By Rhianna Jones
It has long been a great debate as to whether or not New York or Paris is the fashion capital of the world. The biannual mash-up of runway shows known as “fashion month” is comprised of globally renowned designers showcasing their infectious creations starting in New York, followed by London, down to Milan and ending in Paris. These four cities would thus be described by the chicest coterie as the hotspots for style, with others like Berlin and Sydney growing a discernable presence as well.
Chicago, on the other hand, would most likely not be one of the big mode metropolises. With the city losing some of its most notable footholds in the industry, like the closing of Michelle Obama’s favorite line Maria Pinto and the end of Melissa Gamble’s reign as “fashion czar,” Chicago’s state as a fashion-oriented city seems rather precarious these days. But then, as a little reminder that Chicagoans still do have some allure towards the more fanciful side of life, Macy’s Glamorama comes around to the Chicago Theater.
In its sixteenth year, Glamorama is a four-city tour promising, as its tagline states, “Fashion.Fantasy.Music.Magic”. The event is reminiscent of the Oscars, but instead of awards being presented, there are fashions, and rather than seeing the attendees being aptly scrutinized on Perez Hilton, you would find them in the social pages of sponsor CS Magazine. The collections of Jean Paul Gautier, Jezebel, Just Cavalli, Felina, 2(x)ist, Issey Miyake, Marc Jacobs, Material Girl, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Sonia Rykiel, Sportmax and Tommy Hilfiger were segmented with performances by Macy Gray and Eric Hutchinson. Most importantly, all of the evening’s proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities in the Chicago area. While most corporate events benefit a specific organization without paying much visual attention to promoting the cause itself, Glamorama literally put charity first and kicked off the entire show with a poignant video tale and appearance by the RMHC ambassador family.
The Glamorama fashion show is conceptually an opportunity for attendees to preview the styles soon available for purchase at Macy’s once summer weather wears off and Chicagoans are once again propelled from construction season into winter. But, for any of the guests who think that going to Glamorama will keep them “ahead of the trends,” the more fashionably inclined would notice that the presentation is simply a toned-down rehashing of the styles showcased down the Fall/Winter 2010 runway shows back in February. But because the fashion industry is always ahead of its own trends, and concocting the next big thing six months in advance of when the rest of the world will actually wear its vogues…it is expected that a retailer’s production would be a bit passé. But with Glamorama, as opposed to the unitary shows during fashion month, a medley of trends are offered. By showcasing designers hailing from all four fashion capitals, Glamorama attendees were bestowed the unique opportunity to be “front rowers” at a host of shows in the comfort of their own city. Naturally it also allowed the more ensemble-challenged peace of mind knowing that their less-than-vogue-worthy outfits wouldn’t undergo the style scrutiny of, say, Anna Wintour.
And so in a quick synopsis of the trends presented themselves, here is an encapsulation of Macy’s Glamorama:
Tommy Hilfiger is celebrating twenty-five years of perfecting that never changing preppy look,
Jean Paul Gaultier had antler-wearing models swathed in brightly-colored garb for a global souk.
Sportmax has women looking smart in sumptuous knits, feminine suits and knee length socks,
Sans cheesy choreography, men look orgasmic in the sleek tailoring and black plastic glasses of Hugo Boss.
Put a pouf on your head and don an oversized wool Annie Hall-esque suit while channeling frivolity in Sonia Rykiel,
To be a Material Girl, Madonna thinks dressing your daughter in belly shirts, tutus and ripped fishnets is perfectly swell.
Just Cavalli will take you to a Strawberry Field and frolic in your floppy hats, embellished bell-bottoms and wooden clogs,
Philosophy will keep you looking pretty in slimming wool dresses and a color palette as muted as fog.
Marc Jacobs will open his embossed doorway to heaven if you are dressed like a forties secretary or an ethereal retro queen,
The Technicolor fluorescent fest at Issey Miyake complete with fringy coats and neon leggings will make you want to scream.
Felina/Jezebel proclaims that the rage in Hell is cheap patent boots and pink satiny lingerie that clings,
2(x)ist reminds us that the best way to accessorize your whitey tighties is with a six-pack and a pair of matching wings.
The show ended with a bust of confetti from the ceilings and attendees started piling out of the theater and heading up to the seventh floor of Macy’s at Marshall Field’s, where the afterparty was held. And this portion of the night was equally glamorous. Models, moguls and mere mortals alike noshed, drank heavily and danced the night away.