SAIC Fashion 2015 Review – A Tour de Force

The School of the Art Institute presented “Fashion 2015”, on Friday, May 8, in Millenium Park. A tour de force for the students and faculty, the show was also a multimedia extravaganza, featuring rock music, stunning male and female models, dance, and intriguing digital lighting effects. The show opened first to otherworldly drumming, with 8 head-bandaged paper-doll clad ballerinas whose wide skirts shifted with digital images, while on the back wall similar images flickered on three large screens. These innovative projections were certainly influenced by Sage Foundation Chair, Anke Loh, whose work includes the melding of fiber optics and interactive fabrics. Loh introduced the student fashion.


Fashion Show Flyer

Sashaying, mincing and ultimately careening down the split runway, 200 plus garments (one by each sophomore, three by each junior and five by each senior class member) delighted the packed house which thrummed to the music, for the most part, loud lyric-less rock until the seniors, who each had their own theme song…including, memorably, “Moon River”.


"THE DOLLS," a performance piece

The sophomores stole the show. Clearly their assignment had included the requirement that each costume be made of the same material, a sort of white linen- muslin type which was stiff enough to pouf wonderfully, and in many instances, appeared to froth and almost literally stand up on its own, while remaining wrinkle-free, and trimmed in gold. These amazing confections reminded one, for all the world, of a meld of medieval wedding gown crossed with early John Galliano, though they were by no means derivative, were not all skirted, and, of course, were for both sexes. It seems each of the items was distinctive, yet the whole sophomore class held together, not least as miracles of construction.


- Design by Anna C Bodell (Junior)


The junior and senior designs were certainly more varied, and often inspired amusement, but we're also uniformly less beautiful…although with several stunning exceptions, in the form of mouth watering asymmetric skirts and a memorable black- sequined mesh lace dress, were uniformly unwearable. Nothing in the show could be worn to your office or your cousin’s Bar Mitzvah.


Design by Francisco Gonzalez (Senior)

The juniors edged out toward flights of fancy, and the seniors perfected the genre. There was an obvious mockery of the staid, including models of both sexes brandishing items ranging from bulgy satchels to wrapped golf clubs held as sabers. Shoes were astonishingly witty and terrifyingly high - heeled. There were capes, vests and jackets trimmed in leather and fur. Pants were not in one piece, and thighs were bared up to THERE, as were bosoms, and one notable model almost lost her bust-ring. Clothing was scrawled with messages and mottos, heads were wrapped in cages, burnoose-style hoods; unusual codpieces were sported. The funniest, and, it must be said, only redundant theme were strange appendages, a sort of cross between parasitic partial Siamese twin, and the dangling, chained teddy bears worn by 80’s teen ravers- the most memorable was a cactus! These would’ve benefitted by use of the shears.


Design by Sophie Jihye Yang (Junior)

All in all, despite the heat of the tent in early afternoon causing participants to fan themselves in time to the beat of the music, a splendid time was had by all, not least by the students themselves, who, at the end, bopped happily down the runway to exuberant applause….one underwhelmed young designer made his way out casually chewing an Apple. The show, presented twice was a masterpiece of fabric architecture and, of sheer sewing ability.


Design by Franky Tran (Junior)

Afterwards, the SAIC held The Walk, its annual benefit and presented filmmaker- journalist Diane Parent with its 2015 Legend of Dashion Award.


Design by Holly McClintock (Sophomore)


Design by Francisco Gonzalez (Senior)

All said and done, counting the sold-out dress rehearsal, the two shows and the gala together greeted 2000 guests and raised over half a million dollars earmarked for student work and scholarships.


(l to r) Emcee of the WALK Gloria Groom, SAIC President Walter Massey and Legend of Fashion Honoree Diane Pernet

Photos: by Robert Carl


See the SAIC website for more information.








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