Chicago Fashion Focus 001

October is no longer for scary costumes when in Chicago, no October in Chicago is a time for fierce fashion!  Yes, the city of New York may have its Fashion Week, but Chicago is just as focused on fashion, at Chicago Fashion Focus that is… So now there is no need to “run” to NYC, because Chicago has its “runways” too.

As I entered the runway show I must admit that I had a fusion of emotions.  I had feelings of being anxious, uncertain , and excited all at once.  This was my very first runway show which I would be covering for my blog and I wanted to do a good job.  There I sat in the cold stainless-steel folding chair with my Canon Rebel camera strapped around my neck, Samsung Galaxy Tablet in my lap and my Blackberry video camera in hand…I have no doubt I must have looked like a lost freshman blogger; funny because that is exactly what I am –  a Pilot on its maiden voyage ( lol).  Although I admit to being a beginner, I am not a beginner when it comes to my love for fashion.  When I was a young girl growing up on the west side of Chicago, I always sensed I had a sense of Fashion because I could appreciate outfits that were not mainstream, but had a degree of individuality.  Colors, textures, and patterns can all conspire to make a FASHIONable outfit.  Yes, I know a little but as I sat in that uncomfortable chair, I knew I was in class to learn more than ever.


“Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.”

Coco  Chanel 

“The difference between Style and Fashion is quality”

 Giorgio Armani

 “If you’re too big to fit into fashion, then you just have to do your own fashion”

Vivienne Westwood

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All of the above looks use the classical colors of Black & white, or you can even say White & black…lol  However are these actually colors…some may argue “not”!

FYI: Black and White are not colors, they are tones.  Black is a “shade”, white is a “tint”. Black is the absence of LIGHT, not COLOR. Think about it, you’re in a lit room…you see colors, you turn off the LIGHT and what do you get, BLACK (ask.com).

The above styled clothing is clean & crisp with the use of “white” and haunting & demure with the use of “black“.  Personally I love the white leather shorts very cute and stylish!


****One caveat I am not sure the Designers are correctly linked to the description…remember this is my first show and I was not sure how to outline.

“Playground Chicago: Creative Director and designer Rodnell Harris has teamed up with experienced graphic and technical designers to develop a company that values bringing different forms of art together to create one masterpiece.  Inspired by the  American classics, Chicago intended to make one feel appreciated, valued and honored through the arts of American culture.  www.urbanalleyblog.com/2013/03/Chicago-playground-clothing

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The above looks tell us it is Time to Back to School…or if you can not afford College at these outrageous tuition prices, then wear the  “throw back” fashion of the Collegial look (rah rah).  Sporty and fun this is a timeless look for a reason—it is smart!

“Agnes Hamerlik: is an interdisciplinary artist and designer, born in Poland,  Open to technological advances and multidisciplinary collaborations, she is interested in forging new design synthesis safeguard by traditions, intelligent design, luxury fabrics, impeccable craft and unusual detailing define her stunning collections.  www.agneshamerlik.com

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Love looks that are rich, even if you are not…? The above looks have a luxurious rich feel that reads vintage, with clean lines and tailored to fit the body of a woman,  women now can make a statement when they enter a room without being vulgar; but more seductive and haunting.  I find this look reminiscing of the “Great Gatsby”  or  “Boardwalk” era.

“Randall Hill: started his career as an apprentice to Michelle Tan, and he is currently selling his designs at her Bucktown boutique.  His goal is to always make his customer feel like a star in their own movie – beautiful, feminine, sexy and a little dangerous. www.facebook.com/randallhilldesigns

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Sexy can be tantalizing without be tawdry.  Looks that are styled correctly can have an edge without going over the cliff (lol)!

“Lagilelei Eizabeth Nadeau:  creates high-quality, authentic pieces for women who have a strong sense of self and style.  The Lagi Nadeau collection blends high-end sophistication with a dash of edge.  This distinct style is emphasized by her use of luxurious fabrications mixed with interesting detailing.  www.lafinadeau.com

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The above looks have a restraint flouncy look with a touch of flare and attitude.  The cut has a feminine confidence that most women love.  I call these outfits “statement pieces”…the statement is “I am woman and see me roar down the runway”!

“Nicole Puszynski: Chicago native Nicole Puszynski is interested in a minimal, modern, yet timeless aesthetic, and her designs often have an architectural quality.  Spring 2014 is the debut collection for her eponymous line. www.nicolepuszynski.com

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The above look has delicate, fluid and detailed lines.  This looks seems to read that the women who wears these pieces are contemporary yet futuristically styled.  With the interplay of Cut, Color, Clarity and Character  you are a priceless jewel!

TIP: The last C, “character” ia a play on the word “carat”

FYI: The 4 C’s It’s important to understand the Four Cs — diamond cut, clarity, color and carat weight — know these ladies before you shop for diamond jewelry.

“Sheleby Steiner:  Contemporary womenswear designer Shelby Steiner strives to engineer affordable and innovative designs for the modern-day tomboy.  Her aesthetic includes feminine fabrications with menswear silhouettes; garments are to be layered heavily as the pieces are interchangeable and transition through each season. www.shelbysteiner.com

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The above looks allow you to remember when you preferred to hang our with da boys…well now you can again, and this time fit right in.   Now these days you may prefer to hang out with the ladies…but some may still like hanging out with the, (instead of boys), men. (lol).  The clothing above gives you that easy yet sprightly and spunky feel.  Look out “Punky Brewster” these ladies have “punky-power” too!

“Takataka: Laura Thapthimkuna is a fashion and costume designer.  She is the creative force behind the new ready-to-wear line TAKATAKA.  In her designs, she concentrates on costumes and avant-garde clothing. www.lauratakataka.com

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The above is something radical and progressive with a hip appeal.  When you stomp in the room with these looks you are sure to grab the attention of the entire room…some will have an amused delighted smile; others may have an envious smirk as if to say>I wish I was as daring and bold enough to rock that style<.

and now the men…who knew they had style!

“J.Toor: J. Toor is Chicago-based studio that specializes in fashion forward bespoke menswear.  Co-Founders and Designers Jivesh Toor, Diana McCarty and Jamie Pate began J.Toor with the vision of bringing the modern gentleman back in vogue. www.jtoor.com

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The above looks were classical, suave, and polished.  Men dressed in these fashion commands an attitude of respect.  Although there were the traditional blacks and greys, colors such pink and lavender shirts popped on the runway, which kept me attentive and amused at the men’s collection.

I the Pilot was rather blessed to attend a runway show featuring Men’s wear….

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I loved the urban, underground apparel.  These looks belong to a man who takes ownership of being masculine; but with a modern edge and flair….nothing wrong with a metro man!

“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about  being yourself.”

Oscar de la Renta

I design for the woman who loves being a woman.

Diane von Furstenberg

Fashion is about what you look like, which translates to what you would like to  be like.

Jean Paul Gaultier


According to the Media Packet I received after my check-in, I learned that the designers each had a certain aesthetics; at this event Designers such as:

“Jack Cave:  Jack Cave’s designs breathe new life into leather, vinyl, fabrics and metals from junk yards, thrift shops and distributors. Providing proof that combining recycled and new materials is the ultimate demonstration of chic  jackcave.com”

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The above looks, threw me initially, but I understood that the focus at this Designer’s show was on the ACCESSORIES!  These extras and attachments were placed not as contrived adornments; but convenient essentials for an armed man.  Ladies, how many times has your male companions asked you to carry their keys, wallets or other accoutrement.  Now John Cave, pictured on the upper right in jeans and black sweater, has designed a solution to the “men’s need for tote my stuff please”.

FYI: Accoutrement: Personal extras such as clothing, accessories and equipment.

“J.Cheikh: “”Husband and wife team Cheikh Lam and Sophie Lin focus on modernizing the fundamental of classic menswear and draw inspiration from a unique mix of European silhouettes with American ease  www.jcheikkh.com

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J Cheikh with the classic silhouette of their suits are embolden with innovative colors and shirts with captivating patterns.  Some of the material appears to be silk and definitely smooth…or you can say they looked “smooth as silk” as they sauntered down the runway.

“Michelle Tan™:  “Michelle Tan launched her women’s line in 2000 and is debuting her menswear collection at Fashion Focus.  Tan’s devotion to deconstruction and details have made her one of Chicago’s fastest growing designers. www.michelletan.com

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Men can give that reconstructive anarchistic look not only in their affairs-of-state; but in their love of the state-of-art.  Men can wear these unconventional looks after hours.  Once they have left the boardroom suited in their “white collar”; now they can leave the house, after hours, in a torn collar or perhaps no collar at all…  Michelle Tan, centered in the upper right photograph, makes a bold rebellious statement in her personal style as well as what she designs for men.

“Street Sprung: Street Sprung is the label by Sergio Cordoda, a Chicago-born designer and artists living in L.A. This is his first menswear label.  He envisions his designs to be genderless and worn by anyone with an edge. turpenoid@gmail.com

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The above design is not for the faint of heart nor the faint of art,  these untraditional looks are for the bold and those “en vogue”.  Designer Sergio Cordoda, pictured in the upper right in red pant, is no “shirking violet” which is evident in his designs as well.

FYI: Shrinking Violet: a shy, modest, or self-effacing person.

“B:Scott: Brandon Scott launched B:Scott in 2009 to create menswear that fuses Japanese and German aesthetics.  Treating each seam like the bones of a building, he derives inspiration from his Bauhaus-trained Grandfather. www.bscottdesign.com

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The looks featured above, I felt had a modern European industrialized construction.  The dark somber clothing digs at the soul and allows the user to mix and match these pieces to allow for non-mechanical styling of the neoteric men of his century.  Come-on men let’s keep in “moving forward”!

“Rana ♦ Rojo: Established in 2008 by Nepalese designers Ash Rana and South Beach artistic pioneer Da-mian Rojo, RANA ROJO filters ancient traditions through a contemporary matrix, using intricate craftsmanship to create one-of-a-kind pieces www.ranarojo.com

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The above look may seem unsettling to some, with pants that seem dress-like; but one must be global in thought, in other countries and cultures it is quite common/traditional to dress in a skirted pant.  Pictured above on the right are the dynamic duo of dressing up men!

After leaving The Chicago Fashion Focus Runway Show fashion week, it made me wanting for more fashion and styling.  Will I be sitting poised and focused at the next show? You bet your covergirl pose!


“Daring to wear something different takes effort.”

Miuccia Prada

“Doing collections, doing fashion is like a non-stop dialogue.”

Karl Lagerfiel

“Fashion should be fun and accessible”.

Anna Sui