Byline: ELAINE GLUSAC
ISAAC’S UNZIPPED CODE
CHICAGO — Isaac Mizrahi presented his secondary line, Isaac, as clothing for the unzipped side of life at its debut here at Bloomingdale’s last month.
“You can’t eat foie gras every day,” Mizrahi said. “You have to have a tuna sandwich sometime.”
The swarm that showed up was a reminder of how popular his film “Unzipped” was. Fans lined up nearly two hours before the Feb. 29 runway show to see the designer.
Mizrahi’s wit was in top form. Explaining the philosophy behind his bridge-priced secondary line, he said, “What is as good as a $3,000 cashmere coat? A $25 T-shirt, I think.”
Boatneck dresses, halter dresses, “cellophane lamA” shifts, crisp wrap shirts and sack jeans “for those expand/contract days” were among his favorite items.
CHICAGO — With a divide-and-conquer agenda, Marshall Field’s sponsored two benefit fashion shows last month — one for the younger set, another geared to classic tastes.
Field’s lured the hip crowd with an eye-popping show by designer Cynthia Rowley and the contemporary lines Et Vous and Max Studio on Feb. 22. Savage Oral Hotbed, a metal band that performed on power saws, appeared in the benefit for the Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Former Field’s buyer Jeanne Schmidt LaCasse stopped in to visit Rowley, a Chicago-area native. LaCasse dis-
covered the designer when she was a student riding the “el” in a Renaissance-style jacket she had designed.
“I still have that jacket,” said Rowley, whose collection is now more Seventies-spirited.
The following week, designer Joseph Abboud appeared with his spring/summer line to benefit The Women’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
“The nice part about Chicago is it’s a mix of wholesomeness and big-city sophistication,” said Abboud, who sent his spring line of soft, layered and textured clothing down the runway on Feb. 29. “That’s why we do well here.”
Eschewing the fad for close fit and neon color, Abboud kept to his crowd-appealing credo: “You have to be true to who you are.”
KEEPING IT LOCAL
CHICAGO — Chicago’s museum of design and architecture turned its attention to soft goods last month, opening its second annual “Chicago Designs!” exhibit featuring the clothing and accessories of 38 local talents.
“This,” said Chicago Athenaeum director Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, “is architecture you can wear.”
The exhibit, on view through March 31, is co-sponsored by the Chicago Manufacturing Center. “Chicago design is something we think people undervalue,” said CMC executive vice president Demetria Giannisis. “It’s a matter of exposure.”
Among the lines exposed were Norma and Hyla’s knitwear, Kate Wester’s velvet dresses, House of SKY’s satin gowns and J.J. Hobeau’s playful plastic coats.
In the end, the hats stole the show. There were eight Chicago milliners in all, including Kate Burch, Eia, Laura Whitlock and Cynthia Hadesman. “I’m loving these hats,” said Dana Connell, senior accessories buyer for Marshall Field’s, as she toured the exhibit. “They’re a lot of fun.”