Friday, February 29, 2008

Cyber Deals: Exclusive Web Deals!

We've scoured the web for exclusive web deals! Happy Shopping!

Calvin Klein Loom Select Organic Weave Area Rug
We love this organic CK rug (pictured), especially how the prices are slashed in half.

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Free Clarins beauty gift with any two-item Clarins purchase, see details at

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Solutions Skincare Special: Any 2 for $11.99!

SAIC'S Sage Studios

The School of the Art Institute Chicago has opened Sage Studios! The doors to many of the classrooms in the 25,000 square ft. Sage Studios opened into rows of shiny sewing machines that glistened. In another, walls of tiled photographs papered the wall and cloth mannequins adorned in students’ designs beckoned. The only thing amiss about the picture is instead of students hard at work, a stunning crowd filled the fabrication ateliers and hallways of the new Sage Studios for Fashion Design. Soon enough, the fashion design students will be hard at work, heads bowed at sewing machines, bent over sketches, cutting patterns and pinning hems; but this evening was about relaxation and celebration.

The dedication of the Sage Studios in the historic Sullivan Center at
36 S. Wabash was marked by an exciting evening filled with some of the city’s biggest fashion philanthropists, educators and creators. The reception honored the generosity of Melissa Sage Fadim and the Sage Foundation who’s support and enduring belief in the fashion program made the large new studio and equipment possible.

The school was also marking another milestone with the up-coming launch of its Master of Design in Fashion, Body and Garment in fall 2008. The venerable Mayor Daley was on hand to offer remarks about the importance of supporting the burgeoning fashion industry, and he complimented Sage on her dedication to the arts and to making Chicago a world class city. Guests mingled amongst the classrooms and raised their glasses to the new center with a mixture of awe and pride. Alumni of SAIC includes notable designers as Halston, Cynthia Rowley, Laurence Steele, J. Morgan Puett, Eunwha Kim, Maria Pinto, Gary Graham, and Matthew Ames.
-Kari Skaflen

Fashion Scholarship News!
On the topic of fashion and education, the Chicago Fashion Foundation, Chicago's non-profit for scholarships and education for fashion students is hosting its first fundraiser and award benefit at Macy's, 111 North State Street, 7th floor, on March 5, 2008 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Tickets are $20 for students and $30 for CFF members and $40 for non-members, which can be purchased online at or at the door, the night of the event. "We are really excited to bring this award to fruition, the CFF has been in existence for multiple years but this is the first year we have been able to truly express who we are and move forward towards the goal of helping Chicago student designers continue to prosper in the great city of Chicago," said Kristen Amato, President CFF.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thakoon's Fantasy

We are constantly interested in designers inspirations. And, we wish we could partake in the most recent fantasy of designer Thakoon. Take a look and be inspired.

Halle Berry to Launch a Fragrance

Halle Berry inked a perfume deal with Coty and her first fragrance is set to launch in the spring of 2009. "Halle is an iconic actress and symbolizes beauty to many generations," Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing at Coty Beauty US. "She adds another dimension to the celebrity fragrance market. Halle has always been a little more mysterious, not quite as open with her personal life as some other stars. Her fragrances will allow her to present another facet of her personality to her fans," he adds. Other celebrities in their roster include Jennifer Lopez, David and Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kimora Lee Simmons, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Kate Moss and Tim McGraw.

What do you think Halle’s fragrance will smell like?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kari's Karrot at Colorlab Custom Cosmetics

A long-time European favorite, Colorlab Custom Cosmetics launched its U.S. flagship store right here in Chicago. Colorlab is truly a couture cosmetics company, which allows clients to create exact beauty products that are formulated to address individual skin concerns and coloring. The unique concept is the brainchild of founder and cosmetic industry veteran, Mary Swaab. The formula to her success has been a blend of science, nature and fun. She offers the line in a personalized, attentive and comfortable environment.

Clients are welcomed into the cozy boutique shop on Armitage and paired with an “inventor” or trained makeup artist that assesses skin tone and color, mixing up the perfect foundation, lipstick, eye shadow, blush, and so on, for each individual. Several different colors of either a liquid base or mineral powder (depending on your preference of foundation) are blended using a guiding chart to create a shade as unique as a fingerprint.

I visited the shop on a bitterly cold Sunday, but was so warmly greeted by the staff and the light airy boutique, that I forgot about the sub-zero temperatures outside. Jordy, my inventor, expertly whipped up a perfect mineral powder foundation, designed to balance my skin and match its natural hue to a T. After the all natural mineral powder foundation was perfected, he brought out a lipstick color chart. I selected the color that I wanted, and with expert care mixed what seemed to be dozens of colors and shades together to create a lipstick that not only matched the color chart, but that also looked amazing on me. We even added an essence or flavor; I chose carrot cake essence, thrilled that they carried my favorite dessert flavor.

As a final step, we made our way downstairs to the pressing machine, where 700 pounds of pressure expertly pressed my personalized powder foundation into a beautiful carrier. The lipstick color was heated and molded in a slightly different press, but with the same effect. The staff and I were all laughing trying to come up with fun names for my new lipstick, (one of the unique touches to Colorlab Custom Cosmetics is that you name each product yourself) and finally we settled on Kari’s Karrot.

I’m thrilled to say goodbye to the days of guesstimating a foundation color by the bottle and surmising the exact shade of a lipstick by the color printed on the bottom of the tube. Hello to Colorlab Custom Cosmetics, where everything is spot on.
-Kari Skaflen

Kate Spade: Cupcakes, Champagne and Shopping!

Kate Spade boutiques across the nation are celebrating the art of shopping with champagne and cupcakes this Thursday, February 28th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visit your local Kate Spade shop, drop $200 and you can receive a signature cosmetic case worth $60. For a list of participating shops nationwide, click here. We've taken it upon ourselves to do a little pre-shopping for you - Check out our picks for a wardrobe staple, a party and summer fun.
Every woman needs a grown up pair of her favorite childhood shoe, and this "katie" Mary Jane definitely fits the bill for $295. A flat "party" shoe, of course you need it! This shoe comes in 4 fête-worthy colors including gray, red, gold and silver and with these, you won't have to carry those not-so-pretty, comfortable shoes in your purse. You'll already have them on. They retail for $395.This sandal is our pick because it's whimsical and fun and most importantly makes us think of summer or a really good vacation. And, with bold hues like pink and yellow to choose from, we think you can't go wrong with the "merrie" for $175.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Factory Girl Dani Stahl

Ever wonder what it's like making a handbag? Dani Stahl, Nylon's Accessories Director headed to England to find out just that. She went to Mulberry's factory to make her very own bag.

Check it out.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cyber Sales: Exclusive Shopping Deals!

We've scoured the web for time sensitive shopping deals! Happy Shopping.
These Michael Kors T-Straps at Vivre are a steal at only $49 from $139 and they'll take you from day to night with ease.

This Tory Burch vest at Vivre is also a great pick. It's navy color gets punched up with green and the embroidery is also very fun. Retails for $130 from $325!
Who doesn't love a classic trench? We found this Rena Lange Trench at Vivre's winter sale. Its cost: $1,050 from a whopping $2,995. That's a huge savings and this is something you can have in your wardrobe for years.

Shop all of these fab on sale items and more at Vivre's winter sale, by clicking on the link below!

Vivre Winter Sale - up to 60% off Select Clothing

Save $10 at CoutureCandy

Gifts at Swarovski

Be the first to shop Piperlime’s sale for men.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

YSL is coming, YSL is coming!

YSL is definitely coming. The YSL Manifesto will be taking over in several of the hottest cities worldwide. Starting on February 23rd, the Manifesto, a 24-page lookbook printed on recycled paper, featuring the company's spring/summer 2008 collection, will hit the streets en masse in New York, London, Milan, Tokyo and Paris. It features iconic model Kate Moss and was overseen by YSL creative director Stefano Pilati (his ideal perfect YSL woman) and shot by Ines van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. Stay tuned.

Take a look at fall 2008...

Diego on Oprah

We are so excited we can barely contain ourselves! One of our favorite Chicago handbag designers Diego Rocha made it onto Oprah yesterday. And, when we say made it on, five of his bags were used on the show. Chicago fashion editor Stacy Wallace-Albert was giving tips on what every woman needs in her closet. Her pick, the basic, crisp, white button down shirt of course. Each woman styled in the crisp number also wore a Diego Rocha handbag. To learn more about this Brazilian-born designer, visit

Heike Jarick: Inside a Designer's Atelier

Heike Jarick’s small mid-town atelier is buzzing with life at 5:00 p.m. on a Tuesday evening. She’s been up and working since 6:00 a.m. that morning filming a German version of Top Model, where contestants wore pieces from Jarick’s Spring 2008 line. Despite the long workday behind her prepping for Coterie, the big New York show which packs in top buyers from all over the world who will stock stores with designers who show intense promise, she’s cheery as she sits down to chat with me over a steaming cup of coffee. Jarick is still relatively incognito, but every indicator points towards explosive growth for her eponymous line of sensual, immaculate and creative clothing.

Since founding the line in 2000, she’s worked tirelessly to craft her style and vision.
Wishing to avoid the influence of other fashion designers and following trends, Jarick works in somewhat purposeful isolation. She finds her own sources of inspiration and vision outside of the fashion community. And yet, her work is consistently ahead of the seasons. While other designers were showing full skirts, Jarick was already working with the silhouette, a look that was oh so prevalent at the fall 2008 shows. She stands out not just for her avant-guard vision, but also for her meticulous fabrication and hands-on approach. Jarick oversees the construction of each of her designs from start to finish. She travels the globe seeking out exotic and inspiring fabrics and incorporating them into her collections.

Her fall 2008 collection featured several idiosyncratic Japanese fabrics, including a lush metallic silver that emerged as the fabric of Jarick’s classic trench with a twist. In another example of ingenuity, she created a sui generis, eel pearlescent jacket that catches the light with a subtle glimmer and peaks curiosity.
Futurism with a 1940s tinge is how she describes her silhouette conscious, shimmering fall 2008 line.

In the atelier, Jarick grabs several pieces off the racks that surrounded us as we talk to illustrate her points about her work. In what seemed almost an unconscious and fluid gesture, she pairs a billowing top with a slim pencil skirt that keeps the ensemble from becoming too flirtatious or obsequious. It is a perfect ageless combination: layered and loose on top and defining and constructivist on the bottom. The subtle hint of romanticism derived from her collections reinforces Jarick’s intellectual mind and construction.
To this point, Jarick is a completely savvy businesswoman.

Recognizing a demand for high quality, detail oriented, sensually cut clothing at a lower price point for women who appreciate fashion but can’t necessarily afford couture pieces, Jarick will launch her Heike Jarick Blue Label this fall. She has created an elegant line of modal jersey knit that is seasonally transitional and hugs the figure in all its best places and hangs looser in other areas. Best of all, the pieces flatter any figure. The collection offers dresses for under $100 and Jarick has overseen every step in the creation of the line and is confident that Blue Label will develop a following with younger clients.
In addition to having her work appear on Germany’s Top Model with Heidi Klum hosting, Jarick is garnering fantastic reviews here in Chicago, and she’s featured in an editorial in February’s Elle Magazine. The recognition is well deserved. The pieces in Jarick’s line speak for themselves.
-Kari Skaflen

Meet Elite Chicago Model Ava Smith

Aurora, Illinois native and Elite Chicago model, Ava Smith’s favorite color is yellow and in a word, the bright and happy color sums up this cheery world class model. She’s not your typical model: dark and brooding, she’s sunny, optimistic and very, very down-to-earth. This gorgeous model prefers hanging out with friends to going out on the town. Her favorite memory, as of late, is not a swanky star studded party after a runway show, but a biking catastrophe in Paris that made a mark, literally. Those are just a few of the reasons why we love Ava. Read on to learn more about this home-grown beauty who’s making a serious impact on the fashion industry.
Runway to Retail: You’re an international model, jet setting around the world, wearing fabulous clothes and working the catwalk. How do you stay grounded?
Ava Smith: Staying grounded is certainly a task that I try to keep in mind in all aspects of my work as a model. I feel it is imperative to remember that being a model is merely a job and not who I am. I enjoy being involved in a vast array of activities that really have nothing to do with modeling (not that modeling doesn't take up a good deal of my time, mind you) and spending time with people not involved in that market really serves as a reality check and ticket back to planet earth!

RTR: Air travel is arduous these days, how do you make sure you’re comfortable on long flights?
Ava Smith: Oh, if there only was a way to be comfortable on flights! Depending on whether or not I have to go directly to a studio or get to go directly to my hotel determines how I prepare for long flights. Sometimes I have to immediately meet with a client right after my arrival so I can't really show up in sweatpants and favorite pair of Reeboks. My style is pretty casual and comfortable in general, however, so it really isn’t too bad. Oh yeah, and always remember to get the window seat, which makes sleeping so much easier!

RTR: As a runway model, you see the trends first hand. Which pieces are on your wish list for spring?
AS: My wish list for spring? Definitely dresses, dresses, dresses. They are simple, comfortable and totally versatile. You really can't go wrong with a cute spring dress.

RTR: What is your favorite memory from the spring fashion shows over the past months?
AS: My favorite is a memory that I had physical evidence of for quite sometime. In Paris, during the shows, a couple of us girls decided to rent a few bicycles and bike around the city, one of the few spare minutes we had. Except me, being the klutz I am, waltzed right into the bike rack and got a mondo bruise that chilled on my legs for a good couple of weeks afterwards.

RTR: What is your favorite staple piece currently in your wardrobe?
AS: My wool socks. They keep my feet toasty in the frigid winter.

RTR: What is the most exciting, extravagant outfit that you’ve worn for a photo shoot or runway show?
AS: Latex suits during the Heatherette show. They were ridiculous, but actually surprisingly comfortable.

RTR: How do your Chicago roots influence your personal style?
AS: As Midwesterner and native Chicagoan practicality is the key in my wardrobe. And I don’t mess around with the cold. I wear hats, gloves, scarves and big coats!!

RTR: Where do you shop when you’re in town?
AS: Ikram is my favorite place to find really cool pieces, but you can never go wrong with a good vintage store.

RTR: Who is your favorite Chicago personality?
AS: Oh, definitely Michael Jordan. I love Hanes.

RTR: Who is your ideal shopping date?
AS: My mom and one of my best friends, Lindsey. I hate shopping, but with those two I find things I like AND enjoy myself.

RTR: Who’s style do you admire most?
AS: Audrey Hepburn.
-Kari Skaflen

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

French Vogue's Carine Roitfeld

Carine Roitfeld, the editor-in-chief of French Vogue, is the epitome of style. Check out her recent feature in New York Magazine titled Anti-Anna. Here's some of our favorite lines of hers from the article.

On how she styles shoots: “I do a movie in my mind,” she says. “Who is this girl?”

On good lighting: “It makes me happy because there is vewy gweat lighting,” she says about the restaurant. “Vewy flatter.” (Roitfeld has reached a compromise with the hard American r by converting them all to ws.)

On American editors vs. French: “The American editors are very, how you say, slick,” Roitfeld says. “Very perfect. Hair is perfect, they have a manicure. They are very clean, they follow fashion. I don’t think they take many risks. They do the total look of Prada. Me, I wear a lot of Japanese piece mixed with a bit of classic Hermès and Prada. Even though jeans suit me, I never wear jeans.”

“It’s very difficult not to become a puppet,” she says of it all. “Like Anna, she becomes so iconic that she becomes like a puppet. I don’t want to be like that, I don’t want to wear this uniform, I don’t want to be just an envelope.”

On the business of fashion: “I’m not a business girl,” Roitfeld says. “I will never be a business girl, but I will say, for Anna Wintour, that I respect successful people, I like things that are success. But this is really American.”

Be sure to read the full story! Click here

Monday, February 18, 2008

Theron in Derek Lam

Doesn't Charlize Theron always look red carpet perfect? She recently attended the Ireland Music Awards sporting a shimmery, draped asymmetrical Derek Lam dress. Bonus for you. The dress originally retails for $3,590, but we found it on sale at Shop Bop for a mere $1,077. You'd better grab it before we do!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Runway To Retail: The Boleyn Girls

We can't wait for the movie The Other Boleyn Girl which is set to hit theaters on February 29th. The stars of the movie, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson are doing the press tours for the flick and we couldn't help but take note of their brightly colored frocks they wore to the Berlin premiere.

Natalie Portman looked amazing in her Rodarte dress from their spring '08 collection. Black lace, highlighted with blue, made this one a winner in our book. She can truly pull off anything.

Scarlett wore a bright pink 50s style Oscar de la Renta dress, which looked stunning on her figure. She finished off the look with fishnets and Miu Miu pumps.
These two-toned Miu Miu pumps are just the basics you need in your wardrobe. They are on sale for $301 from $430 at NET-A-PORTER.COM

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Original Penguin Party

Last week over 200 Chicagoans celebrated with fashion line Original Penguin in the heated rooftop patio of SushiSamba. Guests enjoyed sushi, cocktails and an assortment of Swirlz cupcakes. Party goers didn't leave empty handed either. They left with gift bags filled with Original Penguin gear, Factio Magazine and much more! To check out the spring line for men and women and to find out where to retail Original Penguin in Chicago, head to

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Runway To Retail: Prada's Mary Jane's

We haven't been this obsessed with Prada since her basic black nylon bags! We're glad to say that we're growing out of our need of basic and are feeling her more whimsical collection for spring 2008. This season, our favorite Prada must-have are the flower-heel Mary Jane's. They retail for $750 and you can buy them now at Neiman's!

Try and spot our favorite shoes of spring '08!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

10 Fun Trends for Fall 2008 from NY Fash Week

The Waist: Designers accentuated the small area midsection of the female figure, just at the bottom of the rib cage with belts, waistbands and contouring that drew the eye to the narrow waist.

Metallics: Nearly every designer sent models shimmering down the runway in metallic silvers and golds.

Pencil Skirts: If you don’t own one already- go out and get yourself one, or make that several. This will be a fantastic staple item to take you into fall. Make sure you’re getting one that is high-waisted and falls at or below the knee.

Berets: Simple, black and red berets were seen in abundance at the shows. Who doesn’t love a chic way to stay warm?

Hot Color Alert: Chartreuse-an unlikely star, chartreuse was everywhere on the runway. Silk gowns and chiffon blouses were cheerfully popping up in this unmistakable color.

The Blouse: A beautiful and classical piece to wear with the pencil skirt, the blouse was ubiquitous on the fall runways. A scoop neck and sweet front pleats were de rigeur.

Designers didn’t shy away from texture in unlikely places, floor length dresses featured fitted waists that then ballooned out and tucked in again at the knees, skirts bubbled and three dimensional chiffon flowers patterned dresses, such as those displayed at Vera Wang and Carlos Miele.

Feathers: They were all over for fall 2008. Designers created entire skirts and long dresses of layers of feathers (deep green feathering was a big hit) or in more moderate cases, sparsely used them to cuff a sleeve or skirt hem. The most ostentatious usage of feathers was at the Carolina Herrera show where models rocked the runway in an ode to Robin Hood donning top hats adorned with feathers several feet long that trailed behind the wearer’s head.
Hot Color Alert: Eggplant, violet, mauve, merlot, call it what you like, but deep shades of purple were prevalent in nearly every collection for fall 2008.

The Schizophrenic Pant:
There was no middle ground this season, pants were either sexy, figure-hugging cigarette style or loosely slung with a wide, cuffed leg. Regardless, both styles were worn high-waisted.
-photos and story by Kari Skaflen