Tuesday, October 7


Dress Code—Chicago Fashion Design School’s Show: Review

Chicago fashion schools delivered to onlookers a drastic selection of personal design at the Dress Code runway show on Friday October 3rd. Among the designs schools represented were the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the International Academy of Design and Technology, The Illinois Institute of Art at Chicago, and Columbia College of Chicago. First to walk the runway was an impactful collection of Super-hero garb designed by Tyler Coughlin. Though ‘costume-y’, the designs touched upon the Super-Hero Worship trend that has been hitting the fashion scene as of late. The designs that followed, made by Mariko Golden, offered an earthy pale-green dress collection with exquisite detail. My favorite of SAIC was Elyse Kutka, who was right on-trend with her floating white pleated, sheer dress that melted into a smoky deep purple at the midsection—stunning. While IADT left me wanting more—a lot more—I was impressed with designer Tanya Oost who presented a well-made trio of soft cream silky dresses. Also, Hector Monarrez from IADT, who pulled out his claws for a leopard infested collection of interesting dresses with back straps and ties. The Illinois Institute of Art brought a gasp to my gut when Sean Gibbons, and later, Casey Giglio, tossed out what seemed like an ode to the burlap sack. One tan, and one deep grey—two too many. The last two representing IIA might have just made up for the first. Danielle Wyman designed a beautifully put-together collection of papery dresses in soft grey, adding tulle, and playfulness, to two of her gorgeous dresses. Adriana Gonzalez offered up a gravity-defying assortment of short dresses with large swoops of printed fabric that danced with each step. Though Columbia was second in runway order, they rose to the top of the class, delivering a stylish plethora of looks from talented design students beginning with Liz Klimeck’s sexy leather pant, sharp white blouse and black vest look. Her collection stayed edgy as she presented an amazing tiered pale lavender short-dress lined in tulle, topped off with a fitted black coat—double stunning. Next was Yuka Takada who threw me off a bit with her collection in pale purples and soft blues. Her first look was pretty, but what followed was disconnected and a bit ‘off.’ Luckily, the collection was the only weak link in the winning chain of Columbia designs. Following Takada were designs by Amy Fenderson. Her deep currant colors and touches of plaid and grey tweed spoke to the ‘now’ of fashion, while delivering a great-fitting set. Second-to-last of Columbia’s crew was Jennifer Beeman’s collection of caramel golden looks. Her set began with an easy short dress in tan bordered by a thick chocolate stripe at the thigh, all covered with a soft deep green coat and gold zipper details. Last for CCC was an applause-worthy showing of black dresses that made me tingle. And I thank you Reginald Ilagan. His dresses were fresh, tiered takes on contradicting fabrics and lengths ending with a ruffled long dress that took my breath away—at least until my ‘burlap gasp.’ All in all, the designs at the Dress Code show all deserved an ‘A’, but Columbia College clearly did their extra-credit work.

-Ryan Beshel