Best Fashion Watching

Critics' Picks

School of the Art Institute

Near 37 S. Wabash

Columbia College

Near 600 S. Michigan

“You can always tell who the students are,” I remember an acquaintance saying at a runway show of student designs a few years ago. “Their outfits are so tragic.” Yes, sometimes, but at least they take chances, which is more than you can say for most of the people you see walking around Wicker Park nowadays. For really interesting fashion-watching, head to where the students and faculty hang out, including school-sponsored fashion shows and events. Whether their looks are a do or a don’t isn’t the point—it’s all about bravado and creativity, something that can be hard to hang on to when you get older and have a day job where they frown on giant feathered hair ornaments.