Fashion Rocks Chicago
By Amanda Thayer

Fashion really did rock Chicago at Soundbar early November. Or at least it attempted to rock as it melded with DJ John Curley’s flow as he spun for a crowded house.

Not necessarily ‘rock and roll’ but the flavor pleased the waiting crowd, and despite a trendy blue martini which was spilled down my back and my feet, which throbbed from my stylish yet insensible silver stilettos, when the fashion show finally did start, a few of the designers made the wait well worth it.

The models pranced down the runway, in a fast paced march that kept me scrambling to keep up. Seven of Chicago ’s very own designers, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Valerie Downs, Suki Vhang, Vent, Double Stitch, Anna Ehrler, EUROTRASH, Kent Nielsen and Paul Tivi presented their designs. Whether it was casual, couture, or the custom jewelry, my eyes were assaulted with an array of edgy styles and designs for both men and women. Some, though interesting in design, seemed to fall short in construction.

A few of the designs were so ill fitting on the models that seams were splitting open and the soused up spectators got quite an eyeful, not to say that they minded this! But other designs really caught my eye, Namely Double Stitch with its funky, diva, Glam style. They produced hand made crochet goods that were so enticing, it would make your grandmother blush. One example, a cherry red, loopy, knee length number that doesn't seem to cover anything navel and down, ends with a flirty fringe at the knee and an ironically innocent matching scarf thrown about the neck, could really be seen on the likes of Alicia Keys or Fergie from Black Eyed Peas.

Kent Nielsen presented the crowd with his signature exquisitely out of the ordinary pieces. His dapper little numbers were the reincarnation of the Euro dandy. He did not shy away from decking out the male form in velvets, satins and slim, body conscious shapes. Some of his stuff might be a bit much for the average Joe but his black slim fit suit with a high sheen and wide cut metallic tie could pull out a little Jude Law in any guy.

Suki Vhang, a 2005 graduate of Columbia College Chicago, pulled together a chic collection in the most chic of all colors…black. Though highly monochromatic, her collection was anything but boring. Her cut and fit was spectacular and the style right ontarget.

These designers really made a statement that yes, fashion really can and does rock Chicago .


Photos by Dawn Penich