Fashion Focus kicked off with timeless elegance at Next Fashion Show

Next Fashion Show featuring 11 designers with what seemed an army of runway models kicked of Fashion Focus Chicago week by presenting some of the most dazzling garments.

Fashion Focus 2011, a week jam packed with fashion shows, shopping events and trunk shows, is finally in town and it started on October 17 with Next Fashion. Produced by Rose Mandel, Benjamin Cottrell and Marco Forster the show was a must attend and had set the bar of quality event production very high. It had a great venue, great entertainment and, most importantly, great designers.

Next Fashion was held at Germania Place, located in the Gold Coast, it is one of the most famous historical landmarks in the city. This ballroom was build in 1888 from red brick and carved limestone in the style of Victorian architecture. With 35 foot ceilings, 20 foot windows and original crystal chandeliers the Grand Ballroom makes you feel like you’re inside a palace.

Before the show guests were treated to a VIP reception at the second floor balcony with open bar all night and elaborated hors d’oeuvre. The balcony was overlooking the Grand Ballroom giving a birds-eye view of the runway, where some of the guests chose to remain and watch the show.

It was such a treat to have Marcus Riley, NBC 5 Chicago, and Candace Jordan, Candid Candace, be the hosts of the show. They had such a great chemistry on the stage, while introducing each other and the show. As Marcus told us later, him and Candace know each other a very long time.

Once the show began, guests were wowed by what they saw. The line up of designers, hand picked by the producers of the show, was amazing. Each one takes great pride in their work and presented spectacular pieces.

Elda de la Rosa who creates elegant outfits for all occasions, including cocktail, evening and bridal. Each of her dresses has it’s own individual personality, that reflect the bold beauty and style of the women who wear them.

Fraley Le is a Chicago-based emerging designer that creates signature pieces for variety of special occasions. Graduate of International Academy of Design and Technology in Chicago, Fraley’s designs are fuel for the soul.

“A wonderful place to expose fashion and style of Chicago. Love to get together again in the future with the team of Rose, Benjamin and Marco.” — Fraley Le

Gary Gonzalez Mexican-American designer based in Chicago. His main focus in designing is for women of a sophisticated manner within themselves. The way a woman carries herself, not necessarily of means, but of poise and originality. Gary gets his inspiration from fabrics before sketches. From touching the textures and seeing the patterns, he can imagine the finished piece before the sketch process even begins. His latest collection was inspired by “Dia de los muertos”. In Mexican culture it is a day that honors and commemorates those friends and family who have since moved on to another plain. The fabrics chosen had the look of old Mexico, however having a modern twist.

“I first heard about this event through a longtime friend and someone I have worked with many times in the past, Rose Mandel. And this show brought us back in such an amazing and delightful way.” — Gary Gonzalez

Cleons Clothing Company, with an east coast vibe and appeal, is a line full of power and dominance. Made for the young and high energy men and women.

Sahar Dada grew up in a culture where custom-made clothing was the norm. In the summer of 2006 Sahar produced her first collection and over the years has built a vast clientele in her hometown of Chicago. Knowing she could make women feel unique and beautiful Sahar launched her next 52-piece collection ranging from cocktail dresses to elegant gowns on March 10th 2010.

“It was a pleasure to be able to kick off Fashion Focus Chicago 2011. The entire team for Next Fashion Chicago was great to work with! I hope to continue doing events related to the Chicago fashion industry and grow as a local designer.” –Sahar Dada

Hector-Javier Monàrrez is dedicated to creating high fashion pieces that are also wearable and functional. Coming from a family of seamstresses and dressmakers and after having attended design school Hector founded his label The MONàRREZ COLLECTION on the principles of quality; quality designs, quality fabrics, and quality fit. It was not surprising it quickly become the go-to brand for Chicago socialites. At the Next Fashion Chicago show Hector presented selected pieces from his 2012 collections, read our earlier review of Front Row 2012 show for more pictures and information about the collection.

“The production of a fashion show is very hard, and you need to present something new and interesting to entertain your attendees, when I was presented with the idea to be a part of this show I was very glad, they presented me with a new fresh idea, I loved the location, and the concept. With me being a designer and as picky as I am you need something new and unique to catch my eye. And if course it was a pleasure to work with rose.” — Hector-Javier Monàrrez

Sujata Gazder a designer of Indian decent and based in Chicago, creates designs where she experiments with bold new techniques while honoring old traditions of embroidery and beadwork. Sujata creates clothes for women who enjoy their femininity and who are not afraid of expressing themselves.

“It was great to be a part of the Next Fashion show at Germania place. I think Rose Mandel did a wonderful job in pairing the romance of the garments with the equally beautiful venue… a great way to kick off Fashion Focus week in Chicago.” — Sujata Gazder

Mira Couture is dedicated to setting the standard for outstanding couture. Mira founded Mira Couture during the early seventies in Glenview, Illinois. She initially carried a small line of personally designed, hand sewn clothing, paying close attention to the quality, fit and construction of each garment produced.

“I felt so honored to be a part of such a wonderfully put together fashion event. If anyone thinks Chicago is not a city of fashion, they should have been at that show.” — Mira Horoszowski

There were also 3 local boutiques that presented the pieces they carry. Sofia is an independent boutique of hand-picked vintage collections. Caché is a nationwide mall-based specialty retailer of lifestyle sportswear and dresses. And Contessa Bottega a fashion and glamour boutique in Chicago catering to the rich and famous. Accessory handbags provided by Furla.

The fashion show was accompanied by a live collaboration of violinist Katarina Visnevka and the DJ. Katarina, who’s been playing a classical violin since the age of 6, had revolutionized how people experience classical instruments.

Media crew:
Reporter – Raven Mai
Event Photography – Fallen Angel Studio

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