Viva La Glam

Events/Exhibitions No Comments »

The past is present in this year’s fall collections, with designers tapping every decade from the thirties to the nineties for inspiration. But it’s the decade that gave us tight-rolled jeans, shoulder pads and loud geometric prints that provides the aesthetic for this year’s Glamorama, and with an A-list runway roster and a post-show, back-to-the-eighties shindig, the event is shaping up to be as memorable as a pair of Hammer pants.

“Eighties has always been on the table [as a possible theme],” says Jennifer Wilkins, producer of Glamorama. But when choosing the theme nearly a year in advance, the Glamorama team could hardly know just how applicable the eighties would be this season. “We just happen to…hit the nail on the head. Not only are we having a great retro theme, but we’re seeing a lot of eighties inspiration in fashion for this season.”

Now in its tenth year, Glamorama is Macy’s annual style extravaganza, with proceeds benefiting the Art Institute of Chicago. Since its inception the event has raised nearly $2.3 million for the museum and its programs. The event is entirely Midwest-focused, with shows in only Minneapolis and Chicago, and features a runway show, a party and a post-party, where the entire seventh floor of Macy’s is transformed into a theme-related wonderland. This year guests can expect a trip back in time.
“In the show, the eighties theme is a little more tongue-in-cheek. You’ll see some of the references with the special effects and entertainment, and with the styling of the designers. But the party is completely full-out eighties, with everything from eighties music, to great lounge areas featuring Pac-Man, Rubix Cube and Donkey Kong. Our visual and production teams transform the entire seventh floor. There’s no other retailer that throws a party like this,” Wilkins says.

Designers featured this year include Marc Jacobs, Ports 1961, Tibi, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan Collection. Each designer was chosen specifically by the Glamorama producers based on the relevance of their fall collections to the theme at hand. Along with the runway show, guests will be treated to performances from eighties icons Cyndi Lauper and MC Hammer, who will walk the red carpet outside the Chicago Theatre with other eighties celebrities (and a few modern day stars, too).

Knowing that no two fashion-lovers have the same needs, Glamorama offers a versatile array of ticket options and prices. Show-only tickets begin at $75, and go up to $195 with the after-party addition. Prices increase up to $1,000 for the ultimate VIP ticket. (Molly Each)

Glamorama takes place on August 22 at 8pm at the Chicago Theatre, 175 North State. Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster. Call (312)781-5454 for more information.

Handle With Care

-Womenswear, Old Town 1 Comment »

1706 N. Wells, (312)751-2929, [ratings]
Goods: Women’s clothing, accessories, perfume, candles and cards. Designers: J Brand, Gold Hawk, Three Dots, Nanette Lepore, Theory, Shoshanna, Rebecca Taylor, Hudson, Rozae Nichols, Trina Turk, Diane von Furstenberg, House of Harlow, Citrine By the Stones and Tibi. Owner: Brinton Coxe recently took over this 25-year-old boutique. Vibe: The rooms are bright and elegant, with delicate chandeliers and exposed brick walls. The sales staff is dressed adorably and an upbeat mood prevails with eighties and nineties hits in the background. Price Range: Moderate-Luxury. The Look: Each room increases in price and dressiness, so there’s something for any occasion. Wear to drinks on a friend’s patio, your college roommate’s wedding or dinner at NoMi. Shopper’s Perks: Client books kept by the staff remind them to alert you when your favorite designers come in. A classy handwritten note thanks customers for purchases.


Handle With Care

Krista K. Boutique

-Womenswear, Lakeview No Comments »

3458 N. Southport, (773)248-1967, [ratings]
Goods: Women’s clothing and accessories. Designers: Rebecca Taylor, Tibi, MINT by jodi arnold, Haute Hippie, Helmut Lang, Current/Elliott, William Rast, jeans by Citizens of Humanity. Owner: Drawing on her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management—and her considerable experience with shopping—Krista Kaur Meyers opened her boutique in 2002. Vibe: This two-story, window-lined boutique carries fully stocked floors, an approachable staff and plenty of catch-your-breath seating. Price Range: Moderate. The Look: Take these crisp, sophisticated and full-of-feminine-charm pieces from a holiday party to an evening of ten-dollar martinis. Shopper’s Perks: With an oversized leather couch, a basket of kid’s toys and a stack of magazines, this shop is well-equipped to occupy antsy family members. Each January and July, the Shop Around the Clock sale allows shoppers to score an additional fifty percent off already-reduced items for the first hour.


Krista K. Boutique


-Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Bucktown No Comments »

1719 N. Damen, (773)772-0505, [ratings]
Goods: Women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Designers: Cloak & Dagger, Dace, Tibi, Serfontaine, Genetic Denim, Buqet, Small Town Jeans, Majestic and J Brand. Owner: Lori Mandarino opened the boutique more than ten years ago. With no fashion experience, only a knack for style, she started the successful business “from scratch.” Vibe: A giant antique bar with intricately carved flowers serves as the cash register. Racks are punctuated with sinuous, metal branches. Price Range: Expensive. The Look: World traveler with exquisite taste (and beyond-a-backpacker’s budget). This shopper scours outdoor markets for antique charms and ethnic jewelry. Obsessed with color and sophisticated prints. Shopper’s Perks: A sale section in back is often stocked with bargains.



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