All images courtesy of Christopher Macsurak
A few weeks ago, accompanied by the surreal soundsuits of Nick Cave’s modern multi-media performance, the fusion of fashion and art was explored in Millenium Park. In addition to serving as a demonstration of students' talent, this year's theWALK fashion show & benefit gala was a celebration in 80 years of success for the institute. Previous School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduates include Halston & Cynthia Rowley, with WALK guests lists including such names as Jason Wu & Jenna Lyons.
This was my first time attending the event & I'm happy to say I was highly impressed. In a three part production with performance interludes by Nick Cave's famous rainbow-colored soundsuits, students showcased looks that embodied a combination of sculpture, performance, design, technology, architecture, and installation to create one-of-a-kind looks.
In a sum of nearly 250 designs, SAIC'S Fashion Design department presented their talents for a sold out crowd. Seniors presented complete collections, while juniors showcased three designs, and sophomores one avant grade look in muslin. I know this sounds like a lot of formal jargon, but let's just say the show started with the sophomore class & left me speechless at that, so you can only imagine my awe once the senior collections wrapped around the runway.
In conclusion of the show, SAIC honored Nick Cave, internationally renowned performance artist, professor and former chair of the fashion design department, with the Legend of Fashion Award. The annual benefit gala supports the production of student work and scholarships and serves as the premier fundraiser for SAIC and the Fashion Design department. In his speech Cave thanked many, stating that he wouldn't be recieving this award if it wasn't for the scholarship program.
Following the event, guests were invited to an after party at Millennium Park's Harris Theater, where we enjoyed delicious bites inspired by the collections showcased that evening.
I had the pleasure of attending theWALK with co-chair Debbie Jagel, who we'll be chatting with in part 2 of this recap, so stay tuned ;)