Posted inArts & Culture

Curtains

Jessica Graham, 36, is a sales rep for Maharam, a textile company with offices in the Merchandise Mart. She makes clothes for herself and occasionally other people. Heather Kenny: Do you ever use fabric from where you work? Jessica Graham: I did a selection for a fashion show just for fun that was auctioned off. […]

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Short Shorts

Sean Eagan, 21, rode his bike here from Kansas City, where he used to help run a live/work/play space called Sleeper Cellar. He’s been in Chicago a few weeks and figures he’ll stick around a few more. Liz Armstrong: What’re you doing here? Sean Egan: Drawing pictures and drinking and going to shows. LA: Are […]

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Creative Cutting

Matthew Churney, 47, has been cutting elaborate patterns into his T-shirts for the past 20 years. He’s also occasionally made pieces for other people–including Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain. Liz Armstrong: What do you call what you do? Matthew Churney: Razor-cut work. People, if they want to get fancy, would call […]

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The Dandy Shoe Salesman

Dustin Senovic, 21, who sells shoes at City Soles by day, is a self-proclaimed dandy by night. Liz Armstrong: You look very Oscar Wilde. Is that what you were going for? Dustin Senovic: I guess you could say I pull some things from that period, but I wasn’t really going for a particular era. LA: […]

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Choke Sneaks

You’ve probably seen Joe Suta’s artwork outdoors–under the name Choke, he’s spray painted or wheat pasted every part of Chicago I’ve ever been to. But recently he’s taken it inside, for gallery shows, mural commissions, and a side hustle in custom-painted Nikes. Miles Raymer: You’ve been painting Dunks. Joe Suta: I’ve been painting shoes for […]

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The Edwardian Cowboy

Lawrence Peters, 40, drums for the psychedelic band Plastic Crimewave Sound and plays washboard and sings in the country act Hardscrabble. Heather Kenny: You’re known in the local music scene for the way you dress. When did you start paying attention to clothes? Lawrence Peters: My mom was pretty liberal–she let me dress myself. There […]

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Made You Look

Kerry Vitali, 41, is a graphic designer at Houghton Mifflin. She’s partial to vintage clothes and especially hats; she guesses this one is from the 1940s. Heather Kenny: Your jacket’s vintage, but you sewed that patch on it. What does the y stand for? Kerry Vitali: It’s kind of for people to ask what it’s […]

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Confidence

Natasha Ghosn came from Houston to attend the School of the Art Institute. Liz Armstrong: You dress pretty mod. Natasha Ghosn: About mod culture, specifically, it’s actually really lame. All these kids now are trying to be authentic mod–but mod was pills and dancing and being rail thin. LA: Has anyone told you that you […]

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The Ching-Ching Sound

Castro–just Castro–a 34-year-old clothing and jewelry designer, came to Chicago from Ohio in 2003. Though he prefers to take custom orders, you can find some of his designs at Robin Richman and Art Effect. Liz Amrstrong: Your shirt looks complicated. Did you make it? Castro: Originally I made the applique and put it on a […]

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Got That, PETA?

Joel Loera, 20, studies advertising at Columbia College and works part-time at Barneys New York. He also has a line of hand-painted and -embroidered T-shirts that he sells at a boutique in his native Saint Louis; he’s looking for a Chicago outlet. Heather Kenny: You don’t see a lot of men wearing fur these days, […]

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Full-Body Fishnet

Eleanor Balson plays music, teaches yoga, and runs her own children’s entertainment company, making balloon animals, painting faces, and occasionally dressing as the Sugar Plum Fairy. She’s about to move to San Francisco; her final performance as the techno-noise act Soft Serve is January 28 at Heaven Gallery, and her final appearance with Lovely Little […]

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Happy Thoughts

Simone Maurer, 28, moved to Chicago last year from her native Germany. She works as a freelance window dresser and visual marketer. Heather Kenny: Don’t take this the wrong way, but you look like a grown-up kid–you like to wear colorful clothes with things like mushrooms and bunnies on them. Simone Maurer: That’s how I […]

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Amassments

Aay Preston-Myint is a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He cofounded the Chicago Tapes Project, subject of an earlier Reader story, and teaches art to little kids. Liz Armstrong: Did you make the shirt you’re wearing? Aay Preston: Yeah–over time I just start amassing fabric scraps I find. It’s a […]