A First for Everything

Styles International Design Competition opens its doors for Chicago
By Yanira Garcia

The Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago dressed up its already elaborate lobby to stage Styles 2005 here in Chicago. Chicagoeans, tired of viewing the competition winners via envious photos, have been giving the opportunity to view the event up close and personal. Gen Art has finally brought Styles International Design Competition and its worldwide winners to Chicago. Best of all, Gen Art provided Chicago with a tremendous host, Jay McCarroll, winner of Bravo’s Project Runway, whom with his exuberant personality kicked off an amazing show. With designers from New York to Tokyo and drinks provided by Perrier and Jean Marc Vodka it was a fashion extravaganza not to be missed. With the pre-reception starting at 8pm, it was the perfect opportunity to mix and mingle with Chicago’s best. And at 9pm we were taken back by innovative and sensuous design of the Perrier “BUBBLING UNDER” award winner, Ashley Reid from Danfuskie Island, South Carolina, who debuted her “natural” inspired design here in Chicago.

During the show, Menswear designer Omar Kashovra from London produced his English flare for innovation with his 2005 collection. A recent graduate from the London College of Fashion, he has demonstrated that he in fact is on the rise to fame.

The Avant from Barcelona, Spain has won in its category of Ready to Wear designs. A collaboration really between designers from Paris to London to one based in Barcelona is one of originality and eminence.

Lisa Salzer, who took the time to speak with CFM, really glazed up the runway with her signature vintage jewelry for Lulu Frost. As an Art History and Fine Arts graduate, her love for archaic styles is evident through her ingenious pieces. Winning the category for accessories was this New Yorker with Lulu Frost.

All the way from Tokyo, Japan, Kunihiko Morinaga brings his ever so popular Avant Garde collection to Chicago. His line Anrealage that is very keen on details is sold in over 20 shops in Japan. We hopefuls can only wait for its introduction into the US.

Lastly finishing the show with her Eveningwear collection is Karolina Zmarlak. However born in Poland, we still take pride in claiming this designer as moved to Chicago in the early nineties. She currently finished a yearlong internship with Carolina Herrera and received her associates from FIT. Even if she is not finishing school for another two year, her design techniques are on a level way beyond her peers.

After a fantastic show, the Hyatt left its doors open until midnight for the crowd to socialize. It was an incomparable event for Chicago. Lets hope that this is just the beginning of our ever growing industry here in our city. For more information about events visit www.genart.org or view our event page.

Photos provided by HCTV