International Vintage Poster Fair Focuses on Fashion
Expect posters that examine style in ads, as well as works that look at travel in Chicago.
March 20, 2013
This weekend (March 22-24), the renowned International Vintage Poster Fair comes to the Chicago Cultural Center, putting on display (and up for sale) original prints from as far back as the 1890s. The authentic vintage posters showcase design styles from the last century and a half, including Art Deco, Modernism, Art Nouveau, and Victorian. The centerpiece of the Fair, however, is its feature exhibit: dubbed “Dressed to Sell,” with an emphasis on fashion in advertising. Keeping with the theme, a preview party on Friday (March 22, 5-9 pm) benefits the Chicago Fashion Incubator and will include wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a lecture.
Of course fashion posters and prints will be prevalent, but another category that will be of interest to Chicagoans is a series of travel posters featuring iconic buildings from the Windy City as must-visit destinations. A 1950s-era United Airlines print shows the Art Institute of Chicago’s famous lions, while a 1960s poster from the same company highlights the Marina City Towers (a brand-new construction at the time). $35 for the preview benefit and weekend-long pass; $15 for a regular weekend pass. 77 E. Randolph St., 800-856-8069
Chicago Creation: Tortoise Belly Stationery
A local graphic designer’s homemade cards are a unique way to send a note.
March 19, 2013
Whether it’s for a celebration-worthy occasion or just to say hello, Tortoise Belly’s unique handmade greeting cards are a memorable way to send a message. The new Chicago-based brand is rife with intricate, geometric options, but we love the simplicity of the “hi, friend” card, a bestseller at last weekend’s Dose Market.
After years of crafting her own holiday cards, Tortoise Belly creator Danielle Torricelli Riley recently started selling Tortoise Belly stationery. A full-time graphic designer, Riley creates and prints each card individually, giving the line a personal touch. It’s this attention to detail (complete with handwritten cursive) that makes the “hi, friend” card so popular, setting it apart from generic, drug-store paper goods. The catchphrase came from one of Riley’s oldest friends, who begins each conversation that way; on the inside, the otherwise blank card reads, “I just wanted to say…” Plus, the cards are eco-friendly, printed on recycled paper and packaged in recycled, biodegradable materials.
Other Tortoise Belly favorites include Riley’s original, detailed pattern (found on cards like the “i love you” style), which was created based on an illustration project she did as part of the School of the Art Institute’s adult program. A pair of florescent “hello” and “thanks” cards represent Riley’s first foray into screen-printing, a method she hopes to use more on future Tortoise Belly designs. $4 each.
Photography by Danielle Torricelli
Fifth Annual Chicago Chef Week
Our top three picks from the more than 50 participating restaurants.
March 19, 2013
Take advantage of these specials now through Friday, March 22.
Bloomingdales Debuts a New Shoe Floor
The reopened and expanded floor adds more high-end brands to its already luxe roster.
March 18, 2013
Bloomingdale’s new shoe department is double its original size and features brands like Christian Dior for the first time.
An early perk of Bloomingdale’s full-scale renovations—set to be completed this fall—is the unveiling of a brand new shoe department. The 14,000-square-foot space now occupies the third floor of Bloomingdale’s, the anchor of the 900 North Michigan Shops.
Double its original size, the new shoe department augmented its designer roster by welcoming labels like Giuseppe Zanotti, Chloe, Sigerson Morrison, Superga, and Nike to the Michigan Avenue location for the first time. We especially love the styles from another addition, Christian Dior. The designer’s simple patent pumps in electric blue ($710) offer an apropos pop of color for spring, while the nude pair is perfect for every outfit.
The space itself is a shopper’s dream: futuristic yet approachable, with mod light fixtures and geometric displays. The neutral color scheme covering the walls and hardwood floors lets the shoes take center stage—and with spring’s dominant styles coming in cool metallics and neon shades, the department will look absolutely artful. 900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-440-4515
'Love Under Fire' Examines Famous Chicago Duo
Chicago-based Corn Bred Films premieres a documentary on the Palmers.
March 18, 2013
Bertha Honoré Palmer was a major player in rebuilding Chicago after the Great Fire.
On March 24, Chicago-based production company Corn Bred Films premieres its first film on PBS WTTW11. A documentary that should resonate with all Chicagoans, Love Under Fire: The Story of Bertha and Potter Palmer tells the unique, turn-of-the-century love tale of one of the city’s most famous couples.
Chicago would not be what it is today without the Palmers: Bertha Honoré, a young socialite, and Potter, a self-made retail mogul. After the Great Fire destroyed the city in the late 1800s, Bertha worked as President of the Board of Lady Managers for the 1893 World’s Fair, an exposition that, against all odds, put the city back on the map. Potter was the owner of a dry goods store, Potter Palmer & Company, and developed shop tactics that are still prevalent today, such as returns, receipts, window displays, credits, and the idea that “the customer is always right.” Later, he built the landmark Palmer House Hotel—today the Palmer House Hilton—in the Loop. Despite their 20-year age difference, the two forged an unconventional relationship that, in its own way, helped rebuild Chicago.
Executive producer—and cofounder of Corn Bred Films—Amelia Estelle Dellos specifically wanted to tell this story during Women’s History Month. Bertha Palmer’s contributions to society, and Chicago in particular, are timeless examples of why we honor women every March. The film premieres on Sunday, March 24 (5:30 pm), and will air again on Monday, March 25 (4 pm) and Wednesday, March 27 (4:30 pm).
What We’re Reading
Historic Chicago postcards uncovered, SARCA updates, Aleksandar Hemon's ode to the city.
March 15, 2013
Greetings from Chicago, Illinois (The Tichnor Brothers Collection/Boston Public Library).
Award-winning author Aleksandar Hemon writes an ode to Chicago in a new book out next week. [Chicago Mag]
Another Chicagoan showing love for the city: rapper Lupe Fiasco settles into a gig as creative director for Chicago-based wellness app Higi. [Crain's Chicago Business]
Meanwhile, an Old Town home with tons of history—including at least one Playboy shoot—goes back on the market. [Curbed Chicago]
Speaking of history, the Boston Public Library uncovered a ton of Tichnor Brothers postcards that give an insight into the dominant art of the Depression and World War II eras. See some top selects from the Chicago area. [Chicagoist]
In fashion news, SARCA sent out a much-anticipated update after the flood that caused them to shut the shop two weeks ago. [Racked Chicago]
Photographs courtesy thechicagoist.com
Brunch Plans: bellyQ
The Asian barbecue spot introduces a unique Sunday morning menu.
March 15, 2013
This month, chef Bill Kim fused family recipes and his unconventional culinary concept to launch a not-so-traditional Sunday brunch (available 10 am-2 pm) at his Asian barbecue resto, bellyQ. Many of the entrees incorporate everything Chicagoans already love about bellyQ. The pork belly sandwich with nuoc cham mayo and lettuce brings the barbecue, while the Vietnamese omelet with potatoes, feta cheese, and shrimp is a unique dish that showcases bellyQ’s Asian flair.
Less expected dishes are versions of Kim’s own childhood favorites, such as the huckleberry jam and vanilla maple syrup French toast, a twist on his mother’s recipe. Similarly, the banana yogurt shake is an absolute must-have, and comes from Kim’s wife, Yvonne. Our favorite item, though, combines classic morning comfort foods with bellyQ’s concept: fried chicken with donuts and pork sausage gravy (just make sure you’re hungry). Still have room for sides? Swap out classic sausages for lemongrass pork patties, and bacon for a unique sweet and sour version.
If the banana yogurt shake doesn’t strike your fancy—or you’re simply looking for something lighter to complement the hearty entrees—the beverage menu offers mimosas and a variety of juice options. Reservations recommended. 1400 W. Randolph St., 312-563-1010
Weekend Recommender: March 14-17
Women’s-only shopping event, Brewstone opening celebration, more St. Patrick’s Day musts.
March 14, 2013
Shop Henry & Belle's styles at The Denim Lounge's Girls Night Out.
Fourth Annual Girls Night Out
Thursday, March 14, 6-9 pm
The Denim Lounge hosts its annual Girls Night Out (no guys allowed) tonight. In addition to shopping a Henry & Belle trunk show—the Chicago denim label is a celebrity favorite—guests can get facial airbrush tans, sip wine from Evolution Wine & Spirits, and check out the latest jewelry collection from another local label, Aviva Rose. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. 2039 W. Roscoe St., 773-935-2820
Brewstone Beer Company Grand Opening
Thursday, March 14, 6 pm
Michigan Avenue and Chicago party stalwarts the Landan brothers host an all-night celebration in honor of Brewstone Beer Company’s local opening. The new restaurant/bar has something for everyone with 30 beers on tap and 30 more by the bottle, large-screen TVs, great food, and an even better social scene. Attendees can enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, specialty cocktails, and a guest DJ. 414 N. Orleans St., 312-464-9456
"Indelicate Objects" Opening Reception
Friday, March 15, 6 pm
Kristina Felix, Johana Moscoso, and Kristin Nason are the featured artists in "Indelicate Objects," an exhibition at the Chicago Artists’ Coalition being fêted with an opening reception tonight. The exhibit, on display through April 2, explores everyday objects through the lens of an artist’s imagination. 217 N. Carpenter St., 312-491-8888
Décor Demo with Jay Michael
Saturday, March 16, 2 pm
Just in time for spring cleaning—and maybe a little seasonal redecorating—lifestyle architect Jay Michael presents a demo on how to design small spaces that are stylish and, more importantly, efficient for city living. Bloomingdale’s Home and Furniture, 600 N. Wabash Ave., 312-324-7500
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 16, 12 pm
Downtown Chicago will be a sea of green—or rather, a river of green after the annual dyeing (10 am)—as the crowds come out for the Chicago's St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This year, the route is along Columbus Drive; walk along with the parade participants or stake out a spot in the designated viewing area at Buckingham Fountain. Columbus Dr. between Balbo Dr. and Monroe St.
JW Marriott's Broadway Bound Package
Take in dinner, a show, and luxe accommodations with this luxurious staycation.
March 14, 2013
JW Marriott's Broadway Bound package includes car service, a prix-fixe dinner, and post-show cocktails.
In a city full of theaters—there are more than 200 in town—it’s easy to lose the magic that otherwise comes with catching a play. But with JW Marriott’s new Broadway Bound package for two, locals can turn simply seeing a show into an exciting overnight staycation.
The Broadway Bound special begins with dinner at The Florentine, where guests will enjoy the Teatro Trio, a seasonal prix-fixe menu. Dishes to look forward to include melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi, or a coppa di testa with crispy pork terrine, lentils, and whole grain mustard. Uber black car service then whisks guests away to the theater. The package applies to whatever tickets theatergoers might have, to any show and venue. The Book of Mormon at the Bank of America Theatre is a must-see while it’s in town, and of course Million Dollar Quartet at Apollo Theater is a Chicago favorite. If you’re booking a bit more in advance, plan to see stage adaptations of Catch Me if You Can, opening April 2 at Cadillac Palace Theatre, and Big Fish, opening the same day at Ford Oriental Theatre.
After the show, Uber’s private black cars will shuttle guests back to the hotel, where they can enjoy a complimentary nightcap in the lounge, perfect for a post-play discussion. Even the drink is theater-themed: the Gold Record cocktail was inspired by Million Dollar Quartet and contains Ketel One Citron, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and dry vermouth. Packages start at $279; use code D60 to reserve. Offer is available through December 31, 2013. 151 W. Adams St., 312-660-8200
Rolls-Royce Wraith Debuts in Geneva
The British auto brand takes a 1938 model for a modern spin.
March 13, 2013
It’s symptomatic for Rolls-Royce to look backwards before moving forward when the time for contemplation of a new model is imminent. With a storied history—founder Charles Stewart Rolls was in his twenties when he co-founded the company and, as a young pilot, became the first man to double cross the English Channel non-stop—and a reservoir of creativity at its disposal, the British automaker proudly staged the world debut of its dynamic new Wraith recently at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show.
Wraith, titled after a mystical Scottish spirit, represents new potential direction for Rolls-Royce and extends its level of luxury, refinement, and hand-craftsmanship, but also presents unique positioning defined by power, style, and drama. Originally conceived in 1938, the rebirth of the current fastback and its perfectly engineered features and technical contour introduces a younger demographic to the Rolls-Royce brand. The sleek and vigorous Wraith is purely driver oriented with its Ghost-based 6.6-liter V12 that now outputs 624-horsepower (European spec), allowing it to reach 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. With this in mind, the majestic gran turismo becomes the most powerful Rolls-Royce in the history of the company.
Hallmark coach doors open into the Wraith’s rich cabin, which is composed of Phantom-grade leathers and Canadel Panelling wood veneers. A bespoke touch of imagination is displayed by way of the lustrous night roof lining, conceived by the hand stitching of 1,340 fibre optic lamps. For enthusiastic owners who position themselves directly behind the wheel, innovative technology dubbed Satellite Aided Transmission applies GPS mapping algorithms to forecast the driver’s next move using current location-base and drive characteristics. The system then pre-chooses the most suitable gear from the 8-speed automatic ZF transmission appropriate for the impending topography ahead.
Expect deliveries by the end of the year to early 2014 with a current European price of €245K. Further pricing details for additional markets such as the U.S. will be revealed at a later date. It’s currently a moment of introspection for Rolls-Royce as they position themselves for supplementary growth, heightened levels of performance, and inflated expectations from their loyalists.
Michigan Avenue celebrates with cover star Harrison Ford at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.