involved in design. Laura Thapthimkuna is a practicing engineer when she isn’t wowing the runways. Van Slee herself is a game design project manager and simply had a personal interest in fashion that she pursued through playCHIC. Though she could not attend van Slee graced the show with this message “The outfits we assemble represent who we are, are creativity and special perspective on how we meet the world...The world is a runway, and our friends are our front-row VIPs. Go bask in the limelight.”

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