Pandora For Jeans? ZipFit Denim Zaps Male Shopping Angst

*New Boutiques, Loop No Comments »

By Alexandra Delaney

Simplicity is the motto at the newest retail store in The North Bridge shops at 520 North Michigan. At ZipFit Denim, the sleek white tile floors shine under the bright overhead light. The two black tables line up perfectly, one placed several feet in front of the other, each adorned with four iPad tablets evenly spaced along the top. Shelves housing neat piles of jeans—which are folded according to brand, style and size—line one wall of the spacious store.

The minimalistic atmosphere of ZipFit Denim exemplifies the simplified jeans shopping experience the store offers men. Co-founder and CEO Liz Kammel is the brains behind the technology-driven store; she created an iPad app that matches male shoppers with the perfect pair of jeans for their body types and desired fits. Read the rest of this entry »

What to Wear to the R. Kelly Concert

Chicago Boutiques, Trends and Tips 1 Comment »

By Alexandra Delaney

The unanswered question returns: What’s R&B without the R? Only this time around, the answer is more vague than before. What does the “R” stand for? R. Kelly—the Chicago-based crooner who posed the question to reassert his dominance as the king of modern soul music? (For the record, R. Kelly defends the title with three Grammy Awards, six number-one albums, six Billboard Music Awards and six American Music Awards, to name a few). Rhythm? The songs off his eleventh studio album “Write Me Back” sure have a melodic measure to them that incites listeners to two-step. Real? Despite the modern craze to auto-tune articulation and add studio-synthesized voices to hip-hop tracks, R. Kelly aims to celebrate R&B, crediting its singing as a traditional, talented art form. Retro? With influences such as Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Barry White, Marvin Gaye and Teddy Pendergrass, the tracks on R. Kelly’s eleventh studio album “Write Me Back” harness that smooth grooves and funk inspiration of the Motown-era musicians. Read the rest of this entry »

Make Believer: Vintage Fashion Expert Lori Lindberg helps you Dress Up for Halloween and for Life

-Menswear, -Vintage, -Womenswear, Lakeview No Comments »

Lori Lindberg photo: Fernando Castillo

By Marla Seidell

It’s a quarter to noon on an unseasonably warm Thursday in October, and Lori Lindberg, owner and buyer at Clothes Optional Vintage in East Lakeview, is in high gear. The Classic Vinyl station (on Sirius FM Satellite) is cranked up, spinning tunes by Deep Purple, Joe Cocker and Led Zeppelin (all her favorites), and she’s sipping on a skim latte from Caribou, in between chatting with this curious journalist, fielding calls and tending to customers. Dressed funky chic—Lucky Brand tight-fitting jeans, blue-and-brown cowboy boots, a lacey black tank top and a zebra-striped hooded sweatshirt, her long dark hair tied back in a braid, Lindberg is an eternal child of the seventies, with a friendly openness and passion for do-it-yourself fashion, art and music that feels, well, a bit Joplin-esque.

Janis Joplin created her plain yet sensual look by piecing together clothing and accessories from thrift stores, she sewed and designed many of her own costumes, and loved to smoke and talk about “groovy” things. Lindberg doesn’t sing or perform, but she’s like Joplin in many ways: she sews and fixes up clothing (both her own stuff and pieces in the store), loves vintage, and is also quite fond of smoking, talking and hanging out. Unapologetically hip and sexy in minimal makeup and a frequent smile, Lindberg doesn’t look like the forty-eight-year-old mother of three grown daughters, let alone a grandmother. She looks like the kind of person you want to kick back with and have a beer and a good laugh.

Referring to her rocker outfit with a deep, throaty laugh, she says, “I was watching Kiss [on ‘Good Morning America’], and I got inspired.” Read the rest of this entry »

Consignment Refinement: Luxury Garage Sale Goes Retail

*New Boutiques, Chicago Boutiques, Old Town No Comments »

Brielle Buchberg

On the surface, the consignment industry appears to be reserved for those with deep wallets and even deeper devotion to the brands that make the editorial headlines. Consignment house Luxury Garage Sale caters to these individuals, but is also one of the most accessible shops for the general public with a penchant for the sartorial. With a storefront opening in Old Town, I sought out LGS founders Brielle Buchberg and Lindsay Segal with a few questions about their work, their background and the elusive world of consignment.
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Beneath the Metal Wave: How Belmont Army Became a Mecca Among the Subcultures

-Accessories, -Streetwear, -Vintage, Shoes No Comments »

By B. David Zarley

Traffic and passersby on Belmont Avenue reflect off of the glistening metal panels that make up the building’s facade, undulating gently like Lake Michigan mellowed out on alprazolam. Rising four stories high from the sidewalk, the business beneath the wave has survived since 1975, weathering fads, recessions and location changes. In Lakeview, a neighborhood of fickle tastemakers and expendable income, Belmont Army is sacred ground: Macy’s meets Mecca.

Temples are rare on multifarious ground, as they require a consistent bedrock upon which to be built. Despite the throbbing, well-muscled and ever-spreading mass of frat-mentality dumbfuckery reaching out its menacing tentacles from Wrigleyville in an effort to become the dominant cultural milieu—one primarily composed of polo shirts, drunken girls with longer heels than dresses and noxious “DJ’s” spinning the absolute lowest-grade electronic dance music, which, granted, is an admittedly fun atmosphere with the right company and chemicals in a Goodall-amongst-the-chimps sort of way on a Saturday night—Lakeview still has a vast array of subcultures. Girls in blonde pixie cuts, high-waisted shorts and big glasses ride fixed-gear bicycles; men with handlebar mustaches and Wayfarers driving mauve PT Cruisers; salon girls whose tight black clothes cling to them like the smell of cigarettes and perfume, tattoos peeking out from beneath the short sleeves. A vibrant LGBTQ community bustles, while young professionals travel from Sheffield Avenue to the Loop for work, a mass migration of ties and pencil skirts twice each day. It is a mess of youth and money and life, drawn together in its existence below North Clark’s grim weekend realities and its willingness to embrace the hip. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Looks: Girlie and Cool

Chicago Looks, Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village No Comments »

Lauren Orciuolo was shopping along Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. Read the rest of this entry »

An Androgynous Aesthetic: A Conversation with Jewelry Designer Laura Lombardi

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When I met jewelry designer Laura Lombardi last month at the Dose Market, we discussed whether men or women were more drawn to her androgynous pieces. I also discovered she had roots in New York City and admired her body art. I still had questions for Lombardi, whose work has been admired in just about every women’s mag—from Martha Stewart Living to Bust—so I followed up with her via email.

How does a piece go from the sketchbook (if there is one) to physical construction? Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Looks: Detail Oriented

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Matthew Wilson was walking down Michigan Avenue on his way home from work. Read the rest of this entry »

Taxidermy Treasures: Woolly Mammoth Finds the Fun and Flair in Dead Animals

-Vintage, Andersonville No Comments »

By Desiree Cole

When Adam Rust and his wife Skye opened Woolly Mammoth Antiques a couple of years ago, they had vintage clothes, shoes, purses, couches and coffee tables. The couple thought they were going to focus on midcentury antiques. But they started buying what they liked, what really caught their eye: taxidermied animals; animal teeth; frogs preserved in a jar.

Adam and Skye find the unusual goods they sell all over the country. “It’s almost all out of state, in the Midwest. In March, we went as far out as New Jersey. Next week, we’re driving out West, so we could go as far as Washington, but for sure as far as Glacier National Park. We camp along the way to find stuff and bring it back. Last week, we went to three auctions, but it’s mostly private collections.” Read the rest of this entry »

Why Not? Labrabbit is Hopping Tonight

-Eyewear No Comments »

Coyote DeGroot and Maria Tzeka/Photo: Tamara Dolson

Coyote DeGroot, the owner of Labrabbit Optics, an eyewear boutique on Ashland, threw a party on Saturday, May 19, because, as he puts it, “Why not?” His business started out as an offhand enterprise as well, beginning in his apartment three years ago. A few friends came to him for frames and lenses, telling other friends and coworkers to go to him for great eyewear as well. Soon, DeGroot had a business and he opened Labrabbit Optics a year and a half ago to deal in vintage and exclusive modern frames. Read the rest of this entry »