Singularity is important to Gillion Carrara. “Artists,” says the professor and director of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fashion Resource Center, “want to be different.” Carrara, who is also a metalsmith and jewelry designer, honed her style during her early career as a textile designer in Milan. “I didn’t want to be one of those women that wore small shocking-pink or shocking-green suits,” she says, noting that she also couldn’t afford the latest runway looks on a designer’s salary. Instead, she adopted a sensible Italian chic: “I knew that if I got a great black dress and a great black coat I could wear it almost all the time. So that’s what I was interested in. Wearing black and being seen as different.” She never looked back — today you’ll spot her bold shadow slicing through Chicago’s urban landscape, a vision in every version of noir.
– Cindy Dampier