“You saw it on the runway, now buy it.” The theme for Fashion Focus Chicago 2012 rings true to many of us, who look to the week-long celebration of Chicago’s thriving fashion industry for style inspiration.
From October 15-21, Fashion Focus Chicago showcases some of the city’s top designers, features runway shows in Millennium Park and hosts fashion events at various locations around the city. Most events are free and affordable, even some of the hottest industry happenings, shopping and designer events.
Whether you’re looking to revamp your fall wardrobe or just take in the sights and sounds of Fashion Focus Chicago 2012, we have the scoop on the must-not-miss events.
Monday, October 15
Dress Code: The premiere runway show of Chicago’s fashion design schools, Dress Code features rising stars from Columbia College Chicago, The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, International Academy of Design and Technology-Chicago and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Meet the designers immediately following the show in Preston Bradley Hall (Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, 7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.).
Night at the Museum: An exciting celebration of fashion, art, music, nature and culture, Night at the Museum benefits the Butterflies (Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum), Ladybugs (Project Ladybug), and Bees (Chicago Honey Co-op). General admission includes appetizers, two cocktails and parking (Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 North Cannon Drive, 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.).
Tuesday, October 16
Dream a Little Dream: Join Agnieszka Kulon of Kreatia and Evelyn Daitchman and the Axis of Evelyn for a collaborative evening of fashion installations. The event will also showcase Michael Thompson’s found object assemblages in the spirit of the found and forgotten re-imagined (Open Secret Studios, 401 North Racine Avenue, 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.).
Fashion Follows Interiors — A Mad Men Inspired Event: Watch 20 Chicago designers come together for a deconstructed runway show featuring ’60s-era Mad Men inspired garments from interior design materials. Patrons and a panel of guest judges will vote on best in show (The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.).
Next Fashion 2012: Celebrate Chicago fashion in a European-style setting, with a full-scale theatrical runway presentation featuring the city’s finest designers, stores and boutiques. A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit PAWS Chicago (Germania Place, 108 West Germania Place, 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.).
Wednesday, October 17
Richard Dayhoff & Tracey Mayer Show: Join as two award-winning Chicago designers unite for a showing of Richard Dayhoff’s premium men’s underwear and Tracey Mayer’s high-end 950 silver men’s jewelry. Known as visionaries, Dayhoff and Mayer continue to raise the bar with their collections by offering men the ultimate in quality, craftsmanship and creativity (Bar Toma, 110 East Pearson Street 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.).
Champagne Chic Accessorizes: Join Sophia Forero, Deana Rose, Laura Whitlock, Alyse Zeide, Olga Stefanis Nelson, Joni Kat Anderson, Kathryn Kerrigan and Annie Diamantidis for a shopping event/trunk show as they showcase some of our city’s best accessories. Find out why each one has a unique following that defines their style, from fine jewels to fun sparkles (Le Bar at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, 20 East Chestnut Street, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.).
The Designers of the Chicago Fashion Incubator: The not-for-profit organization that supports new and emerging Chicago-based designers will showcase designs in a special runway show. Six current designers in residence along with participating alumni Anna Hovet, Modahnik, c/fan, Cettina, miriam Cecilia, Zamrie, Gidi and Crystal B will highlight their Spring 2013 collections (Millennium Park Chase Promenade North, 201 East Randolph Street, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.).
Thursday, October 18
Fashion Takes Flight: A runway show will feature the collections of local designers including Imaginary People, J. Cheikh, Shelby Steiner, Azza and C. Dahlstedt. The show will also serve as the grand finale of the fifth annual ‘Mario, Make Me a Model’ program (Millennium Park Chase Promenade North, 201 East Randolph Street, 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.).
Friday, October 19
SOiree CHIcago: Chicago designers Thierry Roger and Ellie Thompson team up to present fine fashion and jewelry for their 3rd annual SOiree CHICago trunk show. Roger’s beautiful new collection features classic silhouettes in sumptuous fabrics, while Thompson’s newest series, “Primal Dreams” makes the most of high-low materials (Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.).
The Art of Fashion 2012 by StyleChicago.com: This runway show will preview contemporary to couture Spring 2013 collections of accomplished Chicago designers and fashion lines, including: Barbara Bates, Borris Powell, Eva Pazola, Michael Alan Stein, Michelle Tan, Nade Baer, Ruchika Singh, Shalini Sharma, Shernett Swaby, and Lara Miller (Millennium Park Chase Promenade North, 201 East Randolph Street, 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.).
Saturday, October 20 & Sunday, October 21
Cotton Candy Couture: Join a group of local fashion tastemakers to a whimsical yet stylish Spring/Summer preview. Enjoy a complimentary beverage and a pretty-in-pink candy buffet while shopping the spectacular FW collection. The event runs Saturday from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.).
For the complete schedule of Fashion Focus Chicago 2012 events, visit our event calendar.