Dress in Thakoon Panichgul’s Spring 2013 collection.

The Arts Club hosted a fun panel discussion with me and the boys from Creatures of the Wind, Shane Gabier and Chris Peters, and moderated by the amazing Nena Ivon. It was less an actual interview than a conversation onstage between the four of us, and I think it was very informative about what young designers are doing and how important it is to support them—especially Shane and Chris, a Chicago team who are doing an unbelievable job working on a national level but still living in Chicago.

We recently hosted two intimate dinners on successive nights at our café—one for Isabel and Ruben Toledo, who were in town to be honored at the Art Institute, and one for Thakoon Panichgul. There’s such a fun contrast between the two of them. Thakoon is this very easy-going little guy, and Isabel and Ruben are more intimidating but equally friendly, wonderful, and fun, and the crowd just loved them both. One of the things I adore about Thakoon’s spring collection is that he uses unbelievable couture fabrics in a very youthful and whimsical way. He created one of my favorite looks of the season: a strapless, hand-embroidered lace cutout dress with yellow trim right in the neck. It’s so clean and couturelike—that dress speaks for itself. I love it.

Jason Pickleman is one of the most unbelievable young artists in Chicago right now. He’s a graphic designer who has done work for Avec and Blackbird; he’s also participated in Art Chicago with Tony Karman and is himself an artist. His show in our store gallery features really simple, beautiful type balls—framed prints with antique-looking initials (all A’s or B’s or C’s) hand-printed in different ways inside the shape of a ball, each one of a kind at $600. He also did a wall installation that really speaks to me, using incredible words in pairs: unified and incomplete, secret and beautiful, scared and sacred. We absolutely love his work.

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