On the Forefront of Fashion

The future of Chicago fashion awaits you at two upcoming runway events

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Paramount Pictures

From Maria Pinto to Melissa Serpico Kamhout, Chicago fashion designers are gaining more and more national attention. Get a front-row seat to see what (and who) everyone will be wearing as the next wave of local fashion designers is recognized in two upcoming runway events this month.

The Chicago History Museum's blockbuster "Chic Chicago" exhibition isn't just about tracing the styles of the past. The program is also recognizing the city's current fashion stars through an ongoing project entitled "FashioNext." The "Project Runway" style competition has tracked five Chicago designers through a series of challenges, which will culminate in a finale this Friday, April 17. The three finalists (Jermikko Shoshanna, Melissa Serpico Kamhout and Price Walton), who were selected in February, will each create a garment inspired by a historic piece in the exhibition. "Chic Chicago" curator Timothy Long will host the event, which will take place from 7-9:30PM at the museum. The designers will discuss their garments, which will be showcased by models, and the winner will be announced live at the event, followed by a cocktail reception.

Discover Chicago's cutting-edge fashion talent as the School of the Art Institute presents "Fashion 2009," a 75th anniversary celebration of the school's fashion department. Chicago designer (and School of the Art Institute alum) Maria Pinto, whose star has certainly been on the rise as of late, will be honored at "The Walk: An Extraordinary Evening of Fashion + Art," a benefit event on Thursday, April 23. Pinto will be presented the Legend of Fashion Award during a ceremony taking place at the School of the Art Institute's Sage Studios in the newly opened Sullivan Galleries building at 5:30PM. Following the fundraiser at 8PM will be a "Meet the Designers" reception featuring this year's student designers along with their models showcasing their garments. Tickets for both events start at $500.

Continuing the fashionable festivities on Friday, April 24 is "Designing the Future," the school's annual runway show, which this year will feature more than 200 student designs set against an exciting multimedia background. Shows will take place at Sage Studios at 2PM and 7PM, and tickets are $75.

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