Thursday, October 2


Liquid gold-metallic tights, models clutching studded shields, and tight jeans. Akira pulled off another fundraising runway show at Galleria Marchetti benefiting Imerman Angels. The 5th Annual Garden of Eden show was equipped with a sexy Paradeisos theme. The waiting crowd, a mix of Chicagoans spanning from the socially elite, to trend-obsessed fashion students--wide-eyed and ready to see what Akira had in store for the season. The show began at 7, with a sharply lit runway, and the sounds of a strummed harp orchestrating the opening looks. The Ford models delivered a fun show styled in some of Akira’s hottest finds from around the world. The trends of the season were splashed across the runway with plenty of surprises tossed into the mix. The show offered contradicting looks, relying on clashing fabrics, colors and styling to drive home this not-so-hidden underlying theme. Beginning with the first high-heeled step we saw this suggestion in a long, flowing bohemian look arriving at the end of the runway next to a short, mod silver-foiled cap sleeve dress. Leather made a twisted appearance in gladiator style warrior-wear, followed by a studded kilt worn over a skinny black suit. Color was sparse in the men’s looks, but the pea coat triumphed—repeated in all but a handful of the men’s looks. Red-bled in pops of color for the men while mustard yellow and plum purple painted the women’s looks. The resulting show, a contradicting peek at Akira’s racks, a bit disconnected in intention, yet an ample delivery of selection. Though the Paradeisos Gladiator theme was represented on the runway, the space was left screaming to be apart of it all. The Galleria, while a stunning venue, wasn’t exactly turned into my kind of paradise. Maybe I simply prefer more foliage in my Garden of Eden? All in all, when the music calmed, and the last look descended the runway, Akira had proven again, that their brand is more than a garment—it’s a Chicago lifestyle.

AKIRA x IMERMAN ANGELS Fashion Show Sunday Sept 14th Preview from AKIRA CHICAGO on Vimeo.

Trend and Inspirations for Fall 2008:
1. Check, please!... Plaid makes a killing this season in both men and women’s looks. Flannel frocks and check-obsessed mini dresses hit the mark for women while buttoned-up styles offer lumberjack status to the smartly dressed man.
2. The Magic of Minimal… The simple seduction of minimal looks give the attention to the individual, proving this season that less is more. Structured shapes and sharp lines lend an edge to chic simplicity.
3. Grown-up Goth… To hit this hot trend pair black with black, then add some black. This look is sharp, smart, and impactful. The key here is fabrics. Style a black wool skirt with opaque black tights, following it all up with a tied pussy-bow blouse and soft leather boots. Ummmm—chic.
4. Shoe Worship… As always, this season shoes will make or break your look. The most important of all accessories—the shoe says it all with laced up booties treading the way for the sexy woman and patent kicks demanding attention for the men.
5. Full Coverage… Dress and skirts drop to a new length as fabrics extend below the knee, elongating the looks of the season. This lean look pairs well with accessories like thick leather belts and long necklaces, capped off with the surprise of that perfect boot underneath it all.
6. YOU… Nothing is more inspiring than the eclectic garb of an individual with stellar style. The best accessory is your personal take on current fashion, something you can’t buy—but you know it when you see it. Confidence is an accessory worn best with any outfit. Take your time to create a feeling. In my experiences, style isn’t about labels—it’s about creating a different character every time you leave the house. Push yourself to discover a look like you’ve never seen—and who knows? It may be floating down a Paris runway next season.

Colors and Accessories for Fall 2008:
Colors this season take a warmer tone as gold, deep purple, mustard yellow, and rich brown leather mix together for fall. Pay attention to pops of red, especially in your best Goth look. Red provides surprise and vibrancy to a down-right dark outfit. On the other hand, clashing patterns offers a stand-out alternative, awakening the sexy nerd in any individual. Accessories rock the runways, and my world, with check bowties, thick-rimmed glasses, and bright scarves that add that a pop to your person. Women won’t go wrong dripping in gold, standing tall in sexy booties, carrying that ever-popular ‘it bag’ of her choice.

The Look:
Knits take the head of the class for the men and women of Fall 2008. Buttoned-crested cardigans and over-sized collared sweaters steal the look, all paired over a daring mix of this season’s trends. For women, play with fabrics pairing silk and cotton, or collide organza with leather to stand out among the threads. For men, the look spans from masculine outdoor looks to the chic elegance of a black suit that fits perfectly. Fit is key this season, and there’s no room for useless bagginess. A perfect fit implies you know what you’re doing, unless you’re wearing an oversized sweater with a belt and yellow leggings…though, we’ll save that look for the ladies. The geek in us all makes a statement this season, only this time-a-round you won’t get shoved into a locker for sporting plastic glasses and sweater vests. Ladies can get in on the fun, with tight plaid mini-dresses and grungy Gingham touches. Dare I say use the cliché, Geek Chic? Guilty.

-Ryan Beshel 10.1.08