Open for Business: Scoop NYC Gold Coast

*New Boutiques, *The Nationals, -Accessories, -Menswear, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Gold Coast No Comments »

Scoop NYC is taking things slowly—its second store in Chicago, just opened in the Gold Coast, comes about four years after the company entered Chicago with its Bucktown location at 1702 North Milwaukee.

So what’s different about the new store?  The 4,800-square-foot Gold Coast store reflects an updated version of Scoop, says Heidi Hoelzer, the buyer director and divisional merchandise manager. “We will open the store with our best product and brands and, after spending more time with the Gold Coast Scoop customer, we will edit as necessary. I think we will see more tourists in our Gold Coast store than we do in Bucktown, with a higher demand for designer items,” says Hoelzer.

For this reason, the Gold Coast Scoop store will add Roberto Cavalli and Missoni to its designers roster, which includes Helmut Lang, Alice & Olivia, Free City, Burberry, Camilla Skovgaard, Anya Hindmarch, Zac Posen, Dsquared, Billy Reid and Simon Spurr. “From the best shirt, denim, blazer, cocktail dress, or beach cover-up to a strappy sandal, we have it all under one roof for men and women,” Hoelzer says.

Under that roof are two stories of men’s and women’s merchandise, with women’s clothing, accessories and shoes on the first floor and a glass staircase leading to menswear on the second. A 375-square-foot terrace provides event space, and Scoop expects to host a book signing event for the authors of “Who What Wear,” as well as trunk shows and charity events. (Sarah Alo)

Scoop NYC, 1011 North Rush, (312)649-9880

Sofia Vintage

*New Boutiques, -Menswear, -Vintage, -Womenswear, Gold Coast No Comments »

4301_105816890648_86140330648_2538690_137377_s1165 N. Clark, Suite 400, (312)640-3878, [ratings]

Goods: Men’s and women’s vintage apparel. Designers: Bob Mackie, Gucci, Ungaro , Armani, Escada, Chanel, Missoni and Valentino. Read the rest of this entry »

A Posh Preview: Nordstrom shows its fall colors

*The Nationals, Events/Exhibitions No Comments »

On an average evening, as dusk settles in across the city, the Chicago History Museum closes its doors to field-trip groups, history buffs and curious tourists, and lies dormant for the night before welcoming them all back again in the morning. But on a recent Tuesday night the museum was the most bustling place in Lincoln Park, brightly lit and swarming with valets as rows of well-dressed folk made their way into the building. On this night, the museum was filled with Louboutains, mini dresses and champagne flutes, as industry members, Nordstrom regulars, press, socialites and fashion-philes gathered together to gear up for cool weather at the Nordstrom Designer Preview fashion show.

The annual event marks the first opportunity to view the new fall collections, which hit the floor at Nordstrom the very next day. Upon arrival, guests sipped cocktails and Veuve, dug into a sushi-filled buffet dinner and chatted excitedly before being whisked into an adjoining tent for the big presentation. The show, divided into eleven different “scenes,” featured collections from a variety of fashion’s heavy hitters: Burberry Prorsum, Peter Som, Nina Ricci, Missoni, Andrew Gn, Marc Jacobs, Tuleh, Stella McCartney, Donna Karan, Marni and Oscar de la Renta. Strutting out to thumping music amidst lightly colored lighting, the models (donning million-inch high heels from designers like Prada, Lanvin and Jimmy Choo) showed the crowd exactly what’s hot for this fall. Mod silhouettes, 1950s-inspired looks, a dose of sparkle, sleekly tailored coats and garments with plenty of movement dominated the runway. Nearly all the designers showed many neutral colored pieces (brown, grey and camel were popular colors), throwing in one powerfully colored piece—a plum sweater, a red pencil skirt, an iris halter gown—which often seemed to explode off the runway. Purple in all its shades—amethyst, iris, plum—was seen in many collections, and blue, rose and soft pinks also made appearances. A few of the showstoppers: Missoni’s teal cashmere belted minidress, Andrew Gn’s black-and-white tweed coat, Marc Jacobs’ utterly mod sky-blue jersey dress with beaded cuffs and a pebble-lurex-silk-chiffon one-shoulder dress from Stella McCartney. But arguably the take-your-breath-away piece of the night came from Oscar de la Renta’s grand finale. To the tune of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida,” there emerged a brightly colored, small flower-patterned silk zibeline strapless gown with a flamenco hem. It stood out not only for the bright colors and unique silhouette, but because there wasn’t anything else in the show that even looked remotely like it.

Post-show, the crowd returned to the museum, where mini designer boutiques (and several fitting rooms) had been set up, and guests eagerly scooped up many of the items they’d just seen making a pass on the catwalk. But aside from alerting Chicagoans to the new fall trends and stocking the closets of our city’s fashion fans, the Nordstrom Designer Preview annually serves a greater purpose: to fund the Costume Council of the Chicago Historical Society and their educational and research programs. (Molly Each)

Open for Business: Scooping the Competition

*New Boutiques, *The Nationals No Comments »

Chicago is ripe with intra-city rivalries: the Cubs versus the Sox, Northwestern versus University of Chicago, the Sun-Times versus the Tribune. Add one more rivalry, brought to us by way of NYC: Intermix versus Scoop. After the opening of Intermix last week, we stopped by both ultra-chic retailers to compare shopping experiences. Here are our field findings.

Scoop NYC: Women’s clothing by Tibi, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Nili Lotan; Men’s clothing by James Perse, John Varvatos; kid’s clothing by Chip and Pepper Kids and Ella Moss; shoes and accessories for both sexes.

Intermix: Women’s clothing and accessories from D&G, Valentino, Stella McCartney, Matthew Williamson, Missoni.

Our Favorite Finds

Scoop NYC: Old-school sneakers for guys by John Varvatos for Converse, colorful linen shifts by Alice + Olivia, metallic python flats by Stuart Weitzman for Scoop.

Intermix: A hot pink dress by D&G embellished with gold chains; Valentino Diamante Ballerina Flats.

Sales Help (For this category, we got a general vibe on the sales crew, then tried on something that was decidedly “not for us” to gauge how honest the feedback is.)

Scoop NYC: Available but not pushy. We tried on a silk dress by Nili Lotan, and after deeming that the hem was too short, the associate suggested a number of ways to adapt the dress so we’d be more comfortable wearing it.

Intermix: Busy (it was opening weekend, after all) but constantly supervising their shoppers. When a silver silk halter tunic by Toronto-based Jay Godfrey looked too much like a maternity dress, the associate ran out and came back with a smaller size and two similar pieces for comparison.

Dressing Rooms

Scoop NYC: Navy velvet curtains conceal huge dressing rooms with large benches to lay out outfits and accessories. A mirror-lined wall allows you to see how you look as you walk.

Intermix: A circle of smaller rooms with red suede curtains. Associates can swing around, checking on everyone in one swoop.

Scoop NYC: Free one-on-one consultations and personal shopping, free delivery to home or office.

Intermix: In addition to personal shopping, extended hours and in-home consulting, the staff associates are trained as stylists. (Tina Trenkner)

Intermix, 40 East Delaware Place, (312)640-2922; Scoop NYC, 1702 North Milwaukee (773)227-9930