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G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_opening

We kicked off the G&F Art + Fashion Issues on September 1st and now we’re closing our month-long celebration with a salute to five local Chicago designers blazing a very stylish trail. For these style stars, the pieces they create are wearable art—all complete with handmade composition that show off brilliant detailing, construction and effortless style. This group of ladies were all chosen for their ability to turn simple silhouettes into something magnificent, a work of art for your wardrobe. Their unique perspective warrants a breath of fresh air and excitement.

The designers came to Ampersand Pop-Up + Test Kitchen, an uber creative space in the city by Element Collective, to show off their wares for the G&F lens. Read on to learn about each designer’s inspirations and what influenced their most recent collections. Plus, watch the video interviews to get a peek behind their creative process. Ready, Set, Inspire!

G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Maria Pinto M2057_1

Thirteen-year-old MARIA PINTO was skimming the pages of WWD when she decided designing had to be a part of her life. Inspired by urban architecture, design veteran Maria’s new line M2057 features elements of raw hems, angular lines, and draping that evoke glass and steel skyscrapers. Her pieces were designed with an artful approach to seamless transitioning, allowing garments to transform from casual to formal with ease. The theme behind M2057’s Fall collection is “Twisted Architecture” exploring a bridge between the linear and the fluid to create movement. We also asked Maria about Fall’s must-haves, “Every fall wardrobe needs a killer pair of boots, chunky cashmere sweaters, long dresses and skirts, and anything in leather!” We couldn’t agree more.

G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Maria Pinto M2057_double

WATCH THE G&F INTERVIEW VID WITH MARIA >>

M2057 ALI SKIRT, $430. FELT CAP AVAILABLE AT THE SILVER ROOM.
LEARN MORE + SHOP AT M2057.COM

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G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Shelby Steiner_1

SHELBY STEINER describes herself as curious and honest. She enjoys the little things, like bubble gum and a fresh pair of Dr. Marten’s. It’s that simplicity that makes her uber chic in her own right. The young designer is part of the Macy’s Fashion Incubator program for 2014. Her namesake designs are inspired by a conglomeration of curated places, things, sounds and experiences. Her collections embody a sense of simplicity and androgyny in a bold and peaceful look. Shelby crafts her garments with natural fibers including hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton for sustainable practices. Her latest collection is a product of meditation: clean, wearable, and somewhat of a casual, wearable and lived-in luxury.

G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Shelby Steiner_double

WATCH THE G&F INTERVIEW VID WITH SHELBY >>

HIGH COLLAR SHIRT DRESS, $211, FROM SPRING COLLECTION.
LEARN MORE + SHOP AT SHELBYSTEINER.COM

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G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Meghan Lorenz Cities in Dust_1

MEGHAN LORENZ ventured west after high school to pursue a dream of becoming a set designer within the L.A. film industry. Meghan soon brought back some west coast inspiration to fuel her new creative adventure, a uniquely designed jewelry line named CITIES IN DUST. Named after a Siouxsie and The Banshees song about Pompeii, Meghan’s pieces radiate a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll and a little bit avant garde aesthetic. She looks to interior decor, especially light fixtures, as inspirations for her designs. Her new Fall 2014 collection embodies an op art and mid century modern appearance.

G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Meghan Lorenz Cities in Dust_double

WATCH THE G&F INTERVIEW VID WITH MEGHAN >>

ALL JEWELRY FEATURED RANGES FROM $40 to $160.
LEARN MORE + SHOP AT CITIESINDUSTJEWELRY.COM

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G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Laura Pulice Vex_1

LAURA PETRIELLI-PULICE characterizes herself as quiet and collected, but her designs take on a different personality of bold and provocative elements. Laura founded her first line Vex in 2000, which offers a collection of luxury latex clothing. Since Vex was established for a somewhat niche audience, VOYEUR BY VEX was born from Laura’s experience competing on Bravo’s Styled to Rock as she found herself needing to design looks for a more mainstream audience. Although all Voyeur by Vex garments have a fabric component as well, Laura always incorporates accents of her signature latex look. Her fall collection includes alluring green moto pants and a hypnotic zip up skirt, which were featured during the Styled to Rock finale. We love the way Laura thinks of style for the everyday woman: powerful, sexy and a whole lot flirtatious.

G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Laura Pulice Vex_double

WATCH THE G&F INTERVIEW VID WITH LAURA >>

above left: MOTO GLOVES, $99. CHOKER + CHAIN, PRICE UPON REQUEST.
above right: ETCHED MOTO PANTS, $2,480 (custom order only). RIVET CLUTCH WITH TASSEL, $600.
LEARN MORE + SHOP AT VOYEURBYVEX.COM

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G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Sanah Yasin La Nisay_1

SANAH YASIN takes her Pakistan roots and brings them to life through her womenswear collection, LA NISAY. Her garments radiate opulence with hand beaded and embroidered details. Sanah finds inspiration through traveling and exploring the various cultures and traditions. Her Fall collection is specifically inspired by nature, with designs of embellished birds, trees and other aspects of nature based upon travels and escapades with her family. Keep an eye out for this new and emerging designer’s website launch in November, with online purchasing coming shortly thereafter.

G&F CHICAGO DESIGNERS_Sanah Yasin La Nisay_double

WATCH THE G&F INTERVIEW VID WITH SANAH>>

on Leslie: BLACK GRECIAN DRESS, $450. on Sanah: DRAGONFLY NECKLACE TOP, $250.
WEBSITE LAUNCHING IN NOVEMBER. UNTIL THEN, SEE MORE ON INSTAGRAM @LANISAY

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PHOTO: TIMOTHY MUSHO
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: D. GRAHAM KOSTIC
FILM: EMILY HARD
STYLIST: KRISTA KILEY, FORD ARTISTS
MODEL: LESLIE B., 10MGMT
BEAUTY: GOSIA GORNIAK, 10MGMT

ASSISTANT: LARISSA MAY

SHOT ON LOCATION AT AMPERSAND POP UP + TEST KITCHEN