'Envision' takes a trip to the '70s

JAHNA PELOQUIN | Updated 4/28/2014

Hippie chic and Studio 54 glam dominated Ignite Models' semi-annual fashion show.


Look by Idle Child

Since it first hit the local fashion scene in fall 2006, the semi-annual fashion show Envision has been one of the most consistent, well-attended fashion shows in town. This year’s show made two key changes -- producers Ignite Models dropped “Artopia” from its name (a change stemming from City Pages’ departure as a sponsor) and moved to a new location, Orchestra Hall, who proved to be a more glamorous, spacious and dynamic space than the Graves 601 Hotel ballroom had been.

Despite dropping the “Artopia” from its name, this spring’s Envision, which took place on Saturday night, still incorporated a local art aspect. Public Functionary gallery curator Tricia Khutoretsky returned as the show's emcee, while a “pop-up” art room hosted by the gallery incorporated live painting by a trio of artists including Andres Guzman, a live music set from Shiro Dame and Up Rock, and a silent art auction, in which attendees could place their bids via text message.

But as always, the focus was on the fashion. The extensive, two-part runway show highlighted the season’s top trends from 14 local stores and designers, spanning the highly wearable to haute couture. This year’s dominant theme was the late ‘60s/‘70s, running the gamut from Coachella neo-hippie to Studio 54 decadence to glam rock boldness.

Local duo Idle Child set the tone of flower child realness with their ethereal line of sheer robes, crop tops and breezy, split leg paisley pants and black lace bell bottoms to the sounds of Strawberry Alarm Clock’s “Incense and Peppermint.” Online retailer Velvet Moon followed suit with a mix of printed kaftans, lace tops, fringed kimonos, scarecrow hats and laced-up boots. North Loop store Roe Wolfe also picked up on the boho trend, as did Kjurek by Kimberly Jurek, who paired her line of brightly-striped, retail-ready dresses with towering flower crowns that unfortunately overwhelmed the relatively simple looks.

Look by Idle Child

Look from Velvet Moon

Look from Velvet Moon

Look from Roe Wolfe with necklace by Stephanie Lake Design

Designer Khampian Vang made a modern statement by combining colorful, Aztec-inspired embroidery -- a nod to late ‘60s exoticism -- with Calvin Klein-esque minimalism. Her embroidered cropped jacket was a standout piece. With its bright poppy prints and updated milkmaid silk dresses, Samantha Rei’s “Alice in Wonderland”-inspired collection also fit the mood without lapsing into cliché.

Caroline Hayden’s stunning spring 2014 line first debuted at last fall’s local fashion week, but was well worth a second look. Backed by Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls,” Hayden’s line was Studio 54-meets-“The Stepford Wives,” updated with Hayden’s clean lines and luxe fabrics. Highlights included a beaded light salmon pink jumpsuit and gown; high, Edwardian cuffs and oversized collars that defined ‘70s style; a Marcia Brady-esque floral print; and a Gunne Sax-inspired, off-the-shoulder chiffon peach gown.

Tessa Louise’s collection went for the gold -- “Solid Gold,” that is -- with a glam rock-inspired line to the sounds of T. Rex’s “Jeepster.” Her gold low-waisted bell bottoms were equal parts retro and modern, and a chic black kimono dress invoked vintage Norma Kamali.

Look by Khampian Vang