In the words of Gillion Carrara, director of the Fashion Resource Center (FRC) at SAIC, “a fresh face, a posture, a pose and a look of curiosity” never go out of style. Leave the normcore on the internet. In anticipation of the impending fall semester, Newcity checked in with IRL fashionistas Carrara, Caroline Bellios, FRC’s assistant director and SAIC grad and FRC employee, Eric Lengsouthiphong to find out their fashionable expectations for the season. At least we have layering to look forward to.
How would you describe your style? What fall items are you excited to debut this semester?
GC: My personal style is generally minimal in various combinations of black variations and textures. I believe that black illustrates a serious, capable, modern individual. Inspired by a summer trip to Japan, I will wear long Comme des Garçons trousers with a bustle and train combination, a simple black tee and Trippen high heels that recall Japanese geta on the opening day of the FRC. As for the FRC, a selection of new acquisitions are from avant-garde designers Christopher Kane, Comme des Garçons, Marc Le Bihan, Mary Katrantzou, Marios Schwab, Anrealage, Boudicca and a vintage Dior.
EL: My personal style tends to gravitate toward simplicity more than anything else. As for fall fashion, bringing layering back after dealing with the summer heat will be nice!
What’s the best part about working with the FRC?
CB: I most enjoy helping the students with their research, and introducing them to garments or resources that spark new ideas or strengthen their direction.
EL: The FRC provides a space where fashion can be studied on a technical, cultural and aesthetic level. There aren’t many places in Chicago (or anywhere) that offer such a hands-on opportunity. It’s a rare resource.
Any specific looks you expect to see this semester?
CB: Fashion is currently exploring gender. Some students at our school are dressing in clothing identified with the opposite gender and some students eschew the idea of gender altogether. This generation’s openness about the mutability of gender is reflected in the world of fashion where men are modeling womenswear, women are modeling menswear. Increasingly garments do not identify themselves nor their wearers as belonging to a particular gender.
Are there any fashion trends you miss, or any that should never return?
EL: As someone more inclined toward a casual look, I’m always appreciative of those who opt for a more “dapper” sense in menswear. That’s always an inspiring trend to see. I’m usually a live-and-let-live person when it comes to trend, so I can’t think of anything I’m against; although recent festival wear is a bit strange to me.
GC: Trends come and go. They simply return with different interpretations.
Any outfit advice for young artists for their first exhibition opening? Especially for those on a budget.
CB: For an artist of any age it is always important that they dress true to their vision of themselves rather than being influenced by any arbitrary trends society might favor at the moment. Truth is available at many price points.
In addition to use by SAIC faculty, students and staff, the FRC is open for individual research visits, organization meetings, and group retreats or events by advance appointments.