The Walk 2012: Student-designed style at the School of the Art Institute Chicago's 78th annual fashion show

April 19, 2012

Alison Cuddy | Natalie Moore

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Springtime in Chicago means new looks from students enrolled in the Department of Fashion Design at the School of the Art Institute Chicago.

The designs for men and women (and some creatures in between) hit the runway three times today, but Natalie Moore and I got there for the early show. There are clothes by sophmores and juniors but we focused on the graduating class, the seniors.

The winners will be announced tonight. In the meantime, here are some emerging designers that caught our eye - and the lens of Kate Dries.

Pirada Muadsong is inspired by shape shifters - those legendary creatures that morph between human and animal form at the drop of a hat! There was more variety across her 5 outfits, but the center-piece was a white wedding-esque dress topped by a Pippi Longstocking-ish boater hat. Muadsong is from Thailand and plans to spend the next year apprenticing in New York City.

Jasmine Tsang is inspired by the German Expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. She uses severe, dark and heavy materials such as leather in the service of very feminine forms. The look is a bit Matrix (and futurism is a strong theme throughout student work) and a bit militaristic - fitted on top but a bit more flow toward the bottom of the garments. The Chicago native hopes to stay in the city and open her own shop.

Alex Ulichny is inspired by his late Aunt Penolope's time in 1960's era New Mexico, and the stories he crafted by sifting through her photos and objects. He used very earth and sky colors, along with embellishments inspired by the natural world (another recurring theme in student work) and Native American motifs. His show-stopping look was a gorgeous, full ruffled skirt - he told us he hand-folded 65 yards of organza to make it! He dreams of going to Paris to make couture clothes.

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