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Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence

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It is indeed rare that I have ever been to an event where the press is delegated to a dark corner away from the runway. It seems the front seats were reserved mostly for men who have been major donors to the event. And it was another exciting student fashion runway event, choreographed by my talented friend, Tracey Tarrantino of Zzazz Productions, and presented by the charming Linda Yu, ABC7.  It was a celebration of  the 10th yr anniversary for the best of the students in fashion from 5 schools, with proceeds from the evening going to Chicago Fashion Incubator and other charities. The 2011 student winner went to Que Shebley. Congrats!!

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Oprah Visit's Ralph Lauren

 

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As Oprah counts down her final shows, this past Wednesday's episode sure didn't disappoint.  The iconic Ralph Lauren sat down for the first time to interview with Oprah at his amazing Colorado ranch.  Wife Ricky and children Andrew, David, and Dylan all dressed in RL, joined the interview and talked about growing up in the Lauren household.  Andrew is currently a film producer, while David is Vice President of Advertising, Marketing, and Corporate Communications at Ralph Lauren. 

 

Daughter Dylan, who owns Dylan Candy Bar in New York is expected to wed next month.  Set to wear a gown by none other than Ralph Lauren himself, just talking about the experience designing his daughter's wedding gown brought the designer to tears.  We can expect this to be the next most talked about wedding gown of the year. 

 

Beginning as a teenager making ties, Ralph Lauren has worked his way to the top.  When asked how he went from designing fashion to home furnishings, Ralph Lauren stated "I'm not about fashion, I'm about living."  Ralph Lauren is the biggest selling designer of all time.

 

Image Credits: Google, Style.com

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Fashion: Missoni teams up with Target

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We can all get excited, the wait is over.  Missoni has now teamed up with Target to mass produce its collection.  The Italian designers are well known for their brilliance in both knits and prints, as we know are both big this season.  It has been reported that the release date will conveniently be on this upcoming September 13. 
The release of the collection is expected to occur nation wide, with at least 400 products.  If you have not already, this is a great time to become more familiar with Missoni products as we can expect to see everything from apparel to home decorative options.  I am even more excited to know that by being collaborative with Target we can expect to see affordable prices, with supplies for the entire family to enjoy.

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"Living the Dream" Charity Fashion Show


I love supporting Chicago designers and what a great way to support both the designers and charity. This Sat. May 7th, 2011 Compass to Care, a nonprofit organization which assists childhood cancer patients and their families with the traveling expenses for cancer treatment, will be hosting a fashion show at the Double Tree Hotel on Michigan Avenue. Local designers such as Jessica Audey and The Hundred Shop will be featured. Elda De La Rosa Couture, whom I did an interview with a few weeks ago, will also be featured. This Saturday's event will be a great way to help a great cause and see some lovely, local Chicago designers. If you want more information please go to http://dreamofacure.weebly.com

Elda De La Rosa Couture

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Interview: Christian Siriano

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Last week I interviewed the designer Christian Siriano who was the featured guest for Columbia College Chicago's Conversations in the Arts. I must admit that he was fun but very informative with the students (as faculty member Nena Ivon interviewed him). He continues to take on new challenges with great success since winning Project Runnway. 
BG: As the winner of the 4th season of Project Runway, in addition to being the youngest  winner, how has winning changed your life besides the check you received?
CS: For me it was an amazing experience. I took it (winning) as a business and ran with it. Designing for  six seasons & on to the 7th, it's hard. Neiman's and Saks are my biggest retailers.

BG: You studied ballet as a child. Does  this influence your designs?
CS:  Definitely. Being back stage and around the costumes and hair, I loved the textures between bobby pins and scrunches. It will continue to influence my life in some way.


BG: You were rejected from FIT but went on to study in London and to intern with Vivian Westwood, Alexander McQueen and later Marc Jacobs. Tell my readers & students how you turned a negative into a positive. 
CS:  It was a horrible moment.  For me, it pushed me.
The next day I went on to the internet and decided to go to London. I have never been to Europe. I was very poor but had student loans and worked in little retail stores because I loved being around clothes. I learned so much. You have to keep going.

BG: Victoria Beckman called your collection a breath of fresh air. You have designed for Payless and did a maternity line in addition to your collections. What's next?
CS:  I have been with Payless for nine collections. My collection with Spiegel, which is more affordable, is available on line now. I have lots of projects for the future.

BG: What judge was the most challenging and what is your most difficult challenge now?
CS: They were all tough in different ways. The real customers are much tougher than the judges. I still talk to Tim, Heidi, and Nina. Heidi's stylist sends me requests for clothing.  I have a great relationship with them.

BG: Were you flattered when Amy Poehler played you on SNL?
CS:  I loved it. You've made if if you are being a parody on SNL.

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Jewelry Trends: Nicole Richie's House of Harlow


The 1960's and 1970's Bohemian styles are back in fashion for this spring and summer. 
Nicole Richie introduced her 1960's inspired jewelry line back in 2008 at Kitson boutique in Los Angeles, and since then the line has grown to include shoes, bags, and more!  Try some funky bangles, worn above the elbow on the upper arm to define your style.   The classic zig-zag patterns and a warm red-orange-yellow color palette that characterized the 1970's is back this season, so go bright and bold when it comes to accessorizing!

If your summer wardrobe is stocked with the popular Maxi Dress, it is a must to accessories with House of Harlow pieces!  For the indie chic look, sport a beaded headpiece!  House of Harlow is only available in boutiques, so make sure to check out the following online shops to get your jewelry trends:  Kitson, ShopStyle, and Piperlime for shoes!

Image credits: Singer22, Kitson, Style.com, Piperlime, Google

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Karl Lagerfeld Designs: Spring 2011 AND Diet Coke

 
   
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Several years ago when King Karl, yes Karl Lagerfeld was in Chicago, I inteviewed him on NBC5 & we had dinner together at Blackbird. He was indeed charming and on his way to his slim, fabulous, stylish self as he is today. To pass on the message of staying healthy & slim, he is now designing bottles for Diet Coke. No, you can't wear these designs but they will definitely look fab on my book shelves! Along with his new designs for Coke, Karl Lagerfeld also has an amazing Spring 2011 eyewear collection with many options designed to showcase Lagerfeld's logo using vintage shapes wrapped with lush textures and vibrant colors. Check out the video of Lagerfeld's latest Diet Coke collection. Do we love Lagerfeld's designs for eyewear as well as his designs for diet coke?
(Posted by Marycke Gramillano)

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Thierry Lasry: Go To Designer For Sunglasses

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French Eyewear Designer Thierry Lasry is the go to designer for sunglasses this season. His designer shades have been seen on many celebrities from Madonna to Nicole Ritchie. Thierry gets his inspiration from vintage eyewear, but incorporates a modern feel to it. All his work is handcrafted in France. Though he seems new to some, Thierry started his business in 2006 and has developed a large celebrity following since then. He has also worked on collaborations with the brand Acne and designer Peter Som, to name a few.

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Fashion: Chicago has Talent

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Project Runway

The phenomenal show "Project Runway" hosted by Heidi Klum, with team members like Michael Kors and Tim Gunn are bringing their casting to the windy city for the upcoming season 9.  We are expected to have great talent from Chicago, with well trained designers from leading fashion schools like Columbia college or the Art Institute we are bound to hit the runway.  However, this will not be the first time the windy city has made its mark on Project Runway as Cynthia Rowley brought us amazing designs and Bobbi Brown proved herself as a remarkable make-up artist on the show.  I will be interviewing the winner of season 4 Christian Siriano at Columbia college on April 26, look out for the post that week so you do not miss out.

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Interview With Jewelry Designer Paloma Picasso

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I was very excited to interview one of the world's most acclaimed jewelry designers, Paloma Picasso, (daughter of Pablo Picasso & Francoise Gilot), on her recent visit to Chicago. We had a great conversation over tea at the WAC. I first discovered her bold and graphic designs at Tiffany 30 years ago when I admired her "x" designs. It was always a sign of love, beauty and architecture. Today her jewelry continues to excite me with her latest Zellige collection for Tiffany along with her extraordinary colored stones. 


BG: How was your first collection for Tiffany over 25 years ago different from your collection today?


PP: It all began 30 years ago if we are speaking truthfully. I think it was an evolution. If you compare, you can see it was obviously designed by the same person. That's why I like jewelry. There is a certain cognizance to it. People can pass down jewelry for generations and generations and to me, it is a beautiful thing.


BG: What continues to influence your collection?


PP: Everything that happens to me influences my designs. My home in Marrakech has a slight Moroccan feel to it and the architecture all around me really influences me. European details in furniture contribute to my design process as well. You can see the influence in my Zellige collection.


BG: You have been inducted into The Hall of Fame International Best Dressed List. How would you describe your own fashion signature?


PP: With my style, a long time ago with jewelry, I thought simplistically to show off the pieces. Black suits me, and it showcases the jewelry wonderfully.


BG: Yves St. Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Antonio, Studio 54 were all a part of your group. What influence did they have on you?


PP: We all would share our point of views on trends. I would go to YSL's show and I would be dressed like his models, by accident, it's like it was in the air. Being together so much caused us to almost think in the same way. But with fashion back then, it wasn't as fashionable as it is now. At first, not many people would show up and the shows were usually held for the buyers and now it's a huge spectacle.


BG: You travel extensively. When packing what would you never leave home without?


PP: I would never leave the house without black trousers and a black top.


BG: What's can we expect in the future from your jewelry collection?


PP: There will be more of a men's collection coming later this summer. I see that men are being more adventurous with their fashions, so I always make sure to run the designs by my husband who isn't really into fashion. If he approves, then it must be good. My husband and I take from each other. We create the right sparkle.


BG: And what a great team they are. Can't wait to see the men's collection this summer at Tiffany & Co.


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J.Crew Goes To Italy

"J.Crew Goes to Italy" is the title of a mini documentary done by J.Crew on the company's design team going to Italy in search of quality fabrics, prints, shoes. The documentary was shot by director Douglas Keave, who has also done the documentaries Unzipped and Seamless. The whole documentary is set into three parts, about a shoe, about a thread, and about a print. The whole movie is absolutely darling, and each part can be viewed below. 

Plus, below are some pictures from the documentary and of Michelle Obama in J.Crew.




By Dinell W.

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Kate Middleton: Franklin Mint Doll and Burberry Coat

 

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Everyone cannot get enough of Kate Middleton and the royal wedding. We personally love Kate and everything that she does and wears. She has become increasingly more popular as the countdown to the wedding draws closer and closer. Pictures have started popping up of her in bikinis and many designers are taking full advantage of her beautiful looks and graceful manner. Kate modeled a sheer see-though dress in college which was very revealing, the one where the Prince certainly began to look at her in a different light. Well now, the dress is being auctioned off by the college designer with all of the proceeds going to charity. Franklin Mint, the leader in the portrait doll world, is also using Kate to make a doll out of in the very blue dress she wore when her and the Prince announced their engagement. The Kate dolls cost $195. It seems that everything with Kate's picture on it gets sold immediately whether it's a stamp or the Burberry raincoat that she wore to a christening on a boat which sold out immediately. So are you in love with Kate just as much as we are or are you ready for the royal wedding to be over already?

(Posted by Marycke Gramillano)

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Designers: Olivier Theyskens for Theory

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Former Nina Ricci designer, Olivier Theyskens, is doing a collaboration with Theory for 2011. The collections are called Theyskens' Theory. Spring/Summer 2011 is already available to the public on Theory's website or any high fashion department store, like Neiman Marcus or Barneys. If you want to take a peek at the Fall/Winter 2011 collection it can be viewed on Style.com. Below is a slideshow of photos from Theyskens' Nina Ricci days, the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter Theyskens' Theory collection, and of Theyskens' Theory on celebs.

By Dinell W.

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Chicago Designer Elda De La Rosa

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Recently I did an event with Elda De La Rosa, bridal gown and custom designer. In addition to being one of the nicest people, her collection was beautiful, The workmanship and details were outstanding. I must admit I wasn't familiar with her collection, but I have now become a big supporter of her work. Don't miss seeing her outstanding designs for Spring/Summer at her show: 

The Allerton Hotel,701 N. Michigan Ave.
Thursday, March 31st
7:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception
8:00 p.m. Fashion Show
RSVP: Jessica@jpriego.com
Tel: 773.769.3128
www.eldadelarosa.com

By Dinell W.

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Kate Middleton Hats: Philip Treacy Designer

 

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Who says you can't look fab wearing a hat? Certainly Kate Middleton proves you can look classic, chic and modern in the right hat. We know some of those hats were designed by famous English Designer Philip Treacy, who has done amazing hats for Lady Gaga, Sarah Jessica Parker and the fantastic hats for Carmilla Parker Bowles at her wedding to Prince Charles. When Kate marries Prince William at the end of April, all eyes will be on her dress... and on her head. Kate always seems to be wearing stylish hats and everyone is excited to see what she might have on for her evening reception. Keep your eyes out for a beautiful Philip Treacy hat. What do you think? Are you adventurous enough to branch out and wear some great hats?

(Posted by Marycke Gramillano)

 

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Kate Middleton Fashion Watch: Issa A Favorite Designer

 

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Daniella Helayel is a name that most of you may not be familiar with. This great designer is celebrating her 10 year anniversary of her Issa line (her middle name) with a fantastic fall/winter 2011 collection at London Fashion Week. Issa is known for making beautiful jersey pieces while adding many colorful prints and is one of Kate Middletons favorite designers. Kate Middleton famously wore a perfect royal blue Issa dress to announce her engagement to Prince William, it soon sold out at Net-a-Porter, which brought tons of international recognition to the label.

This season,the designer is proud of her bohemian chic prints in stand out bold colors. The draped jersey dresses, deep-v neck lines, and silky full circle skirts paired with tights are some looks that can't go wrong. The collection is very intriguing, which is why Kate Middleton probably likes it due to her great, sophisticated, elegant but conservative taste. What do you think of Issa?

(Posted by Marycke Gramillano)

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Fashion Week and Clutches: Smaller Bags are Back

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BCBG. New York Fashion Week handbag trends from the runway for fall 2011Credit: Getty Images


If you're wiped out from carrying around heavy over-sized handbags the past few seasons, we've got some good news! This Fashion Week in New York, designers sent a surplus of Clutches down the runway.  So, if you're in the market for a new bag, consider lightening the load and go for a stylish clutch bag instead.

There's still a way to carry all your favorite personal items and fit them in a clutch - not all clutches are miniature! Although  Kim Kardashian usually sports over-the-top handbags, she's been seen with a cute Balenciaga Giant Clutch. The "Oversized Clutch" is a fantastic way to compromise style without losing the storage for your everyday essentials.

Check out the Book of the Month & Daily News Clutches from Kate Spade.  These clutches are designed to look like books of Classic Literature right off the shelves.  Just because your bag is smaller, it doesn't mean your style has to be!   Natalie Portman carried the "Lolita" clutch at the premier of Black Swan last Fall.

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Victoria Beckham and Kate Middleton:Fashionista Meets Royalty

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Victoria Beckham, the former Posh Spice, and wife of David Beckham has now made a name
for herself in the fashion industry in just a little over the past two years. Most recently we have seen Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz walk the red carpet in her designs. Being pregnant with the couples' fourth child has stopped her from continuously working on her new line, as the fall collection was a success. We saw many draped dresses from black and loose fitting skin toned dresses to bright red and yellow. Beckham still made room for her signature fitted dresses, using silk snake prints, pleating, and A lined gowns.

Most recently has Victoria Beckham caught the attention of Kate Middleton, who is scheduled to marry Prince William on April 29th, making it the wedding of the century. Both Beckham and Middleton have an outstanding eye for fabulous fashion, so it is not a surprise that the two petite British woman have made contact. It has been confirmed that Beckham has sent Middleton a requested selection of her designs but it is still a guessing game as if a wedding dress will be in the making by Beckham. Rumors will continue to evolve, because English woman can definitely keep a secret.


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Emilio Pucci: Spring 2011

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Many celebrities have been seen wearing Emilio Pucci. With the Grammy's just ending, we saw J-Lo, Ciara, Eva Longoria, and Lea Michele all in Pucci.

Emilio Pucci's Spring 2011 collection brought a sense of excitement to Milan Fashion week with sexy shapes, psychedelic prints and lace-up boots. Under the creative direction of Peter Dundas, Pucci designs aren't scared of showing a little skin or attitude as shown by the plunging necklines and high hems. The outfits were all accessorized with satchel bags, bandanas and understated jewelry. Is Pucci's Spring 2011 collection luring you in?

(Posted by Marycke Gramillano)

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Rag & Bone: Spring 2011

 

 

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Rag & Bone is a lifestyle brand, offering men's, women's, footwear and accessories collections which are available at high end boutiques and exclusive department stores worldwide. Designers David Neville and Marcus WainWright started off their Spring 2011 show with a white tailored pantsuit, one of their trademarks. White is a big color for Spring and their use of futuristic, military-grade fabrics continue to compell consumers. Both designers stretch themselves each season to make their brand appeal stronger then ever to the public. Even though some of their looks were a bit overdone, many men and women will want to look cool in spring with their fashions.

(Posted by Marycke Gramillano) 

 

 

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Vera Wang: Kohl's Collection

 

Many designers step away from their high fashion roots and design for more middle to low income consumers who want to look stylish as well. Vera Wang is best known for her stunning wedding dresses, but she has been designing for Kohls for awhile now. Her line is called SimplyVera Vera Wang. She has a Winter 2011 collection and is now showcasing her Spring 2011 collection. New arrivals for spring will start appearing in stores this February and March. So for those of us who can't afford spending a huge amount of money on designer clothes, we can just go to Kohls and get great stylish looks for cheap! We all love great looks for less, so what do you think of Vera Wang's line at Kohls?

Please visit Kohls.com/verawang to see fresh new items every month!

(Posted by Marycke Gramillano)

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Spring 2011 Fashion: Gucci

 

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"I pushed the accelerater on the provocation," Frida Giannini stated. As the creative director for Gucci, Giannini sported a Spring 2011 collection that caught everyone's attention. Gucci is most well known for their handbags and bringing the glamour to fashion. With slicked back hair, red glossy lips, and bright vibrant colors, Giannini is crediting the late-seventies for her bold color palette, according to Style.com. This spring, bring out your vibrant dresses, safari jackets, silk jumpsuits, suede shoes and fringe to make a bold statement at school or work. Girls looking to get in on Spring's 1970's action will definitely find inspiration/options from Giannini. What will you be wearing this Spring?

(Posted by Marycke Gramillano)

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Spring 2011 Sexy Shoes : In or Out?

 

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Designers anywhere from Lanvin, YSL and Diane Von Furstenberg are coming up with similar styles of shoes for this spring. Spring 2011 shoes are all about strappy, chunky, platform sandals. If you are wearing a pair of shoes that has one if not all of those aspects, then you are right on track for spring. Bright, vibrant colors are taking the lead as well as heels with a substantial width, not skinny stilettos.As we see more and more wide leg pants for Spring 2011, we will see higher heels with suede, leather, or the newest trend, wood.  Many of the shoes for spring will be made of wood, light or dark, all encompassing a strappy design with a unique edge. So will you stay with the gladiators or get sexy, strappy shoes for spring?

Posted by Marycke Gramillano

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Victoria Beckham : Handbag Collection- A Replacement for the Birkin?

"24 Hours in the life of Victoria," doesn't that sound lovely? That allurting theme is the central focus around Victoria Beckham's handbag collection. Victoria Beckham, former Spice girl and wife of David Beckham, has started designing handbags in addition to her clothing designs! Victoria Beckam's first collection will offer 6 styles, prices ranging from $1,800- $13,950 in many different finishes.

Possessing hundreds of "IT" handbags already, including almost 100 Birkin Bags, Victoria Beckham is attempting to ultimately replace the costly Birkin bags with her own unique designs, inspired by Ms. Beckham's sophisticated, polished look. Her lovely handbags will be available at Neiman Marcus Los Angeles, Bergdorf Goodman, and net-a-porter.com. Her structured, classic designs will soon take the world by storm as every celebrity and consumer who can afford her handbags, will feel themselves urging for a Posh experience.

With original Hermes Birkin Bags costing anywhere from $5,300 to $50,000 and up, consumers will be sure to ditch the Birkin and get with the Beckham. People will re-evalute just how much they are willing to spend on a designer handbag. According to Instyle.com, Victoria was heard saying, "A Beckham can replace your Birkin." So what do you think? Can a Beckham replace YOUR Birkin?

 

Published by Marycke Gramillano

 

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Spring Collections : Alexander McQueen's Legacy Lives On!

 

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The once talented, innovative, strange, intriguing man that's Lady Gaga's favorite designer is...

 ALEXANDER MCQUEEN!

Alexander McQueen was known for his outrageous fashion shows and constant unique fashion sense. With his armadillo shoes and crazy cut out outfits that Lady Gaga is known for wearing, his fashion label is an inspiration and attracts the eyes of many men and women all over the world. For Spring 2011 RTW, McQueen's legacy lives on in the name of Sarah Burton, the new creative director for Alexander McQueen. In the collection, the fashion pieces revolve all around our Earth. Through notes, it was written that "McQueen explained that he had been pondering Charles Darwin, the survival of the fittest, and the deleterious results of industrialization on the natural world."

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Burton stayed with McQueen's signature frock coats, skinny-leg pants, and hourglass silhouettes, but the wood-print tailoring was much more fluid. She is the perfect person to grab hold of McQueen's legacy and make it prosper and survive for years to come. Bright, multicolored allover prints, leggings, and cocoon dresses were a big hit--a general trend emerging from London's young designers. Sarah Burton's goal is to satisfy consumers and to potentially sell this Spring. This collection, with its color, attention to detail, prints, leggings, cocoon dresses, ankle-wrapped shoes, and eased-up tailoring, looks like it'll be one of the best selling collections yet. More to get excited about for spring! We'll see if these new creative designs last in the eyes of the consumers...

Posted by Marycke Gramillano(Photo/Info Credit: Style.com) 

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Spring 2011 : Marc Jacobs

 

 

 

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Anything Marc Jacobs touches seems to turn to gold. Not only does he have his own lines: Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs, he is also the creative director for Louis Vuitton. He is the go-to guy for stylish, sophisticated pieces with an edgy twist. Anyone who's anybody is sporting something from Marc Jacobs, especially this spring. Whether it's his more affordable line, Marc by Marc Jacobs, or his pricey line, Marc Jacobs, celebrities as well as highschool and college kids can't get enough of the brand.

For spring 2011, it's all about going back to the 1970's with frizzy hair, wide-legged pants, gold glittering platform shoes and oversized flower corsages as seen on Style.com. For spring, it's all about color, prints, halter dresses, seductive cuts/slits and yes, HOT PANTS. I will definitely be around sporting some tight short shorts this spring/summer and can't wait to see what others are going to try to pull off. Say goodbye to cleavage and hello to legs and butt! Will you be sporting the look of the 70's this spring?

Posted by Marycke Gramillano

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January Jones: Naked In Versace's Ads

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"I am always on the lookout for the next Versace blonde...and in January I feel I have found a perfect Versace woman for the 21st century," said Donatella Versace. "She s chic and elegant but deeply sensual too." The pic above, photographed by famed photographer Mario Testino, features the 32-year-old star wearing nothing except for a Versace bag and a pair of heels. Yes, January Jones is a beautiful woman, and I especially love watching her play housewife on Mad Men. What do you think of January's Versace S/S 2011 ad campaign?

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Betsey Johnson's New Look


Spring 2011 Line

Big changes are coming to Betsey Johnson, LLC, and they have already hit the website!  Betsey's new site features a larger online store, and even a Head 2 Toe section of the website with assembled looks.  Recently, the designer brand appointed a new CEO, Susan Faulk, who plans to adjust Betsey's look.  Steve Madden, Ltd has also stepped in with a loan to help revamp retail sales.  Not to worry, Betsey Johnson is staying put as the company's head designer! Nonetheless, Faulk especially wants to alter Betsey Johnson dresses, which she claims look too "young" and are "a bit too short" in article by the Wall Street Journal.  By changing dresses and other Betsey styles, Faulk seeks to appeal to a wider age range of women.  It is hard to imaging changing Betsey's typical youthful, color palette and pop culture influenced designs without changing the brand itself.  Already, customers can buy a dress from the website and see similar styles of the same dress with longer hemlines.  However, Betsey Johnson herself is excited about the new management, and reassures that she will always remain true to the brand. 

Image sources: nymag.com, betseyjohnson.com

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Does size matter? Big vs. Small Jewelry Trends

We've all seen it flooding the streets and runways, those big, bulky necklace chains and bangles making more of a statement than clothes themselves! Below is a list of designer pieces to help you decide whether statement jewelry is in or out.  Does size really matter when it comes to accessorizing? Let's compare.

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(Left to Right), Nina Ricci thin gold woven necklace, and Chanel collar with gold and black chain.   When it comes to necklaces, going big isn't always best.   The Nina Ricci necklace is delightfully delicate.  It has the touch of  timeless beauty that will always be in style. On the other hand, Chanel's ostentatious piece may be an accessory reserved for special occasions - it can be tricky pairing this necklace with your everyday wardrobe.

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(Left to Right) Giles & Brother leather and gold wrap around hook bracelet, CA & LOU pink metallic rhinestone cuff.  The Giles & Brother bracelet has a sleek over-sized hook clasp, however CA & Lou's mismatch of industrial, geometric shapes and a soft pastel pink presents an enchanting alternative.  Bigger is better when it comes to these two!

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(Left to Right) Bulgari blue and black with yellow gemstone post earrings, Christian Dior tri-color cascade earrings.  Earrings are traditionally the one piece of jewelry you want to sparkle the most.  Bulgari's earrings provide that romantic dazzle, with a just a bit of colorful flair from a classic one-stone gem post earring.   Dior's dangle earrings are stunning, rocking asymmetric shapes and a blue to silver color gradient, however they borderline on questionable costume jewelry from the 1980's.   Go classic over kitsch and sport Bulgari's smaller option!

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(Left to right) Jack Vartanian gold 18k ring, Kara Ross metallic gold asymmetrical over-sized ring.  The Kara Ross ring nearly triples in size, with bold, uninhibited shapes rivaling the neat pattern of the lesser Jake Vartanian.   With the two ring styles so similar, big vs. small is simply a matter of personal style.  Which do you prefer?

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(Left to Right) Fallon silver chain pendant necklace, Fenton black ribbon tie layered silver chain necklace.   Layers and tangled necklaces are definitely in style, however how much is too much?  Fallon's simple pendant necklace is classic and romantic, in contrast to Fenton's loud layering of cross-shaped charms, silver spikes, and chains that vary in size.   If you wear a simple Fallon necklace, it's easy to add another big piece like the CA & LOU bracelet above.  However, be cautious of what accessories you pair with the Fenton - if anything!

Share your opinion - Big vs. Small?

Wedding Bells at Buckingham Palace?


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Speculation about a royal engagement is buzzing right now and has heightened over the past few days in the media. Prince William and his long-time girlfriend, Kate Middleton, have been seen together, looking happy and not avoiding the paparazzi, which is an extremely rare occasion. They are expected to announce their plans to wed by the end of the year, and the word is that they'll tie the knot in summer at what will likely be "the wedding of the decade"! Check out the talk of the pending engagement on yesterday's Today Show.




The question for us fashion-lovers is "who will Mr. Middleton wear when she walks down the isle?" The designer mentioned above is Kate's favorite, Daniella Issa Helayel. The blue dress in the photo is an Issa piece and was custom-made for her - just like Diana, Kate loves couture (who doesn't?!). The Brazilian designer, whose collections are available at Harrod's and Harvey Nichols, is also known to be in the closets of Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Eva Mendes, Keira Knightley, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Issa has traditionally made day and cocktail dresses, originally out of her frustration of not finding anything she loved when she shopped for herself, but she has also just begun to design wedding gowns! I think that's pretty fortuitous timing for the princess-to-be!

Mama Knowles Knows What Women Want at Walmart




Beyonce's mother, Tina Knowles, who has been known for designing and styling looks for her the pop star, has actually always had a knack for fashion. This month, she is debuting a line at Walmart, called Miss Tina! The sportswear line has 30 distinct pieces, ranging from denim to leggings, graphics tees to classic blouses, embellished tops to wear-to-work dresses. There's something for every kind of woman - the clothes come in sizes 2 to 20 - and the best part: the prices! Most garments are expected to retail for about $20. Tina explains that she understands how hard it is to find clothes that are comfortable yet well-fitting and, of course, fashionable. We know that a woman who has helped push her daughter to such heights of success can do great things for other women, such as make them look great on an affordable price tag. Check out Tina talking about her line on the Today Show, and of course check out her line at Walmart!


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Zero + Maria Cornejo

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Photo: style.com


Maria Cornejo might be an esoteric name, obscure to those outside the fashion set, but that's how she likes things. In a world of designers trying everything they can to get their brand to touch as many things as possible and their collections on more - not fewer - people, the Chilean-born designer is doing things her own way by keeping her business under her watchful eye and ensuring it remains small. This week, the Wall Street Journal talked about Cornejo's "mom-and-pop" line and how her strategy of an intimate, family-controlled company is incongruous with the fashion industry today. We don't mind though, because one of the few stores that carry her line is Ikram, right here in Chicago!

But Cornejo's style, of fashion and business, reflects her preferences and her personality. Her designs are pieces that she herself would wear, and she understands that people want to be comfortable while looking fashionable. This is the basis of her use of draping, the bias cut, and often times not quite conventional tailoring - techniques that create a graceful, relaxed yet pulled-together look. Check out some of her spring designs below, and see Style.com for the full collection!

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Lanvin for H&M: It's Official!

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H&M announced that it's next designer collaboration will be with one of the most influential brands of the 21st century, Lanvin. The launch of both womenswear and menswear will be available on November 23 in 200 H&M stores worldwide. Designed by Lanvin's artistic director Alber Elbaz, and menswear designer Lucas Ossendrijver.

"H&M approached us to collaborate, and see if we could translate the dream we created at Lanvin to a wider audience, not just a dress for less. I have said in the past that I would never do a mass-market collection, but what intrigued me was the idea of H&M going luxury rather than Lanvin going public, " Elbaz says.

The launch of Lanvin for H&M is among the most anticiapted fashion events of the year. So, if you can't wait for the collection to hit stores designs will be unveiled through a special film, which will be available for public streaming online at www.HM.com. "Yes, Please!"

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Lambertson Truex at Tiffany & Co. Chicago - Michigan Avenue

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Left to right, John Truex, me, & Richard Lambertson

People likely spend more time with their bag than their spouse - together from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., says John Truex. "It's an extension of you, an extension of your day and the way you dress. ... Your bag needs to be your best friend. You tell it all your secrets - just think of what goes inside it." On September 23, 2010 designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex launched the Tiffany Leather Collection at the flagship Fifth Avenue Tiffany & Co. store in New York. This week I had the pleasure of meeting the fabulous design duo at the Michigan Avenue Tiffany & Co. store, and I sat down with them to ask them a few questions...

BG: We are seeing more of a ladylike influence with structured bags this season. Tell me about the ones in your collection and why?
John: The Laurelton Top Handle bag is a framed bag, structured in the sense that it's made with lizard or crocodile. It keeps a real clean flatness. There's always a ladylike element in our collections no matter what season. It defines who you are because there are so many personalities out there and we want to have a variety for every type that walks through the door.
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Laurelton Top Handle

BG: I love the Tiffany blue signature in all your handbag linings and detailing.
Richard: Everyone wants to discover the jewel box of T & Co. The Tiffany customer could start with a little girl who gets a charm bracelet, then onto engagement...

BG: I was happy to see a variety of prices in your collection from around $8500 to $395 for a tote. ...John and Richard showed me the (TRT): Tiffany Reversible Tote ($395) with the detachable zipper pouch inside and the Laurelton top handle bag in yellow crocodile.

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(TRT): Tiffany Reversible Tote

BG: What makes the handbag an important accessory and what is your inspiration?
Richard: I've always been into understatement. You shouldn't see a woman's bag before you see the woman.
*J&R have been designing bags for 15 years and their inspiration is all the women they've met over the years.

BG:
What bags are special for evening?
They showed me the bracelet bag. Perfect for a cocktail party!

BG: Let's talk about your style and pet peeves.
Why doesn't John wear socks?
John: It makes me claustrophobic and I've been this way since I was a child.
Richard: It goes back to manners and society, and where we are today. I'm offended to see women at cocktail parties carrying huge totes or two bags at a time. It's offensive and inappropriate. I miss the way it used to be.
John: My pet peeve is white napkins. I always ask for black because I'm usually wearing black and I think this should be standard.
*While dining at the Peninsula Hotel John noticed they have handbag hooks for women to use and he loved this attention to detail. They were also happy to bring him a black napkin.

BG: Do you watch Mad Men as the program has a big influence on the fashion trends today?
* Both of them watch Mad Men.

BG: Do you have a favorite handbag from the collection?
John's favorite today:
Brady tote in onyx quilted nappa leather with studs.
Richards favorite bag: Harlow clutch in haircalf - giraffe.

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Brady tote


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Harlow clutch

BG: What are your favorite restaurants in Chicago?
John: Blackbird, we went there Tuesday night, and the Peninsula Hotel.  
 
BG: Tell me something that would surprise my readers.
John: I change me wallet to match my shoes, like a man changes his white shirt on a daily basis. I have every kind of wallet for the mood of the day.

Richard Lambertson and John Truex work is worthy of "the Tiffany experience." Their new collection of leather goods has women lining up for the mirror to model which bag looks best on them and some men carrying purple wallets. Purple alligator was, in fact, the first color to sell out. 

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Michelle Obama: Arts, Music... Fashion!

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Photo: Harper's Bazaar


Check out our leading lady, Michelle, in the White House's Red Room with a snazzy young group of creative kids. And of course, do not fail to notice her fabulously form-fitting yet sophisticated L'Wren Scott dress and gorgeous blue kitten-hell pumps - talk about a daring woman who is not afraid to be bold with color. In a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar, Michelle talks about the prevalence of the arts in her upbringing and how this taught her the importance of such an outlet for today's youth - specifically, she was raised in a home pulsing with the beat of soulful jazz, the passion of her grandfather, and her own father was a sculptor and painter when not working to feed his family. With that history, it would be impossible to not share a love for such pursuits. Michelle herself can name her first album, Stevie Wonder's Talking Book, but, even more poignantly, she recalls performing in her school's production of Hansel & Gretel. The best thing about this piece of her past? She was drawn to the role of the fairy because of the tutu costume it allowed her wear!

Michelle happily supports fashion as a unique and inspirational art form, using her position to prove that style is personal and political. Check out some of her best looks and favorite designers below!

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Roberto Cavalli: Spring 2011

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This spring, the sexy, va-va-voom designs of Roberto Cavalli return with skin-bearing flowy dresses and lace-up pants. Crocodile and snakeskin, leather and suede, dense fringe and beads scattered throughout, the collection comes together to evoke a feeling of sun-drenched paradise - just the right amount of wild, untamed beauty that was actually carefully crafted by the Italian designer.

Cavalli also hit 40 years of being in fashion, which he celebrated (along with his 70th birthday) with a grande festa at Les Beaux-Arts de Paris. Because he knows glitz and glamour more than anyone, the night was a fabulous mix of champagne, cake, and of course celebrities! Check out the photos from the party below as well as some more looks from the runway.

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Vera Lehndorff: aka VERUSCHKA

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The first supermodel, 71 year-old Veruschka walked the runway at the Giles Deacon Spring/Summer 2011 show at London Fashion Week. Proving beauty is ageless! The 1960s icon graced the runway wearing a feather boa headdress and long, bow-print gown. At six-foot-one, she was the picture of power leading the pack of models that included Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolina Kurkova and Kelly Brook. Yes, Veruschka's return to the runway was all rage at London Fashion Week reminding us that everyone can look fabulous at every age. What do you think of her triumphant return? Do you like seeing models of all ages and sizes on the catwalk? Take a look at the photos of Veruschka over the years.

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Runway: Rag & Bone

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Anytime I am fortunate enough to meet talented young designers, they always remain on my list of fashion mavens to watch out for and follow. After Rag & Bone's David Neville and Marcus Wainwright were kind of enough to stop and chat for a quick interview a few months ago at their Intermix event, I've been impressed with their style and of course the dedication that shines through in their work.

Their collection for Spring, which debuted at New York Fashion Week, is an interesting and daring departure from their signature basics-with-an-edge. Using a combination of fabrics and texture, such as chiffon, suede, crochet, broderie anglaise, to create a looks that were futuristic but feminine, the duo was certainly reaching for something different from what we're used to seeing from them. Check out some of the designs below and for the full collection, see Style.com.

What do you think - are you on board with Rag & Bone's experimentation with more avant-garde looks, or do you prefer their classic silk tops with unfinished hems and tailored pantsuits?

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Tommy Turns 25

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Photo: style.com


Last week in New York, Tommy Hilfiger presented his Spring 2011 collection - which included an off-beat twist to his iconic all-American Northeast country club style. While the combination of khaki, white tennis skirts, pink and yellow pastels, and top-siders stays within the boundaries of his signature preppy image, Hilfiger's partnership with Peter Som added an alternative flair to this season's runway. To celebrate the collection as well as the 25th birthday of Tommy's namesake business, fashion cognoscenti and celebrities gathered at Lincoln Center, where the designer pulled out all the stops for a big bash. Check out photos below of some more pieces from the new collection as well as from the party!

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Fashion Week 2010: Gary Graham

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I know you have barely had a chance to find your favorite picks for fall but it's Spring 2011 Fashion Week in New York and that means we get a glimpse of what is going to be in our closets for spring! On top of all the exciting styles coming down the runway from big name designers, you know I definitely always love to support Chicago and all our talent. Gary Graham, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and recent honoree at their fashion event in May, has some amazing designs for us to dream about for this coming spring. Take a peek at his collection below!

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Mrs. Beckham: Designer or Diva?

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Photo: nytimes.com


This weekend, the New York Times dedicated the cover of the Sunday Styles section to the always glamorous and poised but controversial-as-designer Victoria Beckham. Detailing her meticulous eye for construction and her passion for the feel of beautifully made fabrics such as gazar and metallic jacquard, the piece touches on Beckham's past but focuses on her current endeavors as a designer exploding onto the fashion scene. While many dismiss Beckham as a cheesy has-been from the Posh Spice era or a "WAG," a derogatory acronym in Britain for the wives of soccer players, many are endorsing her ability to take classic, conventional styles and add a bit of Beckham flair to make them worthy of the runway. And this last part she has certainly accomplished - her spring 2011 collection will be presented at New York Fashion Week and she secured her position amongst the ranks of other big name Fashion Week designers four seasons ago. Some of those behind her include Anna Wintor and Holli Rogers, the buying director for Net-a-Porter, an exclusive high-end online boutique. And as for celebs who have donned her designs, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, and Gwenyth Paltrow are just a few. What do you think - is Mrs. Beckham a fleeting fashion sensation or a committed entrepreneur with true design talent?

Donna Karan: Fall 2010 Collection Marks Its 25th Anniversary

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It's still a thrill for me after 20 years or more to be part of the fashion scene along with sitting in the first row, like I did in Milan & Paris, in the days when I went to buy the European collections for my Oak Street boutique. Interviewing the Queen Of Fashion, as she has been labeled, is indeed one of the perks of being part of the press.

Interviewing Donna, is like talking to your BFF. Every answer is filled with the passion that she has for both fashion and giving back to help others. She believes that dressing the inside is as important as dressing the outside.

She admits that everything she designs could be perfect in her own closet and, often the dress you are looking at in Neiman's on Michigan Ave, could have been one she designed to wear to an event like the Met Museum in NY.

So what did my new best friend share with me on her views:

BG: When you designed the sensual "cold shoulder dress" many celebrities wore it along with the first lady, Hillary Clinton to the White House inauguration. Is the shoulder your favorite part of the body?
DK: WWD just couldn't get it. They hated it until Liza MInnelli was shown wearing the dress. I say the best part on your body that doesn't age or gain weight is the shoulder.

BG: When you designed the 7 essentials in 1992, including the bodysuit and the wrap skirt, you, like Coco Chanel helped to change the way working women dressed regardless of their age or size. How do you see the direction for you in the future?
DK: I was always aware of the woman's body especially today because they are busier than they ever have been before. I want to make traveling very easy for them. The clothing is versatile, it goes from day to evening and envelops every woman's personal style. Every woman big and small thinks that I cut exactly for them because of the flexibility of my fabrics and how we wrap the garments.
BG: Obviously women everywhere agree.

BG: Charity is priority for you as you recently donated $850,000 to the New York Beth Israel Medical Center for a grant to test the results of yoga, meditation and aromatherapy for cancer patients. Tell me more:
DK: I created the Urban Zen Foundation (www.urbenzen.org) to raise awareness and inspire change. It is located in New York in my husband's former studio. It's about dressing on the inside as well as the outside. Soon I hope to open restaurants in hospitals serving good soups and juices for the body.
(For sponsorship please call 212.414.8520 or email info@urbenzen.org)

BG: What do you see as the best and worst trends?
DK: The worst is the amount of change people expect from the fashion industry and no one actually absorbs the trends before they are phased out.

BG: What's the one thing you wouldn't leave home without?
DK: A scarf. You can use it in so many different ways.
BG: Of course Ms. Karan loves the scarf because her scarf in the new fall collection in one of the most exciting accessories that make everything in your wardrobe look new from a dress to a coat.

Check out the DKNY Cozy: a chic and sophisticated wardrobe solution.
Twist it. Tie it. Wrap it. Or Download it. And get wrapped up in an App.

Below, check out pics from the event and items from the runway showing of her Fall 2010 collection. Happy anniversary Donna Karan! 

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Fall Fashion Trend: Sparkle and Bling!

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Isaac Mizrahi Fall 2010 RTW

Just like a little girl, I am absolutely taken by sparkly things. And if those things involve fashion, then say no more, I'm sold! Sequins, glittery fabrics, and other luminous little details have been with us for a few seasons now, but they are not disappearing this fall. While some designers continued to send dresses covered in shimmer down the catwalk, others chose smaller elements to add a dash of dazzle to their garments. Check out the array of sparkling looks below and decide whether this is a trend you're happy to see linger through the next few months... and possibly longer!

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Fall Fashion: Texture

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After a summer of light fabrics to get through the sweltering heat, fall brings in a range of heavy and elaborate textured looks. From fur and chunky knits to embellishments and micro-pleating, many of the styles that traipsed down the runway featured a multiple sensory experience - designs that are not just great to look at, but exciting to feel too! Just like the mix of textures in Thakoon's jacket (above), designers were in agreement about this touchable trend of the season! Click below to check out more of these looks.  

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Madonna & Lourdes Debut Clothing Line Today at Macy's

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Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes, have collaborated on a clothing line and the collection, Material Girl, debuts at Macy's stores today. The collection includes hip-hop, ballet and European influences with items such as floral dresses, jewelry, handbags and... of course... bustiers. Other classic pieces for the school year, such as shoes and blue jeans were inspired by Madonna's pal designer Stella McCartney. This line is sure to have everyone running to the mall, and even better, it retails at an affordable $12 to $40. Tell us: Are you excited to shop the Material Girl collection?

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Add instant retro eighties style to your look with this ruffled rosette skirt.

Who's that girl??? It's Gossip Girl, Taylor Momson, the face of Material Girl because she embodies style, innovation, and self confidence. Check out more pics of Taylor from the Material Girl Lookbook in the slideshow.

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High Fashion Highlights: Vera Wang

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In seeing Chelsea Clinton's choice to wear Vera Wang at her gorgeous wedding in rustic Rhinebeck, N.Y. just a few days ago, I of course thought both the gown and the designer were fabulous selections! Vera Wang's bridal collections are always renowned, and I can't help but look up into the window of her boutique whenever I'm on Oak Street to see what princess-like white confection might be on display!

But as much as Vera's signature is dressing brides for their big day, her Ready-to-Wear pieces are true genius as well. Her eye for feminine details like ruffles, ruching, and pleating, and her expertise with fabrics from tulle and silk to wool and fur amaze me each time she presents her pieces down the runway. This fall, her designs are flirty and fun mixed with elegant and refined, but black is the common thread that runs through the collection. There is something for every occasion - the office, the cocktail party, the work dinner, and a night out on the town! Check out some of her most recent styles below as well as celebrities donned in pieces by this beautiful and talented designer.

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Marc Jacobs Gets Naked for Bang!

 



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Marc Jacobs stripped down to the bare essentials for his new fragrance for men called Bang!   Marc leaves little to the imagination in this new ad campaign that fits his quirky style ...and if that's not enough, he's introducing a Facebook game in honor of the fragrance called "Bang You're It" which launched Saturday! In this game, you can "bang" your friends' profile pictures with a program by giving your face the same  crumpled look as the Bang fragrance bottle. The more you "Bang," the more points you get ....a speciel bang player will be picked daily to win a prize which might include the fragrance itself, Marc Jacob clothing or a fabulous trip to New York to attend a MJ runway show....who wouldn't want to get banged for that???

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The Big Day: "Chelsea Clinton's Wedding"

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It's official - the former first daughter, Chelsea Clinton tied the knot with longtime boyfriend, Marc Mezvinsky, in Rhinebeck, New York on Saturday. The parents of the bride, former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, were there, of course, and could not have asked for a more perfect day surrounded by family and their close friends. What about the wedding dress??? Chelsea double-dipped with Vera Wang, wearing an ivory strapless gown by the designer with a raw-edged laser-cut silk organza skirt for the interfaith and a silk tulle cross-back Grecian gown with a narrow grosgrain black belt for the reception. The bridesmaids' dresses, strapless bias-cut lavender chiffon gowns were also designed by Vera Wang. Hilary Clinton opted for Oscar de la Renta and the groom, groomsmen and father of the bride Bill Clinton wore suits designed by Christopher Bailey of Burberry. Yes, the most anticipated wedding of the year was fashionable, elegant, and nothing short of understated good taste! Be sure to take a look at the slideshow of photos below.

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Red Hot on the Runway

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This fall, amidst the neutrals and muted hues, one color will not be blending in with the rest. While the nudes and pale peachy creams from the spring and summer will surely linger through the autumn along with olive green military looks and even deep purples, the hot color of the season is a bold, luscious red. And this trend can take you from day to night to later that night... the daring splash of color spices up suits and outerwear while giving a classic sexiness to cocktail and evening dresses that never fails if you're trying to turn heads. What do you think, will you be sporting fall's racy red while the streets are full of more hushed autumnal shades?


Click through for a better look at the above styles from the runway!

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Perfect is Perfectly Boring

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I often get so frustrated, as a women, with all the emphasis on what is considered perfect beauty today. It is exhausting to continue to see faces plumped up with fillers, Botox and surgical enhancement to the point of extreme like Heidi Montag. Yes, we all remember Goldie Hawn's lips in the movie The First Wives Club. What I mean is the extreme of anything, as I'm not against change as we all know fashion is about change. Even Hollywood is looking for stars that are more natural looking for certain roles today. As an example, take a look above at Jean Paul Gaultier's fall/winter 2010.11 ad campaign above. It's missing what most magazines and advertisements almost always include which is a size 0, 2 or 4 white female. Instead Gaultier cast plus-size model Crystal Renn, along with Chinese model Ping Hue and French model Kelly Moreira.
When my son was only five years old, he came home from school with a drawing that was all marked up in red. The teacher said he drew a picture of a heart incorrectly because it was lopsided. I immediately pulled out my lopsided silver heart from Tiffany by Elsa Peretti to explain that it was considered an art form along with her financial success. My exact words to him were, "perfect is perfectly boring." So once again to prove my point and, hopefully to celebrate all women who are unique, I have decided to do a weekly post on, "Perfect is Perfectly Boring." Look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions.

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Chicago's New Designers: Stars to Watch

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Abby Zupancic & Tracey Tarrantino (ZZAZZ Productions), Barbara Glass & Shaun Sears

I attended a fabulous event on Friday, July 9 to celebrate the grand opening and media preview for The Don Julio Loft in West Town sponsored by CS Magazine (where I was the Founding Fashion Editor for 6 years) and Don Julio Tequila. The event featured a live runway show by Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's State Street, and jewelry designer Erin Gordon with live music by Skyler Mendoza. This Grand Avenue building proved to be a unique space for an event and the surprise was the huge open loft space that overlooked the first floor - filled with party-goers, art, and fashion. You know I am a major supporter of Chicago Fashion Designers, and it was great to see that so many people wanted to attend and show their support alike, along with some great friends of mine that I ran into. What a great party! Special thanks to Abby Zupancic for the photos. Be sure to check them out in the gallery below.

The designers from the show included:
C/Fan, Nonnie Threads, Dottie's Delights, Peloton, Killian Gui, and M.C.C.

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Rag & Bone at Intermix: A Word from the Designers

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It's always such a treat to meet the designers behind the names. Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, the geniuses who create the edgy yet refined looks of Rag & Bone, are definitely two cool guys with great style sensibilities. I interviewed them last week at the party at the Gold Coast Intermix and learned a little about their ideas and inspiration. As is evident from their looks on the runway, they told me they like the idea of pairing mismatched pieces and putting together unlikely combinations to fashion a signature style. I couldn't agree more as I mentioned I have always believed "perfect is perfectly boring"!


I had a chance to speak with Marcus, who I stole away from the crowd and the champagne for a few minutes! Check out what he had to say about his designs.

Q: Rag & Bone is an interesting name for a clothing line, how did you choose it for your brand?
A: It really fits with the aesthetic of the brand. It reflects the feeling of dilapidated luxury, a tailored look that's also a little disheveled.

Q: I know that Rag & Bone came about from the desire to create the perfect pair of jeans. What do you think that is?
A: It's a lot about the denim, how the denim is made. They also need to show genuine care and craftsmanship while also using the highest quality fabric. This all leads to comfort, which is the most important thing.

Q: What would you say you notice about the celebrities who wear your clothing?
A: I think they choose Rag & Bone because the designs aren't ostentatious and they don't shout glamour or glitz, so the people who wear them are also somewhat subtle and understated in their style.

Q: Lastly, what could you tell me that is surprising?
A (from David): Marcus is a great photographer on the side of designing.
A (from Marcus): David eats the same thing every day for lunch!


It was great to learn these tidbits about the brand as well as the quirky habits of this amazingly talented duo. Check out the slideshow below for the looks that the buyers of Intermix selected from the Rag & Bone Fall/Winter 2010 collection for the store!

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Sweet Dreams: Norma Kamali's first Sleepwear Line for Walmart

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Norma Kamali will be adding sleepwear to her collection of clothing & swimwear at Walmart in October. Yes, for those fashion history buffs, Norma Kamali was one of the first designers to use sweat shirt fabric for daytime clothing back in the late 70's / 80's with her collection called OMO. I think it was around the time of her divorce and OMO stood for on my own. She continues to inspire to this day at very affordable prices at Walmart for a whole new audience and for those that still follow her from the past. I would definitely wear some of the pieces of outerwear! Check below also for the original story:
www.refinery29.com/norma-kamali-to-launch-her-first-line-of-sleepwear-at-walmart.php

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Rag & Bone Party at Intermix


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Me, with the designers of Rag & Bone


It's always interesting to see so many of the most fabulously dressed Chicagoans in one place! That's definitely what the scene was at last night's gathering at the Delaware Place Intermix for the designers of clothing line Rag & Bone. The champagne was flowing, but admist the fun, the most noticeable element of the night was of course the fashion! The designers themselves received much due attention, but the guests at the party were also worth checking out, as they were all so stylish in their understated glamour - a look that perfectly reflected the image of the Rag & Bone brand that was being celebrated. I loved everyone's shoes most of all, from Chanel and Fendi to Christian Louboutin and Brian Atwood! Check out the pics from the party below and make sure to come back next week for the interview with David & Marcus, the brains behind the beauty!


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Nancy Deal: Our Little Secret is Out!

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InFashionChicago just loved uncovering Nancy Deal as on of our "Best Kept Secrets," and now it seems that all the readers at the Chicago Reader appreciate her work as well. Nancy was just voted "Best Jewelry Designer" in the publication's annual "Best of" awards. Congrats to Nancy on her well-deserved recognition. Of course we found her first!!

Karl Lagerfeld: 'No One Wants to See Curvy Women On The Catwalk'

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Less than a year ago fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was quoted as saying, "Curvy women have no place on the catwalk." But has Lagerfeld had a change of heart? Could the inclusion of a size 10 model in a Chanel show be an indication of real change in the industry? Plus size model Crystal Renn made an appearance on the runway of the Chanel Resort 2011 show in St. Tropez taking one giant leap for model-kind. There's a constant debate over how thin models should or shouldn't be, and it looks like we're finally making progress seeing model sizes on the runway that reflect real women today. I am a major supporter of women of all sizes and my hopes are that we continue to see more body types gracing the runways and in magazines. It's all about real women today!
What do you think made Lagerfeld reconsider his stance? Was he making up for his past comment or is Crystal Renn getting so popular that big name designers can't afford to ignore her? Discuss!


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Mulberry For Target


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Target announced this week that its next high-fashion collaboration will be with Mulberry! After having successful exclusive partnerships with designers such as Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Liberty of London, a collection of Mulberry bags just for Target will hit stores and launch online on October 10. These luxurious leather handbags are a favorite of celebrities like Kate Moss, Keira Knightley, and Lindsay Lohan - check them out below!

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Princess Diana's Long-Lost Dress: Sells For $276,000

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The dress that launched a royal fairy tale has been sold for $276,000. Princess Diana wore the black taffeta gown on her first official appearance after her engagement to Prince Charles, and it caught photographers by surprise. The paparazzi knew Lady Diana at the time as "Shy Di" but it was this dress that changed the shy 19-year-old into a global fashion icon. In her book "A Dress for Diana," Elizabeth Emanuel wrote, "The transformation was incredible. She arrived looking like the nursery school teacher she was, but now she looked like a movie star." And I must agree she looked fabulous! The dress, which had expected to sell for around $73,000, was bought by Chilean fashion museum Fundacion Museo De La Moda. If one of the co-designers, David Emanuel, had not decided recently to open up an old garbage can liner that had sat for 20 years in his garage, the dress that he discovered might never have come up for sale at all. Check out more photos of the dress below. Do you like it? Do you think it sold for the right price?

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Best Kept Secrets: Randolph Street Market

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Last weekend I took a trip to the Randolph Street Market, located at the 1350 block of West Randolph Street
on the third weekend of each month through September, to see what I missed all last year. I was not going to let another summer pass without a stroll through the Indie Designer section inside the historic Plumblers Hall to check out what all the excitement is all about.

For those of you fashion lovers like me, Barbara Glass, I wanted to explore some of the jewelry, fashion, furniture, and interesting people that present their wares, along with the unique visitors... it's a great place for people watching! And did I mention that I fell in love with the most decadent and yummy handmade chocolates by Katerine Anne confections? Yes, in addition to being a fashionista, I am a chocoholic. The team of Stacy Rauba and Yutaka Fujita presented some fun items in handmade hot pads and beautiful fashion pieces in tops and bottoms. My traveling buddy for the day bought a silver ring that was designed by Rodrigo Nunez. Other vintage jewelry vendors included Tamara Wolff Designs, who was there with her daughter, as well as Juliet Jewelry, K-Fleye jewelry, Pam Corrick Yeterday's Glitz on Ruby Lane, Susan Elizabeth Designs, Bead of a Different Drum, and many others. One of the major fashion stars every year at the Indie show are the Double Stitch Twins, whose crochet pieces are a welcome addition to every woman's wardrobe.

It was a fun day and I would recommend that you don't exit until you try one of the chicken tamales. I know after you visit this great spot, the Randolph Street Market will no longer be a Best Kept Secret!    



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Sexy & Hot Shoe Pick: fantasy and real prices

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   Givenchy Couture Purple T-Strap Sandals         The Look for Less: Miss Me Diva Sandal

In this world of celebrity culture, everyone wants the expensive, designer looks that they see on their favorite stars... but you don't always have to shell out large amounts of cash to have a similar look. As it turns out, many shoe fashions are achievable, even if you're scrimping in the city. I like to mix it up by wearing designer labels with discount pieces, it makes you look more interesting. Replicating "The Look for Less" can be both fun and empowering, especially when you do so affordably. Check out more Looks for Less in the pictures below.

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Celebrity Hat Designer Comes to Chicago: Philip Treacy

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I sat down with an old friend, Philip Treacy, hat designer to the celebrities, who was visiting Chicago at Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue to ask him to answer some questions. On his last visit to Chicago, I interviewed him at NBC5 on my weekly segment along with going with me to talk to students at the School of the Art Institute. He was as charming then as he was this week. With his continued success, his kindness expands.

BG: You have been quoted as saying, "I only feel dressed in the morning when I have my thimble on my middle finger. It stays there all day." What is the one thing in your closet that you wouldn't leave home without?
PT: My thimble and I love my electric blue hoodie. 

BG: You have done a lower priced collection for Marks & Spencer in Europe. Would you ever consider doing a collection in the U.S. for Target or H&M?
PT: Yes, but they haven't asked me yet.
(I loved when he said yes, but no one has asked him!) 

BG: Your couture hats have been on the fashion runways with Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and Versace. Do you have a favorite designer?
PT: Alexander McQueen because his talent was extra. Design is quite lose today. Alexander McQueen is a real designer and Lanvin is good too. Design is developing and idea from scratch. It isn't copying a dress that you like and making it in a different color.

BG: You have been quoted as saying that you eat the same lunch everyday...double eggs, chips, beans, toast and tea at a messy spoon cafe in Victoria Coach Station. What is your favorite meal to eat in Chicago?
PT: I love Mcdonald's, it's delicious.
(I suggested he go to M Burger instead if McDonald's. It's the newest burger joint off Michigan Avenue and everything on the menu is under $5.)

BG: You have designed hats for a variety of women from Camilla Parker Bowles for her wedding to Prince Charles to Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga. What do they have in common besides good taste?
PT: My cleintele are fashion icons. They entertain us and we are attracted to this. There are movie stars that are perfect creatures but it's hard to empathize with them. My clients you mentioned are imperfect and we can identify with them.

BG: So we have all read that Lady Gaga wants to intern with you? Is that something you would consider?
PT: If she can sew maybe, if she can't sew no.

I also met Philip's creative assistant, Stefan, who was so kind and fun to talk to as this was his first trip to Chicago. He expressed how much he was enjoying the city and we talked about the Sex and the City 2 premieres coming up in London, Tokyo and New York. He told me that Philip did design hats for SJP but they don't know what she'll choose to wear until she steps out at each premiere. My intern, Josh asked Stefan what the hats look like and he replied with a smile, "its top secret!"

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Best Kept Secrets: Men Behind the Curtain, John Diekmann & Joel Klaff

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Me, talking to Joel on the movie set


Remember that line in the Wizard of Oz...."Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"?.... Well when it comes to the creative team of John Diekmann and Joel Klaff; the owners of Workroom at 1906 Belmont in Chicago, that statement couldn't be further from the truth! They refer to themselves as the "men behind the curtain" and indeed, that's exactly who they are. When I first met Joel Klaff, he was a performance artist (yes, way before Lady Gaga) named Guy Taylor at the Chicago History Museum with an installation called Astro Man.  At the time, I was the fashion editor at the now defunct magazine, Inside Chicago, and was looking to do a story on talented creative people in the art and fashion world. Joel was living in a humble Bucktown abode before the community was the place to be. I must admit, I lost track of Joel until recently, when I learned he was part of the Oscar award-winning set design team for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When Meryl suggested going to Workroom on Belmont, I was finally able to catch up with him and his partner in life and in business, John. Upon entering the shop, I was immediately greeted by the extremely charming John Diekmann, who refers to the shop as an extension of his home....and that it is! Surrounded  by fabulous drapery and objects extraordinaire, John explained, "We are the go-to-guys for textiles and the unusual. We are the one-stop shopping spot as we do custom bedding, pillows draperies, rug and wall coverings and all the work is done on-site!"

Both designers believe in giving back, working with organizations such as Little City and the Arts of Life. I later got to interview Joel via telephone as he was at an undisclosed location working on yet again another movie with Victor J. Zolfo (Benjamin button set decorator). Joel's other credits include "Ray," "Empire Falls," "Dreamer," "All the Kings Men," and "Public Enemies". Both Joel and John admit that they don't follow trends but like to create them as Joel stated, "...when we spot something that can become a trend, we know it in our veins before others see it"...and that they do with beauty and grace and add their own touch of funky. So another secret is out as I so enjoyed my afternoon experiencing this creative duo...I wanted to walk out with at least 10 items from the store, including their most adorable pugs, not to be left unmentioned, Trudy and Brenda.

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Sex and the City hat designer: Philip Treacy

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Anyone who wears a hat knows of the genius of Philip Treacy. I loved interviewing him for NBC5 a few years ago when he had just completed creating the hats for Camilla Parker Bowles wedding to Prince Charles. In 2008, at the London premiere for the most anticipated movie of the year, Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker made an unforgettable appearance, to say the least, dazzling the crowd with her fabulous, head-turning, larger than life peacock feather hat by Treacy. Complete with green roses and yellow butterflies, this interesting confection managed to get people talking and leaving them speechless at the same time. Treacy is traveling from England to Chicago this week and I will be interviewing him again, this time to discuss his more recent collaborations with top design houses, his latest client Lady Gaga... and maybe I'll find out if he created another unforgettable hat for SJP in Sex in the City 2, which opens May 27th.

Check back for my interview with Philip Treacy coming soon!

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Best Kept Secrets: Wolfbait & B-girls

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Me & Shirley

Living in Chicago, we are surrounded by many neighborhoods rich in architecture and history. Meryl & I took our weekly hunt to uncover some hidden places that some of you may know and others, like me, may not be aware of. Our first stop this week was to Logan Square. When I saw the name of a boutique, Wolfbait & B-girls I was somewhat surprised to see the gems inside including clothing, accessories, baby stuff, stationary, and more.

You may have guessed that "B-girls" stands for "Bad Girls" - who could refuse that invitation? One of the owners, Shirley Kienitz, gave us a tour and explained that the store has been at its current location, 3131 W.Logan Blvd., for over four years. She and her business partner, Jenny Stadler, met when there were selling their designs to other boutiques. They opened their store as as a place to showcase local talent and to act as a resource to help support emerging designers from the area. The store is a collection of 160 local artists along with two fair-traded companies that are Chicago-based but a percentage of their proceeds goes to charities such as Stop Human Traffic. One brand of handbags, Malia Designs, states its mission is "To Carry A Cause."

It was indeed exciting to discover all this amazing talent from Chicago's pool of designers & artists. Be sure to continue to drop by because every week we have new treasures to share with you!


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High Fashion Highlights: Diane von Furstenberg

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"I always wanted to live a man's life in a woman's body, " Diane von Furstenberg said in the opening of her show notes, so perhaps its not surprising that I recently covered the opposite, questioning if the modern day man is ready for a feminine item such as skirts? Men and women are borrowing from each other, and so naturally, DVF's fall 2010 ready-to-wear collection inspired by the essence of masculine versus feminine began with Natalia Vodianova in a heather gray felted wool double-breasted pantsuit with short, cuffed trousers along with a chiffon rosette bolero thrown around her shoulders for good measure and a feminine twist. This concept was repeated throughout the show but it wasn't all about this. There was no shortage of feminine frills with frocks, bold and colorful prints and the iconic wrap dress in particular. Evidence has shown that the menswear trend is already taking off for fall, and it's of little surprise to me that fashion's fearless, one of my favorite designers and a great role model to me and her followers is right on target! Click below to check out DVF's Fall Collection.

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Best Kept Secrets: Judy Lichtenstein, Artist/Designer...Fashion & Yoga Collide

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Yesterday, my friend Meryl K. and I decided to take a little tour of the city to uncover some of Chicago's "Best Kept Secrets" to share with my readers. Meryl suggested that we make our first stop at the Cornelia Arts Building @ 1800 West Cornelia to check out the latest designs of local star, Judy Lichtenstein. Judy, a Pittsburgh native, has been designing her whimsical creations in Chicago for over 25 years, but new and exciting ideas are always exploding in her studio. When we opened the door to her studio, I was immediately lost in a candy land of color, with rolls of fabric and clothing everywhere! But here's her latest...Yoga t-shirts for both men and women in fun colors and exciting images. With her newest venture, she's right in sync with today's fashion and fitness craze.  Whether you wear these fabulous creations to exercise or just look good, you have to check them out!  Even the celebs...such as Madonna, Cameron Diaz, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Aniston and Meg Ryan are doing yoga to keep their bods in shape, so we can let the secret out that they should be sporting a Judy Design. Here in Chicago, Judy's t-shirts can be  purchased at Moksha Yoga Center's three locations.

Judy's influence for all her designs, which include adult coats, whimsical children's hats, pillows and blankets (which sell at Takashimaya in NYC) come from her love of textiles, color, primitive designs and whimsy.  Don't miss the spring show at the Cornelia Arts Building, 1800 West Cornelia, opening Friday, May 21st (6-10pm), where works of other talented artists will also be showcased. You won't want to miss this event...it's a secret you can tell!

Check out photos below from Judy's studio as well as photos of celebrities who love yoga.

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Best Kept Secrets: Jewelry designer Nancy Deal

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After attending a fabulous jewelery trunk show last Sunday... let me tell you... jewelry designer Nancy Deal is Chicago's hidden treasure! The event took place at Nancy's studio/living space, and everywhere I looked was a feast for the eyes. Her modern sculptural pieces all create mini works of art with bold statements. With Nancy's passion for antique and flea markets, she has created a living environment of "furnishings" with an an unusual mix of exotic Indian decoration and modern pieces. Nancy calls it " the juxtaposition of ornate and stark." The majority of her work is in the $100 to $400 range, but you can pick up simple modern earrings for $35! A fabulous time was had by all... interesting people, great conversation, succulent treats, and most importantly, an introduction to an outstanding, up-and-coming jewelery designer whose talent will truly blow you away!



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AKRIS Designer Albert Kreimler: Fashion Show at Modern Wing

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Neiman Marcus, Northbrook and Michigan Avenue, presented the US premiere of the Akris fall 2010 collection with a fashion show at the Art Institute's Modern Wing with a personal appearance by designer Albert Kreimler. A very large crowd of followers came to view the beautiful show that first premiered in Paris on March 7, 2010. The designer, whose family launched Akris in St. Gallen, Switzerland over 30 years ago, says that his second passion, after designing, is architecture followed by modern art which are certainly a big influence in his designs. The collection encompasses luxurious fabrics and designs that can stay in a client's closet for many years. Earth tones, distinct shapes and simple lines are the fundamental basics of this collection with materials such as double-face, cashmere and silk. Viewing collections and meeting designers is one of the fun parts of my job along with seeing some of Chicago's top fashionistas.
Who needs Paris?

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High Fashion Highlights: Chanel

Chanel's Fall 2010 RTW collection is consistent with some of the designer's signature elements: fur, tweed, and leather.  Check out some of my favorites, and for the full collection, go to Style.com!

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Manolo Blahnik: Neiman Marcus Shoe Party

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If there is a shoe heaven, it was definitely at Neiman Marcus on Wednesday night. Shoe lovers from all over the city came to look, buy and adore new jewels for their privileged feet. There was something for everyone in the crowd including a six year old who was enjoying all the treasures and had her own favorite picks. You are never too young to fall in love with a great accessory like shoes!

-Barbara

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Lauren Pierce Bush: Down-to-Earth Designer with a Worldly Mindset

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On Saturday I got to sit down with Lauren Pierce Bush, designer, philanthropist, and former first niece.  I confess that I went into the interview with some preconceived notions about who she was as a designer - there are so many girls these days coming from big family names slapping their name on garment labels, and I honestly wasn't sure what to think.  But to say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an enormous understatement.  With her line, Lauren Pierce Atelier, launching exclusively in Barneys, Lauren and her business partner, Jacqueline Ytuarte, explained what makes these garments so special.

"In my travels, I was so inspired by the women I saw around the world who were so skilled in their crafts," Lauren said. "It was moving, how they sustained themselves and their children with these talents. It's courageous."

Lauren wants to use fashion to touch to the lives of women in the developing world who have faced much hardship and oppression. In the collection launching at Barneys, each of the dresses is hand-dyed by skilled artisans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, constructed from sustainable fabric, and custom-made with the name of the woman who worked on it on the inside label. It's clear that Lauren is socially-responsible, caring, and - it has to be mentioned - poised and beautiful. Check out some photos from Saturday below.

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Fashion Designer Barbara Bates Donates 1,000 Prom Garments

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I had the privilege of sitting down this week with Chicago fashion designer and philanthropist Barbara Bates, a woman who translates her passion not only into a living, but also into a way to brighten the lives of some of the city's less-than-fortunate youth. Barbara grew up in Chicago, loved fashion at a young age, and her adorable boutique and studio now live in the South Loop - you can find her at 2031 S. Indiana Ave. But before her current success, she faced hardships as a teen mother, experiences which now motivate her to give back and channel her creativity and fabulous style sense to a greater good. Watch the interview to hear Barbara talk about fashion and her incredible foundation!

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Marc Jacobs Party at the Elysian

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The fashion was out and about last night at the Elysian Hotel. Roughly 200 party goers enjoyed a fabulous dinner of foie gras macarons and pain de mie crusted turbot at this lavish dinner party celebrating the opening of the new Marc Jacobs store at 11 E Walton. Many of the fashionable party goers flew in from New York City for this party, which didn't disappoint. The DJ kept the music spinning all night, while the photo-booth kept me, and many of the guests, entertained. The party didn't end at the Elysian, a charter bus waited out side to shuttle the guests to local hot spot Howl at the Moon, where we danced, drank, and had a great time. The swag bags came equipped with Marc Jacobs book bags, as well as his lovely sent Lola. This truly was an event not to miss!

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Guest Blogger: Dana at the Kardashians for Bebe Show

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A snowy day in Manhattan could not keep the flurry of fashionistas from clamoring to catch a glimpse of the Kardashians for Bebe Fall 2010 Collection.  An array of celebrities, high-powered publicists, journalists, and broadcast media entities packed the house awaiting the sexy arrival of Kim Kardashian.  Jay Manuel from America's Next Top Model, Dina Manzo from the New Jersey Housewives and J-Wow from Jersey shore reality fame were among those seated to view this fashion-forward show along with me! Kim Kardashian posed for the cameras in one of the looks - a gray stretch mini dress under a cropped leather corset - that emphasized the assets for which she is best known for and then proceeded to take a seat front and center.  Handsome publicist, Jonathan Cheban, sat beside the gorgeous brunette bombshell.

 

 Hair and makeup were very sex-siren, but at a Kardashian-inspired fashion show I wouldn't expect anything less. Glistening skin, a smokey eye and nude wet-looking mouth were applied by makeup artist extraordinariness Nathalie Bethard for Sephora Pro-Team.  Head hair designer Whitney Blischke created a tousled-soft natural wave to the models' hair for an alluring look that you or I could easily emulate at home.

 

 The energized musical beats permeated the runway as the models strutted their stuff down the catwalk decked-out in the Fall 2010 Kardashians for Bebe creations. One shoulder dresses, sassy rompers, shorts (even in leather), corsets and body-hugging dresses were featured.  For a night out on the town, we could easily see ourself in these looks!  As a matter of fact, I have the mesh bodice Kardashians for bebe dress in my own wardrobe and it's to-die-for!  I can't tell you how many heads-turned when I wore the dress this evening.  I also adored the rompers and shorts, because those pieces can be dressed-up or down to create various day-time or night-time looks!  Kim mentioned that she wanted to create a line that the fans of the Kardashian sisters could actually afford. I have to say, I was really impressed when I was given the opportunity to meet Kim backstage by publicist Mary Hamilton. Kim was very cordial and friendly to me & I was even more impressed by how kindly she treated some of her die-hard fans who flew all the way from Ohio just to meet her.  Many of the Kardashians for bebe pieces are already sold-out!

 

When asked about the Fall 2010 Kardashians for Bebe Collection, Kim emphasized that the designs were a true collaboration among the Kardashian sisters, with pieces reflecting each of their own personal signature-style. "No, there's no particular theme," Kim Kardashian said after Bebe's Kardashian-line show at New York Fashion Week. "We wanted our first season to just represent us, and what we like to wear. Me and Kourtney and Khloe all have different styles, but there are lots of one-piece dresses - it's easiest when you're putting an outfit together - and we wanted fabrics that were stretchy because we all have different body types and wanted something that would fit all of us."

 

This fashionista is looking forward to future ferosh Kardashians for Bebe fashion developments!


Check out more from Dana at the Daily Fashionista!

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C/FAN Preview at the Dubhe Carreno Gallery

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I must admit that I haven't attended a Gen Art event in several years but couldn't wait to attend the C/FAN fashion show featuring the talented new designer Christina Fan at the Dubhe Carreno Gallery. It was a packed crowd of some the cities' most hip and stylish that came to support the show of this former Northwestern Graduate who put a career in law on the back burner to follow her passion to design clothing. The crowd was dressed in lots of slouchy knit hats, bowties and outstanding chain jewelry from FAB STUDIO. Excellent hors d'oeuvres were served of wonderful cheeses from August Grocery Store & samples from Via Carducci along with drinks. Of course the fashions were the highlight of the night with models with makeup of blackened eye sockets which helped to place the focus on the clothing. We saw outstanding tunic tops, jackets and leggings. One of my personal favorites was a deep v-neck sleeveless top with a sheer insert that brought back the sensuous look of those worn by the movie stars of the 40's. It will be fun to watch the progress of C/FAN as the collection continues to grow stronger each season....congrats to Christina. You can also find some of Christina's excellent fashion reports/posts on my blog.

-Barbara

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Man-Up Monday: Sean John Fall 2010: The Rivalry


I'm told that the design direction for Sean John Fall 2010 is themed "The Rivalry."  "This story begins much the same as all great conflicts throughout history.  Two opposing forces that wage war for glory and respect on and off the 'field' of battle." It's all about "The Privileged, The Proper and The Pure Breed." I love the references to past history. Take a look at a preview of some of the looks we find outstanding from Sean John. I know the man of your dreams will look great in some of these looks!

-Barbara

p.s. Be sure to watch the
"behind-the-scenes" video of the Sean John collection for fall 2010. (Click HERE and have a look on the top right!) The two male models claim the collection is all about swagger and confidence. These guys make everything look hot!

**Check out the gallery of looks from the Sean John collection.  He used three different 'Classes' within the collection to tell the story.  Have a look below in my gallery to learn more!**

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THE VALENTINE'S DAY GIVEAWAY!

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Valentine's Day is approaching!  It would be great if that special man in your life surprises you, but why wait?  Enter NOW to win my Valentine's Day Contest and treat yourself to this fabulous bracelet from the hip and edgy boutique in the 900 Shops, DNA 2050.   (After all, it IS Accessory Friday!)  This bracelet features red leather with gold perforated stud details, along with gold vermeil over mixed metal--SO GORGEOUS!  It is perfect to wear alone on the wrist or stack multi-layered bracelets in front to wear higher on your arm. . .

Below are the steps you need to follow to enter for your
chance to WIN the bracelet from DNA 2050:


IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE:

1.  You MUST send a short email to barbara.glass.fashion@gmail.com telling me why you deserve to win the bracelet.

2.  You MUST be a fan of my Barbara Glass, Image and Wardrobe Consultant on Facebook by clicking HERE.

3.  You MUST tell all your friends and family about the contest so they can enter too!  ; )

  ...And that's it!  Look out for more details on this and other contests coming up soon!...

***THE DEADLINE TO ENTER THE CONTEST IS FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2009***

A winner will be chosen shortly after that and the announcement will be made on
Valentines Day Morning:  February 14, 2010!

Thank you and good luck to all of my readers!

...Love, Barbara...


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Designer of the Month: February 2010: LADY GAGA

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Chances are, if I asked you, "Have you heard of Stefani Germanotta?", your answer would be a hearty and definite "No."  Chances also are, you'd be wrong as a North Face coat in Chicago in July.  Born Stefani Germanotta on March 20, 1986 into an Italian-American family, Lady Gaga is now 23 years old and is the beneficent unchallenged ruler of the Pop world.

Described as a "shock artist" by Ms. Barbara Walters on December's "10 Most Fascinating People" interview extravaganza, Gaga admitted to Babs that she "felt like a freak" as a child; and that when her first video dropped her father thought she was "mentally unstable."   She's mended that relationship now (by caring for her father during his recovery from heart surgery ;) and the truth is, she may not have too much time to worry about what he's thinking.

Lady Gaga cites Karl Lagferfeld as one of her muses, and for good reason.  She wore a black Chanel suit styled with a white ruffle bib (see picture 1, below) to her Wawa interview, and she's been seen and pictured in his designs for Fendi and his namesake label as well (picture 2.)  She's also been quoted saying that she only worries what Karl would think of her style.  "Then I'd be upset, because it's Karl Lagerfeld," she told People.com.  It appears the muse-dom goes both ways, as in his Chanel Haute Couture show last Tuesday; models were seen sporting Gaga inspired bow hairdos (see picture 3 below.)  Lanvin's Spring RTW show also highlighted bird's nest hair- perhaps in homage to the Lady's ever present up-dos and wigs?  (picture 4.)   Lady Gaga's influence was also seen in Gaultier's exposed leg bodysuits, the super structured skirts of Lacroix, and the bubble skirt in the finale of Lagerfeld's Chanel show, according to Style.com. 

No matter what you think of Gaga, her influence this past year has been undeniable, winning Grammys, gaining 321.5 million (!) hits on MySpace's streaming music site, gracing the cover of Elle magazine (see picture 2 below) , and opening this year's Grammy show with a ten minute piece of mind-blowing performance art that climaxed with a back to back piano war slash duet with none other than Sir Elton John.  She's now designed a line of very cute headphones, and with more merchandising and spokeswoman deals in the works, Lady Gaga promises to be on the tip of our tongue for a long time to come.  I'll sign off with an inspiring quote; and two more great photos (below, pictures 5 and 6.):

"I ALWAYS LOVED ROCK AND POP AND THEATER. WHEN I DISCOVERED QUEEN AND DAVID BOWIE IS WHEN IT REALLY CAME TOGETHER FOR ME AND I REALIZED I COULD DO ALL THREE," SAYS GAGA, WHO NICKED HER NAME FROM QUEEN'S SONG "RADIO GAGA" AND WHO CITES ROCK STAR GIRLFRIENDS, PEGGY BUNDY, AND DONATELLA VERSACE AS HER FASHION ICONS. "I LOOK AT THOSE ARTISTS AS ICONS IN ART. IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MUSIC. IT'S ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE, THE ATTITUDE, THE LOOK; IT'S EVERYTHING. AND, THAT IS WHERE I LIVE AS AN ARTIST AND THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO ACCOMPLISH. I AM JUST TRYING TO CHANGE THE WORLD ONE SEQUIN AT A TIME."

Gallery sneak peek (6 images):

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Spring Trends 2010: Ready-to-Wear and Ready For YOU!

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Spring Ready-to-Wear runway shows have hit the marks for 2010 and I have to say, I'm more excited than I've been in years.  Flirty, feminine looks are beginning to show up again and luxury is on it's way back:  bye, bye, Recession Blues! 

Lagerfeld for Fendi:  always F(!)antastic.  His Fendi line took the gold for me this season with looks that showcase the easy, feminine drape of many Spring lines.  The ecru silk tunic with asymmetrical hem and half sleeve continues a great trend that's oh-so-easy to wear: over-sized.  In the gallery, you'll notice pales pink, teeny tiny silk shorts with a high hem and also a great drape.  Lagerfeld also masters the art of juxtaposition; the tailored white blouse with an expertly draped half sleeve and a deep keyhole detail from the prim neckline to the bust is also completely sheer.  Hot!  Paired with a paper bag waist stiff cotton skirt in chocolate brown, we get an interesting mix of tailoring with an unstructured flirty skirt.  He also shows a beautiful fringe-y, furry, feather-y jacket with a halter neck and a tiered asymmetrical hem dress in pale pink satin with a taupe organza crossed overlay around the neckline and bust.  I love it when he steps away from his traditional love of black and white to dabble in the subtlety of warm creams, taupes, and pinks.

But Karl's not the only one showing earth tones for Spring 2010.  This season you'll find low-contrast, high voltage looks from Bottega Veneta, Burberry, and D&G.  Throw on your sass-filled jacket; and let's go shopping, dear!  As evidenced by my top four jackets in the gallery below, menswear inspired pieces are still reigning supreme.  Consider a feminized, ever-so-chic Gucci motorcycle jacket, or pick an updated boyfriend blazer from either Alberta Ferretti's Philosophy or Louis Vuitton.  A rougher option is the military style double breasted offering from Comme de Garcons.

One last thing I feel compelled to cover is the resurgence of overalls. Overalls!?  I almost can't believe my eyes.  I'm reserving judgment (for now).  I love a jumper, with pants, jodhpurs, shorts--but overalls?  While a few tickled my fancy, some where down-right-wrong.  As long as we go the right direction (as one of the designs from Gaultier below seems to be doing) I may just love the look.  But, if all we have is a denim bib, I think I'll take a pass.

-Barbara

**I hope you enjoy the pictures I culled from some of my favorite designers' shows and I hope I can help and inspire you to help others on our joint quest for warmer days and hotter nights enjoyed in some of these gorgeous garments.  Stay tuned for IN or OUT? coming tomorrow and every Wednesday!**

Gallery sneak peek (14 images):

View the gallery...

Guest Blogger: Christina Fan, Designer of C/FAN

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Spring 2010 Trends:

...with Christina Fan...

Love from the Serengeti:

Designers are waging war on this gloomy winter by prepping troops for springtime battle with vibrant tribal prints reminiscent of a desert sunset or trek in the jungle. Well armed with wooden bangles and ethnic inspired accessories galore, today's fashionista is stampeding into the sunlight in vivacious gear that celebrates life in all its glory.  Yet, I find that Spring 2010 ushers in a softer version of the Amazonian warrior by combining geometric patterns with delicate fabrics and feminine silhouettes. One may find that bedecking her entire body with a bold kaleidoscopic pattern too daring.  To this individual I say - just throw on a tribally influenced scarf and tread through the urban jungle with confidence in your fashion prowess!


**Visit the gallery below to view some images collected by Christina Fan, just for you!  Be sure to check out her fabulous collection, C/FAN, offering beautiful garments that shift seamlessly from work to play...** 

Gallery sneak peek (12 images):

View the gallery...

Guest Blogger: Christina Fan, Designer of C/FAN

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Spring 2010 Trends:

...with Christina Fan...

Girl Meets Boy:

Or is it Boy meets Girl?  Lately, fashion is blurring the line between masculinity and femininity with styles such as dropped crotch pants, boyfriend blazers, and even men in skirts.  YSL was one of the first in the industry to shock us with the tuxedo for women (gasp!) with a campaign that focused on an androgynous model. 

Nowadays, it's a common occurrence for women to wear their boyfriend's jeans or shirts.  In many cases, these styles are often viewed as the most fashion forward.  With designers such as Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana, trending towards the epicene, smaller brands will soon follow suit by the masses.  While to some of you this trend may seem risky or perhaps even unattractive--I believe it is all about embracing comfort and ease.  Warning! Don't just grab one of Dad's old suits.  Pair a menswear inspired dress shirt with a pair of leggings and hot heels and call it a day. Easy!

**Visit the gallery below to view some images collected by Christina Fan, just for you!  Also, check out her fabulous collection, C/FAN, offering beautiful garments that shift seamlessly from work to play...BE SURE TO CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR OUR "IN OR OUT?" POST!!**


Gallery sneak peek (12 images):

View the gallery...

Zac Posen for Target

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This truly is a special treat for all our Fashionistas out there! Target has been enlisting the help of designers like Alexander McQueen, Erin Fetherson, and as of late, Rodarte, to create cheap and affordable fashions for the everyday consumer. Even celebrities love these cheap chic finds, like Natalie Portman who was recently seen wearing a $40 Rodarte for Target dress to an event! See how she put it all together in the link!  Zac Posen is the latest designer to be added to the list. His cheap and chic line will be available at Target stores starting on April 25th. I know that will be quite the wait, but well worth it! Thanks to Fashionista, here is your first sneak peek at the Zac Posen for Target look book! Will you be rushing out to Target to get any of his pieces? 

Gallery sneak peek (17 images):

View the gallery...

Guest Blogger: Christina Fan, Designer of C/FAN

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Spring 2010 Trends:


...with Christina Fan...


To Harem or Not to Harem?


Women of Chicago, what are your thoughts on the harem pant trend? While I admit these roomy pantaloons are a very comfortable and stylish alternative to the constant legging or skinny jean, not every woman can catch Aladdin's affection like Princess Jasmine. If you've been skeptical of this trend, now is your chance to test the waters. Thank the Spring winds for they have blessed us with an update to the much feared harem! 


This season's runways overflowed with roomy trousers that said an enthusiastic goodbye to the dumpy pants of yore and a hearty hello to roomy trousers.  Rather than screaming "Wayward Traveler," Spring 2010's dropped-crotch drawers joyously shout, "Crisp, Class and Ease!" With heavy hitting majors such as Givenchy, Dries Van Noten, and Lanvin forging the way, this season's must have is available in a variety of patterns and textures for versatile wearability. Designers have even considered the warmer months by offering shorter versions that cleverly resemble skirts.  So get your cartwheel ready ladies, for with these easy bottoms, wardrobe malfunctions are now a thing of the past!


**Visit the gallery below to view some images collected by Christina Fan, just for you!  Be sure to check out her fabulous collection, C/FAN, offering beautiful garments that shift seamlessly from work to play...  Follow our guest blogger next week as Christina brings us more trends for spring/summer 2010!**

Gallery sneak peek (15 images):

View the gallery...

The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards

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That's right everyone! Award show season is among us and we are excited to see what all the stars are going to be wearing this Sunday to the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Tune into NBC to see some of our favorite stars dazzle on the red carpet. Last year, some of our favorite actresses were dressed from head to toe in some of our favorite designers. Drew Barrymore, the 33-year-old Grey Gardens actress, donned a flowing grey John Galliano for Dior gown. Another of our favorites was The Blind Side actress, Sandra Bullock, who wore a creamy ruffled dress by Dior. Absolutely exquisite! 


For this year, I am excited to see so many fresh faces, such as Gabourey Sidibe, the star of one of my very favorite films, Precious. (The gorgeous actress, Monique, also picked up a nod for the film!)  Check back this weekend to see our favorites from this year!

**Check out the gallery below to see some of these leading ladies (and our favorites from this past year) before they walk the red carpet this Sunday!**

Gallery sneak peek (8 images):

View the gallery...

Guest Blogger: Christina Fan, Designer of C/FAN


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I'm excited to announce that the beautiful and talented Christina Fan will be our guest blogger for this month!  She will be addressing some of the hottest trends for Spring 2010 that will soon hit our favorite Chicago stores like H&M, Zara and Forever 21.  Christina is a Chicago-based womenswear designer.  Her line, C/FAN, was recently featured in the 2009 Gen Art "Fresh Faces in Fashion" Show and will be carried at Le Dress,
Jake, Bonnie & Clyde's, and Tula.  I am so pleased to have Christina share with us some of her expert advice on one of my favorite topics...

Spring 2010 Trends:
...with Christina Fan...

Move over skimpy dresses and make way for the new hit trend of Spring 2010: Separates.  Follow this season's ABC's with designers such as Alexander Wang, Balmain and Chloe, all of whom embrace versatility and texture with separate pieces that easily convert from work to play. 


With a nod to the consumer's need to budget, designers are opting for pieces that can be worn time and time again while slipping seamlessly into existing wardrobes.  Don't be fooled though, today's separates are far from any old sweater set.  Chicago's boutiques will stock up on key pieces such as sexy jackets, draped tops, and body hugging bottoms in a variety of weights and textures. 


The best thing about separates?  You can make a bold statement by combining lace, leather and sequins or just add a bit of *pop* to your outfit with a sheer top.  Ladies, charge past 2009 with force and dressing accordingly; find your favorite separates in a flattering neutral and layer to your heart's content!


**Visit the gallery below to view some images collected by Christina Fan, just for you!  Be sure to check out her fabulous collection, C/FAN, offering beautiful garments that shift seamlessly from work to play...**

Gallery sneak peek (16 images):

View the gallery...

Man-Up Monday: Men In Skirts?

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Recent designs.  From left, John Galliano, Comme des Garcons, and Etro. Photo: imaxtree

Two hundred years ago, if you were to mention the word "pants" to someone, they would think you were crazy (and ask what you were talking about.)  Most societies wore skirted garments (yes, even men!) until these skirts were "split" to make riding horses a bit easier.  The political working class of the 1800's transformed the workman's garments into a symbol of power, and it stayed that way.  Fast-forward a few years to 2010 and the thought of a man in a skirt may inspire laughter--though it may not be as crazy as you think!  I have spotted men in skirts and kilts on the streets lately and I also know that the handsome Marc Jacobs is a lover of the look.  This trend really exploded on the scene in Fall 2009, but has not gained mass popularity in America (though Europeans have begun to wear them.)  Maybe in 5 or 10 years men NOT wearing skirts will be a silly thought!  Personally, I believe you should wear what makes you feel good, but I must ask you men out there:  Would you wear a skirt or a kilt?  Do you think this trend will catch on in America?

Leave your thoughts in a comment and let me know what you think (ladies too!) 

-Barbara

p.s. Check back here tomorrow (Tuesday) for a post from our newest Guest Blogger!

**Have a look at the gallery and see for yourself how men are wearing skirts.  I think some of the looks are very chic.  See for yourself!**

Gallery sneak peek (10 images):

View the gallery...
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Wide Leg Jeans: IN or OUT?

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Blame it on the revival of the 80's trends with biker chic, sequins and glitz--but are we buying into the bell bottoms or wide leg jeans that stores are trying to push? Maybe it worked for Sonny and Cher but most Chicago women are sticking with their skinny jeans. Even Alessandra Ambrosio (Victoria's Secret Model) wore skinny jeans when I interviewed her recently on my blog.  I did meet several women that admitted they did own the boot cut but nixed it in favor of their skinny jeans (which fit into their over-the-knee boots to keep them warm this winter.) While Seven jeans are still popular some of the newer names in the designer world are James Jeans and J Brand with their very slim leg also known as "denim leggings." Of course what is most important at any price range is the fit!

What do you think...Wide leg jeans:  IN or OUT? 

-Barbara

**Have a look at the gallery below to see how Chicagoans and celebrities alike are wearing their jeans.**

Gallery sneak peek (9 images):

View the gallery...

"Sex and the City 2"

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With six months to go until the sequel for "Sex and the City 2" comes out, the producers of the movie have recently released this teaser promo!  Featured on the poster is a dazzling Sarah Jessica Parker, aka: Carrie Bradshaw, in a white Halston dress and Christian Louboutin pumps topped off with a large and sparkly necklace by Solange Azagury-Partridge. The image is simple, gorgeous and leaves me wanting more.  I know I can't wait to see the clothes and find out what that fabulous Carrie Bradshaw has been up to!  What do you think is in store for our favorite group of gals in this next movie?  Share your thoughts here!

 

 

Now, "Carrie on..."

 

-Barbara


Have a look below for some photos of our favorite girls:  Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte... (Be sure to get a look at the photo of Carrie in her stunning Vivienne Westwood gown from the original SATC movie!)


Gallery sneak peek (9 images):

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Tom Ford's "A Single Man"


I was mesmerized listening to Tom Ford on Charlie Rose, my favorite talk show host, who was recently talking about "Single Man"--the latest movie project he directed with Colin Firth & Julianne Moore. Of course, most of us know that Ford brought glamor and sex back to fashion in the early 90's when he was the Creative Director at Gucci. He introduced velvet pantsuits and satin open-necked slinky shirts to the runway and celebrities quickly supported his new look. When I was the Founding Fashion Editor at CS (Chicago Social), I had the privilege of showing some of those pieces on models photographed for the cover of CS, including the exceptional patent boots that helped to give the magazine a cutting edge look.  Ford explained the differences of designing clothes to directing movies: "In fashion you are designing a dress that doesn't last. When you create a film, you create a world." I can't wait to see the results of his latest cinematic venture as most consider Ford the most influential designer of the last decade.

I certainly agree.

-Barbara

Designer of the Moment: Jason Wu

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Every month or so I try and highlight one designer who, whether its because of recent press, a great review, or simply because I happen to like what they're doing, is my Designer of the Moment.  This month, that one designer is the young Jason Wu.  I just love his clothes, and I'm not the only one - he's famous for dressing Michelle Obama!  For those who aren't familiar, I've included some pictures of his work - his dresses really are to die for!  

Gallery sneak peek (11 images):

View the gallery...

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