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With a new season at our heels, we teamed up with Mario Tricoci to spotlight five local designers and five beautiful burgeoning faces to inspire your fall aesthetic. For these style stars, fashion is so much more than the patterned pieces and fastidious silhouettes they create—this group of talented designers see far beyond the world of fast fashion and trends, creating garments that embody a personal philosophy and a culture they strive for.

And what’s a designer without a muse? Mario Tricoci’s annual MARIO, MAKE ME A MODEL modeling competition lends five fresh faces to bring these designers’ pieces to life. You’ll also see them sporting these designers’ goods on September 25th at the Elements of Style runway show to announce the grand prize winner of the competition. Read on to learn how style goes beyond the clothes as each designer divulges their inspirations and influences. Plus, watch the video interviews to get a peek behind their creative process. Your fall wish list is about to get longer, and your sartorial spirit inspired. >>

G&F_Fall Fashion_Mario Tricoci_Mario Make Me A Model_Elena Bobysheva_1Inspired by modern architecture and geometrical shapes, ELENA BOBYSHEVA’s budding namesake label is all about reinventing luxury rooted in sustainability and animal welfare. Elena’s pieces emphasize a feminine silhouette, while experimenting with juxtaposing lines and textures. She explains her hand-crafted designs as deceptive simplicity, and often discovers her best designs from dreams—the deepest, most pure part of her imagination. Even though Elena pays little attention to trends, we asked her about the perfect fall beauty look to pair with her collection. The result? “A dark, bold lip with bare lashes and a very messy knot with loose strands that frame the face.” Now that’s an image getting us giddy for fall fashion!

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second look: JACKET DRESS, price upon request, and STRETCH CREPE DRESS, $760


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Style is a voice, something personal and visceral. A way to present yourself to the world and be perceived. NICOLE MARET designs with exactly this in mind: intention. Long story short: The story behind it is just as important as the garment itself. Nicole explains that her creative process begins with a narrative and a world in which that story exists. The wardrobe for the plot becomes the new collection, defined by what an inhabitant of that world would wear. Jet-black in hue and rebellious in nature, THE ØRDER brings depth to texture and silhouettes, while paying homage to the femme fatale (and with a new line of lingerie-inspired pieces launching this fall, she’s giving the femme fatale more reason to celebrate). And in the world of Fall 2015 runway trends, Nicole is saying yes to the high waist silhouette paired with an extra-wide waistband or belt, a la Vionnet and Givenchy. When Nicole isn’t designing, you can find her collecting 80s vinyl and single-malt scotch, or making greeting cards and learning new magic tricks. Jill of all trades? Seems so.

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first look: BRALETTE, $128, BRIEF, $96, TANK, $118, and OPEN BACK TANK (worn backward), $158
second look: CROP SWEATER, $144 and TANK, $172. All available October.


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For his Fall 2015 collection AYRUN DISMUKE of MISANTHROPE took inspiration from grey skies and polar vortexes. The super stylish collection is perfectly titled the Dark Days/The Disconnect—honing in on the season’s stillness, tranquility and moody qualities. As a self taught designer, Ayrun creates his pieces from what he feels. He explains it as a visual emotion through fabric, taking into account shape, form and texture to create all the styles within a collection. Ayrun’s pieces are also influenced by the avant garde silhouettes of high fashion, infusing layers and depth, organic shape, and an emphasis on tonal subtleties. The result is a comfortable, completely wearable men’s line that borders a soft, androgynous streetwear-look. You can find Aryun’s studio in Ukranian Village and his line at some of our favorite boutiques in the city, like Robin Richman, MildBlend​ and ID Chicago.

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As a young girl, SAHAR DADA remembers watching her mother design and run a traditional Pakistani womenswear brand. She recalls spending summers abroad and navigating chaotic markets, helping her mom pick out the ornate trimmings and luxurious fabrics that would soon be given life into a garment. Sahar’s memories and South Asian roots shape her namesake label, materializing through hand-embellished details, antique gold thread and vibrant silks. Continually inspired by new memories, the Kylie dress design was influenced by an ornate door Sahar came across at Jemaa el Fna Square market in Marrakech. And when she’s not creating playful designs and crafting the perfect embellished details, you can find Sahar relaxing on the Soho rooftop, or binge watching documentaries. For the fashion junkie, she recommends The True Cost.

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first look: KYLIE DRESS, $400
second look: KRISS JUMPSUIT, $195


G&F_Fall Fashion_Mario Tricoci_Mario Make Me A Model_Two Penny Blue_1MARIE WHITNEY believes in the perfect blazer. She also believes in educating girls around the world. Marie’s passions manifest in a collection of classic tailored jackets with a modern twist—think leather lapels or asymmetrical hems. But her sense of modernity truly comes to life with her “buy one, give one” business model rooted in overcoming poverty with access to education. With every TWO PENNY BLUE jacket purchased, a school uniform is donated to a girl in need in Africa, which opens the door to education, self-esteem and a brighter future. Marie’s line is crafted with sophistication and elegance, and redefines style as a platform to empower and educate. And if social change isn’t inspiring enough, Marie’s creative process always brings together her love of travel, art and music to each collection. Say hello to ladylike cool, effortless chic and versatility in every piece.

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first look: VIVIAN LEOPARD TOPPER, $425
second look: PARKER BLAZER in PLAID, $395 and FUR STOLE, $210


Photo + Designer Films: Tim Musho
Creative: D. Graham Kostic
Stylist: Helen Berkun, Ford Artists
Stylist Assistant: Emiley Anne Smith, Ford Artists
Beauty: Mario Tricoci Beauty Artists
Models: Mario, Make Me A Model Finalists
G&F Assistant: Nelissa Carrillo
BTS Film: Justine Burchall

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