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Maybe you were following our lead-up coverage of The School of the Art Institute event last week - so you knew about the tent, the mega scholarships, and Ikram receiving the Legend of Fashion Award presented by Sally Singer. We've had the weekend to recover and we'd like to bring you up to date on Ikram's acceptance speech and who showed up to the party.
The evening showing was even more smooth than the preview we brought you last week. There was even a few added garments (and models). Personalities, industry fixtures, and legends showed up to support the students. Among the crowds were Kim Johnson, Mickey Boardman, Candid Candace aka Candace Jordan, Gillian Carrera, Kristin Mariani, Cheryl Pope, Kristina Sparks, Jason Wu, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Kim Hastreiter from Paper, Jen Grygiel, Jenna Lyons, Amy Tara Koch, and Desiree Rogers. Just when the crowd settled into the show and the final looks were walking the runway, we heard a sudden thick shushing sound creep in on the music: rain.
The sound continued as Sally Singer was prefacing the award with reminisce of Ikram's behavior at fashion weeks around the world, thunder shook the tent and flashes of lightning were visible through the white vinyl ceiling . The rain was pouring and in this epic setting after the largest show SAIC has ever had, Sally went on about Ikram.
"Its her mission to make the streets of the city as dramatic and jaw-dropping and visually alive at the catwalks that we sit at in these strange garrets in Paris and London and downtown New York. She does this joyfully and democratically with the work of designers large and small; iconic and emerging. There are no boundaries and there are no prejudices - and that itself in fashion is an enormous feat."
"She champions great design wherever she finds it because she knows it shapes our experience of the world in a beautiful and positive way. New ideas after all keep us on our toes and keep us moving forward. They can come in a dress or a painting or a building. I think fashion is an art always because by definition here today and gone tomorrow but it stimulates all those senses, all those whiskers."
Ending her intro with an antidote about her humble knowledge of how fashion becomes art and how Ikram knows this practice better than her (we're not forgetting Vogue and T) Sally hands off the podium to the star of the evening.
As Ikram takes the microphone and sets down the reflective metal quasi-concave award, she begins by thanking all who she works with, her clients and lets the audience in on the source of her inspiration: the people she has interactions with each day.
"I feel blessed to be able to do something I love, I also feel blessed to have met Joan Weinstein, the legendary founder of Ultimo. Many of you know Joan Weinstein - she set me on the path where I am today. Were it not for Joan who guided me and inspired me I never would have followed a career in fashion and I never would have developed the aesthetic and business skills I have today. She was incredible. Joan was larger than life; she was a visionary and a force in the fashion industry. She created a beautiful and captivating world around her and invited you to enjoy her. While many of the people here have shaped who I am today, my friends, Christy, Jonathan, Carolyn, David, Meagan, Joan had the most influence on my development in the world of fashion. She built a fashion empire in Chicago and trained so many people who have gone on to create successes on their own and I am fortunate to have been one of them. Were it not for Joan, I would not be here today to accept this award and so I would like to dedicate this award to my friend and mentor Joan, who is not with us today."
Through tears, Ikram continues as she's about to announce the scholarship recipients,
"Tonight is really about the students. I've spent the past few months working closely with the students and they are hard-working and amazing and incredibly talented as you saw tonight. They bled for this show- they knew what they were up against. I have seen their hard work and I've seen their collections and I'm very impressed with the results. I want to make sure everyone knows this was a really hard decision."
The award recipients whom Ikram had announced were as follows:
Jacqueline Kims - A one year paid internship with Jack McMullen and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler.
Erin Pianetto - A one year internship with Jenna Lyons and the design team at J Crew.
Alena Savinova - A $30,000 scholarship from an anonymous donor who was sitting in the audience.
Macie Francis - Won a $25,000 scholarship donated by Ikram and Josh Goldman.
For a complete list of award recipients visit the school's website.
Then the students walked the runway with their designs: