Gapers Block has ceased publication.

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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Monday, December 4

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Event Thu Jun 28 2012

High Design: Anna Hovet & the ROOF Runway Series

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The idea of an emerging Chicago fashion community has been one of the inhibiting, not strengthening forces for Chicago designers. "Emerging" suggests a path from A to B or steps a community, a city must take to make it established, respected, and part of the crowd. But the true Chicago creatives think differently, if not practically. Chicago can never be the new New York on a logistical (a lack of manufacturing resources) or cultural (a lack of outlets for exposure) level. But Chicago succeeds in its ability to nurture singular designers and talents. One such designer, Anna Hovet, will present a collection of her past work at the newly-launched ROOF Runway series. Hovet's show takes place tonight, with additional shows running once a month through October 11.

What separates the ROOF's programming from the coasts is the accessibility of the local designers to the audience. Guests may purchase items "right off the runway," meaning, as soon as they go home, they can purchase the sweatshirts, tees, and dresses modeled minutes earlier. The runway series will feature Chicago-based designers or boutiques that cater to people who live and work in the area. A showcase for local talent, the shows also fulfill a long-standing interest from locals to view the sort of runway shows that are typical of the other coasts. Last year, ROOF hosted runway events with Akira and Sofia to immediate success. With a focus on the local as well as specialty cocktails designed to partner with the runway fashions and a major cosmetic renovation that includes a retractable glass roof and new lighting system, the demand and interest is likely to increase.

"My clothing is very easy for girls to wear, but it's not necessarily runway looks," Hovet said. Chicago is a very conservative and safe city when it comes to personal style and aesthetics. Locals want clothes that they can wear everyday. Hovet's designs - reversible hoodies, convertible jersey dresses, snappy tees that hug the body dreamily - appeal easily.


But her choice in designing for her market doesn't deter her from incorporating unique elements to give her pieces an edge. She designs for the urban customer who loves streetwear and will wear something different, but not too different. An SAIC grad, Hovet said, "Even though my clothing is very wearable, I still have that artist/designer background. It still has to have that artist background in order to get my creative juices flowing and make sure I'm not doing something that's been done before."

Her latest collection was inspired in part by the Art Institute's recent Lichtenstein exhibition. "For any collection, I go to the Art Institute and the MCA, just to get my brain working," she said. Aesthetics of 50s and 60s comic-book girls took precedent as Hovet combined prints like polka dots with her signature color blocking that enhances and appreciates the female form, rather than distract from it.

"I love the female form. I love a woman's body," she began. "I love playing with lines on her body to create different proportions on her body."

In addition to her womenswear line, Hovet will also introduce a new menswear line (named Hovet) that will include items such as her sleeveless hoodies originally designed just for women. Despite the intention of creating the pieces for womenswear, Hovet notes that sweatshirts period were her biggest sellers in the fall and the summer. Regardless of sex, Hovet insists that she creates clothing for her male and female customers similarly. "I design what I would want to wear," she said.

The ROOF Runway series begins tonight at 7pm, but guests are encouraged to arrive early. The event is free. ROOF on theWit is located at 201 N. State St., 27th floor. The rest of the schedule is below.

June 28 - Anna Hovet
July 12 - Jim Mullen Swimwear
August 9 - cityblue
Sept 13 - Miriam Cecilia
October 11 - Haberdash

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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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