The predominantly black-clad guests indulged in two hours of pre-show wining and dining, during which they admired each other, and themselves. Then the curtains dividing the hall parted and the fashion show began.
It was more than a straightforward runway show. Barefoot demons bearing a glass coffin marched in ritualistic fashion. The coffin opened, revealing a woman apparently rising from the dead. Then models wearing Comme des Garcon, Jean Paul Gaultier, Imitation of Christ, Shackling, Christina Perrin, Elizabeth Dietz, Zang Toi and more glided down the runway in what seemed to be an opiate-induced trance. Then the Taboo and House of Extravaganza. Voguers rushed the runway, writhing erotically. The show’s finale had models stepping forward, one by one, to free themselves from the shackles that bound them, representing, Gill said, “the release of pressures and anxieties of the world. The show was about dealing with your daily demons.”
Putting on events is just one of the things that Gill, 35, now a fixture on Chicago’s fashion scene, does. After stints at Banana Republic (where he was the chain’s top seller nationwide) and Jil Sander, he works full-time on image consulting for private clients and has just opened an office in New York’s TriBeCa neighborhood. But Gill will not give up his parties. He is already planning his next Chicago event, “Witness,” and he is also at work on his first New York show.