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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Fashion Mon Dec 19 2011

Models and Music: Surround Sound of Fashion

Singer/actor Tyrese; Surround Sound of Fashion.

The symbiotic relationship between fashion and music is undeniable -- and at Power 92's Surround Sound of Fashion, the two were definitely displayed in a big way.

This annual showcase for fashion designers and aspiring models, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Windows of Opportunity, an organization that provides scholarships for economically disadvantaged youth, was held last weekend at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph. Twenty male and female models competed in a runway show for a chance at a number of prizes, including an exclusive photo shoot.

For local model Devin Demby, being selected as a Surround Sound of Fashion contestant is a step towards future goals in the fashion and modeling industry. "Just to have an opportunity to be able to do this show is a great experience," he said. "I've done commercials and print ads already, but I'm trying to do more and I think this is definitely going to help me get there."

Thumbnail image for SSOF 4.JPGFashion worn by the models was a mix of both local and national designers including Chicago's The West Englewood Dynasty, Sharon Boucher and Double Stitch, as well as Parish Nation, Pelle Pelle, and Orisue.

In addition to a high-energy fashion and runway show, the audience also enjoyed special performances by newcomer Elle Varner and Grammy-nominated singer and actor Tyrese, who performed some of his greatest hits, including his current chart-topper, "Stay" (written by Chicago singer/songwriter Asaleana Elliott). A former model himself for Tommy Hilfiger and Guess, Tyrese spoke about the impact fashion has on music and vice versa. "They go hand in hand," he said. "I can't picture too many designers actually designing fashion without having some type of music playing in the background." As for plans for his own fashion line someday, it is definitely something he'd consider. "We'll see what happens. I got some big ideas and different things that I want to do in the female space," said Tyrese. "I'm a man's man and I know what I want to see on a woman."

The show also featured a performance by Chicago-based soprano Catalina Cuervo, who was thrilled to be part of the event. "For me, it's something completely different from what I do; I'm an opera singer so it's really super exciting."

Thumbnail image for SSOF 8.JPG
Elle Varner; Surround Sound of Fashion.

Between the fashion designers, models and performers, the spirit of Chicago filled the air--and for Elle Varner, the city has become one of her favorites. "I love this city so much," said Varner. "It's my second time here and I just love it!"

For more information about the show and the final voting period, visit

Photos by Charles Jackson.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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