A designer who uses plus-sized models (Tennille White) . . . followed by an entire collection from a bikini designer who’s riffing off a film noir theme? You’re not in Oz, you’re at the closing show of Chicago’s weeklong fashion celebration! I don’t mean this unkindly. There’s a lot of diversity here in terms of designer backgrounds, inspiration, and even what constitutes "style." Last night’s event—Macy’s Presents the Designers of Chicago—did as much as any to illustrate that, booking accomplished locals Lara Miller (who’s known for her gauzy, convertible shapes and eco-fashion mindset) and Agga B. Raya (edgy sophisticates—think a lovely black dress with a touch of patent) alongside newcomers such as 6 Spade, a male designer who grew up in Englewood and set his runway show to Public Enemy.

Two new designers who stood out: OrganiK Revolution, which, as the name implies, is a line made completely out of organic cottons and linens. It started a little too flower childy for my taste, but her final look—a green ball skirt with a high waist—was a fitting show finale. A new designer named Horatio Nieto also perked my interest; apparently he just won a Latino Fashion contest sponsored on the Internet by AOL. I didn’t see enough to really get a distinctive sense of his work, but I liked a few of the dresses he sent down the runway with ever-so-slight-and-sexy gatherings around the waist.

Tennille White

Horatio Nieto

Lara Miller

Lara Miller

OrganiK Revolution

Agga B. Raya

6 Spade


Photography: Cassie Walker