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The Fashion Market
The Fashion Market Magazine
Sep 25, 2013
Joneien Johnson: Chicago's solution to petite womenswear
Women’s apparel design began in Paris in 1858 as ‘made-to-measure’ or haute couture, which means that each garment
was made specifically for a particular individual. As fashion design grew, the garments were presented on runways by
tall, thin models with long legs and modest measurements. The purpose of using these types of models was, and still is,
to show the line, motion and character of the garment being created. However, this fact has been lost on many and, as a
result, the focus has shifted away from the garment and onto the model, leaving the public to believe instead that these
models represent the figure of the ideal woman.
Consequently, garments have been standardized to fit this ‘ideal 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10woman’. ‘She’ is still tall with minimal
dimensions. This narrow thinking has left the American woman at a loss. While most runway models are roughly 5'10",
the height of the average American woman is 5'4". By apparel industry standards, 5’4” -- or the average American
woman -- is considered to be petite. Couple that with the fact that many women’s bodies have curves, this short,
curvaceous or ‘petite’ woman is forced onto the apparel sidelines.
While women with a classic, model figure happily select from the volumes of apparel choices, many petite women have
resigned themselves to imagining what it must be like to be tall so that they can wear the garments that don the catwalks
during fashion weeks the world over. Although there are a number designers who have lines that offer petite sizes -- Ann
Taylor, Jones New York, Gap, among them, the reality is that there really are only a handful of true choices with limited
selections for the petite woman. The need for choices in this area persists.
Alas, there are some among us who hear the call. Chicago area designer, Joneien Johnson has long recognized the
demand in the marketplace for designer clothing that fits the petite woman with curves. Johnson’s line, Joneien Leah
Design, dedicates significant attention to providing fashionable apparel choices for the petite woman. According to
Johnson, “Joneien Leah is a collection of contemporary separates and dresses for the real woman. She is confident,
chic, and proud of her feminine body.”
Johnson creates a number of interesting petite apparel choices including pleated, metallic-crepe rayon-blend pencil
skirts; skinny-fit tailored pants; silk-blend, swing dresses with high-low hems and bell sleeves; and asymmetric,
tapered-leg pants. Her collection respectfully acknowledges the fact that many women have small waists and curvy
hips, and provides a selection of fashionable, flattering, business-casual choices.
Sep 16, 2013
Nelissa Carrillo:A visionary filter in the artistic evolution of fashion design
The art of fashion design, as is the case with all art, provides us with wonderful opportunities to expand our
understanding of ourselves. Fashion design also expands our understanding of form, color, texture and their effects
upon our senses. In combination, these factors play a significant role in the evolution of our species by lifting us all to a
higher spiritual and cultural level. This is no small endeavor, and only few among us are suited to the task. Thankfully
there are visionary designers in our midst who act as passionate servants and guides to lead us along this evolutionary
Chicago’s Nelissa Carrillo, a self-proclaimed, luxury prêt-à-porter and couture designer, is one among this league of
visionary designers whose goal is to connect with the inner and outer consciousness of humanity through her art.
While many designers are sensitive to the fact that they create ‘wearable art’, Carrillo goes a step further and seeks to
reach into the psyche -- the inner, partly hidden, mostly disguised layers of the self -- and enliven, vivify the subjective
consciousness of the individual and the collective.
In much the same way that many designers find, develop, and produce the creative products that shape our
consciousness and transform our image of beauty, Carrillo channels energies from many sources. Upon closer
examination though, we see that she goes a bit further. A glimpse into Carrillo’s inner world can be had by visiting her
website, Facebook, or YouTube pages, where one will undoubtedly bump into inspirational works of art from the likes of
Veronica Beard, Zac Posen, Chela, The Stills, and The Mamas & the Papas -- a seemingly unlikely cast of characters,
but all of whom act as influences upon the young designer.
Carrillo then pushes these influences through her visionary ‘black box’ system and thereby harnesses a unique
perspective from each, producing a unique vision. Her vision is reconfigured and expanded, in some instances through
film or in others through painting, and then finally synthesized into the artifacts that form her prêt-à-porter or couture
collection each season.
A look at her recent film, ONYX, reveals a bit of the creative and inspirational materials -- music, environment, color,
fabric -- that pass through the designer’s consciousness and serve to lift us up. According to Carrillo, a central theme at
the heart of her work is in "redefining beauty as wearable art and letting the materials guide the vision".
The fantastic products that result from this processing of energies are a gift to us. They also serve as opportunities for
us to become more; to connect with our consciousness as individuals and with the collective consciousness of our world
Your opportunity to connect with Carrillo’s most recent collection may be had next month in Chicago at The Fashion
Market’s Fashion Week runway event.
Sep 7, 2013
Chicago’s TherArt Jewelry: Translating inner vision to outer reality
The amazing thing about jewelry is that it tells a story. Whether it is the engagement or wedding ring exalting the story of
a couple in love; the charm bracelet heralding the significant milestones of a life well-lived; or the religious pendant
which blesses, protects and inspires. The jewelry a woman wears also tells the story of what she is feeling on a
particular day, or a particular moment. It defines the way she feels about herself, the story she wants people to know
about her, or the image she wants to create. Jewelry allows her to create it and say it with but a moment’s notice.
Chicago jewelry designer, Teresa Habczyk has been making pieces of wearable art with this in mind for the past four
years. Her line -TherArt Jewelry, Inc - is purposeful in its diverse collections, making it easy for every woman to capture
the sentiment, spirit and emotion which lies within and express it in such a way that brings complete fulfillment.
“Although my inspiration comes from many influences, the final character of a particular piece is always dictated by
woman -- her needs and beauty. I love that a woman can make a sincere statement when wearing my jewelry; I love
that my jewelry can help her to feel more confident, beautiful or simply happier,“ says Teresa.
“I give my customers a wide range of designs to choose from -- from delicate and simple to big and bold statement
pieces,“ she says. Teresa’s five distinct collections, within which she creates story or statement pieces for women, are:
Kashmere, Statement, Glamour, Bridal, and Eternity.
The Kashmere Collection says beauty and femininity in an ‘everyday’ sort of way. The Statement Collection says strong
and confident. It tends toward big and bold pieces. The Glamour Collection harkens back to old Hollywood and the
elegance and sophistication of that era. The Bridal Collection is designed to capture and compliment a wide variety of
gown styles using natural and synthetic precious and semi-precious stones. The Eternity Collection, while more delicate,
speaks to contemporary sentiments. Teresa uses natural stones and precious metals in this collection to create simple,
View the slideshow
Jewelry’s story-evoking power effects not only the woman as consumer, but has also effected the designer herself.
According to Teresa, “from the beginning, the concept and process of transforming stones into jewelry has struck me as
magical. Over the years that magical process has redefined me, leading me from hobbyist to artist. Designing and
handcrafting jewelry fills me with a sense of accomplishment, imbues me with integrity, and has proven a most amazing
vehicle for translating inner vision to outer reality.”
Teresa’s TherArt Jewelry will be available during Chicago’s fall fashion week at The Fashion Market’s Fashion
Aug 27, 2013
Summer is in Fashion at Chicago's Randolph Street Market Festival
If you haven't made it out to Chicago's Randolph Street Market Festival this summer, there's no question that you're
missing a delightful weekend experience. The market is held the last weekend of each month from May through October
and has delightfully recreated the ambiance of the classic European urban antique market -- very reminiscent of
London's Portobello Road Market or Paris' Porte de Clignancourt. In addition to sumptuous food choices, hundreds of
antique, vintage or craft vendors, there is also terrific live music, must-see indie apparel and accessory vendors and
After spending several hours at the market this weekend, we managed to visit AAA's Unique
Treasures, ClaSha, Silpada, komal chaudhari,Liquid Silver, Jan Lee Design, and Mu bags. Admittedly, barely reflective
of the number of interesting vendors present, it is certainly suggestive of the captivating collection of artists present.
The two bag makers couldn't have been more enchanting. Paola Victoria's Mu Bags - made of touchably soft leathers -
were alluring. A fantastic marriage of beauty and practicality in each one of the purses. Not to be outdone were the
leather satchels, messenger bags, backpacks and duffel bags by komal chaudhari. The selection was both beautifully
displayed and seemingly boundless. These stunning, handmade leather products were fantastic to see, smell, and feel
- wonderful, sensory amusement! And because of the modest pricing, it was very easy to pick up two or more.
Among the jewelers present were Silpada, Liquid Silver, and Jan Lee Design. Lee's Elegant Fusion Jewelry booths
were beyond breathtaking! The fine quality of silver and craftsmanship in both Silpada and Liquid Silver's collections
reflected unique contemporary pieces which ran the spectrum from $30 silver finds to one-of-a-kind, award-winning
ClaSha designers, Shannon Johnson and Claudia Arroyo-Uplegger, represented one of the many market vendors who
are faithful attendees. Despite very recently opening their first boutique in Elmhurst, the pair are faithful and loyal market
regulars. Among the amazing volume of products that they have for sale in their store, online and at the market are baby
and toddler clothing, hand-made quilts, womenswear, hats and a variety of home furnishings.
Combine these compelling vendors with the fragrant and irresistible artisan chocolates and fresh baked breads and it
was understandably difficult to check in with very many of the other terrific vendors. Thank goodness there's still time to
visit. See you there in September.
View the slideshow
Jul 18, 2013
TFM 2013 Annual Fashion Video Competition Favorites
The Fashion Market representatives announced the four favorites selected from among the submissions to this year's
TFM Annual Fashion Video Competition. This year's honorees were: Detective Barbie: Thrifter of Disguise by
Laura Gladfelter ; Growing into the Brand by Sophia Bruza; Milo - The Fashion Photographer by Tim Armstrong;
and Mother of 10/ Costume Designer by Nick Lang.
"The Fashion Market's Annual Video Competition is an opportunity to celebrate the creativity of emerging videographers
and filmmakers. Every year, emerging film makers and videographers will have the chance to share their vision on a
particular theme as it relates to the fashion industry. The submission may be humorous, inspiring, provocative, dramatic
-- any positive motif desired by the videographer." The only request is that all submissions pertain to some aspect of
the fashion industry.
The competition accepts submissions from February 1st to May 1st each year and announces honorees on July 1st.
Press here to view this year's favorite video submissions.
Jun 20, 2013
Fashion inspiration from Chicago’s NeoCon 2013
In the art of fashion design desire for creativity compels one to scour all landscapes for ideas and inspiration. The
annual 3-day contract design convention known as NeoCon hosted by Chicago’s Merchandise Mart is a terrific
opportunity for inspiration. While the contract design industry primarily serves the needs of the commercial and interior
designer, the products and materials are always bold, cutting-edge and an indication of what is trending. NeoCon offers
so much to catch the eye that three days barely seems enough time to experience it all.
This year, surveying NeoCon through a fashion lens, a number of manufacturer’s product lines stood out, but one in
particular was 3-Form’s Full Circle. Full Circle is a brand which “brings to life undiscovered, hand-crafted materials from
artisans around the world”. In their 2013 NeoCon showroom were beautiful textile fabrications of artisans from the village
of Ndem in Senegal. These fabrications were encapsulated in architectural elements to make dividing walls and
decorative panels. “Ndem is a great opportunity to get back to the basics of how materials used to be made with hand
looms, hand spun yarn, and vegetable dyed fabrics.”
The textures, colors and story capture the eye, the
spirit and the heart. According to the manufacturer,
“There is something so compelling about working with
this group when you see some of the challenges they
have. They depend on no electricity, their sewing
machines are foot powered, the cotton gin they use
had to be constructed from 17th century prototypes,
even their iron is heated by coals.”
Without a doubt, one is overcome with the desire to
incorporate these hand-made fabrics into some ‘yet-
unknown’ apparel or accessory creation. The
possibility of engaging, cooperating and connecting
with such simple, humble beauty is energizing.
Take a moment, click here, and check it out.
May 1, 2013
Chicago Spring Fashion Week Runway
Shows have something for everyone!
The Fashion Market’s Spring Fashion Week Event
featured a variety of designers with offerings that will
easily spirit you and your wardrobe right through the
cool temps of Chicago spring, into the sultry climes of
summertime Chi and right into the crisp conditions of
Jewelry by Rossi Cole and handbags from Sandoval
Accessories coupled with apparel from Kira Cahill,
Elysia Ganier, LaTonya Hubbard, Ciano Von Jo provided more than enough to outfit day and evening for those who
desire the practical, the eccentric and the sensual.
There was no shortage of color or texture in this Spring Event! Vibrancy ruled. Sexy,
feminine, playful and fun were all in attendance in these shows.
The designers’ selections provided more than enough embellishment, shape-
enhancing silhouettes, and flirty fabrics to woo and entice both the 9-to-5 set and
the party girls out from their long winter’s nap. Functional wares were displayed on
the runway and in the ‘bottega’ pop-up that followed.
Connect with the designers and their collections on The Fashion Market’s website.
Apr 16, 2013
Early Dior-inspired Fashion is key to today’s Black Cap & Bib
Life at the end of the 1940s was bleak. The world was exhausted from war. Attempts
to rebound found us, as a nation, struggling with our communist anxieties and the
enemy that was the Soviet Union. Emerging from this period of national melancholy,
society longed for positive means of self expression and opportunities to embrace
beauty. For this, society turns to art: Enter Dior, Fath, and Balenciaga. These
designers imbued fashion with a celebration of beauty and femininity. Dior was
inspired by the feminine hourglass shape and created designs which
accentuated this feature. The ultra-masculine that war represents gave way to the
Fast forward now to the 21st century and our struggles with religious extremism
and global financial mayhem. As we gradually emerge from this bleak period, we
find ourselves in search of opportunities to renew our ties with beauty. Enter Black
Cap & Bib (BCB), a 1950s Dior-inspired line of ultra feminine apparel. BCB’s
designer Kristine Campbell is a self-made artist and designer. “I create art by
finding beauty in the mundane moments of everyday life -- pairing fine detail with
intriguing texture. I then translate those pieces onto fabric to design 50s inspired
silhouettes that are classic and timeless, with a modern edge.“
View slideshow: Black Cap & Bib
The name, Black Cap & Bib, is taken from the Black Capped Chickadee, a North
American song bird which has a black cap and bib. This chickadee
characterizes resilience, ingenuity, courage and beauty. These are personal,
motivating themes for designer Kristine Campbell; themes which form the basis
for each of her collections. “I aspire to create beauty from the inside out, by
designing artistic pieces that exude confidence in all shapes and sizes.”
Life is filled with the dark and the light. The harsh, discordant mixture of energies
that creates the dark periods must necessarily be followed by the harmonious
songs and energies that represent the light. Black Cap & Bib is here to
represent for us, the light.
Campbell’s Black Cap & Bib will be featured on the runway during The Fashion
Market’s Spring Fashion Week Event.
Mar 24, 2013
Chicago's Akilam Studio Committed to Wearable Art
Akilam Studio’s Asa Malika Barishman is notable on the Chicago fashion
landscape because she creates some of the most deliciously innovative
compositions in wearable art. The concept of designer as artist is at the core of
all of Akilam Studio’s creations. As a graduate of Columbia College, Asa
majored in Art and Design and embraced the function shared by many
designers throughout history, as the creators of apparel and accessories
that reflect transformations in culture, thinking and behavior during their
Her commitment to this premise can be seen in Akilam Studio’s
wholehearted dedication to upcycled fashion. Upcycled fashion is the
process of converting used materials or textiles into products of better
quality, producing unique creations and contributing to a healthy
relationship with the environment. “All items are either upcycled or adhere
to the Akilam Studio low waste policy”.
View slideshow: Akilam Studio
Asa’s creations are ‘one of a kind and handmade’. She designs cashmere
sweaters with turn of the century buttons, merino wool and cashmere
cardigans, lace shirts and dresses, upcycled cashmere fingerless gloves,
and adorable ‘funny pants’. The jewelry available include amethyst and
fresh water pearl necklaces; sterling silver blue Peruvian opal, London
topaz and labradorite hoop earrings; also at hand are hotly desired
leather accessories and earrings made from rough cut precious and
semiprecious stones, or Swarovski crystal, with new and upcycled leather, finished
with 925 sterling silver or 14k gold fill.
The reality is that fashion, as an art, is an important socio-cultural phenomenon
which individualizes the female form. Our daily choice of dress subjects us both to
be interpreted and to interpret others. That said, Asa approaches her art with
everywoman in mind. “The majority of my clients are in their 30s but I have seen my
designs on girls as young as 16 and women well into their 60s. My mission is to
make clothes that are available for all ages and body types and the clothes
themselves are effortless. I feel strongly about creating clothes that look beautiful on
a plus-size client as well, because unfortunately not enough designers cater to the
plus size woman.” Akilam Studio is also engaged in making creations for the very
young with a line of sustainable children’s accessories called ‘little b family’.
Take some time and indulge yourself with the art of fashion. Akilam Studio’s 2013
Collection can be seen in Chicago at TFM’s Spring Fashion Week Event next
Mar 11, 2013
Ganier Designs brings Casual Elegance to Chicago fashion!
Casual Elegance. It is certainly a moniker that many professional women would
welcome. But is it possible to be sexy, elegant and professional? Chicago designer
Elysia Ganier makes it possible. Ganier’s ‘Non-Traditional Corporate Wear’
validates the notion that a woman “shouldn’t have to sacrifice fashionable clothing
just because [she] works in corporate America”.
Ganier designs women’s suits that are bold, beautiful and confident; her collection
boasts of tailored, form-flattering belted suits accompanied by chiffon blouses with
elegant bows. Bespoke suits with stylish palazzo pants are partnered with sleek
jackets from customer selected fabrics. Ganier is stirred to design distinctive pieces
that celebrate femininity; pieces that assert dash, poise and tenacity; pieces that
carry the corporate woman from the office to a night on the town.
View slideshow: Ganier Designs
For her Spring 2013 collection, Ganier was roused by life in the Hamptons. “I was
inspired to use fabrics that are classic, comfortable, flirty and sophisticated, i.e.,
linens, chiffons, silks, knits and textured fabrics -- all of those remind me of the
Hamptons. I wanted to show some casual fabrics but not lose the elegance that my
brand is known for; which is why you will see peplum shapes, draped looks, and
flirty tops . This season will provide an exemplary representation of "Casual
Elegance" -- coordinate pieces that work together and can work well with other
pieces that are already in your wardrobe.”
Ganier’s 2013 spring collection will be unveiled next month at The Fashion Market’s
Spring Event during Chicago’s Spring Fashion Week.
Elysia Ganier is deeply influenced by legendary designers Schiaparelli, Hartnell
and Vionnet and their celebration of the female form. Ganier re-imagines the fitted
bodices, draped gowns, and sexy, delicate accents of the 1930's and ‘40's, and
makes them relevant today. She embraces the vibrant colors of the period, the
accented shoulder designs and combines them with silks, chiffons, and satins --
draping them sensuously over the female form to insure fluidity of motion.
Ganier’s designs have been featured in the Chicago Defender, and on both NBC
channel 5 and WGN morning shows. She recently won the “Steve Harvey Design
Challenge” where she created a “Work to Where Ever” transitional piece for the
“Steve Harvey Women’s Wear Collection”. Her winning design will
be available in K&G stores this month.
Looking forward, Ganier plans to expand her collection by offering
custom designs for men, including bespoke suits, hats, outerwear
and accessories. Last month, Ganier joined Freshswagger
Magazine as Fashion Design and Creative Director. In this
capacity, Ganier will manage the magazine’s fashion department.
Thankfully times and seasons change, and what once seemed
unlikely and unthinkable is now available. Fortunately for the
Chicago consumer, the winds have swept casual elegance in our