It’s hard to miss the fact that Eclectic Chique is extremely on trend. For the small space the boutique occupies, its quantity of fall trends is just as prevalent as any major department store.
Wearing skinny black leather pants, black lace up sneaker wedges, a perforated leather T-shirt and top knot bun, Monique Scott, the owner of Eclectic Chique, is a living reincarnation of the boutique. She said she uses social media, fashion magazines and television to keep up to date on “what’s in,” for her Lincoln Park store located at 807 W. Dickens Ave.
But, along with this research, she has a strong gift for trend forecasting as well.
“Camo is really big for fall,” said Scott, who also happens to be sporting a camouflage jacket.
Scott features numerous Chicago brands in her boutique as well as her own jewelry collection. Two of these brands happen to be True Blessyn and Hats by Angela Morano, both of which showed at a trunk show at the boutique on Sept. 22.
Trendy and versatile are the two words that Shani Brown, owner and designer of True Blessyn, uses to describe her Fall 2013 collection.
From a lilac, cropped crew neck sweatshirt to an army green pencil skirt with a visible zipper down the back – both made from organic bamboo cotton – the pieces from True Blessyn Fall 2013 are as comfortable as they are chic.
“I like to design pieces that are very comfortable but still tap into trends,” said Brown.
“My inspiration stemmed from memory of back to school shopping,” said Angela Morano whose turban and hat designs this season include argyle and stripe patterns and, “invoke sweater weather.”
As opposed to her summer collection, which consists of brighter colors and lighter fabric, Morano keeps her Chicago clientele in mind when designing for fall and winter.
“Things that are more popular in Chicago are faux fur, felt and warm fabrics,” said Morano. “I’m always interested in leather and black and white too.”
True Blessyn and Hats by Angela Morano are also playing on a bigger industry trend: “Made in the U.S.A.” Both Brown and Morano, as well as many of the other designers featured in Eclectic Chique, make their products completely in Chicago.
“You have more control,” said Brown about deciding to localize manufacturing rather than outsource to different countries. “It helps to build relationships with vendors.”
Morano said she takes it even one step further by hand-making each of her headband, turban and hat designs herself.
“All of my pieces are one of a kind,” said Morano. “And once they’re gone, they’re gone.”