In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Frank Lloyd Wright in 2017, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust and the Fashion Design Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) have created the Wright 150 Fashion Design Awards.

The junior class of fashion design students from SAIC toured Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, which is maintained and operated by the Trust, and created original design proposals for garments inspired by Wright’s iconic architecture.

SAIC’s Fashion Design faculty members Abigail Glaum-Lathbury and Annie Novotny then selected 10 semi-finalists. Chicago History Museum Curator of Costumes, Petra Slinkard; Trust Curator, David Bagnall; and Ms. Glaum-Lathbury served as the design jury led by SAIC’s Associate Professor and Sage Foundation Chair Anke Loh. Ms. Loh and Celeste Adams, CEO of the Trust, awarded a first and second prize, plus two honorable mentions.

Hana Chang won first prize for a long coat reflecting the jewel-like character of Robie House as its inspiration, referencing its larger aesthetic concept. Robie House is often described as a jewel box and as the jewel in the crown of Chicago architecture – an icon of modernism. Chang’s colorful laser-cut applications, entirely her own designs, demonstrate a creative approach that creates a unique work of art.

Xinyi (Teresa) Lin won second prize, with a jacket dress that takes its inspiration from the windows of Robie House. A dress in deep yellow with horizontal strokes of green and brown is overlaid with a transparent plastic jacket. Its structured sleeves and high collar are detailed with geometric patterns of her own design.

The work of Maria Beniaris and Scarlet Le also garnered honorable mentions from the panel. Beniaris’ proposal for a layered gown was inspired by the varied wall textures and soft earth tones of the Robie House interior. Lin’s evening dress, inspired by the architectural plans for Robie House, combines the contours of architectural drawing with garment design in an engaging proposal that explores form and transparency.

The finalist designs include works by: Peggy Cao, Tianna Shiaochao Liu, Kelley O’Brien, Lexus Wang, Ching Yeh, and Shuyi Zeng.

The garments will be featured at Fashion 2017, a one-night only showcase of student creations, taking place May 5 at VenueSix10 at the Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit saic.edu/fashion2017.

The award-winning garments also will be on display on May 18 at Wright Night in The Rookery Building, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust annual benefit event and kickoff to the Wright Plus 150 Housewalk weekend. For more information, contact Wright Trust Director of Development Tom Gull at 312.994.4010 or tgull@flwright.org.

Frank Lloyd Wright and School of the Art Institute Announce Wright 150 Fashion Design Award Recipients

Sketch by Wright 150 SAIC Fashion Design Award first place winner Hana Chang (image courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust).

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