Featuring Caroline Borucki, Crystal Wells, and Tim Bergenn
On Thursday, January 28th, three up and coming fashion designers in Chicago held a show at Wax Lounge. Despite the bitter cold, people came out in droves to witness the creations of Caroline Borucki, Crystal Wells, and Tim Bergenn. The event was sponsored by Martini and Rossi, and the Manhattans were to die for.
The place was packed, and before long, it was time for everyone to find a seat. The runway went through both levels of the two story lounge. The models started their walk downstairs and finished at the top of the second floor. While each designer has a very different vision from the others, they managed to keep their three collections cohesive. It felt more like seeing a single large fashion show rather than three individual ones.
Caroline Borucki pulls inspiration for her designs from "living organisms and historic costume." Through accentuated shoulders and necklines, the whimsy of 1700's dress came heavily into play. Her fabric choices looked to be mainly cotton and other natural fibers. Each design looked earthy, organic, and fun.
Crystal Wells with her finale garment
Crystal Wells creates her designs by "celebrating the female form through carefully crafted and tailored garments." Her collection was a bit darker and more muted than Borucki's. She included large ruffles and pleated neck pieces as her accentuation on each piece. Her attention to the tailoring of garments was apparent in the way that she manipulated basic construction details to add flair to each piece.
Tim Bergenn's collection was the edgiest of the three designers. He incorporated brighter colors and daring necklines that made his collection feel a bit more showy. His main color was black, but he spiced it up with pieces in bright greens and blues. The overall effect gave the concept a serious evening out feel.
Models wearing Tim Bergenn's designs
Now let's get down to the nitty gritty. What was everyone in attendance wearing? Being a fashion event, everyone came out looking their best. Because the locale wasn't as fancy as some can be, the attendees felt free to express themselves. Several of the men in attendance looked more like London Mod Era rockers than anything else. Most of the men there accessorized their looks with a scarf. Given that the temperatures were in the frigid zone, that makes sense. The difference with the scarves seen here was that they served more fashion than function. No one was wearing a bulky wool scarf that looked like it had seen several Chicago winters. Instead, the scarves matched the jacket, the shirt underneath, or the overall outfit. The scarves weren't bulky, so they added to each guy's style rather than detract from it.
What was most pleasantly surprising was that, given the venue of the show, most men were not in simple jeans and t-shirts! While several guys opted to wear jeans (who wouldn't when it's freezing outside?), most men dressed up their denim with vests, blazers, or a nice wool coat. The crowd was young and hip, and the styles at the event reflected that.
Several young up and coming designers attended the event, as well as members of the press (yours truly). Ryan Beshel of Julie Darling Inc., menswear designer Teddy Schellenbach, events coordinator Ellie Bahrmasel, designer Andrew Wayne, stylist Paige Peterson, and many others. The event lasted from 7:30 until 10:00, after which time most of us headed out for a late bit of nosh and a night cap. My thanks to the designers of Champagne Wishes & Fashion Dreams for the lovely event and the invite.