Earlier today, fashionistas fumed when blogger Audarshia Townshend tweeted, “OK, so it’s been brought to my attention that Chicago Fashion Week is NO LONGER. WTF?!” A reasonable premise given the recent demise of Gen Art, who traditionally produced the centerpiece show, and the exit of Melissa Gamble, the city’s fashion honcho, and the thundering silence about this year’s plans emanating from City Hall, which usually gets announced about now. (Last year, Tommy Hilfiger flew in to help announce the events on July 14.)
We asked the city to confirm or deny the report and this is the response from Kiran Advani, who does PR for the Chicago Office of Tourism:
“The Chicago Office of Tourism is denying the reports on Twitter and is confirming that there will be fashion shows taking place at Millennium Park in October. A press conference regarding more information about the City’s fashion initiatives and programming is tentatively planned for sometime in August.”
Paul Hornschemeier, the graphic novelist behind “Mother, Come Home,” “The Three Paradoxes,” and “Let Us Be Perfectly Clear,” has launched a line of t-shirts. Every week since late April, he’s posted a new design for sale at The Forlorn Funnies Shirt Shop, your online source for tees, hoodies and infant-sized onesies emblazoned with Hornschemeier’s characteristically quirky (his word: “strange”) graphics.
Hornschemeier has been designing graphic t-shirts since he was a teenager, but a stint contributing weekly cartoons to The Wall Street Journal inspired him to get the shirt shop going. “I realized that while I enjoyed working with the editor there and liked having something popping into the world each week, I’d rather have that something be entirely of my own creation,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »
Crain’s reported today that Chicago’s Director of Fashion Arts & Events, Melissa Gamble, has resigned. Gamble, the only person ever to hold this post, oversaw the City’s fall fashion week, known as “Fashion Focus Chicago.” Coming on the heels of the demise of Gen Art, who produced Fashion Focus’ marquee show, Fresh Faces in Fashion, Gamble’s departure has to be seen as a serious setback for the city’s fashion endeavors.
When I called the City to check the status of Fashion Focus, I was sent an ominously ambiguous statement, reprinted below. However, Chicago Office of Tourism spokesperson Karen Vaughn confirmed in a follow-up email that Fashion Focus will be going forward, with dates and details to be announced in its customary mid-summer press conference. (Brian Hieggelke)
Here’s the statement: Read the rest of this entry »
Bravo’s coming to Chicago Saturday to find charismatic designers for the second season of their “Project Runway” replacement, “The Fashion Show.” Follow the casting call at twitter.com/dLtcasting. The edited press release, with details, is below.
BRAVO SEWS UP INTERNATIONAL SUPERMODEL AND FASHION ICON, IMAN, TO JOIN THE CAST OF
“THE FASHION SHOW”
Iman Signs On As Host, Alongside Internationally Acclaimed Designer, Isaac Mizrahi
NEW YORK – May 11, 2010 – Bravo announced today that international supermodel and fashion icon, Iman, has signed on as the host of the second season of “The Fashion Show.” Iman will join internationally acclaimed designer Isaac Mizrahi who, as previously announced, will be returning as host to the fashion competition series. The series is produced by Left/Right Productions and will air on Bravo later this year. Read the rest of this entry »
Gen Art's first Fresh Faces in Fashion show in Chicago/Photo: Compliments of Julie Darling
By Rachel Sugar
After sixteen years of showcasing emerging artists, Gen Art has “succumbed to the recession,” according to a press release issued last week. The New York City-based organization, which also ran offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago, aimed to promote the next generation of filmmakers, musicians, visual artists and fashion designers with a steady calendar of red-carpeted events. Their list of alumni is impressive: Brad Anderson (film), Rachel Yamagata (music), Will Cotton (visual art), and Zac Posen (fashion) are among the ranks that have been featured at Gen Art events.
SHOP Chicago, Gen Art’s annual festival/marketplace featuring local designers and boutiques, was slated for May 13 at Galleria Marchetti, but was canceled when Gen Art folded. While the organization was known around town for their annual film festival—the larger-scale New York version just wrapped up last month—and events like SHOP Chicago, they made their Midwestern mark with Fresh Faces in Chicago runway show, a highlight of Fashion Focus Chicago in recent years. Julie Darling, who headed Gen Art’s Chicago operations when it came to the city in 2002, recalls the first Fresh Faces show as a “wild success.” Read the rest of this entry »
Gen Art, the New York-based nonprofit fashion, art and film advocates, is folding due to financial issues. It comes as a significant blow locally, where they had a constant presence and their fall Fresh Faces fashion show was a highlight of Fashion Focus Chicago each fall.
Though its presence in Chicago probably had a disproportionately high profile, the organization had been struggling for more than a year, as detailed in this scathing Gawker post from 2009.
Here’s the announcement: Read the rest of this entry »
When I heard about Chicago’s new Beauty Bar, it sounded failproof: a kitschy retro beauty parlor, real manicures and a full bar. What’s not to love? But as the saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” And so was the case at Beauty Bar, a new outpost of a national chain of nightspots that, in Chicago, took the space long occupied by the electronic-music mecca Sonotheque.
I imagined manicurist stations filling the space offering the full treatment and, who knows, maybe even a pedicure. Visions of nail polish in a rainbow of colors, hot towels and shoulder massages swam in my mind.
Once inside, the Beauty Bar of my imagination gave way as I took in the décor. Sparkling walls in turquoise and gold create a cocoon of glitter and small chandeliers reflect light in a multitude of vertiginous directions. Illustrations of women sporting beehives cast flirtatious glances from the safety of the walls. Beneath their gaze a long row of retro seafoam green blow-dry chairs beckons oppposite a golden backlit bar. Feeling as though I’d been flung into a seventies film set, a drink instantly seemed like a very good idea. Read the rest of this entry »
“I always took sequins and metallic over brown any day,” says Amy Tara Koch, a mindset that led the Chicago fashion journalist to produce her new book, “Bump It Up,” to be released March 23. Koch presents an easy-to-follow and entertaining guide on how to combat that urge to dress down during those months of dramatic weight gain and mood swings that define pregnancy. “It is so easy to look like a ‘schlub’ because you feel like one,” says Koch. “You’re exhausted. All you want to do is eat Honey Nut Cheerios and burritos.” Being pregnant, however, doesn’t put your whole life on hold, and most women still have to go out in the world. Koch uses testimony from major fashion designers and editors (most of whom have had the pleasure of pregnancy themselves) to help guide Read the rest of this entry »
In what is certainly turning 2010 into the winter of fashion discontent, the onetime Michelle Obama fave Maria Pinto told the Sun-Times she is closing up shop.