It’s Friday night, and the Logan Square Auditorium is playing host to the first of two nights for the Chicago Grand Prix-an underground fashion and music event thrown together by promoter-by-way-of-finance-sabbatical Rebecca Austin. Seduced by her travels and experiences watching art, fashion and music collide at festivals and concerts, Austin created Grand Prix Productions to give a boost to the talent she hopes to foster or bring to Chicago.
“You have to pick what it is you love and contribute that,” she explains cheerfully, seemingly unperturbed by the sparse crowd grooving to the fashion show after-party. Upstairs in the balcony, artists and volunteers mingle. DJ Logic relaxes after his set with a bottle of Crown Royal that has just been placed in his hands while Eliot Lipp lies in wait, working through the remnants of the spread next to the bar which has been reduced to a few odd stalks of celery and empty beer cans.
The right side of the auditorium offers up budding accessory and jewelry hawkers, including Jason Burress of Asheville, North Carolina, who regularly travels to festivals and concerts selling his wire wrap creations. “I sell stuff for a younger market that has the courage to wear it,” he says with a smile while displaying his large pendants and medallions. Reaching the 1am hour, Lipp drops his experimentally rooted hip-hop as the principal organizers share a Kodak moment on the dance floor, beaming with pride, but mindful of the lessons learned. (Duke Shin)