Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence

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Richard Driehaus once again exceeded expectations at the 12th Annual Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence. The crowd was festive and the atmosphere was buzzing as the Awards show commenced, showcasing the brilliant new designs of 25 local up and coming designers.

A mouth-watering cocktail reception accompanied by gourmet hors d’oeuvres (at 6:30) got the evening rolling as the much – anticipated runway show kept the fashion – hungry crowd excited and curious.

Event Photos

Fashion, fabrics, and flamboyance were the focus of the evening as 25 aspiring designers competed against each other in front of a very style – conscientious crowd and a panel of expert judges. Not to be overshadowed was Linda Yu (of ABC’s channel 7) who appeared elegant in a designer gown and very charming and amiable as the celebration’s Master of Ceremonies.

A tremendous fashion show (in a warehouse setting) was an unexpected pleasure for most of these privileged guests, yet Chicago’s very own Richard Driehaus made it even more memorable by combining the show with a collection of fascinating automobiles; featuring innovative interiors and very imaginative exteriors, spanning the decades from the 1930s to the late ’50s.

A stunning 20 – ft. long 1930 Cord L -29, a 1947 Chrysler Town and Country (accented with shiny, beautiful wooden doors and trunk) and a jaw-dropping 1958 Cadillac Eldorado two-door convertible (nicknamed “Raindrop”) were just a few of the sensational autos on display for the lucky visitors at this night’s unforgettable soiree for Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence.

Besides the captivating runway fashion show, Susanna Negovan (of the Sun-Times SPLASH) introduced an Alumni Spotlight and Leslie Hindman (of Hindman Auctioneers) conducted an energetic live auction. Prize money of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 were awarded accordingly to these creative young fashionistas for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. As a new feature, the “Macy’s Choice Award” will grant one lucky designer the opportunity to have their designs on display at Macy’s on State St. and another fortunate designer will receive a mentoring session with a Macy’s retailer.

The terrific ambiance and feng shui were flowing like champagne during the enviable V.I.P. after-party, sponsored by Northern Trust Bank. Endless tables of culinary delicacies kept the captivated crowd satisfied at this pinnacle fashion event. With tickets ranging in price from $300 V.I.P. reserved seats to general admission for $175, all generous proceeds from this magnificent event will benefit Chicago Fashion Incubator and its never-ending mission to successfully connect higher education and entrepreneurs within the fashion community.

Outstanding is one word I would use to describe the talent of these budding young artisans who were revealing their astonishing creations on this remarkable night. Chicago has a lot to be proud of with such blossoming local artists who are sure to become accomplished nationwide designers, sporting their own labels someday.

This spectacular event was no doubt a collaborative effort between 25 enthusiastic visionaries, the dedicated staff of the Driehaus Design Initiative, and a host of others who took care of everything from exceptional food and beverages to sound and lighting systems.

Richard Driehaus is indeed a fine example of how a highly successful, intriguing philanthropist can foster the development of sparkling, youthful talent, harness their ingenuity, and raise it up to a standard of excellence.

About Jim Wattron

Jim graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, with a degree in Business Administration. Jim has worked with the team from the beginning and he consistently strives for innovation with refreshing topics that inspire readers with context of new adventures and happenings, locally and internationally. Read more from this author.