Chicago Fashion Foundation: 4th Annual Scholarship Event

Models backstage before the runway show

Chicago Fashion Foundation

On March 3, 2011, the Chicago Fashion Foundation hosted the fourth annual Scholarship Event at the Chicago History Museum. Nine local fashion students presented their original designs to compete for the grand prize of a $5,000 scholarship. Project Runway alum Peach Carr served as the evening’s host, and she also presented her line of tennis inspired sportswear.

Peach Carr and Me backstage before the show

Chicago’s leading social blogger Candace Jordan, 24/7 Chicago Host Catie Keogh, local designer Lara Miller, and Giorgio Armani’s Amanda Monteiro served as the competition’s judges.

From Left to Right: Amanda Monteiro, Candace Jordan, Lara Miller, Catie Keogh

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I fortuitously captured a photograph of the winner, Ana Leon, presenting her favorite look to the judging panel. The competition was actually scored ahead of time to allow the judges a closer look at the garments. This photo was taken in the middle of the judging process.

Competitor Ana Leon presenting her collection

I caught the judging panel debating the merits of each collection in between the designer presentations and the runway shows. My lips are sealed, girls!
Judges debating who should win
In between the designer presentations (which took place before people began entering the event) and the runway show, guests had the opportunity to mingle, drink, and dine on hors d’oeuvres. I photographed a few of the attendees and Chicago Fashion Foundation team members socializing below:

After spending over an hour socializing with guests and other members of the press corps, I was ready for the runway show to start. I was pleasantly surprised at how long this show was. When I saw the Tibi show in New York, it flew by in under 10 minutes whereas this show was over half an hour. A runway show like this is geared towards the general public for entertainment and social purposes, whereas the New York shows are geared towards buyers and the fashion industry elite.

Ana Leon’s winning look during the runway show 
Peach’s first look

Peach’s tennis inspired sportswear collection was showcased about half-way through. It was adorably athletic and showcased her trademark cuteness. I really enjoyed seeing the sartorial creativity expressed by Chicago’s young designers. My hope for the future is that Americans will become more comfortable using fashion and style as a vehicle of self-expression and individualism, rather than a tool of conformity. A paradigm shift towards supporting independent designers will not only benefit local economies, but it will leader to a richer and more diverse popular culture. My generation is far more comfortable with fashion as a form of differentiation – helped in part by Lady Gaga, no doubt – so let’s keep our fingers crossed that some day Americans across the country will be dressing for street style photographers like New Yorkers, Parisians, and now Chicagoans already do!

And most importantly, congratulations to the winner Ana Leon!

Ana Leon with the CFF team and her $5000 check!

1 Comment

  1. Hi Amy, thanks for covering our event, it was an honor to have you there!

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