Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicago Design Within Reach

Shoppers may be restraining their wallets, but support and interest in local fashion was shown at Chicago’s fourth annual fashion week. Fashion Focus Chicago’s student fashion show attracted 1,500 people, its largest crowds ever. With the emergence of fashion from the city’s four design schools, retailers are eyeing Chicago as one of the most valuable retail marketplaces.

Opening in conjunction with fashion week, “Chic Chicago: Couture Treasures from the Chicago History Museum” exhibits prominent designer garments from 1861-2004. Charles James’ “Butterfly” (1954) gown is exquisite, yet weighing in at 17 pounds, this gown is not meant for fluttering around. The exhibit includes some of the most notable dresses in fashion worn by the elite. If you lust after the black/white wool and cotton convertible dress from Comme des Garçons on display, visit H&M when their collaborative collection arrives next month. The designer name brand may be within your reach…

We may often want what we can’t have in a depressed economy, but tangible, designer clothing is a growing trend. Following in the footsteps of Target, J.C. Penny announced a deal with Charlotte Ronson to design a full contemporary sportswear collection called I [Heart] Ronson. The line will also be available on jcp.com and in Penney’s catalogues. If you heart Ronson, spring on the collection in early 2009.