By JILLIAN OERTEL
Milwaukee isn’t exactly the fashion capital of the world; however, the fashion industry has evolved greatly. With Fashion Weeks soon approaching cities worldwide, where does Milwaukee fit in?
Project One Production is a Milwaukee-based company that organizes an annual industry standard fashion show that brings together a number of different, primarily local talents, including fashion design, photography and orchestrated music. Roche Buford, Project One’s producer and photographer, believes that his efforts at Project One are made to “establish Milwaukee fashion.”
Students and experts alike are at middle grounds with Milwaukee fashion. They see improvements in local trends, and are interested in the differences exhibited at Milwaukee’s nightlife hot spots. However, according to Roche, “Milwaukee fashion is stagnated and the fashion industry really doesn’t have a signature.” Regardless, last year’s fashion show was a great success and employed 25 people from the art and fashion industry.
Lex Jaramillo, founder of OMG Milwaukee, a promotion company for Milwaukee nightlife, notices a big difference in Milwaukee fashion. Jaramillo describes Chicago fashion as having “trendier styles… they care more about what’s ‘in’ and the newest accessories.”
According to Jaramillo, the Chicago fashion scene is slightly more structured than Milwaukee due to higher-fashion retailers located in the heart of Chicago. It is a bigger, trending city, and Jaramillo believes that fashion marketing is more appealing there than it is in Milwaukee.
One thing he has noticed with men’s fashion in Chicago is “a little more European styles…tighter clothing and trendier jeans.” Some trendier jean brands that Jaramillo sees men wearing in Chicago include True Religion, Rock Revival and MEK denim.
Unlike Chicago, Milwaukee allows for more diverse fashion identities and has a more laid-back approach to nightlife dress. Depending on where you go, Milwaukee will definitely define how you dress.
So what are Mount Mary students wearing out on the weekends in Milwaukee? It depends on the area. Students dress accordingly to where they are going. Let’s take a closer look at Milwaukee’s hot spots.
According to the Historic Third Ward Association, the Third Ward is known as “Milwaukee’s Arts and Fashion District.” The Third Ward is trendy and upscale, offering a more mature and relaxed atmosphere. Fashion is still comfortable, but remains upscale and classy.
Top 10 fashion must-haves for fall 2011
- Colorful/detailed pleather jacket: The leather jacket is a piece that can be worn many different ways. This season we are seeing colorful pleather jackets in red, yellow and orange, detailed with lace, rhinestones, chains and studs.
- A pair of dark bedazzled skinnys: Karlyn Laszkiewicz, team leader at the Buckle Mayfair, says that bedazzled skinnys are a must. Two brands that this local retailer can barely keep on their shelves are Miss Me jeans and Rock Revivals. “Everyone wants the bling on their jeans,” said Karlyn. “This will surely be a trend that we will see throughout fall and winter.”
- Over-the-knee boots: An essential for fall in brown, black and grey.
- Mixed prints: Animal, polka-dots, ditsy, Navajo/tribal and abstract prints.
- Lace: Lace is a must-have trend for fall. We will see lace popping up everywhere – dresses, jackets, flyaways, denim, shoes and sweaters! Layer and love your lace!
- A statement clutch: bold colors, textured prints, studs and rhinestones will be a new addition to your traditional clutch this fall. Carrying a bold-colored clutch will be attention-grabbing and a finishing touch to any type of outfit.
- Oxfords: A trend carried over from last winter. A top ‘must have’ will be the oxford in both a flat and most recently in the wedge style. We are seeing the oxford go preppy to sexy with higher platforms in both leather and suede.
- At least one long jacket and one cropped jacket: Mount Mary students better be prepared for the winter. A full-length jacket is a must-have for a woman to stay trendy but warm as she walks to class. A cropped jacket is a must for a night out. We are seeing cropped denim, cotton and wool. The cropped jacket is more for fashion rather than function.
- Thick and chunky knit scarves: Get them in bold colors such as burnt orange, golden rod yellow, plum, red and green.
- Blazer jackets: InStyle Magazine says that a white blazer jacket will be especially popular this fall. Every woman must sport her “Winter White,” according to Chicago Magazine. Mount Mary students are pairing their blazer jackets with high-waisted skirts, leggings and long tanks, and also over colorful fall dresses.