A Tale of Two Fashion Shows

Chicago's 2012 Fashion Focus week concluded on Sunday, and I, for one, am tired.  Worry not; It's the good kind of tired, the kind that leaves you somehow invigorated and remarkably, stronger rather than weaker.

The first show I went to was the Night at the Museum fashion show at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. There were ample opportunities for picture taking, as the crowd was ripe with uncommon looks. I saw beaded hairpieces, hats made of twigs and silk flowers, a kimono-inspired jacket, blue suede shoes and patterned bow ties, among other things.  Other things, like your average tiny hairless cats, giant snakes, a belly dancer with a sword, and a girl who walked around the party naked but for body paint, black boyshorts, and very high heels.  All in all, it was a visual bazaar; and for me, a sight for sore eyes. The show was lengthy--2 hours in all--and featured the work of 20 up-and-coming Chicago designers. The presentation felt very intimate, partially because the runway was simply a hallway with high walls lined with a single row of chairs from end to end. Every person got a up-close look at each piece, which was an unexpected treat.

The second show was the Next Fashion Chicago show. If the show at the Notebaert museum was mom's famous homemade apple pie, the Next show was tiramisu from a five-star restaurant. Both are excellent, but each in its own way. The Next show was a production. Lighting, music, models and fashion were all on point.  I wish I had seen a bit more variety in what the guests were wearing.  I'll compare it to any awards show you've ever seen. There were hundreds of Gwyneths, but no Florence Welchs. No Helena Bonham Carters. That being said, it was all very chic.

And now, my dear friends in fashion, I sleep.


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