College Couture Week teaches students (and me) Fashion 101 - Chitown Fashionista

27 April 2011 / By Nikia Jefferson

College Couture Week teaches students (and me) Fashion 101

College Couture Week at the University of Illinois ended over a week ago and I’m still on a high!

Fashion Talk was amazing. I, along with Fashion Design professor Susan Becker, had the opportunity to speak to a room of fashion-enthused students about our respective passions. While I focused on fashion blogging and the Chicago fashion scene, Professor Becker touched on her experience in the fashion industry.  Working for designers like Marc Jacobs, Professor Becker shared stories that taught me a a few lessons as well. If only we had her course when I was attending. Who knows what path my post-college career would have taken.

Throughout my entire blogging career, which is all of 2.5 years, I have to say Fashion Talk has been my most rewarding experience to date.  I truly enjoyed sharing my background (e.g. how the London markets led to my creation of ChiTown Fashionista), my achievements as a blogger (e.g. guest blogging for Rue La La) and the recent momentum within the Chicago fashion scene (e.g. Borris Powell’s Oscar Design Challenge win and the Kenmore reality series, “So You Wanna Be a Designer”).


After Fashion Talk, I headed to the Trunk Show, where I had the opportunity to mingle with the students.  I also had my first encounter with the fantastical up-and-coming t-shirt line from Tom and John’s Chocolate Factory, the colorful footwear from BucketFeet and the photography genius Gino Baileau. *more to come on all of them*



That evening, I returned home excited to make the drive back down to Champaign for the finale runway show.

As the official climax to the week-long festivities, the finale runway show was the main attraction. The looks featured designs by Goca Designs, Ciano Von Jo Designs, Kenneth Crowder and Alexandra Forrest – all of which are student designers. Also, my good friend, Jillian of Joules Jewels Vintage, made the trip downstate to showcase her exceptional vintage collection.  The show was cleverly produced, the music was spot-on and the models, both male and female, worked the runway.

Here are some of my favorite moments:






Click HERE to access my Flickr page with even more pics!

From my first encounter with the committee, I knew College Couture Week would be a success.  And I’m pleased to have played a part in this inaugural event.  I’m certain that the next one will be even bigger and better.  Maybe I’ll get to moderate a panel of Chicago fashion insiders….you never know. *wink*  Regardless of my involvement, I will continue to support the College Couture organization as they work to expand fashion on the campus of the University of Illinois.

After this experience, I’m even more proud to be an alum! #GoIllini

Sidenote: Special thanks goes to Jenn Ruppert and the College Couture committee for the invite! And BIG LOVE to hubby, lil sis and my friend Andrea for being my road trip buddies. Your support means the world to mean. xoxo

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About The Author

Nikia Jefferson

Nikia Jefferson is the Founder and Editor of ChiTown Fashionista and has always had an affinity for shoes and shopping, in general. In addition to addressing fashion trends and her latest obsessions, Nikia promotes the remarkable, yet underexposed, local shops and designers she encounters in Chicago and beyond. Deemed as ‘the enabler of fashion consumption’, Nikia works to captivate the hearts of fellow shopaholics by featuring the unique treasures found during her shopping adventures.

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Andrea @LuvSunflower says:

    Nikia,

    Your pics are SUPER FAB!

    I had a blast at this event and I am so looking forward to next year. Although I am not a U of I alum…I too will support College Couture Week. And as your friend I will always support you as well.

    Squeeze hugs to the lil sis!!


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