Sitting in the audience at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance I didn’t quite know what to expect. I didn’t see a typical runway but instead a huge stage. Once the curtains opened, they revealed an abstract city scene which was also designed by students. "Born this Way" by Lady GaGa blasted from the speakers. The students at the Illinois institute of Art graced us with a theatrical presentation that consisted of eight different sequences. The show lasted about an hour and in that hour we saw everything from post apocalyptic to recycled fashion, kids clothing to hats, athletic wear to evening wear and even bridal wear! The show was like an all-you-can-eat buffet of fashion and I could not be more proud of my fellow Chicago fashion students! There were a few stand out pieces, and those are the ones I need to talk about a little more!
“A night at sea” was the first collection that really jumped out to me, in addition to the beautiful use of blue hues the construction of each piece was impressive, Faatymah Kitt did a beautiful job of telling her story and I really enjoyed seeing these pieces. It lit up the show for me, she was the first and only designer to use this particular shade of blue, and that really made her stand out. I also liked that her two piece set could easily be worn as separates as well as together, perfect for spring/summer. The gathering at the bottom of the skirt was also a beautiful addition to the ensemble. The aquatic inspiration was apparent in her mermaid style skirts that were shown!
“Idolizing Betty Paige” was a very fun collection for me to see because I immediately saw red carpet potential for Lindsay Peterman, the student who designed this collection. It was a very classic presentation but with a sexy flare, perfect when idolizing a pin up legend. The gorgeous see-through lace dress was reminiscent of Madonna’s post Oscar attire she wore to the 2011 Vanity Fair post Oscar bash. Madonna's frock was a Scognamiglio design from his fall/winter 2011/2012 collection, but Lindsay Peterman pulled it off with a tad more class. It may be a Madge faux pas that made this look lean more towards trashy than classy but Peterman’s design was all classy! I loved the quarter sleeve, with that high neckline, but what really added that elegance for me was the way the dress belled out at the natural waistline.
“Daffodils” was a beautifully constructed collection by Nina Nguyen.The pieces showed a lot of couture potential. A very uplifting collection to look at, it really did bring to mind summer sunshine and couldn’t help but make you smile when you saw it! The evening gown was a very impressive presentation for a student piece, I really wanted to see more garments by Nguyen. Her expert use of pleating gave her pieces texture as well as shape.
Fame 2011 was an exciting display of the talent that Chicago has to offer the fashion industry, and I can't wait to see what these designers do in the future! All of the students (designers as well as the marketing and merchandising students) that produced it did an amazing job.
– Allie Houston
Photos: Second City Style