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So, about last night. Last night was the GenArt’s FreshFaces show, one of the two big events of Chicago’s fashion week.

When it was all said and done and the fashionistas teetered out of Millennium Park in search of more Champagne, one Chicago fashion designer had stood out from the pack. I’m going to post a ton of photos from last night’s Gen Art Fresh Faces show—courtesy of my little Nikon and my ace shooter intern Mirah Kang—so you can judge for yourself.

Which designer did I love? Soo Choi. If you disagree, write in and tell me. But in my mind, her company Biasline clearly stole last night’s runway show. I loved the way she mixed texture and fabric: for example, a shiny quilted metallic jacket paired with a muted purplish-brownish dress. And volume: she paired slender silhouettes in the torso with voluminous skirts. The resulting dresses looked like something a woman in her 30s (um, me) could wear and not feel like a kid. (So many dresses are too flirty and teenager-y, and those days are gone for me.) Above all, Choi’s real skill is in the details: a white and light lilac dress bore a scooped bodice in an ever-so-subtle checkered print. And it had a necktie. Vive le necktie!

There was beauty. Then there was also the ridiculous. Whose stuff did I find just downright silly? The design team Wrath Arcane. They sent a bunch of male models down the runway in face masks and sweatpants. Let me say it again—sweatpants. Yuck.

Who showed promise? For her grand finale, Abigail Glaum-Lathbury (who sells at Habit) sent a gown down the runway that somehow managed to look dangerous and ballerina-esque at the same time. The sister-sister design team Nora Marcella dressed up the minidress by using shades of bright orange and Kelly green. I thought some of the collection from Dieter Bennet was too utilitarian, but I did like their suits. (DieterBennet draw comparisons to Jil Sander, FYI.) A little DB olive number with patent yellow pumps got generous applause from my row, which was certainly discriminating (I sat near the folks from ace boutiques Jake and P.45).

Take a look at the photos; I’m posting stuff from all seven designers whose pieces graced the runway. I’m curious to hear some opinions. Clearly, Chicago fashion still has a way to go. It’s still overly practical and not particularly inspiring, as a whole. But I think there’s some good stuff here.

What do you think?