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A contest in honor of fashion designer Charles James, originally designated for Columbia College, has now branched out to all design colleges in the city. The winning garments inspired by the man known as American’s first couturier will be placed in the Charles James Exhibition at the Chicago History Museum. For six months, students have been researching and recreating their own takes on James' intricate ball gowns, capes, and elaborate jackets.
The outcome can be as simple or avant-garde as the designer wants, but only one look can be submitted. In May, each school selects finalists that will be featured in the Dress Code fashion show in the fall. The exhibition at the Chicago History Museum opens in October. - Shelby Steiner