Designer Stephane St. Jaymes is definitely one to watch! Although, he's very well known in other parts of the world, he's relatively new to Chicago, however, our very own trendsetter/celeb host Michi Marshall, is about to change all this. She introduced this creative man recently at Wicker Park hotspot Tocco to some of the top fashionistas in town for a private get-together that included beautiful models, display windows showcasing his designs, a banquet table filled with his drawings, sketch book and fabric swatches and a VERY appreciative crowd.
PR gal extraordinaire Margaret O'Connor, Stephane's publicist, introduced Michi and Stephane when they were both her guests at a private event at the Art Institute's Fashion and Modernism Show recently. They immediately hit it off and began talking fashion. Stephane is a London-trained designer with an impressive background. He worked with some of the top designers there including Elisabeth Emmanuelle, Michiko Koshino, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano Temperley London and Giles Deason. In the mid-2000's, he took on more private clients, designing for London society, Ascot and society weddings.
Michi has always had a passion for fashion. She decided to pursue her dreams after earning two degrees with honors from University of Central Florida (where she met her husband Brandon) and entered the Miami International University of Art & Design. She transferred a year later to the Illinois Institute of Art Chicago and will graduate next year with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. She plans to open her own boutique called "Michi" which is sure to be a success!
On this night, Michi showed up at Tocco, one of my fav Italian restaurants, wearing the most glamorous cocktail dress designed, of course, by Stephane. With only one fitting, the dress fit her perfectly, thanks to his unerring precision. Michi introduced Stephane to the fashion loving crowd recounting how he learned to sew from his mother and aunts when he was just a teenager. He enrolled at Redbridge Technical College in East London before going on to the London College of Fashion.
Stephane was humble when introduced and said he was the happiest when designing and making beautiful clothes. He said he met O'Connor only two months ago and that she was his "fashion tsunami." He said she talked to him about branding and seeking out the right opportunities so he is well on the way to the top of the fashion heap with her guidance.
Midway through the event Brandon arrived to give support to his wife. He made it a point to stay out of the limelight wanting her to have this night all to herself. When I peeked at him in the back of the room, he was taping his wife's speech. It was too sweet for words to see how supportive they are to one another.
Stephane will be introducing his Spring Collection in early 2014 with plans already underway for the launch. His studio is located in the Bridgeport Art Center. Catch him while you can!
(Photos by Amie Hana)
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