Sure, the show seemed a little skimpy, because of an enjoyable – and, very uncommon to most of Chicago’s fashion week – well orchestrated environment, and more than enough elbow room that set a level of class a cramped showcase room at the Chicago Cultural Center (another Fashion Focus commonality) could never quite reach. There was also an elevated runway – was there a rhyme or reason as to why those were a rarity during Fashion Focus?
One common theme “Queen of Hearts” did retain was the full-fledged support of a local non-for-profit, the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force. All proceeds from the silent auction and raffle – prizes included Anna Fong accessories – would be donated to the organization. And after a thanks from Metropolitan’s associate director, Darlene Oliver, Fashion Focus followers finally received a true representation of Chicago couture.
Cue, What the Water Gave Me by Florence + The Machine, cue the flashing lights, and cue the color. Finally, a designer who came to Fashion Focus with their spring 13’ face on. A dazzling series of french blues, scarlets and tans took place that made blacks and whites an anomaly.
Fong also decided to channel almost the entire collection into sheath dresses, and only with a few maxis and skirt suits. A trend that had garments dangerously close to becoming indiscernible from one or the other via the heavy use of quarter sleeves.
Speaking of indiscernible, a drop-waist, below-the-knee dress with bishop sleeves seemed to have snuck its way onto the runway from the nearest Forever 21, but not before masking itself in a vivid shade of red. A rather stunning use of color, however, I was able to see past this garments disguise of being anything different from last year’s sheer, trumpet sleeve craze.
The collection was saved from becoming the-march-of-the-haute-sheath-dress by an unexpected, but diverse quality of the bodice– the plunges, and back cuts. Fong seemed unafraid to push the limits of a square plunge, and bare skin dominating the back. The color blocking in these garments also seemed to be exclusive to the plunge lines and sleeves, as if Fong didn’t want her secret weapon to go unnoticed– and it wasn’t.
Also, was that a heart shaped, back cut in a black maxi dress? A literal nod to the runway show, and a settle trimming fit for a queen.
Christmas is two months away, the pressure to choose either that 400 dollar toy, or dress is approaching. Before you make that final decision, check out ChicagoTalks’ review of PlayChic – a runway that combines both into a haute couture runway show.