07/17/2013 11:25 am ET Updated Sep 16, 2013

Windy City Style Spotlight: SAIC Presents Fashion 2013 (PHOTOS)

Fashion Week featuring men's and haute couture collections debuted earlier this month in Paris with Gaultier and Valentino leading the pack. Chicago had its own taste of high fashion with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) 79th annual showcase of their brilliant students' work at Millennium Park for the end of the school year.

The undergraduate curriculum in Fashion Design at SAIC is based on courses that provide a solid foundation in drawing, draping, pattern-making, and garment construction. These courses combine historical research with contemporary exploration that extends each student's perspective of the traditional boundaries of fashion to examine clothing as it relates to culture, performance, costume, and art.

Stand out collections included senior Savannah Cipriano's technologically-centric dresses that included laser cut outs and sheer paneling on mostly nude-colored fabrics. Junior Jordan Kiehle's sumptuous collection of Baroque-inspired gowns played with rich textures, heavy brocade materials, and layered intricate details combining the dramatic flair of 17th century with slick modern silhouettes. Senior Sam Salvo's stark men's collection featuring bondage-inspired looks was one of the more ready-to-wear collections featured in the show. Its dark palette, leather and fur details and use of wool would be easily found in a fashion-forward Chicagoan's closet ready for winter.

It was incredibly inspiring to see such impeccable craftsmanship and unbridled risks taken by such fresh talent. Truly one of the best Chicago fashion shows of the year, I'm looking forward to what SAIC has in store for Chicago next year! Until then, check out my favorite pieces in the gallery below.

Windy City Style Spotlight: SAIC Fashion Show