Thursday, October 2

GenArt Fresh Faces in Fashion chicago 2008



Last night’s GenArt Fresh Faces show brought emerging Chicago designs right to our eyes. Hosted (barely) by Fall Out Boy musician, Pete Wentz, the show began, as photographers argued for position, with the Sophia Reyes collection. A flowing mix of periwinkle blue short-dresses, wide legged-trousers, and ruffles--yawn. The music played on as Frei Designs took the stage, an orange-obsessed line, complete with a finale piece that could only be referred to as ‘The Penis Dress.’ (Even the straight guys in front of me agreed on the name.) Following Frei was my personal favorite—Shorty. Justin Min and his team gave onlookers a taste of sheer fabrics, delicately printed with flowers in sunny greens and purples. The collection caramelized into warm browns and creams as the show went on, ending in what Justin described as “a traditional Korean ‘Hanbok’--with a modern twist.” While the finale didn’t leave me breathless, kudos go to Shorty for giving us a bit more of a show. What?!—he opened his set blasting M.I.A.—call me bias. Tied for first with Shorty was a mix of seemingly resort-inspired menswear from Philip Sparks. His designs were well-tailored, showing off grey-on-tan styles, with perfect pops of golden yellow, complete with dangerously short-shorts. Again--male models in uncomfortably high running shorts—bias. (Try to get a straight guy to wear those!) The finale was Sparks’ full grey, muted plaid, three-piece-suit that I wanted to strip from the model and wear immediately. Floating down after Sparks were designs by Elise Bergman. She showed a beautiful collection of cream and brown looks, complete with pops of sherbet and turquoise for the warm spring season. The evening ended with an 80’s twist as Eskell designs ascended the runway. The grungy-pretty collection offered a definite point of view, but not a view I’d like to point at. Her finale dress, however, was gorgeous—a stunningly simple, long-printed dress with a pop of gold on a thin belt at the waist. When all was shown and strutted, the resulting collections were a fabric-frenzy of emerging Chicago designers. While GenArt shows of the past have produced fame for an array of Chicago talent, I’d be insane to believe that Zac Posen has anything to sweat about.
-ryan beshel