One of the most eclectic and creative events in Chicago has always been the annual fashion show of the talented students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It truly is one of our favorite runways of the year, and this time around 20 student designers not only created spectacular garments but drew a spotlight on personal experience and social issues. It is probably safe to say that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Fashion Show 2017 is the best we’ve seen yet.
“Eight hundred miles from the ready-to-wear capital of New York City, Chicago offers the freedom to explore fashion without limits,” said Anke Loh, Sage Foundation Chair of SAIC’s Fashion Design department. “That freedom was made especially evident in this year’s show in the range of issues represented by student designs, from stories of immigration and displacement to gender roles, identity, and equality.”
The avant-garde garments ranged from gravity-defying and rebellious to angular and whimsical. A crowd favorite included senior Oscar Chen, whose work sought to challenge society’s gender expectations.
“Inspiration for this collection came from the playful gayness of performance artist Leigh Bowery and Robert Mapplethorpe’s concept of undressing, aiming for a fun, sensual collection that challenges hetero-normative dress codes,” said Chen in a statement about his work.
For those and all other wonderfully imaginative looks, see the full runway in the slideshow above.
More: See all the looks from SAIC Fashion Show 2016.