The Best Looks of CHIC with Behind the Scenes Details

The Best Looks of CHIC with Behind the Scenes Details

By Alex Kopish, June 24th, 2018

There was no better date to set the CHIC Summer Fashion Showcase other than June 21st, the first day of summer.  The producers of Milwaukee Fashion Week decided to give their fans more chances to experience local designers by hosting this event, plus it was a great opportunity to catch some sneak peaks of what is to be expected from the Milwaukee Fashion Week show in the fall.

I was fortunate enough to be behind the scenes and check out every detail of each design before they walked the runway.  Picking a few favorites from the nine collections was a challenge as each had a stunning, unique personality.  Eventually, I managed to select the designs which really stuck in mind.  If you missed the show, no worries, check out some of the best looks, along with some behind the scenes details, below!

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Photo by Dave Hathaway

AMU Cherian-by Ammu Cherian

The show kicked off with the vibrant prints that can only be recognized as AMU Cherian.  AMU showed off some new designs including women’s jackets and men’s ties.  Almost all of Ammu’s designs are bound to catch your eye and bring a smile to your face, but the design that caught my eye was a classic, yet playful, dress and jacket combination.  The pale pink dress with a peacock deign brought femininity and fun to the outfit, while the new navy jacket brought sophistication.  The model, Alana Rodgers, wore her pixie cut sleek and her make up neutral.  She paired the dress with classic nude pumps, which made me think of this as a perfect work outfit to stand out amongst the blacks and greys.  I always appreciate the versatility of Ammu’s clothing.  Each design can be taken off the runway and worn in your day-to-day life.

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Photo by Dave Hathaway

SS Couture-by Nicole ­­­­­­Nannetti

The major trend in SS Couture’s showcase:  Tulle! From adorable little girl’s dresses to fierce women’s, fluffy, fluffy tulle was on almost every dress.  When Nicole pulled her rack of tulle stuffed garment bags into the back dressing room, I was excited to see more of what was in the garment bags.  The piece that excited me the most was a little black dress that was enriched with a shimmery-patterned, royal blue skirt.  Model Katrina Mazier showed off this design perfectly; twirling and expanding the skirt as she walked down the runway.  All the models in SS Couture embodied the flirty and fun personalities of the dresses.

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Photo by Dave Hathaway

LM-by Lupita Murillo

LM’s showcase kept me on my toes.  The showcase featured seven designs, the first three of which classified as sexy, nighttime, formal designs.  Lupita, like other designers was not afraid to show some skin in her collection.  The four designs that followed, fit in perfectly with the first day of summer with pops of bright orange.  I gushed over one design in particular worn by Ann Grittner.  I bugged Ann for a photo of it before she walked and I intend to inquire more about this dress!  This naked dress was sprinkled with pom-poms of pink, green, blue, yellow, and orange.  It is feminine, playful, unique.  In other words, it is everything a girl could want in a dress!

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Photo by Scott Ligman

Virago-by Sarah Corlett

Keeping up with the summer trend, next to walk out came Virago’s swimwear.  The designs were nothing like you would expect from a swimsuit!  Model Gabriela Follett mentioned wanting to wear the two-piece suit at the beach and everywhere else if she could, it was just that cute.  The swimwear was comprised of an amusing spin on preppy stripes, paisleys, eyelet lace, and ruffles.  So which was my favorite?  If I had to choose, it would be a color block design of navy and white eyelet lace, adorned with some ruffles, laced up on the sides, and embellished with an exposed, silver zipper in the back.  Paired with tan strappy sandals, model Tatyanna Celina Marie, looked as if she were headed to a glamorous pool party.

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Photo by Anthony Anderson

Stylist Olena Baxtor

If you’re in need for summer outfit inspiration, look no further than stylist, Olena Baxtor.  She has an eye for taking individual pieces and making them work together as one.  Her outfits shouted summer as they were strutted down the runway.  I imagined each one being worn for numerous occasions.  One outfit worn by Hannah Neibler was definitely winning at life.  Olena coordinated a sunny yellow tee that read, “winning at life” in red sequins with a tropical-floral, beaded, flute skirt.  Orange strappy sandals completed the head to toe sunshiny look.  Olena also noticed the season’s new basket handbag trend and included one with the outfit.  Everything together, the pieces looked as if they were destined to be an outfit!

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Photo by Dave Hathaway

Gawarecki Studio-by Anna Gawarecki

After intermission, the audience was given a thought-provoking collection.  Gawarecki Studio’s thrilling collection brought a relevant message about how significant mental health is to the forefront.  It featured unique materials such as chains and pill bottles, long sleeves were embellished with glitter and pills, mesh and velvet were creatively paired together in certain designs.  I believe I can speak for most of the audience when I say the most striking design of the night was a naked dress detailed with chains which Maya Sanden wrapped around her arms as she walked the runway.  Anna briefly mentioned that Maya was a perfect model for the design and a photoshoot might have to happen.  It is a photoshoot that I would love to see happen!

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Photo by Dave Hathaway

EliseMichelle Designs

This collection was far from forgettable, but I have to admit, for part of the night I had difficulty remembering this collection belonged to Elise.  Here was this petite, smiley, blonde woman who had designed the all black, fiercest collection of the night!  Before walking, Elise instructed her models to look badass and I can’t imagine that would be hard to pull off in these designs.  I loved the dresses with the exposed zippers down the front, but ultimately I am deciding on the outfit worn by Ayla Visuri.   It featured a crop top, held together in front by thin metal rods, and classic slim fit trousers.  But I chose this outfit because I am obsessed with the cape!  If you’re ever needing to look fierce, this is the collection to shop. Period.

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Image by Dave Hathaway

JM Couture- by Joseline Montanez

Watching JM Couture’s showcase walk down the runway was like looking through rose-tinted glasses, however it was stunning with or without the glasses.  I am a huge fan or the rose gold trend and a huge fan of this collection.  Joseline hit mark with girl’s gowns, women’s gowns, and men’s suits.  Rightfully left for last, but not least was a white gown worn by Sierra Whitham.  The gown had incredibly detailed gold lace around the hem and waist, but that was not the only awe factor about the gown.  It also featured a tall, embroidered collar that stood behind Sierra’s head.  It was fashion design engineering at its finest and simply one of the many wonders in JM Couture’s collection.

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Photo by Dave Hathaway

Madalyn Joy Designs

Where do I begin with Madalyn Joy Designs?  It is no wonder that Madalyn won MKEFW Designer of the Year 2017.  A collection of Bespoke lingerie was adorned with layered tulle skirts or long silk skirts that flowed endlessly.  Each design was extraordinarily embroidered.  I have to also compliment Madalyn on her choices of matching models to designs.  Each woman suited her design so well which made the showcase all the better.  If I had to choose one, it would be a red wine colored design with beaded embroidery and a tulle skirt.  Again, the red wine color suited the model, Sophia Andries’s dark red hair color and soft skin tone.  I am looking forward to more of Madalyn Joy Designs in the fall.

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Image by Anthony Anderson
Image by Dave Hathaway

MKEFW Sneak Peak by Deb Reimer

Lastly, Milwaukee Fashion Week owner shared two looks that will be featured in her debut collection at Milwaukee Fashion Week this September, to end the night.  Model Maya Sanden, who donned spectacular dresses all night, shined in one more.  The mock-neck, fitted gown was made of luxurious black velvet and finely detailed with diamond rhinestones.  The second look, worn by Michelle Borrero, was an edgy, strapless dress with a glittery, blue patterned, tulle overlay split down the front.  Left teased by the sneak peak, I cannot wait to see the rest of this collection in the fall which I am expecting will be as spectacular as these two looks.

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Did you attend the CHIC Summer Fashion Showcase?  If so, what were your favorite looks of the night?  Did you agree or disagree with my picks?  I hope to see you at the Milwaukee Week in September.  Let me know what you’re looking forward to the most from the shows in September!