As we unwillingly escort summer out of lives, we’re slowly getting excited for a new sartorial season. And this Fall, we’ve got our eyes on five designers who are inspiring us to look beyond our closets and define how we identify style. For these five determined designers, fashion goes beyond each piece they create. Their experiences and ideologies manifest through every detail and miniscule process—creating designs that embody their perspective of the world around them.
Each of these designers recently got a nod from Chicago beauty favorite Mario Tricoci who have tapped this style set to show their collections at the Mario, Make Me A Model 2016 finale (And bonus: see the Mario Tricoci fresh faces bring these designer’s pieces to life in our Rock City editorial). Each designer represents a unique style within the industry, calling on their extraordinary talents to tell a story through tailored garments. Follow along as we give you a snapshot of each designer’s creative process and the influences that shape their memorable brand identities. Your fall wardrobe just got a lot more exciting.
Short for preserve, PRSVR is run by husband-wife duo BRANDON AND MARGARET WILLIAMSON redefining luxury ath-leisure wares. Their West Town flagship is full of their streetwear-inspired threads, accessories and footwear for the elevated, urban family—including pint-sized pieces for your stylish babe. PRSVR’s fall collection is all about the modern urban cowboy—man or woman!—who is not afraid to take charge, get dirty, and look good doing it all. Brandon explains the biggest challenge in the design process is the journey of a piece. From mind to notebook to the rack, pieces can look very different. Citing Ralph Lauren and J Dilla as creative inspiration, it’s easy to see that PRSVR is always on a constant journey to perfection. If you’re looking for a little extra street cred this fall, Brandon’s must-haves include clean denim, a wool statement coat and—one of G&F’s favorites—the PRSVR strap boot.
NICOLE MARET describes The Order’s fall collection as a visual and conceptual deconstruction of the wolf archetype and the striking contradiction of forces that the female wolf embodies: independent yet loyal and dangerous yet vulnerable, she can manifest neither extreme without the presence of the other. We love the way Nicole incorporates lingerie into this collection, forming a rigid yet sensual femininity aesthetic. The softer, lingerie-inspired pieces are akin to the wolf’s inner vulnerability, while the more structured pieces represent her exterior armor. Nicole suggests her pieces worn in sets as a metaphor for the emotional strength we construct to protect what we cherish beneath the surface. Her moody yet sanguine designs are are bound to leave you feeling sexy and confident.
ANNA BROWN has an affinity for vintage photographs, people in various uniforms and mid-century design. When she’s lacking in inspiration, a trip to the Art Institute often shakes an idea or two loose. If that doesn’t work, she calls on her self-proclaimed artistic holy trinity: Gerhard Richter, Yohji Yamamoto and João Gilberto. Anna’s namesake line pays homage to her inspirations and influences with subtle asymmetry, ethereal drama and architectural lines. The most challenging part of designing? Sticking to a plan, Anna says. Each new design opens endless variations—but Anna’s restraint is one of her most endearing qualities as a designer. Anna knows a piece is finished when she can reign in her original idea, and reduce it down to what feels essential to the design.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, LAURA DELMAN is all about evolution. After her husband’s sudden death, she knew that she had to reinvent herself to channel her grief and energy. All of Laura’s collections are inspired by rebirth with an emphasis on asymmetry and reimagining the use of classic fabrics. Her attention to detail can be seen in silk screen imagery that’s often used to mimic hand painting. Some of Laura’s inspiration draws from Erte’s fashion illustrations, art deco jewelry, and her travels. Her fall line features sustainable fabrics made in the US and boasts a warm palette reminiscent of dusk. Although a Chicago native, Laura’s studio is based in Brooklyn, where she brings to life her favorite pieces for fall: jacquard dresses, organza skirts and wide leg trousers.
BRANDI ARCHER always had an eye for style, but it wasn’t until her final year of law school that she realized her dream of Suki + Solaine could be a reality. She recruited designer and Alexander Wang-alum NICOLE PUSZYNSKI to lead apparel design and hone the Suki + Solaine identity with her penchant for clean lines and easy, sporty luxury. This season, Nicole turns to nature for inspiration, sourcing topography and geodes as the influence for their fall collection. The passionate duo works tirelessly to create the best fit and feel for their customers. They spend hours sourcing the best fabrics to make sure a garment is easy to wear and at the right price point. And most importantly? It fits the lifestyle of their shopper. And that’s the easy part: Brandi and Nicole together create a harmonious vision that exudes from every detail.
Want more? See our Fall Fashion editorial “Rock City” featuring these five design talents.