A presidential portrait of Teddy Roosevelt in a Panama hat—not the usual answer when you ask a designer to cite her influences. But that’s what you get with Libby Lane, 22, a spring graduate of the Art Institute, whose fall 2009 collection struck our fancy at the school’s senior show. Every garment bore an element of masculine chic: for a black-and-cream women’s jacket, she crafted broad shoulders out of stiff upholstery fabric; for a women’s dress, she married silk with the gray wool of men’s suits. “I want to emphasize the idea of a woman showing up and being as strong as a man,” says Lane. She recently moved to New York, but she has already made an impression locally: She designed the aprons for the West Loop hot spot Publican.
Photograph: Courtesy Libby Lane