High Fashion and Haute Couture in the Windy City
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We all aspire to sew couture-quality garments, and in Chicago last weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending the annual fashion show for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago. The Club is an association of women from all walks of life who love fine sewing and fashion, and this is the meeting where they get to “strut their stuff” on a catwalk to an appreciative audience. The theme of this year’s fashion show was “Hooray for Hollywood”. Members were challenged to create garments inspired by Hollywood hits. It was divided up into 12 segments, each providing a point of inspiration for members. And what inspiration!
Check out some of the garments:
There were lots of animal prints on display in the “Out of Africa” segment.
One segment featured business attire, some of which was really creative. The workmanship on all the garments was superb. Look at that beautiful lining.
This gray faux Persian lamb coat and hat look as stylish now as they did when the wearer made them 30 years ago!
One segment included a single-pattern theme, with many members using the same jacket pattern. It’s amazing what effect different fabrics have on the same pattern, isn’t it? In this picture, you can see three variations.
In many cases, the members manipulated the fabrics, like this glen plaid with a floral overlay.
The skirt of this outfit is made from woven ribbon!
An entire segment was devoted to the little black dress.
And finally, the Red Carpet segment showcased a breathtaking array of evening wear, with gowns that drew ahhhs and applause from the audience.
While the fashion show is fun for members, models and attendees, it serves a deeper purpose. The Haute Couture Club of Chicago is sponsor of the Fashion Group International Chicago tailored garment scholarship. All proceeds from the fashion show go to fund that scholarship. 2010’s recipient was Katarzyna Grzesik. They had a number of her garments on display, and she modeled a showstopping gown on the runway.
About the Haute Couture Club of Chicago
The Haute Couture Club of Chicago had its genesis in a class on the English method of tailoring, taught by Helen Barker at the Central YMCA Community College. The women who took the class enjoyed the experience so much that they decided to form a club so they could continue to sew together. In a way, it was the precursor to today’s stitch lounges! Several of those original members are still in the Haute Couture Club to this day. The membership has expanded and grown over the years. Today there are over 100 active members. While there are several professionals in the club, as well as some fashion design students, most club members are serious sewing hobbyists from all walks of life. Their passion for fashion sewing brings them together.
The Club holds monthly meetings on all topics couture. In addition to the meetings, the Club issues a monthly newsletter covering a wide range of topics. The Club is open to all sewing enthusiasts. Dues are $20 per year. If you are in the Chicago area and love to sew fashion garments, the Haute Couture Club of Chicago is well worth it!