On May 8, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)held the 81st edition of its annual student fashion show, THE WALK at Millenium Park’s Chase Promenade. The event raised more than $500,000 to support SAIC’s fashion program and student scholarships and was attended by over 1,500 people. Student designers pushed the limitations of fashion and crossed into the realm of performance art.
The show began with a mesmerizing performance piece entitled THE DOLLS by artist and associate professor of Film, Video, New Media and Animation at SAIC, Claudia Hart. The piece featured dancers wearing stiff paper gowns that functioned as movie screens onto which animated patterns were projected.
Following THE DOLLS, student designs took the stage. Over 200 garments, designed by sophomore, junior and senior fashion design students, were shown. The designers proved there is no limit to their creativity by challenging the line between fashion and art. Many of the collections came to life on models who danced, swaggered, and stomped down the runway–acting out the designers’ visions.
World-renowned fashion critic, journalist and filmmaker, Diane Pernet received SAIC’s 2015 Legend of Fashion award. “Diane Pernet has been at the forefront of fashion journalism’s digital renaissance and has been a noted champion for fashion film throughout her career,” said Anke Loh, associate professor in SAIC’s fashion department. “As both an advocate and an artist, Pernet’s role in the fashion community will inspire students to explore the many facets of the industry while never compromising their personal style.” Pernet is known for being one of the first to pioneer online fashion journalism and the fashion film genre. She is the creator of the blog A Shaded View on Fashion (ASVOF) and the founder and director of the fashion film festival, A Shaded View on Fashion Film (ASVOFF).
Swarovski partnered with SAIC for the fifth year to sponsor six students to incorporate Swarovski jewelry and crystals into their designs. After the show, guests were invited to a strolling dinner on the rooftop of the Harris Theater.
Emcee of the WALK Gloria Groom, SAIC President Walter Massey are with Legend of Fashion Honoree Diane Pernet.
Ingrid Yeo’s senior collection was a colorful explosion of yarn and pom poms.
Senior Tessa Mania’s designs featured delicate crowns made of twigs.
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Junior Mady Berry’s collection was a charming display of imagination. This crocheted green sweater and mask transformed the model into a cactus!
Abigail Roberts used recycled vinyl records to create to bodice of this look.
This look by Junior Anna C Bodell was a lavish walking garden.
– Kelcie McCurdy
Photos: Senior Designers and Honorees by Robert Carl; Top photo and Junior Designs by Kelcie McCurdy For Second City StyleTop Photo: Senior Design by Tessa Mania