Monday, June 30, 2008

CS Magazine Fetes AIBI's Chicago is...Red Hot!

Last Wednesday, CS Magazine rolled out the red carpet at Chaise Lounge to celebrate "The Chicago is...Red Hot! Party" with the Chicago Apparel Industry Board and many of the city's fashionistas. The fête brought about much anticipation for AIBI's fashion show that will take place this September before Fashion Focus. Whitney Lasky (President of the Board) thanked guests and told the crowd that "AIBI's mission is nurturing and supporting designers based in Greater Chicago and is constantly developing new programs to better serve and promote the industry as a whole". She also explained that "they (AIBI) are the only official organization in Illinois specifically dedicated to the needs of the sewn industry." Right after her speech, guests could participate in the live auction with proceeds helping the philanthropic sector of the board. The VIP guests enjoyed beats by DJ Whiteshadow, nibbling on small bites of crab cakes, gourmet cherry tomatoes, and foie gras, while sipping on complimentary cocktails.
Cookie Cohen and Mary Lasky
Jeanette Greer, Lauren Wyka, Caroline DeVillo, Tennille White
Susie McMillin, Audarshia Towsend, Kristen Tischhauser, Halsey Stebbins

Gisele's New Volkswagen Commercial

Gisele Bündchen's new commercial for Volkswagen unveiled in Brazil this past Sunday and showed off the new Gol G5. The commercial had a budget of $5 million, with Gisele getting a whopping $2.5 million for her appearance and Sylvester Stallone getting only $800k. Hey, Ms. Bündchen did have more air time and it just goes to show you that she truly is the highest paid supermodel , ever.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ruslana Korshunova Died from Apparent Suicide

Model Ruslana Korshunova from Kazakhstan passed away yesterday afternoon after a fall from her 9th floor apartment on Water Street in the financial district in Manhattan. Korshunova was featured as "a face to be excited about" in a profile in Vogue in 2005 and in advertisements in Nina Ricci, DKNY, Vera Wang and Christian Dior. "She was one our very good working models. She did a lot of shows and successful campaigns," said Zach Eichman, a spokesman for IMG. "Everyone I have spoken to is very surprised and the feedback I am getting from people is that there was little indication that there was something troubling her and that she was always very happy." Just hours before her death she was with ex-boyfriend Artem Perchenok, 24, watching the movie Ghost. Korshunova was just 20 years old and was to turn 21 in a few days on July 2nd.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Video Fashion Story: Michelle Levelle Boutique's Opening Night Party

Michelle Levelle launched her namesake boutique on June 19th on a rooftop deck at 63 E. Lake Street with models wearing her European labels. Project Runway and Top Model guests mingled with Factio readers, while enjoying the amazing views, lots of champagne and of course, amazing fashion.

Michelle Levelle boutique is located at 63 E. Lake Street Suite 203 and is by appointment only. Contact

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Macy's Joys of Summer Sale- Take 10% to 50% Off!

Sponsored by: - 6.26 - 6.29

Oh, the true joys of summer - lazy days and even lazier shopping! You don't even have to leave the house to enjoy 10% to 50% off your favorite fashion for men, women and baby.
The Joys of Summer. Save 10-50% + values at! Valid 26-June-08 through 29-June-08.

Don't dawdle, sale ends June 29th.

Meet Elise at Roslyn

Meet the extraordinary talented Chicago designer Elise Bergman tonight at Roslyn Boutique for cocktails and to preview her collection.

Thursday, June 26, 2008
Trunk Show
Roslyn Boutique
2035 North Damen, Chicago
5-9 p.m.

She Boutique Celebrates One Year with a Fete

Owner Nicolette Karney

Last night SHE (She Has Everything), an upscale boutique in Lincoln Park, celebrated their one-year anniversary in style with a candyland themed soirée. Upon entering the colorfully decorated shop, guests were handed Prosecco champagne so they could sip while looking through clothing designed by Binetti, Diana Reznik, Enza Costa and many more.

The fashionable sales people were more than happy to help answer any questions or find you the perfect outfit for the coming weekend. While walking through the candy oasis you could watch fashion shows being played on one of the many plasma TVs or just rock out with the 90's tunes being spun by the DJ.

SHE is for the fashion-forward woman who loves colorful, edgy clothes that really show off the female figure. The standout pieces were a short, bronzed bubble dress by Rhys Dwfen and a show-stopping floor length white silk dress with green and red patterns throughout. If you're looking for quality clothes with a rocker feel then SHE definitely 'has everything' you need and much more.

SHE Boutique
1024 W. Armitage
Lincoln Park in Chicago
-Katherine Mingey

Meet Andy D'Auria of Dismero

Meet Andy D'Auria, the owner and designer behind Dismero, a luxury European sportswear boutique on Oak Street in Chicago. He talks to us about style of the American woman, the style of his clothes and (we even get a bit of the interview in Italian). Dismero has store locations in Verona, Italy and Munich, Germany, with a wholesale showroom in NYC. For more information about Dismero, please visit

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gossip Girl Here, Tinsley on Set

Hey all you Gossip Girls. Our favorite New York socialite will hit the small screen this September donning her own Samantha Thavasa handbag. She was spotted filming her cameo role on Monday in Long Island, playing herself and attending a "white party" in the Hamptons. Art imitates life for sure! The "Travis Bag" for Samantha Thavasa by Tinsley Mortimer ($450) will be available this fall exclusively at Samantha Thavasa in NYC. Check out our exclusive interview with Tinsley earlier this spring.


Gossip Girl

Dismero Summer Solstice

Bring in gently used professional clothing, appropriate for spring or summer, to Dismero (50 E. Oak St.; 312.680.6590) from June 26th through 29th. Those who donate receive 20 percent off any yellow or orange items; donated clothing will go to The Bottomless Closet. Also, shoppers receive a glass of ice cold lemonade!

Bottomless Closet provides professional clothing, job readiness, and post-employment training and coaching services to women on assistance and working-poor women.

The mission of Bottomless Closet is to support women in transition by providing business professional clothing, career skills and image coaching, empowering them to interview with confidence, gain employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

DISMERO is located at 50 E. Oak St.; for more information, please visit or call 312.380.6590. DISMERO's store hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday noon – 5 p.m

Michelle Levelle Launch Party

Michelle Levelle with models

On a perfect sunny evening last Thursday, a whirlwind of guests gathered on the glittering rooftop terrace at 63 E. Lake St to fete the much anticipated Michelle Levelle Boutique opening a few floors below.
The rooftop held stunning views of downtown, rivaled only by the sparkling jewelry and scintillating dresses worn by Elite's promo models as they made their way through the crowd wearing the de rigeur European and Asian lines stocked by Levelle. Michelle Levelle offers a unique and diverse collection of cutting-edge international designers and custom creations by Michelle Levelle Couture.

This one of a kind, luxury boutique is right at home in Chicago’s downtown. In addition to her own custom creations, Levelle stocks a multitude of sought after lines that were, until now, difficult to find, stateside. Take for example the hot Malene Birger line, which is exploding in Europe and Asia and has caught the eye of British Vogue, German Elle and many others. Now, thanks to Levelle and her boutique, Chicagoans can finally get ahold of the European trendsetters without leaving town. Other high-end lines from Europe include the German Nicowa and the Scandinavian Designer’s Remix Collection by Charlotte Eskildsen.

Operating under the motto, “From the Runway to the Jetway, Always Land in Style,” everything about the store indulges the jetsetting professional woman of style. The elegant boutique operates by appointment only- so call before stopping in.
As dusk descended on the city and the skyscraper lights began to twinkle, champagne flowed, Melting Pot chocolate fountains rippled and the sound of laughter filled the air as emboldened guests abandoned their heels to dip their pedicured toes in the roof’s lounging hot tub. Now that’s indulgence at its best.

Project Runway's Steven Rosengard
Suite Sisters: Rose and Angelie Anzuree
Michelle Levelle Boutique

All Photos by Alyssa Blanchard

Michelle Levelle Boutique is located at 63 E. Lake Steet, Suite 203, 847.533.6388,
Kari Skaflen

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nordstrom's Fall Fashion Preview 2008

Andrew Gn
Oscar de la Renta

Chicago style scions had a night of fall fashion tonight with a sneak peek of the hottest new looks from Nordstrom. Over 400 guests joined fashionable co-chair and president of Lannon Communications and filled the Chicago History Museum for a sold-out night of crisp autumn collections including Burberry Prorsum, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Missoni and Oscar de la Renta. The evening started out with a champagne-filled shopping session in Nordstrom's pop-up boutique created inside the venue where shoppers could skim the racks for warm weather confections of tweed dresses, wool/cashmere coats, mohair jackets and layered sweaters before heading to the tent for the fashion show. A 56-foot runway, enhanced with video and theatrical lighting set the stage for models decked out in Factio favorites - Andrew Gn's black/white tweed coat had a French and girly feel, Nina Ricci's chocolate leather bomber jacket had us channeling James Dean and Oscar de la Renta - oh Oscar, you never disappoint. We loved his grey cashmere knit beaded cardigan, paired with a satin bubble-hem skirt, among many others. "There were so many gorgeous fashions in the Nordstrom Designer Preview, it is hard to pick favorites. Some of the fashions from the show that I am eyeing for myself this fall include a quilted, metallic copper trench from Burberry, a simple black and white tweed dress from Oscar de le Renta with metallic detail and any item from the Peter Som collection - simply fabulous looks that can transition from business meeting to cocktail party, which I always need," said Carrie Lannon.

The event raised $70,000 for the Chicago Historical Society's Costume Council. Nordstrom is located at 55 East Grand Avenue in Chicago, shop online at

Guests took home a fashionable serving plate specially designed by artist R. Toledo (which we look forward to adding to our collection of cups, plates and teapots from previous years).
-Melissa Maynard

Co-Chair Carrie Lannon was a scene stealer in Donna Karan

I’m in love with Donna Karan this season. The over-size collared coats are really amazing and the chiffon dresses (the ones that plunged dangerously low!) were absolutely stunning. It was the perfect mix of high and low and the jewel toned color palette is so sophisticated and easy on the eyes," said D. Graham Kostic, Fashion Associate of Modern Luxury Magazines and Host of Glossed and Found.

Designer Maria Pinto always looks stunning

We love Kimberly Burt's See by Chloe dress just bursting with color, and her classic beige Kate Spade pumps, accented with a hot pink YSL clutch

"The show was fantastic! I really loved the collection Missoni showed, in particular the black reversible "Norma" coat and the charcaol knit "Beatrys" cardigan. I also loved Marc Jacobs' taupe off-should coat. And I just adored the Oscar de la Renta black silk faille gown with the gold leaf embroidery - spectacular!
Kimberly Burt

White Haute: looking crisp in summer white

Check out the videos to see for yourself...

Nina Ricci


Oscar de la Renta

Photos and video by Factio Media

Miu Miu Names Vanessa Paradis as New Face

Miu Miu follows the foot steps of Chanel by having Vanessa Paradis be their new face. Miu Miu chose her because she embodies the Miu Miu woman - elegant and independent. Vanessa's undoubted beauty is sure to take this Milan based line to the next level. Replacing Kristen Dunst, the French actress/singer prepares for the Fall '08 campaign with noted photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. With Miuccia Prada at the helm of Miu Miu, it's only a matter of time before the label becomes just as iconic as its sister label Prada.
-Chavo Killingsworth

Chicago Sidewalk Sale on Daley Plaza

Mark your calendars, you savvy fashionistas because on July 22nd and 23rd get ready for fashion to take over the Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago!

Who: Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs is pleased to present the Chicago Sidewalk Sale. This second annual fashion event will bring Chicago boutiques and designers together for one easy to shop spot. From shoes to clothes to jewelry, there will be something for everyone. Spend the lunch hour on Daley Plaza enjoying a fashion show featuring local designers and view some of this seasons hottest looks.

Where: Daley Plaza, 50 West Washington Street

July 22 & 23, 10a.m. - 3p.m.
Fashion show, Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Designers featured include: K. Amato Designs, Dollybird Design, Nubian Creation and Pretty Afrika, She Beads, Objets d'Envy, Veronica Riley Martens, Tonya Gross millinery, Kate Boggiano, Lee Allison Company, Sojourn, The Tie Bar, Elysabeth Alfano, Bead Designs By Dana, LuDia Couture Designs, VZuniga Designs, Cristy Ann Jewelry, Liquid Couture, rach b jewelry, Soledad Designs, Phizzaz Designs, Plein Aire.

Boutiques featured include: 1154 LILL Studio, Genesis (Kreative Soul), Florodora, House of Sole, five Accessories, Eco-Series by E.G. Jewelry, and Habit.

Please note: Fashion Show to be held at Noon both days

Monday, June 23, 2008

Enjoliver Jeans

Enjoliver Jeans are sophisticated trousers that intertwines tailored lines with sexy textures, a perfect alternative to denim. "This is not your mother's power lunch trouser, these are for girls that are trendy but want a more sophisticated look," says founder Jennifer Karuletwa. If you're wanting to grab everyones attention when you walk in a room, then this is your trouser as they are designed to accentuate all of a woman's natural assets. This trouser is truly a staple in the modern woman's wardrobe. "Enjoliver is filling a huge void in the contemporary market. We are unique in offering a pant that is the main focus of an outfit, the trouser gets all the attention. Enjoliver has created pants that have attention grabbing details like heavy gold chains, gold palm leaves & heart patches on the bum. Enjoliver's bottom line is that each pair of pants has to be able to be worn with a wife beater & accessories and have you looking fabulous," adds Karuletwa.

For fall '08, look forward to combined textures and men's style trends.
"I was inspired by the menswear trend, but wanted to put a feminine spin on it. So I combined pin stripes with lace trims, I combined beautiful wool gabardine with satin and kept the color palette bleak, except for the pop of magenta silk, lining the waistband. The silhouettes for fall were a mix of the classic tuxedo pant to a high waisted wide leg with a heart patch on the back pockets. There is something for everyone, this collection was intended to have the ability to fit into any wardrobe, whether you're 50 and want something classic or you're 25 and want something fun. You can totally mix your own personal style with this collection, rock it with a t-shirt, wife beater or something already in your closet," says Karuletwa. Visit to find a store that carries Enjoliver Jeans near you.
-Chavo Killingsworth

Meet Monica Dimperio of at Cynthia Rowley

Monica Dimperio of

Monica Dimperio is the go-to gal for street style in the Midwest. Meet the lover of fashion, style blogger (she runs which showcases fashionable people in Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee and such) and fashion stylist this Thursday at Cynthia Rowley in Bucktown, 1653 N. Damen from
4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy her style tips while you sip champagne. We caught up with her pre-event to see what she loves from Cynthia, styles she's drawn to and what every girl should have ready to go in her closet!
Mr. Pink spotted in Chicago - Daley Plaza
I noticed him from down the block. Not many guys can pull off the pink but he did and he did it very well. I also thought the scarf was a great touch."

This couple was spotted in Chicago's Lincoln Park
"In a couple, one is always more fashionable but these two seemed pretty balanced and they kind-of matched, too. I also loved how her bright orange bag popped from their earthy color pallet."

What are your top 5 current picks from Cynthia Rowley?

Leopard Print Dress, Cynthia Rowley, $350

Monica says, "When you wear leopard print expect heads to turn. I think this dress combines the sex appeal of leopard with an unexpected flowy shape to make this piece both classy and sassy. I would pair it with black tights and a fun patent accessories for the ultimate rocker chic look."

Sateen Dress, Cynthia Rowley, $420

Monica says, "You can never have too many LBD's in your closet and the Sateen Dress is definitely one that I would love to add to my collection. The cutouts on this dress are a fun trend to work into your wardrobe and the belted silhouette is perfect for my hourglass figure."

Summer Cashmere Long Cardigan, Cynthia Rowley, $385

Monica says, "I'm one of those girls that is always a bit chilly and the only cure is to always carry a sweater...even in the dead of summer! The Summer Cashmere Long Cardigan is a lightweight piece that will go with almost anything and won't be a bother to throw in your bag if you happen to get warm."

Racerback Blazer, Cynthia Rowley, $385

Blazers ALWAYS pull an outfit together. What this piece of outerwear does differently than most others, is give you a crisp look in front and a little fun in the back. It's a super-fun alternative to boring blazers.

Bubblewand Necklace, Cynthia Rowley, $150

Monica says, "I'm a sucker for whimsical jewelry. Diamonds and pearls are obvious classics but fun pieces like this Bubblewand Necklace is a great addition to any jewelry box. It's something that will aways spark a conversation or add panache to an otherwise simple outfit."

What should every woman have in her wardrobe?
I think every woman should have the basic essentials in her wardrobe like the LBD, white button down, fitted blazer and a stylish black pump. Though, as natural born shoppers, women tend to buy impulsively (Funky red shoes. Black pants one-size-too-big, ON SALE! ) instead on concentrating on the necessities. It is important to have a wide array of go-to accessories to jazz up an outfit but, ultimately, the outfit is a mess without a good foundation.

Do you have a certain style that you're drawn to?
I love fashion so it's hard for me to peg myself into one category. I have to say that I tend to dress pretty classic but I like to add punk rock details and vintage accessories

Do you have a favorite season? If so, what do you like about it?
I absolutely love fall! The colors and textures are always so much richer during this season. Mustard and burnt orange are two of my favorite colors and it's a little harder to pull them off in the warm summer months. Also, scarves and outerwear, my wardrobe obsessions, are finally able to come back out of hiding. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to wear short sleeves all year!

What is your favorite aspect about Cynthia Rowley designs?
I like Cynthia Rowley's designs mainly because her pieces are cut to flatter most body types. As a curvy woman, I know the disadvantages that come with shopping for designer clothing. Many designers still cut for a model figure, but Cynthia Rowley definitely offers shoppers a choice of silhouettes that will fit anyone from a ruler to an hourglass. I also love the little vintage details in her current spring line which I noticed on the rick rack skirt and several of the dresses.

RSVP for this event by clicking here.

She Boutique Celebrates One Year with a Party this Thursday!

She Boutique (1024 W. Armitage) invites you to “Explore the Sweet Side of Fashion” at SHE’s one-year Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, June 25th 2008 from 7-9pm. The event co-sponsored by LUCKY Magazine and Prosecco Champagne will feature fashions in the season’s sweetest colors – perfect for adding some new additions to your summer wardrobe! Complimentary Prosecco Champagne and treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar will be available as well. SHE will be turned into a virtual candy-colored oasis as the floor will become the Candyland board game! Guests will also spin the candy-colored wheel to receive 20% off their SHE purchase.
RSVP Now at, as space is limited!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Video Interview with Gela Nash-Taylor of Juicy Couture

Juicy Couture recently launched two Chicago area stores and we had the chance to catch up with one of the co-founders, Gela Nash-Taylor to see how they started it all, find out about new lines and to get a look at her favorite places to travel.

This video was produced by Factio Media. Interview by Melissa Maynard.

Runway To Retail: The Making of Princess Catherine (Kate) Middleton

Catherine (Kate) Middleton

Kate Middleton, or shall we say, Catherine is on the minds of a lot of people these days. With rumors of a royal engagement swirling all eyes are on the princess in making. We take a look back at the style of one of the luckiest girls in the world.

Kate Middleton looks great sipping champagne in a floral dress, made a bit more serious with a light pink blazer.
This printed flower frock is only $22.80 at Forever 21, as not all of us have a princely budget.
This Germano Zama Blazer from Yoox, $119, will add just the crispness needed for a floral frock

This is classic Kate and very simple for any girl to attain.
Do you notice a trend? Kate gives her outfits a little serious boost with a simple blazer. This black one by Karl Lagerfeld is a staple for any woman, let alone one that wants to snag a royal. Was, $1,050, Now $525. NET-A-PORTER.COM

Kate looked sleek in a stunning, long turquoise dress by BCBG Max Azria.
Consider this for your next black tie gown. This draped Sue Wong dress can help you re-create the look, $415. Shop

We just can't get enough of the silhouette of this dress.
This Emilio Pucci captures the style we were after and it's yours for $3,065. NET-A-PORTER.COM
Kate Middleton looking stylish in a light, lace cocktail dress.
This Marchesa embroidered dress is picture perfect for a princess in making. Was, $5,445, Now $3,811.50. NET-A-PORTER.COM

Kate pulls it all together with a crisp white coat, accented with black buttons.
The Derek Lam oversized double-breasted coat is that investment piece that will get you looking like a princess. Was, $2,890, Now $1,445. NET-A-PORTER.COM

Interested in a real Cinderella story? Find out how Kate stole the heart of Prince William...