Fashion Focus: Dress Code | Bleader

Fashion Focus: Dress Code

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Christina Yis bleached-skull headdress
  • Christina Yi's bleached-skull headdress
I always find it worthwhile to attend Dress Code, the Fashion Focus show devoted to the city's fashion students, even though it's more of an art than a fashion event in many ways. Maybe that's why the press section seemed to be filled with more bloggers than members of the traditional media. But you never know who you're going to discover or what those crazy kids are going to come up with.

The theme of the show was "sustainable, repurposed clothing that blends fashion and the environment," which I didn't realize until I started seeing clothes made out of seat-belt buckles and burlap coffee sacks. The handout didn't list individual pieces of clothing or their materials, so I was left to guess that most fabrics were either sustainable, remnants, or otherwise eco-friendly.

Styling is always a strong point in this show. Christina Yi of Columbia College sent out models with headdresses that looked like the bleached skulls of animals (top photo), while Luis Rodriguez of the School of the Art Institute had his models wear face-obscuring masks, perhaps combined with makeup—it was hard to tell, but the effect was deliciously eerie, like a Japanese horror movie.

Luis Rodriguezs Japanese goth-horror models
  • Luis Rodriguez's Japanese goth-horror models

Columbia College's Dana Farella played with draping and projecting elements—another chestnut in these shows, but very ably done here.

Dana Farella
  • Dana Farella

Maureen Sullivan, also from Columbia College, offered a beautiful concoction that combined Jackson Pollock-style splashes with a tufted and gathered poufy skirt—a dress for a pop-art princess.

Maureen Sullivan
  • Maureen Sullivan

Amanda-Michelle Olson of the Illinois Institute of Art sent out a slinky-sexy ensemble that included a daring top that appeared to be simply a circle of fabric. It would be hard for most women to wear, but it was beautiful to look at.

Amanda-Michelle Olson
  • Amanda-Michelle Olson

A capelike piece from Van Dang of the International Academy of Design and Technology would be just the thing to pop on over anything too bulky for a narrow jacket.

Van Dang
  • Van Dang

For IADT student Alexandre Chandoa's work, it was best to throw out any conventional ideas about wearability and and enjoy his pieces as artwork (unless you are Lady Gaga, who in all seriousness I think Chandoa should think about contacting). A dress with a skirt made out of strips of wood brought to mind an exquisitely crafted musical instrument, while another piece seemed to substitute curving strips of wood for angel's wings.

Alexandre Chandoa
  • Alexandre Chandoa

Alexandre Chandoa
  • Alexandre Chandoa

All photos by me.

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