Chicago’s Dress Code

dress code

by jennine on November 3, 2009

For a the city between the fashion capitol (NY) and the shopping capitol (LA), Chicago certainly puts a lot of effort in it’s own fashion identity. With the city funded Fashion Council, they were able to host a full-fledged fashion show for their top-tier recent graduates. I’ve been to several student shows this year, most notably Designers for Tomorrow, Lichting, and the Academy of Art and they all differ from ‘real world’ shows with playfulness and dreamy, surreal characteristics on the plus and on the minus production techniques and fitting aren’t quite up to par with the pro’s. But I love the raw ideas, how when selling is taken out of the equation where does fashion go?

It’ makes me think there should be more funding for the development of fashion, like science and art, so people can really let go and explore without the pressures of the industry to create fashion that’s wearable and saleable. Only because when you really let go and play, that’s when you get the ground breaking ideas to move forward. Either that, or when your up against a wall and have to make decisions with limited resources, that works too…but it’s not as fun.

Here are some of photos from the Dress Code show, which showcased it’s best designers from Columbia College Chicago, The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago, Academy Chicago and the School of the Art Institute Chicago. The show was on Oct. 23rd, and I would have posted earlier if it weren’t for traveling, and also I’m not sure what the deal with the press release was, but they didn’t name all the designers, and most of them did not have websites (which should be a requirement to graduate, I’m sorry, but it’s the 21st Century) and apparently no one else had all the designers down, because I couldn’t find them online. Even at the show, they had these giant mug shots of the poor students, with their names obscured. Maybe next time, the organizers will figure that stuff out. We’ll see! But take a look, there are some really nice gems in here…I’m particularly liking the designer who used the Valentino-esque silk forms and ruffles… just beautiful.   Click on the images for full view…

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

amanda November 3, 2009 at 10:40 am

beautiful- that brain-looking knit in the top image is stunning


Sally November 3, 2009 at 10:43 am

That asymmetric trench is to die for! And I wonder what was up with the promotions stuff - how strange.
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Kate November 3, 2009 at 10:44 am

Chicago is definitely an up and coming fashion city. My parents are both from there so I have a lot of family from the city and surrounding areas. I was just there this past August and I got to see where my Aunt moved to which is this really fun hipster neighborhood. Wish I could remember the name.

Anyway, I remember visiting downtown Chicago in 2001 when Sex and the City was all the rage. Well, I figured Chicago would be like New York in the show and it was the middle of summer, so I wore these daisy duke shorts with a bright orange tank. Being from Southern California I didn’t think anything of it, but I have never gotten sooo many weird looks from people. I guess I obviously looked like a tourist because it was so hot out and the natives were wearing turtle necks!

It’s always seemed like a conservative city, but I really think things are changing in terms of fashion. I hope so!
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Sheena November 3, 2009 at 10:46 am

I love the styling on the 9th picture with the long sweater and that scarf. Very nice. It looks like it was a very nice show and I hope that the organization for the next time will be much better for these shows.
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jennine November 3, 2009 at 12:56 pm

❤ amanda…i thought so to, it’s great!
❤ sally, isn’t it? I absolutely love it!
❤kate…hahah funny you say that, i grew up in SoCal and everyone thought i dressed like a ‘grandma’ because i DID NOT wear daisy dukes! god i miss that. it’s way more conservative here, in a lot of ways….
❤sheena…ooh me too, that’s one for the inspiration boards dressing today!


violetville November 3, 2009 at 2:09 pm

haha, fashion shows in the midwest tend to be, er, disorganized! but those mug shots are hilarious! no one’s face should be that large *ever*, especially without even being a professional shot!
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grace November 3, 2009 at 2:30 pm

chicago feels a bit conservative to me as well, but i suppose you can only be so non-conservative in the arctic cold. but the show looks like it was fun nonetheless…would have liked to go had i known about it!


hanako66 November 3, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Seeing the designs of students is so inspiring!!!
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Liv Lundelius November 3, 2009 at 3:35 pm

fashion school shows are always exciting!
thx for sharing
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Melissa November 5, 2009 at 10:35 am

Actually, all the designers names were on a run of show available at the press table and laid out on all the chairs.


jennine November 5, 2009 at 11:29 am

Melissa I have the press release, which was the only thing in the press packet that mentioned Dress Code.
I looked up every designer mentioned, and could not find the corresponding collections to all of them, as well as the fact they only mentioned 5 designers, when clearly there were more than that, my count is some where more than 15 and less than 20.


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