As an interior designer, I thumb through fashion magazines on a daily basis—and it never fails: I am always transported into the dream world of the über-fabulous when I see photographs of private cocktail parties. I find myself wondering who these people are and, most importantly, why I am never invited. I own a Ralph Lauren black label velvet tuxedo, couldn’t I blend in?
As it turns out, the fashion forward at Modern Luxury Media (CS Interiors) flung yours truly a VIP entrance card to the first annual Mr. Porter Extravaganza at the notorious and ever-so-posh Public Hotel in Chicago. My excitement was instantly clouded by the dilemma of what to wear.
If you have ever perused the electronic pages of the Mr. Porter website (www.mrporter.com) you know why I was shuddering at the mere thought of finding the perfect attire. Digitally formatted to feel like you are scouring the New York Times, the all-male cast of models pose in the most up-to-date and fashionable looks of the European elite. A rolled pant leg here, a saddle shoe there, a top hat, a leather bag, and a bow tie modeled and arranged in what could be considered perfect Bruce Weber photography. Cashmere, silk, and wool in the latest styles by Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Yves Saint Laurent have the fashion conscious drooling with envy at every click of the mouse.
I opted for a taupe, skinny, cargo pant; an AllSaints silk shirt; and a Gucci loafer with matching belt to secure my placement in the dapper crowd of hired Tom Ford-looking models sauntering through the infamous library while donning the latest and greatest from thee Mr. Porter.
An army of Mr. Porter personal shoppers and marketing/PR reps, armed with iPads in order to display the user-friendliness of the Mr. Porter website, which is their sole selling tool, were abundant. An open bar of wine and mixed spirits put all 170 guests into the right pose for the endless snapshots being taken by numerous hired photographers.
Later in the evening, with gifted swag bag in hand (embroidered pocket square inside), yours truly, along with 20 other privileged guests, was escorted to a private table in the Pump Room for haute cuisine prepared by world-renowned chef and 2011 James Beard award winner Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Continuous intriguing conversation, flowing champagne, and the uncompromising dessert presentation paired with three whiskeys led us to the exit of the evening when we parted with kisses and contacts.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have been to many fancy affairs—probably more than I care to count—but what made this soiree so spectacular was how fashionable all the male guests were. I truly felt like I was amongst my own ilk, right here in Chicago. It is time that we brought male fashion back and took pride in our appearances. So, trade in the sweats and the running shoes and put on a coat and tie. You will not only look better—you will feel better too!
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