Tome Makes Its Midwestern Debut
Contemporary womenswear label Tome comes to Chicago's Space519.
May 16, 2013
Glamour meets wearability in Tome’s Spring 2013 collection.
Fashion aficionados Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo spent years working in the industry—most recently as design director of Derek Lam and an independent stylist, respectively—before launching their own label. Now in its fourth season, Tome embodies an effortless style with utilitarian garments as pragmatic as they are unique. “We’ve always had a clear idea of what we wanted to do,” explains Martin. “We wanted to make unfettered, straightforward clothing that has a sense of humility to it.”
Initially an NYC exclusive, the designers’ tailored separates and updated basics arrive in the Windy City with select pieces from the new Spring collection available exclusively at Space519. Inspired by the works of female artists Pina Bausch, Louise Bourgeois, and Vanessa Beecroft, the lineup includes languid silk sheath dresses, sculptural twill tops, and relaxed, pleated trousers.
A kimono-style vest cast in gold metallic adds unexpected intrigue to this season’s popular black and white ensembles, while a pale nude, V-neck maxi dress exudes a discreetly seductive sophistication. The collection’s delicate, embroidered boat-neck top proves the ultimate expression of femininity, with its shimmering surface casting a natural glow on its wearer. Space519, The 900 Shops, 312-751-1519
Salvatore Ferragamo Expands
Salvatore Ferragamo opens a newly-revamped boutique on the Mag Mile.
May 13, 2013
Hockney-esque hues in Salvatore Ferragamo’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection.
Here’s some great news for spring: Salvatore Ferragamo has revamped its Michigan Avenue boutique, bringing an expanded assortment of high-end offerings to its loyal Chicago clientele. “The Chicago customer understands and appreciates the qualities that define the Ferragamo House,” says Vincent Ottomanelli, president of the Italian luxury brand. “It is all about luxury, style, tradition, and innovation.” Outfitted in mirror-polished stainless steel, warm walnut tones, and etched glass, the newly renovated (and now bi-level) store features 3,000 square feet of selling space to showcase everything from eyewear and small leather goods to handbags, shoes, and fragrances.
Customers wishing to step out in the latest fashions can also browse the women’s and men’s Spring/Summer 2013 ready-to-wear collections. Designed by Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti, this season’s offerings call to mind the Art Institute of Chicago’s current exhibition on Roman treasures with white-hot gladiator boots and short wrapped skirts. Men can embrace the bold energy of summer, splashing out in cotton blazers and carrot-cut trousers in Hockney-like shades of spearmint, limoncello, and pink pepper. For gentlemen who would rather forgo the casual look of the latest collection, the store’s Sumisura program offers an impeccable collection of made-to-measure suiting and tailored garments. 645 N. Michigan Ave., 312-397-0464
Ultimate: Spring Skin Peel from Exuviance
The daily, at-home treatment will slough away dead winter skin.
April 25, 2013
Exuviance's Daily Antioxidant Peel CA10.
If you can’t squeeze in an appointment with a pro, Exuviance’s at-home Daily Antioxidant Peel CA10 will help re-energize your face for spring by sloughing off winter skin and protecting with powerful antioxidants.
Although it’s gentle enough to use every day, the peel is formulated with 10% citric acid, which exfoliates dead skin cells, neutralizes free radicals, and helps prepare skin for moisturizer and serum absorption. Plus, the one-step process is easy—wipe the kit’s provided facial pads over your face every morning, then immediately follow with your usual skincare routine. Results are seen immediately and increase after eight weeks of constant use. $65. Available at ULTA stores nationwide and neostrata.com
Windy City Style Statement: PVMN Bags
Luxe leather handbags from Chicago residents hit the scene.
March 11, 2013
Pearson tote ($449).
It has been said that what a woman chooses to carry inside her handbag can reveal untold amounts about the woman herself. But with an accessory that manages to stay by your side more often than not, why let the inside do all the talking? Founded by Chicago residents Paola Victoria and Michael Noonan, PVMN offers luxury leather handbags that say more about you and your surroundings than their contents ever could.
Drawing inspiration from Chicago’s architecture, cultural institutions, and diverse neighborhoods, the design duo have named their handbags after Chicago streets. “We decided to use names of the streets that surround our lives because of the inspiration we receive from what we see on the streets. Customers can identify themselves with certain parts of the city depending on which bag they purchase, and bring that part [of Chicago] with them everywhere they go,” Victoria explains. In rich tones of gold, tangerine, emerald, African violet, and gunmetal, the new Spring collection includes the Huron clutch, the double-strapped Pearson tote, the hobo-style Wells, and the top-handle Ontario tote.
“We try to create classic pieces with a unique appeal that can make a strong statement,” Noonan adds. “We keep current with color and material trends from season to season, but our designs are timeless and classic.” With so many elegant iterations, we have a feeling you’ll be hard-pressed to narrow your avenue allegiance to just one. Space 519, 900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-751-1519
Lulu's Opens in 900 North Michigan Shops
Style maven Laurie Davis brings Lulu’s to the 900 North Michigan shops.
March 04, 2013
LEFT: Laurie Davis rocks her go-to look: simple black with a statement brooch. RIGHT: Iradj Moini brooch ($775).
A treasure trove of vintage YSL, Dior, and Lacroix, LuLu’s at the Belle Kay has drawn couture lovers to Lincoln Avenue with almost magnetic force since opening in 2003. Now, with a second boutique opening this month on the Mag Mile, owner Laurie Davis’s concept steps squarely into the downtown spotlight. Housed in the 900 North Michigan Shops and outfitted to evoke Regency Hollywood, LuLu’s on the Avenue differs from Davis’s original store in that its focus is, at least for now, solely on accessories: vintage and contemporary jewelry, handbags, and custom headwear. (“If things go well,” Davis says, “we’ll [add] carefully edited pieces of clothing.”) Designers such as Larry Vrba, Iradj Moini, and Roni Blanshay (all LuLu’s staples) abound, along with a new Bochic-esque collection of Indian diamond jewelry and, of course, the LuLu’s signature collection.
A second LuLu’s was never part of the plan, says Davis, but then the opportunity arose in one of the city’s most coveted retail districts. “With all the new stores [in the area]—Lanvin, Louboutin, YSL—there is more street cred here than ever,” Davis attests. “It’s among the great shopping destinations in the country.” The opportunity may have been kismet, but Davis’s success as one of the city’s most sought-after sources for luxe jewelry is the result of pure talent. “In high school I was voted as having the best accessories in my senior class,” Davis says. “I never really appreciated or even understood it—I just did what I did.” So how does Davis don jewelry—is she dripping with diamonds or is she of the “take one accessory off before leaving home” persuasion? “I believe in wearing one fabulous statement piece with very simple clothing,” she says. “A well-placed brooch on a simple black dress can speak volumes.” 900 N. Michigan Ave., 773-404-5858
Trunk Club Offers Exclusive Jack Spade
Booming Chicago men’s shopping service Trunk Club welcomes spring with a designer series.
February 27, 2013
Jack Spade adds distinction to Trunk Club’s exclusive luxury service.
Riding in on the perfectly tailored coattails of Trunk Club’s ultrasuccessful 2012 designer collaborations with Theory and Eton last year are trunk loads of Jack Spade duds—the latest menswear label to partner with the Chicago-based service.
Set to launch April 1, the Jack Spade Designer Series is just one of many successes Trunk Club has seen in the past year, including moving into a new 30,000-square-foot space in River North and increasing membership by 181 percent. “We focused our efforts on expansion in 2012, and as a result, we experienced tremendous growth across all aspects of our business,” says CEO Brian Spaly. “We now have a fantastic team in place and hope to build on that positive momentum this year.”
For Jason Smith, vice president of product and merchandising for Trunk Club, that means even more exciting partnerships with designers like Jack Spade. Citing the label’s versatile checkered shirts and polos in summer shades, its casual, Henley-style tees, and nautical-inspired leather belts, Smith notes, “Jack Spade fits directly into what we hope our [members] are thinking about when adding distinctive pieces to their wardrobes—timeless products that gain character with age and use, and never feel dated. Simply put, Jack Spade offers classic American style without compromising a man’s sense of humor or individuality.” 325 W. Ohio St., 866-406-2235
Ermenegildo Zegna Launches ZegnaSilk
Ermenegildo Zegna crafts a sumptuous collection for the dapper gentlemen of Chicago.
January 23, 2013
A look from Ermenegildo Zegna’s Spring 2013 collection.
The silkworm’s cocoon has long been a symbol of rebirth. So it seems fitting that while Ermenegildo Zegna’s Mag Mile flagship undergoes renovations, waiting to reopen this summer with a new second floor and other exciting additions, the brand has launched ZegnaSilk, a collection of its signature suits, polo shirts, trousers, and knitwear cast in a glossy, lightweight silk (now available at Zegna’s temporary location at The Shops at North Bridge).
Jackets with sober saddle shoulders and wide lapels are paired with high-waist trousers in red, tobacco, tan, teal, ivory, and midnight blue. There are tropical-inspired printed motifs, like a banana tree leaf that surfaces on pocket squares, plus laser-perforated windbreakers and suits with a subtle iridescent sheen—all perfect for a trip to warmer climes, or for Chicago gents eager to shed their cocoon of winter woolens in favor of more sumptuous attire. 530 N. Michigan Ave., 312-587-9660
Fendi Takes a Cue from Anish Kapoor
Spring/summer collection takes inspiration from Cloud Gate’s Anish Kapoor.
January 14, 2013
In blocked bands of cream, mandarin, and mustard, an abstract motif resembling the letter “F” jets across structured leather overcoats, shift dresses, and crew-neck blouses. The linear silhouettes of pencil skirts, cigarette trousers, and oversize jackets dominate Fendi’s new collection and direct attention to the remarkable construction of the garments and accessories. Led by Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi, and inspired by British sculptor Anish Kapoor, the Fendi design team used progressive techniques such as saldatura, or electrical welding, instead of traditional stitching, to create pieces that appear to be seamless, a process Kapoor also relied on when fusing together the 168 steel plates of our beloved Cloud Gate. The sculptor’s signature manipulation of space and form is captured in the reflective surface of the Bean, which mirrors and distorts the surrounding Windy City skyline.
Translating a similar effect into Fendi garments, geometric cuts and overlapping hemlines are cast in eye-catching metallic materials, lending a spectacular depth and three-dimensionality to the collection. Nowhere is the reference to Kapoor’s work more clear than in the artfully crafted open-toe booties, slingbacks, and pumps that paraded down the spring runway. Several come with a pair of color-blocked detachable uppers to allow for multiple styling options. One particularly striking pair achieves a futuristic vibe with a reflective, silver heel covered in rows of studs and a gold band atop a black and white toe box. A more demure bootie features a matte gray studded heel and three tiers of mustard, peach, and camel on the uppers, creating a distinctly vintage feel. A ladylike canary-yellow pump with a tricolor studded heel is most abstract, with its cornflower and teal uppers highlighting the collection’s daring spirit.
All exquisitely eye-catching in their own right, these architectural accessories will become the focal point of any ensemble, inviting onlookers to admire their beauty and innovation. Sounds like a certain Millennium Park sculpture we know. Barneys New York, 15 E. Oak St., 312-587-1700
Brunello Cucinelli Debuts on Rush Street
Brunello Cucinelli brings the cozy feel of Solomeo to bustling Chicago.
December 17, 2012
Brunello Cucinelli brings Italian luxury to North Rush Street.
When Italian architect Luigi Fiorentino designed the new Brunello Cucinelli space on North Rush Street, his goal was to bring the essence of relaxed Italian luxury to the urbanity of Chicago. Founded in an idyllic village in northern Italy, the brand has become renowned for its sumptuous cashmere and leatherwork. The label’s first store in the Midwest, the Chicago boutique boasts an inviting atmosphere that encourages customers to acquaint themselves with the brand and its rich heritage.
The new space offers both men’s and women’s collections styled with vintage props from Cucinelli’s hometown of Solomeo. Among these homespun touches you’ll find knitwear and leather goods, as well as accessories and men’s tailoring. When asked about the opening of the new boutique, Cucinelli noted, “The Chicago man may live here, but he is truly an international citizen. He is well traveled and sophisticated, often a connoisseur of exceptional design, beautiful architecture, good food. His lifestyle speaks to a need for dressing well, which is so important for the man whose day has to transition quickly from the office to dinner to weekend getaways.” 939A N. Rush St., 312-266-6000
Holiday Beauty: Dior Grand Bal Lashes
Forgo the predictable bordeaux lip or smoky eye for bold lashes.
December 10, 2012
French couture house Christian Dior provides the perfect accoutrement to the little black dress this season with Dior Grand Bal Lashes, two high-octane styles of false lashes. “A full lash helps to add drama the Chicago woman looks to achieve during the holidays,” says local Chrisondra Boyd, lead makeup artist for Ford Artists. “When your eyes are the main focus, your whole attitude reads sexy, classy, and confident.” Go for volume with the Pearl Drops design, featuring three silver rhinestones on the outermost lash (pictured; $28), or try the Gold Crystals style with an alluring row of golden stones. Saks Fifth Avenue, 700 N. Michigan Ave., 312-799-5211
Michigan Avenue celebrates with cover star Harrison Ford at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.