Monday, September 29, 2008

Fresh Faces in Fashion is Coming!

Sophia Reyes

Frei Designs

Elise Bergman

Blackberry and T-mobile are presenting the opening fashion show for Fashion Focus this year at Millennium Park on Wednesday, October 1st. There will be a cocktail reception featuring the evenings accessories (Sara Czosnyka - Samsara Design, Kate Michell - Twig Designs and Tonia Kim/Toki Collection). Following, there will be a runway show featuring six designers including, Elise Bergman,Eskell, Frei Designs, Sophia Reyes, and Shorty Clothing for womenswear and Phillip Sparks for menswear. This year’s Fresh Faces will feature collections from nine designers in total from the hottest accessories to next season’s “must have” items.

A surprise addition to this year's Fashion Focus is hometown hero Fall Out Boy’s, Pete Wentz, who has launched Clandestine Industries; a full-fledged lifestyle brand. Wentz is a new partner with Gen Art and Chicago’s Fashion Focus, and he will be the host of the event. Gen Art is focusing on promoting local artists and Fresh Faces in Fashion is known for showcasing the brightest emerging stars in the fashion industry and for launching the careers of many successful fashion labels.

Fresh Faces in Fashion’s title partners will be working with Gen Art to expand the exposure in Chicago by creating a micro-site capturing photography taken from the show delivered from cell phones from backstage, the runway, and the red carpet.

Gen Art and its partners are excited about the new faces they have brought on for Fashion Focus 2008 and expect something new and innovative.
-Katie Davidson

Manolo Blahnik, The Designer, In Chicago

On Saturday, September 20 Spanish shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik, made a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus.

Mr. Blahnik, who became a household name thanks to the character Carrie Bradshaw in the series Sex and the City, was greeted at the department store with an explosion of applause.

He signed shoes, books, shoe bags and memorabilia, and graciously posed for photos while guests enjoyed mini water and champagne bottles, and iced cookies with a Blahnik shoe design on them.

While waiting to have their items signed, guests were able to view two monitors, one which played a runway show featuring his shoes and the other played La Dolce Vita, in honor of Mr. Blahnik's love of old movies.

The hit of the day though was his shoe, the Hangisi, which was featured in the Sex and the City movie.
-Katherine Mingey

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Candace Bushnell at Manor in Chicago

Candace Bushnell at Manor Nightclub
Photo by Tyler Curtis/darkroom demons

Bestselling author of Sex and the City and Lipstick Jungle, Candace Bushnell, was spotted at Manor Nightclub in Chicago last night.

Bushnell came to Chicago to do a book signing for her newest novel, One Fifth Avenue, wearing a Ferragamo dress, Marc Jacobs jacket and Valentino shoes.

It is a story of old money and new money and begins when an aged grande dame dies. Her 7,000 square foot apartment in New York is an architectural gem and becomes the obsession of not only the real estate industry, but of everyone living at the fabled address. The book shows the manners through the lens-or a room with a view- of New York's real estate anxiety.

After the book signing there was a viewing party in celebration of the season premier of Lipstick Jungle, the hit show based on her fourth novel.
-Katherine Mingey

Little Black Dress hits LA

The Sunset was crowded with stylish fashionistas as they scoured the room to buy items from the Little Black Dress charity event. On September 18, the opening reception of the month-long Little Black Dress pop-up boutique opened its doors to an invite-only crowd. The room was beautifully decorated with high-end selections of apparel, accessories, and home décor. But the best part? Twenty percent of all retail sales will benefit selected charities.

"By expanding to a month-long celebration, we are able to raise more money for charity and do a string of intimate, fun events," said Emmy Cortes Kasten, Little Black Dress founder and producer.

This event offered everything from home décor to t-shirts to designer apparel such as Vivienne Westwood and Smoke & Mirrors. The intricate and whimsical floor setting was very aesthetically pleasing. Shirts and jeans were laid out on circular tables with an exquisite centerpiece with jewelry. Artwork from local artists graced the walls of the room.

If you live in the Los Angeles area, be sure to visit Little Black Dress and splurge knowing that you will be benefiting charities and indulging yourself in high-end goodies at the same time.
-Grace Yu, LA Correspondent

Jamie-Lynn Sigler in Dana Rebecca Designs

Jamie-Lynn Sigler in the Courtney Lauren Earrings
Courtney Lauren Earrings (as seen in Elle), $5,060

Bringing a fresh look to the Chicago jewelry scene is Dana Levy of Dana Rebecca Designs.
Her designs are classic yet with a contemporary twist, that leave you feeling elegant and timeless every time you wear them. Each of her designs are handcrafted and handset with perfectly cut diamonds and richly toned gems. Levy's collection reflects her travels to places such as China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, and especially India. They are extremely special to her because each of her pieces are named after family members and loved ones.

The up-and-coming designer has made her mark on Hollywood recently. Hills star, Lo Bosworth wore her Samantha Lynn earrings to the TV Guide Party and Soprano's star, Jamie-Lynn Sigler donned her Courtney Lauren earrings to the HBO Post Emmy Party.
Other celebrities clamoring to get their hands on Dana's designs are Lauren Conrad, Katy Perry, Debra Messing, Brittney Snow, and many more. You can find her collection at retailers such as: Marshall Pierce, SHE Boutique, Frances Heffernan in Chicago and H.L Gross Jewelers in Long Island, New York. The line is also featured at trunk shows and charity events around the Chicago area. Visit the site online and do some shopping at
-Katherine Mingey

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bloomie's in Dubai

For how much we absolutely adore Bloomingdale's, it's only fair that we share the fashion heaven that is Bloomie's. Reports have come out that the American retail giant will anchor a new mall being built in Dubai. This new location will be Bloomingdale's first international location.

The new mall in Dubai set to open later this year will likely become one of the largest malls in the world—likely beating our own Mall of America. Bloomingdale's will open in February 2010 at the shopping center with two different stores. One will be the department store like the locations we know and love here in the States. The other location will be a home store.

The benefits for both Bloomingdale's, owned by Macy's and Dubai are expected to be plentiful. Macy's chairman Terry J. Lundgren is hopeful that the retail store will do well in Dubai and its success will translate in the international market. Obaid H. Al Tayer, CEO of the Al Tayer Group which is bringing Bloomingdale's to Dubai is confident that the store will find the same success in Dubai as it has had in the States.

-Kelsey Bristow

Dita Von Teese Launches Lingerie Line

Burlesque star Dita Von Teese stands proudly next to some of her scantily-clad models as they present her underwear range in Covent Garden. The amazing creations mark a huge resemblance to what she usually wears for her performances of 1950's pin-up girl inspired style. We are sure we will be seeing some of her stunning creations worldwide in the next months to come.
-Desiree Masiela

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cyber Deals! Denim Deals, Free Shipping and 15% Off at Yoox

We've scoured the web for time sensitive shopping deals! Enjoy.

Check out the new designers for Fall at

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Denim Sale

L'OCCITANE Free Standard Shipping with the purchase of any two skincare products! For a limited time only!

Enjoy FREE Standard Shipping with any purchase!* Enter offer code 4DAYS at checkout. Shop now >>

4 days only - Extra 15% off Fall Winter + Free Shipping only on YOOX.COM!

Gap Fall Sale. Hurry, your favorites won’t last long.Shop now at

A Fashionable B-Day

Lauren Dimet Waters, Steven Rosengard and Carol Calacci

What do you get when you mix Midori cocktails + frosted cupcakes + fashion? The Second City Style Fashion Birthday Bash! The W Chicago-City Center hosted Second City Style’s 3rd birthday in true birthday party fashion, complete with amazing party bags. Guests took part in fashion inspired party games and prizes while enjoying complimentary cupcakes, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres. The online shop came to life and gave guests the opportunity to buy directly from the designers.

Live models took the center of the room to show-off designs from the online shop. Beautiful clothing by Orlando Espinoza, patent clutches by Diego Rocha, plush scarves by Elyse C. Bec Designs, and exquisite jewelry from multiple designers at the Second City Store were all on display. The party events were free and open to the public in the hope that Second City Style could thank all their online followers. On behalf of the night’s party goers – “You are totally welcome!”
-Jackie Medler

Chicago's Private Screening and Fete With Gilt Groupe

The Duchess of Devonshire was the quintessential It girl of her day, exuding beauty, elegance and style. On Wednesday, September 17th, Gilt Groupe and Paramount Vantage hosted a private screening of the film The Duchess starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes in Chicago. The post party immediately followed the film and was held at the James Hotel and was hosted by our city’s It girls, Susu Block, Lisa Cotten, Kate Fitzgerald, Stephanie Harris and Jennifer Kasten and Gilt’s founders Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson. The clean space was wiped clean of any 18th century decadence and called for a modern, chic aesthetic with hues of reds and lush burgundies for the seating in lush textures like leather and velvets. Guests sipped on Moët Chandon Champagne and Casa Lapostolle Wines, as well as a specialty cocktail and Factio favorite, the Duchess Blossom, infused with Belvedere Pomerancza, Elderflower Cordial and grapefruit juice. We enjoyed an array of tantalizing treats including smoked salmon canapé with lemon crème fraiche, tuna tartare, and truffled goat cheese and mushroom tarts. As the party started to wind down, guests left with a VIP Gilt Groupe black card, which gives access to their invite only website that sells luxury women's, men's, children's merchandise at up to 70% off retail. For more information visit

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Susu Block, Alexis Maybank

We caught up with party-goers to find out all things Duchess!

If The Duchess Was Alive Today, She Would Want from Gilt Groupe for Fall...

“A feathered Dennis Basso cocktail dress or a feathered Alessandro Del’ Acqua bolero would be a top pick given her pension for plumes. I also think she would love to embellish her looming coiffure with a Kwiat diamond brooch that could double as a fetching hair accessory.”
Alexis Maybank, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer,
Gilt Groupe

“Kwiat diamonds, J. Mendel fur muffs, Anthony Nak chandelier earrings, Made her Think necklaces, brooches and feather bracelets, Marie Chantal and Lucy Sykes dresses for her daughters.”

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Founder and Chief Merchandise Officer, Gilt Groupe

On Duchess-Era Hair:

“I love the perfect, tightly packed curls. I want to touch them and watch each piece spring back up into original form. The curls make everyday look like an elegant, black tie affair. Also, without bangs, layers, etc. a woman's complete face is exposed, revealing the true and natural beauties from the bunch. I want to know how they pulled these hairstyles off in a time when styling tools and products couldn't have been available. Please enlighten me with your findings!”
Ali Pesche, Jewelry Designer, Ali Precious,

Ali Pesche and Gilt Groupe's Shan-Lyn Ma

On The Duchess of Devonshire:
"The Duchess was a leader not a follower in fashion. And she used her style to reflect her strong spirit no matter what challenges she faced in her private life."

Abby Baine Dunn, PR Director, Blast Marketing

"One of my large, bold necklaces would be perfect for Georgiana – keeping the wearer in mind, I’d design one of an exaggerated size to reflect her colorful, larger-than-life personality."
Lisa Cotten, Jewelry Designer, Host

On The Film:
“I adored the sweeping footage of the castles, the grand old estates and the English countryside. I think the movie emphasized the responsibilities to family and duties present in that era; while not quite as onerous today, responsibilities do increase with age and (as Georgiana showed) a women’s to her family and children are still just as important.”

Alexis Maybank, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Gilt Groupe

"My favorite part was when Georgiana returned to London after months away, to see her children run into her arms…as a mother, there’s no better feeling."
Susu Block, Host and Founder of Glow PR

On The Clothes:

“I think this movie deserves to win an Oscar for Best Costume Design. I absolutely loved the fashion in the movie and Keira Knightley has an amazing presence and looked stunning in each of her elaborate couture ensembles. I wish I could have touched the luxurious fabrics of all her gowns and I admired the accessories, especially the constantly-changing hair styles and jewelry. Two centuries later, women seem to love accessorizing just as much as they did back then. Keira Knightley says in the movie that fashion is one of the few ways that women can express themselves and sadly, back then that was probably true. Fortunately today woman have managed to push the glass ceiling upwards. However, even though women have come a long way in 200 years, I do believe that the glass ceiling still exists for us. It isn’t easy being a woman, not then, not today!”

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Founder and Chief Merchandise Officer, Gilt Groupe

“I liked the Duchess's campaign trail outfits, when she wore a fun, orangey mink— I read that she wore that because the Whig's party colors were orange and blue. I also loved this pearly grey dress she wore in the scene where the duke declares: "let your husband admire this in greater detail."
Jenny Berg, Associate Editor, Biz Bash

The corsets! They're just so sexy. No other piece showcases a body part the same way. Dolce and Gabbana would agree, I'm sure. The hats were pretty fabulous, too.”
Julie Bensman, Fashion Assistant,
Michigan Avenue Magazine

Jeff Corney and Julie Bensman

On Men's Fashion:
“I would have to say it would be the shoes with the bows and the knickers. I feel that in over 200 years men’s fashion has evolved tremendously, however, the same components still remain. I am a big fan of the Belgian loafer which must have evolved from the shoes the Duke of Devonshire wore, obviously the bows has shrunk as well as the heel. In addition, shorts for men (whether alone or as a suit) is such a trend. Designers such as Thom Brown, Tim Hamilton and Band of Outsiders has made shorts de riguer in every mans wardrobe. My least would have to be the tights, but I even have a difficult time with socks in general.”
Christian Leone,
Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Gilt Groupe

Christian Leone (pictured right)
*All photos by Kari Skaflen

“I’m a very theatrical person (obviously!), so I love the drama of 18th century men’s clothing. I especially love the long, tailored top coats.
D. Graham Kostic, Fashion Associate, Modern Luxury Magazines

On Today’s Empress of Fashion:
"When I think of fashion that is still widely imitated and continues to set trends today, I would have to say that Jackie Kennedy Onassis continues to be an “Empress” with her being effortlessly chic, her iconic looks and her classic glamour.”
Alexis Maybank, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Gilt Groupe

“I have always admired Cate Blanchett’s style. She has a royal, elegant quality to her. She always appears graceful, elegant and glamorous and she tends to gravitate to wearing some of my favorite designers including Valentino, Dries Van Noten and Balenciaga. I genuinely admire her sense of style and would not hesitate to call her an Empress of Fashion.”
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Founder and Chief Merchandise Officer, Gilt Groupe

"I would have to say today’s Empress of Fashion is Vivienne Westwood... Dramatic! Exciting! Shocking!”
D. Graham Kostic, Fashion Associate, Modern Luxury Magazines

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chanel Cruise 2009 Collection Preview

We all expect great things from Chanel and the hugely successful and recognizable style house has delivered once again with its Cruise 2009 Collection. Pieces are extremely tasteful as always, but chief designer Karl Lagerfeld is keeping things interesting with modern interpretations of 1970's style to make this year's jetsetter more fashionable than ever.

Of course, black and white dominate the collection with tailored pants suits, chic bathing suits, and ever-flattering silhouettes. Fun and funky pieces include tie-dyed t-shirts, wide leg pants, and hippie-inspired headbands. Some pieces even have clear plastic in cut outs from the black fabric of dresses—a surprisingly pleasant touch to otherwise very conventional and classic pieces.

The collection's accessories also range from classic to contemporary with dainty bracelets to chunky, beaded necklaces. One of our favorite accessories of the collection: a pair of fabulous sunglasses with a very tasteful pearl detail.

The 74 piece collection will be sure to prepare you for your holiday getaway—whether it be to Miami or the Almafi Coast.

-Kelsey Bristow

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shop Equinox for Stella and McQueen

Amy Winehouse t-shirt

Alexander McQueen t-shirt

Stella McCartney t-shirt

Shop at Equinox and support a great cause! Some of your celebrity favorites (Coldplay, Pink Floyd, Stella McCartney, Rolling Stones and Heidi Klum) have designed limited edition t-shirts to support which helps charitable organizations like Greenpeace, Save the Children and Red Cross raise $3 million. In Chicago, shop 900 N. Michigan Avenue, Lincoln Park, The Loop and Highland Park. For more information about Equinox, visit,

Claire Danes for Gucci's Chiodo Collection

Wow, we must say, actress Claire Danes is looking gorgeous modeling the latest from Gucci's Fine Jewelry Chiodo Collection. Enjoy!

Couture and Cocktails - Celebrating with 90210's Ryan Eggold

90210's Ryan Eggold and Chicago socialite Candace Jordan

The 2008 Couture and Cocktails party last night was one not to be missed. Maria Pinto dazzled guests with her clothing collection on the runway as models strutted to deliciously hip beats wearing cocktail dresses and gowns covered in a variety of beautiful, sparkling beads and feathers. Jackets covered in luxurious fabrics were modeled over beautiful flouncy blouses and skirts paired with hot pumps.

Guests were absolutely delighted by Maria Pinto’s fashions from the minute they hit the stage and strived to get as close to the runway as they could for the spectacular show.
After the show, 90210’s newest star, Ryan Eggold took the runway by storm for the night’s live auction, and raised over $1000 in auctioning off an original 90210 script signed by the entire cast. Other auction items included the Wimbledon 2009 Package with tickets for two on United Airlines, the Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend Package that consisted of 2.68cts. colorless diamond Van Cleef and Arpels Cosmos earrings surrounded with gold, and The Suite Life Package which allows the winner to live like a celeb for one night in the Peninsula Suite with massages, cooking lessons from Master Chef Curtis Duffy and dinner at the Avenues Restaurant.

The silent auction took place over cocktails with magnificent prizes including a glamorous Louis Vuitton Vernis rolling luggage piece, a Personal Tour of Art Collection at Playboy, a CS Shopping Connoisseur, a Pratesi luxury robe, Dinner for 8 at Sepia, a Guggenheim Partners gift basket, a 7-day Caribbean retreat, Prince Dimitri Cufflinks, and Dinner at the Opening Night of The Joffrey.
The night’s proceeds went to benefiting the new Chicago Joffrey Ballet and its hardworking and graceful dancers.
-Jackie Medler

Get ready for lots and lots of photos of the show because, of course, we love Maria Pinto!

photos by Alyssa Blanchard

Michelle Trachtenberg Wears Botkier's Zoe Pumps

photos courtesy StarTraks

We couldn't be more happy that Ms. Monica Botkier decided to create shoes, alongside her ultra fabulous handbags. We think Michelle Trachtenberg agrees, as she was recently spotted wearing the Zoe pumps on September 11th during New York's most fashionable week. The shoes retail for $425 and can be bought in black, electric blue, gunmetal patent, and liquid metal. Check them out at

The 82nd Annual Rush Fashion Show

Photos by Alyssa Blanchard

Color, texture, and design all became magnificent ‘Silhouettes’ when one hundred seventy five models took the stage for The Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center’s 82nd Annual Fashion Show. Beautiful fashions were modeled by the beautiful people of Chicago including: Taylor Miller from All My Children, Steve Baskerville from CBS 2, Kathy L. Brock from ABC 7, Anna Davlantes from NBC 5, Mike Leonard from NBC, Megan Mawickie from CBS 2, Bill Zwecker from CBS 2, and Robin Robinson and Margaret Shortridge-Werd from FOX News Chicago. The staged event consisted of 19 scenes that showcased the latest fashions. The Incognito Orchestra played along with the musical stylings of Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Chris Bennet, Lynne Jordan, Rich Parenti, and Robin Pluer.

Women’s, men’s, and children’s fashions all shared the spotlight throughout the night. Macy’s was all about black and white, Saks Fifth Avenue displayed deconstructed cut-outs, and Loro Piana kept warm with a variety of fur trimmed attire for their men’s and women’s collections.
One-of-a-kind clothing was unmatched in its unique entirety by Sotheby’s Chicago Fashion Design Students: Nora del Busto, Tyler Coughlin, Emily Marxer, and Rachel Frank. Sophisticated women’s fashions were showcased by Tory Burch, McElroy Furs, The Lake Forest Shop, Luca Luca, Francis Heffernan, Jake, Ultimo, and with stunning Bohemian/Russian Aristocracy-inspired gowns by Neapolitan.

Children’s tartan jumpers, corduroys, peter pan collars, and big buttons were a constant theme in children’s wear by Papo D’ Anjo and Penny’s From Heaven.
Tween clothing was also magnificently put on by Phoebe & Francis. Towards the end of the night, JP Morgan partnered with Tiffany & Co. for a sparkling diamond display in which each model became Holly Go Lightly from the famous “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Fashion Show Chairman, Catherine King, and Woman’s Board President, Consie Pierrepont, considered the show a success among their efforts to raise $10 million for the Rush University Medical Center Campaign that includes building a new state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary Heart and Vascular Center. Larry J. Goodman, President and CEO of Rush University Medical Center, opened the show with words that will continue to resonate in the audiences’ hearts,” Silhouettes – appropriately signals this groundbreaking year for Rush, when the plans for the entire transformation of our campus are moving from outline to concrete forms and foundations.”

-Jackie Medler