When I finally arrived at the Chicago Cultural Center last Friday I was out of breath, irritable, and dripping wet. Not a fun way to arrive to MODA's Spring 2011 Fashion Show last Friday since I had to dash through a crazy rainstorm to get there, but my mood quickly lifted when I saw a tray of cupcakes floating around!
After snagging one of those tasty treats, I had a chance to twirl around and take in the dramatic backdrop of Sidney R. Yates Gallery with its high ceilings a rich color scheme that lent the clothes a somber yet regal feel to it. The runway was positioned right in the middle in a rectangular shape and the seating for guest was hedged neatly around the parameter.
Since the show was so packed last week, a lot of the patrons had to sit on window sills or in the middle part of the runway. An odd placement for guest but everyone seem to have a great view of the clothes no matter where you were sitting.
Soon after everyone had a chance to get settled, the clothes started pouring out onto the runway. There were three designers groups showing that evening: Designer Boot Camp, Emerging Designers and Established Brands, and Student Designers. The Designer Boot Camp shows the first collection from the students that participated in a year long course that would help them create their first collection to showcase at MODA's Fashion Show. Then there were Student Designers, and Emerging Designers and Established Brands like Jacqui, Kembral, Anastasia Chatzka, Ann Taylor and Akira.
A snippet of Moda's Spring Fashion Show.
Top looks from the Womenswear collection consisted of punk nymph, the casual vacationer, and the demure leading lady. The prominent look on the catwalk included tattered jeans, intricately sliced tops, and barely there hemlines were the key elements of the a girl that wasn't afraid of showing a little skin or attitude. The second strong style that struck a chord with me was the casual vacationer which encompassed rolled up cuffs at the ankles, fluid trousers, and an off the shoulder striped top. As for the demure leading lady look, the models wore a lot of soft-focused watercolor prints, prim and proper shift and skirts, and slight sprinkle of jewelry.
Menswear on the other hand was over-the-top theatrics. Fur stoles, stove pipe pants, amusing crouch detailing, and pirate shirts! An amusing mix I could only describe as princely buccaneer. A few things that stood out for me were the zip-fly plackets in loud fabrics, contrasting collars, and a brocade vest with a shirt-tail hem. I thought Menswear was hilariously cheeky and a daring choice for new designers to take on. I hope they stick with it since we need more Menswear designers that will shake it up a bit.
Overall, the show was a memorable one for me with its theatrical space and collections. I love the metamorphosis of the skill levels, backgrounds, and inspirations throughout the show. It was a magical thing to witness, like watching a caterpillar become a butterfly. I hope all the young and emerging designers keep on honing their crafts and continue to regale us with enchanting spirits and designs in the future.
Photo Credit: Terence Lee Jun Rong, Second City Style