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Chicago History Museum and Brentano say "I Do" to FashioNext
Design competition combines fashion and interior design


FashioNext is an ongoing, ground-breaking fashion design competition that challenges established Chicago designers to create a garment inspired by select pieces from the costume collection of the Chicago History Museum (CHM). Following the success of last year's FashioNext competition based around Chic Chicago, the Museum has revamped the contest to accompany I Do! Chicago Ties the Knot, a wedding-themed costume exhibition that will open on May 22, 2010. The three finalist's gowns will be featured at Brentano's NeoCon exhibit in June, and then will be returned to the Museum. The winning piece will be displayed in the I Do! Chicago Ties the Knot exhibition for the remainder of its run, and then will go on to become a permanent part of the Chicago History Museum's acclaimed costume collection.

Brentano has once again partnered with the Museum to provide the fabrics for the competition. By using textiles developed for interior design applications, the fashion designers are challenged to rethink the way they use materials. Additionally, the use of upholstery and drapery fabrics creates a unique opportunity to fuse elements of fashion and interior design. Ovation TV and Comcast are the presenting sponsors, with additional support provided by the Costume Council of the Chicago Historical Society, Frost Lighting, and Mercedes Benz.

In December of 2009, eight Chicago-based designers submitted sketches complete with Brentano fabric samples to the panel of judges. The judges have now narrowed the competition to three uniquely inspired designs by Caroline DeVillo, Carla Hwang and Kenneth Park from VWIDON, and Katrin Schnabl, each of whom will bring their vision to life using their selected Brentano fabrics.

This year's judges are:
  • D. Graham Kostic, Style Editor, Modern Luxury Magazines, LLC
  • Tim Long, Curator of Costumes, Chicago History Museum
  • Roger Price and Tommy Walton, Price Walton, FashioNext 2009 winners
  • Andrea Kalish Reynders, Professor, Department of Fashion Design, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Gaynor Strachan-Chun, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Ovation TV
  • Noren Ungaretti, President, Costume Council of the Chicago Historical Society
  • Cassie Walker, Senior Editor, Chicago Magazine
  • Iris Wang, Vice-President, Design and Marketing, Brentano

Additionally, the public is invited to act as a ninth judge by voting for their favorite gown from May 20- June 20. The winning garment will earn one vote in the judging process. The winning garment will be announced live at the FashioNext finale event held at the Chicago History Museum on Thursday, June 24, 7:00 p.m. Hosted by CHM Curator Timothy Long, the three finalists will share their inspirations and experiences as models showcase the gowns, with a cocktail reception to follow. Tickets for the FashioNext finale party can be purchased from the Chicago History Museum.

Design by Caroline DeVillo
Design Sketches : Caroline DeVillo

Inspiration : Givenchy Wedding dress & cape, 1967

Brentano Fabrics :
Eco-Satin - Paper Birch

Design by Carla Hwang and Kenneth Park, VWIDON
Design Sketches : Carla Hwang, Kenneth Park

Inspiration : Scassi Wedding dress, 1958

Brentano Fabrics :

Design by Katrin Schnabl, Lineamente
Design Sketches : Katrin Schnabl

Inspiration : Scassi Wedding dress, 1958

Brentano Fabrics :

© All designer sketches and inspiration photos courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

download press release <pdf>

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