I had the exquisite privilege of meeting this designer at Chicago Cultural Center’s Fashion Cafe for eco-friendly designers. (You might recall Elise Bergman from the same event.) This was my first time attending and it did not disappoint.
The event took place in a marble-walled room with beautiful molded columns and tarnished gold filigree ceilings. Yes, the venue is stunning, but it is far out-shined by the clothing held inside.
My first heart palpitation was at the fault of Abigail Glaum-Lathbury.
Not only my first near-heart attack (beautiful clothing will do that to you), but also one of my first encounters with a Chicago designer and, let me give it to you straight, this city is definitely on the up and up. If the other Chicago designers I met tonight are one iota as stunning as Glaum-Lathbury’s… The fashion world is going to be taken by storm.
Though I have “photographer” on my resume, you wouldn’t know it by the photos I took. I only have my piddly point-and-shoot, which hardly did any of her pieces justice… But on with the show!
If I had to come up with a nickname for Abigail Glaum-Lathbury, it would probably be “Princess of Pleating” or “Duchess of Draping” because each of her garments look as though weeks were spent perfecting each fold, making sure each voluminous pour of fabric was immaculate, and no detail has gone unexamined for perfection. Glaum-Lathbury, who by the way looks like Edna Mode if she were to have traveled back in time to the turn of the century and added some dark pizazz and steampunk flair, is obviously passionate about her craft, and it shines through like a blinding light.
(A good blinding light.)
(Like maybe a light that is so bright, it helps you find the earring you dropped on the floor.)
(Or actually, maybe like a contact lens, because those are a bitch to find one you drop them.)
The designer had two ladies helping her pimp her amazing clothes, who were cute as buttons. They were also wearing her designs which they very sweetly allowed me to photograph.
As soon as I saw this top – I was in love. I adore a strong shoulder (and by “strong” I mean “noticeable but not obvious overkill a la Balmain) and this complimented her frame so well, as it would many other body types – a large part of the reason I love it. It’s made of almost a thermal, waffle-knit material reminiscent of long-johns. I can’t get over my love for unusually-used fabrics (long-johns in a designer, puff-sleeved top? AND it’s all eco-friendly? Just off me now.)
Here’s the other lovely girl helping out Glaum-Lathbury. This piece (described to me as “just a camisole” – HA) looks absolutely basic from the front. As a matter of fact, when I saw this darling head-on, I was ready to use my ADD to mosey along, but once she turned around, I was transfixed. That sentence sounds super pervy, but I assure you – I’m all business. Do you see, now, what I mean about “Duchess of Draping”? She even sat down in a chair and stood back up, keeping each delicate fold perfectly in tact.
Is it a vest? No. It’s a beautiful, cozy, mustard-colored top with a killer serious cowlneck that drapes nearly to the wearer’s navel. The sleeves are long and potentially bra-showcasing, however it’d be easy to wear a camisole underneath it (provided it’s not “just a camisole” like above! That’s a whole lot of bustle!).
I was surprised at the lack of dresses on Glaum-Lathbury’s racks… Most independent designers I’ve seen seem to flock to dresses and give separates and evil stare. Clearly, Glaum-Lathbury is not your typical designer. If my memory serves me right, this is a hand-printed dress – one of few! I love the bold panel at the bottom of the skirt.
This might be my favorite piece from the collection I saw. This skirt is immaculate – high-waisted, assymetrical hem (but not handkercheif, thank GOD), and a beautiful, crossing (or not) set of belts around the narrowest part. The fabric looks a little dull, but I assure you – it’s soft and flowing and airy.
Yet another amazing skirt – this one a little more customizable to the wearer. The snaps you see on the right release beautiful, petal-like panels that create different silhouettes, and can be re=attached to other snaps for a complete skirt overhaul, of you so desire. The fabric is similar to the previous skirt, excpet a little more green in color.
If you’re not enchanted by these shoddy photos, which I wouldn’t be surprised to hear, definitely check out the collections on her site.