November 1, 2011

Dress Code: Student Designers Continue to Shine at Fashion Focus

Nicole Paprusky (Illinois Institute of Art)

Every time Fashion Focus rolls around, I look forward to the Dress Code runway show. Featuring students from the city's top four design schools - International Academy of Design and Art (IADT), Columbia College, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Illinois Institute of Art -  Dress Code usually ends up being the most innovative and creative show of the week. And this year was no different.

The venue, which was a makeshift tent adjacent to the Chicago History Museum, was filled to the brim with attendees who braved the cold, wind and rain to catch a glimpse of what Chicago's best  design students had to offer. All of the institutions were represented well, as demonstrated by the loud cheers from the audience when each school presented.

With so many great designs, it was hard to pinpoint which school was the best overall. There were a few standout pieces though. Among them were the leather and wool men's jacket with exaggerated collar by Eugene Frimpong (IADT); the studded, rock-star looks by Grace Lewis (Columbia College); the voluminous dresses by Bonnie Alayne (SAIC); and the extreme shapes and sharp edges courtesy of Nicole Paprusky (Illinois Institute of Art).

Check out some of the highlights below:
Que Shebley (IADT)
Eugene Frimpong (IADT)

Grace Lewis (Columbia College)

Ryan Pickle (Columbia College)

Liz Patelski (SAIC)

Bonnie Alayne (SAIC)

Christine Joy Teodoro (Illinois Institute of Art)

Monica Chamberlain (Illinois Institute of Art)

Of course, many of the looks were not practical or necessarily wearable. But therein lies the beauty of Dress Code. When given complete artistic freedom, the students are able to push boundaries and showcase their creativity,  while still maintaining great construction.

The Dress Code show also included the announcement of the FashioNext design competition winner. Students were asked to create a design that was inspired by America's first couturier, Charles James.  Columbia College student Cynthia J. Roman was the winning designer (view her sketch and final garment below).

Kudos to Nena Ivon for producing an amazing show and to the talented student designers for making the future of fashion look that much brighter!

So what do you think? Which designer or school was your personal favorite?

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Blogger Andrea said...

I am utterly speechless at the garments represented at Dress Code this year. I am super amazed at the talent showcased by each student. WOW!

November 1, 2011 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Y. Garza said...

I would wear Monica Chamberlain (Illinois Institute of Art) & Liz Patelski (SAIC) today if they were available. Amazing!


November 2, 2011 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger ChanellRutg said...

Wow! Eugene is one of my former students...too bad I didn't teach him that.

November 2, 2011 at 9:48 PM  

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