Akira: Possessed

Fashion Shows No Comments »

Chicago boutique sensation Akira recently took its game to a new level, moving closer to the fashion-show spectaculars that Macy’s Glamorama represents, and taking it a long way from its nightclub foundations. On a day when Hurricane Ike was reaching all the way from the Gulf Coast up to Chicago, Akira produced a multimedia fashion show that occupied the House of Blues with a voodoo-inspired theme drawn from the back streets of New Orleans and the bayou. Live music-performance acts Brilliant Pebbles and He Say, She Say provided atmosphere. Ford models sporting featured labels Chinese Laundry, 7Diamonds, Artful Dodger, FiveFour, Ben Sherman and PF Flyers showed Akira’s fall looks. (Brian Hieggelke)

Accessory Adoration

Trends and Tips 1 Comment »

Finding the perfect add-to

Clothes may make the man, but his accessories allow him to flaunt his personal style. Guys, give your summer look a fashionable boost by stocking up on a few of our favorite wardrobe necessities.

You use it multiple times a day; shouldn’t it be something you adore? Eschew the classic brown/black leather and kick it up a notch with a Blue Alessandro bi-fold wallet ($89, Stitch, 1723 North Damen, stitchchicago.com). It’s made from light-blue Safiano leather and it’s scratch resistant. Prefer something a bit more conversational? Check out the Duct Tape Wallet. It’s DIY with style. ($24, Flight001, 1133 North State, flight001.com).

You know the rule: one in brown, one in black—but no one says that belts have to be as dull as discount-store lighting. The Orciani brown belt elevates any pair of pants into instant high fashion. With a loop clasp and perforated leather, quality is in charge. ($134-$184, Hejfina, 1529 North Milwaukee, hejfina.com). Funk it up a bit with a PS belt from Paul Frank. It’s silk screen-type detailing will have heads turning towards your waistline. ($200, Paul Frank, 851 West Armitage, paulfrank.com).

Though simple, shiny metal watches are a classic accessory staple, there are chic, less traditional alternatives as well. Interested in architecture and famous designers? Try Karim Rashid’s “Kaj” watch, specially designed for Alessi. It comes in multiple colors and its polyurethane craftsmanship adds an industrial edge. ($85, Alessi, 611 North State, alessi.com) Still want something classic, but not cut-and-pasted straight from other arms? Try a Tateossian. This London-based designer uses rich leather and an articulate face design that will make any outfit pop. ($100 and up, His Stuff, 5314 North Clark, hisstuffchicago.com).

Sunglasses are stylish all year around, but with summer coming this accessory is your new best friend. Just remember—it’s all about the face. Round-faced folks, try Aldo’s gold “Durwin”-rimmed tinted Aviators ($12, Aldo, 605 North Michigan, aldo.com) For an oval face, traditional round frames work best, and the Chad style from Jack Spade is a perfect fit. ($150, jackspade.com). Those with the longer faces can don the square frames, so take a chance with Ben Sherman’s “Wayfarer” square shades. ($115, Urban Outfitters, 935 North Rush, urbanoutfitters.com).

Ladies have shoes to complete their outfit. Guys have ties. End the “I found it at a department store” look and start with something fresh and multi-functional that transitions easily from work to drinks. The Yoko Deveraux Jersey tie, which comes in multiple colors and patterns, is affordable while maintaining stylish high-end sensibilities. ($33, yokod.com). (Byron Flitsch)


-Mens Shoes, -Menswear, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village No Comments »

1205 N. Milwaukee, (773)252-6994, espacecity.com [ratings]
Goods: Men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and bags. Designers: True Religion, Polo by Ralph Lauren, Rock & Republic, Ben Sherman, Monarchy, Sinful, MEK Denim and Kidrobot. Owner: Neighboring City Sports took the reigns from original owner Drew Ee. Vibe: Sleek yet comfortable. The store is easy to navigate, with neatly organized racks and displays. Price Range: Moderate-Expensive. The Look: Sporty, urban and stylish. Fit for an impromptu party in a studio space followed by drinks and dancing at Ohm. Shopper’s Perks: Espace purchases only three-to-four of each item, so each purchase here feels like a real find. The wide array of price points accommodates everyone from financially challenged fashionistas to professional shoppers.



Belmont Army

-Mens Shoes, -Menswear, -Vintage, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Lakeview, Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village No Comments »

855 W. Belmont, (773)549-1038; 1318 N. Milwaukee, (773)384-8448, belmontarmy.com [ratings]
Goods: New and vintage clothing and shoes for men and women. Designers: Ben Sherman, BB Dakota, Nice Collective, B. Son, Common Projects, Cheap Monday, Fiber & Fellow, Frye, Nike, Converse, Vans, Gravis, New Balance, Shades of Greige, Schmoove, Insight, Levi’s Capital E, Lifetime Collective. Owners: Chang Yoo, Tae Yoo, Tony Lee and Craig Scholla moved the legendary Belmont store over to the West Side when the Brown Line expansion forced the closing of the original location. They’ve reopened on Belmont as well, near the original spot. Vibe: The upstairs stock is completely new, while the vintage goods are in the basement. The clothing (yes, even the vintage) is neatly arranged and the staff is completely hands-off (unless you need them, of course), which makes for a totally no-pressure shopping experience. Price Range: Inexpensive-Expensive. The Look: Trendy hipster upstairs, thrift-store devotee downstairs. The person who shops on both floors has a personal style that is completely their own, and thrives on blending pieces to create a unique look. Shopper’s Perks: Massive amounts of both new and used clothing in one location. Perfect for fashionable friends with dueling shopping styles.


Lakeview Store

Belmont Army

Wicker Park Store

Belmont Army