April 9, 2012

LAUNCH: Driving Fashion Forward in Chicago's North Shore

When you receive an invite to a charitable fashion event that includes a runway show featuring local boutiques and student designers at a Mercedes Benz dealership, curiosity alone will have you requesting to be added to the RSVP list. 

So, when I received a request for attendance to LAUNCH: Driving Fashion Forward, you know exactly what happened.  As part of my invite, I was also asked to be a judge for the student designer competition which would award the winning designer with a $5000 scholarship. Needless to say, I was most certainly looking forward to this event.

The Autohaus Edens dealership in Northbrook hosted the event. We all know Mercedes Benz vehicles practically sell themselves. But it was the warm personal welcome by the dealership's president, Michael Rosengarden, that impressed me and had me adding Autohaus to my list of best car dealers in the Chicagoland area.

While guests shopped local vendors and mingled over cocktails and light bites, I had a chance to meet some of the Columbia College student designers.  
Chloe Flora, Jessica Atkins, Agnes Hamerlik and Samm Mackin

After finding out that Columbia College's Melissa Gamble was their professor and mentor, I knew these students were quite talented and would present impressive designs on the runway. 

The North Shore boutiques were the first to be featured. The list of stores included Jolie Femme, Three Sisters, Shirise Shoes, Bett's and Frances Heffernan; all of which provided the audience with some of the best trends for Spring/Summer (eg. peplum, floral, graphic prints and colorblocking).

Here are some of my favorite looks:
Jolie Femme

Three Sisters
Frances Heffernan

Then, it was time for the student designers. As predicted, the looks showcased the individual talent and creativity of each designer. It certainly made it difficult for me and my fellow judges - Adrienne Fawcett of Gazebo News, Susan Noyes of Make It Better Magazine, Meg Moore “Style Counselor” for Pioneer Press and Andrea Rosengarden - to make a decision. 

After it was all said and done, these were the top two designs:
Agnes Hamerlik
Samm Mackin
Agnes took home the $5000 prize but I commend all of the designers for their hard work! I'm excited to see what the future holds for them.

With the remarkable runway show, the funds raised for A Safe Place and the notable amount of dresses donated for the Party Dress Project, I think it's safe to say that Launch: Driving Fashion Forward was a huge success. 

Plus, I now have some great shopping destinations to explore outside of city limits... as if I needed any more.

What do you think of the runway looks and student designs? Do you have any favorite shops in the North Shore?

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Anonymous Tali Hylen said...

Beautiful recap of an amazing event! Nikia, you're always on top of Chicago's fashion world in every way!

April 9, 2012 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger ChiTown Fashionista said...

Thanks for the kind words, Tali! :)

April 9, 2012 at 4:42 PM  

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