Gen Art Fresh Faces In Fashion. Bring On The Midwest Designers! Second City Style Fashion Blog.

Joy Noelle (left and right) and Shane Grabier (bottom center)
2006 Fresh Faces (Photos: Brian Choi)

Kicking off Chicago’s Fashion Focus Week, the Gen Art Fresh Faces In Fashion Runway Show will be held on Tuesday, October 9th at 7:30pm. This is the event’s fifth year in a row and will take place at The Tents At Chase Promenade in Millennium Park. Featuring seven of the Midwest’s brightest fashion stars, the Gen Art production is sure to be a highlight of the week. 

Similar to New York’s installment of Fresh Faces, the night will commence with a cocktail hour featuring three emerging accessories designers’ collections, continue with a fashion show on a 60-foot runway, and be followed by an after-party at Chicago’s trendy James Hotel. 


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This year’s show will feature both womenswear and menswear designers, including Abigail Glaum-Lathbury, Apparatchik, Biasline by Soo Choi , Dieter Bennet, Moire Conroy, Moire Conroy and Wrath Arcane. Check out their bios below and stay tuned for post-show coverage. 

Abigail Glaum-Lathbury – In 2005, Glaum-Lathbury launched her eponymous ready-to-wear collection inspired by the investigation of beauty found in the unlikely – examining the unusual places and awkward movements of seemingly lifeless subjects, such as entomology and anatomy. Glaum-Lathbury graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006 where she received several prestigious awards and honors. She has been recognized in Lucky, New York Times Magazine and Time Out Chicago. 

Apparatchik – Tram Nguyen is a Chicago born designer that taught herself to sew from a set of TimeLife sewing books from the seventies. Upon graduating high school, Nguyen moved to Toulouse, France to apprentice for a local designer. After the apprenticeship and a long career in retail, Nguyen decided to combine her love of fashion and retail experience to start her own women’s wear line. 

Biasline by Soo Choi – Soo Choi was born and raised in Seoul, Korea and moved to Chicago, at the age of ten. Soo’s work reflects disciplinary design skills and a recollection of all of her experiences and memories from both her past to the present. Soon after graduating from Columbia College, she immersed herself into the fashion industry by working under numerous designers and collaborating with various artists, including Tim Van Steenbergen during Paris fashion week.   

Dieter Bennet – Dieter Kirkwood and Bennett Cousins met in college while completing a thesis project together. They reunited in 2006 and debuted their first collection in Spring 2007. With a focus on the structure and line of the garment, their first concern is always line, “line is everything, it dictates the cut, silhouette, and fabric”. A Deiter Bennet woman is one that recognizes their vision of quiet luxury and small details. 

Moire Conroy – Moire Conroy graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. She then moved to Paris for an exchange of fine arts and fashion at L’Ecole National des Arts Decoratifs, and technique at Chambre Syndicale de la Couture. Conroy sees her garments as a bridge between the wearable and the sculptural and the designs embody a form of transition. Her Spring 08 collection is partially influenced by dream catchers and cultural crossings. 

Nora Marcella – Nora and Marcella Volini’s designs can be best described as the melding of their two unique styles: elegant and quirky. The designers find their inspiration where color, form and timeless details meet, but always remaining mindful of the diverse needs of a modern woman. Nora studied textile design at the University of Kansas and has taken on the role of creative director and business manager for the line. Marcella studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Pratt Institute in New York.   

Wrath Arcane – Long-time friends Brian O’Neill and Sean Bilovecky started Wrath Arcane in January 2006 with a new minimalist approach to contemporary sportswear. Wrath Arcane holds true to their ideal – that what’s behind the label is equally as important as the garment the label is attached to. O’Neill and Bilovecky are committed to expanding their network of like-minded designers, domestic manufacturers and environmentally conscious fabric mills.

— Andra Naylor

For more information go to GenArt, Second City Style Events Calendar, or Fashion Focus Chicago 2007

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