The Art Institute's fashion design program's graduate fashion show is one of my favorite runway shows of the year. It's always a big, elegant affair with beautiful sets, a silent auction (the best kind of auction) and heartfelt remarks, and an added creative element. Even though it's the school's largest annual fundraiser (for its scholarship programs), it's always a fashion show, though other departments take turns pitching in.

This year it's the animation department, which lends itself to this year's "Drawing the Line" title and also promises "animation fashion installations." But the real meat of the matter are the 20+ Senior Collections making their debut—the prospect of fresh blood being a very tantalizing one to someone who covers local fashion weekly daily. It's true that some of these designers will be snapped up by the local biggies and it may be the only time we see them design under their own names. But, some of them also stick around to become fixtures on and contributors to the independent scene, and I'm always excited to meet them. Plus the energy and excitement is infectious! You should check it out if you've never been:

This year it returns to Pure Space on Saturday, June 1. The silent auction starts at 6:30 pm, with showtime scheduled for 8. Tickets are $20 and available here.