PLUS BEAUX-ARTS CELEBRATION; SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT COVERGIRLS; DRIVING FASHION FORWARD; CHEF ART'S WORLD FESTIVAL; BUNKY SEES RED AT RITZ TEA; "FAME & PHILANTHROPY": A BEV HILLS BASH WITH JAMES CAMERON; COMMON'S "MASTERPEACE"; FIRE & ICE; SPRING ARRIVES AT RANDOLPH STREET MARKET; THE MAIDS; LAURA'S COVER; BUCCELLATI'S WINE PARTY; GRAND CHEF'S GALA; VIDEOS AND SO MUCH MORE!
I love looking at cars, sort of, but I do know that women are the most influential when it comes time to buy a new car for the family. According to Forbes, women influence more than 85 percent of car sales. Additionally, Forbes states that women have full or partial say over a staggering $80 billion worth of spending on cars and now represent 52 percent of new car buyers in the U.S. This is why "Women's Day" at the Chicago Auto Show is a such a stroke of genius! ChicagonistaLive, a live-streamed monthly talk show, hosted by Beth Rosen, MJ Tam, Nancy Loo, David Grotto and Duong Sheahan, presented a fun-filled day of activities aimed at the ladies plus an incredible awards show, Women Driving Excellence, that honored eight inspiring women on February 11. The event debuted last year and was a hit from the start. It attracted mostly women, but this year, it was a very mixed, appreciative crowd who oohed and aahed over the opening performance. Students from St. Therese Chinese Catholic School presented an exciting and colorful Lion & Ribbon dance in celebration of the Chinese New Year that had the crowd snapping away on their I-phones. It was a great start to a sleepy morning and put everyone on notice that this event wasn't your grandma's knitting party. Held on a Nissan sponsored stage, the event began with a welcome from Beth Rosen and MJ Tam. Emcee Anupy Singla (WDE 2013 honoree and darling author of www.IndianasApplePie.com), presented the 2014 honorees. They included Karyn Calabrese (restaurateur/wellness expert/author); Mary Couzin (CEO/founder of Chicago Toy and Game); Jory DesJardins, Elisa Camahort Page and Lisa Stone (www.BlogHer.com founders, which is an AWESOME blog!) ; Susanna Jung (president and CEO of Price Futures Group); Sherren Leigh (CEO/founder Today's Chicago Woman Mag, one of my very favorite mags--so wonderfully Chicago-centric); and Natalie Martinez (NBC Chicago reporter).
Karyn Calabrese spoke first describing herself as a "raw foodist, restaurateur and cookbook author". She said, "Anything you want to do in life, you should be passionate about it. My passions are food, health, taking care of myself.... We're living in such a 'chemicalized' world that you need to wake up and do things differently. If you don't take care of your body, the most magnificent machine, where are you going to live?" Amen, Karyn! Susanna Jung, who said she didn't finish college but is now CEO of Price Futures Group, said, "It's a great opportunity to be a woman in this industry." Mary Couzin (CEO of Chicago Toy and Game Group) said, "I'm a testament that anyone can make a career change and be successful as long as you're willing to work hard." She quoted author Jack London, "You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club." (I loved this!) (Couzin's playCHIC fashion event is NOT to be missed)! NBC reporter Natalie Martinez, a newlywed, spoke next. I adore her and have heard her speak before. She is an incredibly inspirational speaker and if you ever need someone at your event to fire up a crowd, SHE is it! She said she grew up "very poor, food stamp poor." When she asked her mom how she could succeed, she was told, "good grades are money in the bank". Needless to say, she was a straight A student and went on to great things. Her coverage of stories on NBC are always infused with her heartfelt caring and is not to be missed. Elisa Camahort Page accepted the award on behalf of her BlogHer Inc. co-founders, Lisa Stone and Jory DesJardins. She said, "If you're going to have longevity, you need equal parts of dedication and 'workaholism'." She also said, "Money
buys freedom and will allow you to walk away from things and situations that suck your soul right out of your body." LOL! She finished with words of wisdom from her mom, "If it's not going to cause death or dismemberment, give it a try!" (I loved this speech and her mom's advice is spot-on!).... After the inspiring words of this year's honorees, fitness guru Andrea Metcalf energized the crowd. She had everyone "stand, stretch and connect." Stars of the hit musical "Phantom of the Opera", Ben Jacoby and Julia Udine, sang tunes from the production. Fans clamored for photos with the dynamic duo after their appearance. They were so cute AND so talented! Miss Lori, a popular, nationally recognized family TV host with a HUGE presence, performed songs of love in honor of Valentine's Day. (Check out her website here!). The Chicago Auto Show's "First Look for Charity" raised more than $2.3 million for 18 local charities. Congrats to ALL!
Watch event below! (Fab fotos courtesy of Mila Samokhina and Travis Haughton)
Nearly 500 guests, including museum directors, art educators, collectors and gallery owners, joined with Union League Club of Chicago members and their guests at the 2014 Beaux-Arts Celebration to honor the lives and contributions of two remarkable Chicago artists, Theaster Gates, and the late Ellen Lanyon, who both made significant contributions to the visual vitality of the city. Thomas Erffmeyer, the Club’s Art Committee chair, and Philip Wicklander, former Club president who inaugurated the Beaux-Arts Celebration in 1998, inducted Gates and the late Lanyon as the newest members of the Union League Club of Chicago’s Distinguished Artists program. Gates, at 40, is the youngest of the Club’s 18 Distinguished Artists and Lanyon, who was 86 when she passed away suddenly late last year, is the oldest member of the group recognized for its contributions furthering Chicago’s reputation as a world-class center of the arts. Lanyon’s brother, Richard, acknowledged the honor accorded to his sister. Gates noted that while many of the Club’s Distinguished Artists have chosen to contribute to the Union League Club’s private art collection, because much of his work is community based and about connecting people, organizations and different communities to one another, that he intends to make a “conceptual gift which will help increase the legacy of Chicago art for future generations.” Inspired by the Union League Club’s commitment to community and reflecting on his own commitment to Chicago’s South Side, Gates’ disclosed that his idea is to link the 75-year-old South Side Community Arts Center (SSCAC), the last surviving WPA era art center in the U.S., with Union League Club of Chicago’s Painting Conservator Elizabeth Wigfield who will restore “Ghetto,” a work in its permanent collection by Jose Williams. Congrats to these two artists who have made Chicago a better place for us all. (Photos by Bob Carl)
The 50th anniversary of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition was unveiled recently and I was thrilled to see Victoria's Secret supermodel Lily Aldridge, 28, smack dab in the middle with Chrissy Teigen (L),28, and Nina Agdal (R), 21! You see, Lily is following in the footsteps of her equally beautiful, Playboy centerfold mom (February 1976) and my friend, Laura Lyons Aldridge! (Look for Laura in New York Magazine coming soon!) Lily is the beautiful wife of Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill and is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside! She is also the first rookie to appear on the cover since Heidi Klum in 1998! (Please vote for her here for SI's Rookie of the Year!) Recently, she donated four tix and a backstage meet-and-greet for the Kings of Leon's next Chicago concert on March 8 to benefit Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation's Bear Tie Ball! Beautiful and charitable! (Bid here!) The trio shot the cover in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific clad only in thong bikini bottoms. When Teigen (who is married to R & B star John Legend) was asked how she thought the cover was decided, she said, "I think our butts won it!" Another famous trio to appear on the cover was Kathy Ireland, Elle McPherson and Rachel Hunter in 1994. The first Sports Illustrated appeared in 1954. To see Lily's cute comments about her Playboy centerfold mom, Laura, on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, see below! Congrats to all! Wowza!
In honor of the long standing relationship between Mercedes Benz and fashion, the Autohaus on Edens will be transformed into a dynamic catwalk and fashion hub in conjunction with the annual North Shore fashion event Launch 2014: Driving Fashion Forward. This 3rd event will be held on April 13 and attracts
philanthropists, fashion and luxury car enthusiasts. Launch 2014: Driving Fashion Forward is a spring fashion preview that features designs from some of the North Shore’s finest boutiques, a trunk show opportunity for guests and an investment in the fashion industry’s future with an emerging student design competition with Columbia College Chicago. This year the stylish event will benefit the Auxiliary of Highland Park Hospital/Kellogg Cancer Center. Produced by ZZAZZ Productions and Davenport Designs, the runway show will feature 2014 spring fashions from boutiques that will include SoShee, Skändal, Avenue Fashions and
Sara Campbell. E-Street and J.McLaughlin will create a new fun fashion segment for men. Guests will wine and dine on cocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided by Morton’s The Steakhouse and indulge in mini spa services from Red Door Spa. Ladies will also have trunk show shopping opportunities from C.D. Peacock, JOSHE, J.McLaughlin, Sara Campbell, Sweet Buddha and Vintage Nest. A live auction will offer one lucky winner a trip for two to the Mercedes Benz New York Fall Fashion Show! The Autohaus on Edens will partner with the Columbia College Chicago Fashion Department to host a competition between senior fashion design students. The lucky winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship to use towards school or launching her own collection courtesy of Northbrook Toyota and Autohaus on Edens.
Save the date for Chef Art Smith's upcoming WORLD FESTIVAL! After years in Chicago, this much loved event will be held in Washington, D.C. at the Liaison Capitol Hill on Thursday, April 24, with 20 of the nation's top chefs participating! (For tickets, $150, and more info, click here!) Long may you reign Chef Art and Jesus!
For man-about-town and much loved philanthropist Bunky Cushing, eighty-five ladies in red (and fuchia!) joined him for his 21st Annual Tea at the elegant Ritz- Carlton on February 11. This tea is a celebration and thank-you for all of his ladies (and men) who have supported him in his charitable efforts for the Howard Brown Clinic and Jane Addams Senior Caucus. Author Rose Laws, the infamous Chicago madam, flew up from her home in Sarasota as Bunky's guest of honor and signed her book, "Gold Coast Madam." More than 70 copies were sold to the enthralled crowd that included Dede Lubeznik, Laurie Davis, Rochelle Trotter, Diane Edelman, Kipper Lance, Katherine Harvey, Wendy Wood-Prince and her daughter Lucia, Janet Owen, Gerri Shute, Linda Heister, Susan Colletti, Kathy Piccone, Phyllis Collins, Dori Wilson, Greg Hyder, Vonita Reescer, Mary Pat Burns, Myra Reilly, Donna Bell, The Chicago Tribune has called Bunky “an arbiter of style for the creme de la creme of Chicago society,” and Vogue Magazine has called him “Chicago’s social tugboat.” He has been associated with Ralph Lauren for over 25 years as a consultant, his time with the company taking him to New York, Miami, and finally settling in Chicago in 1990. His weekly column, Squire of Society, is not to be missed! We #Love you Bunky! (Photos by Teresa Potasiak)
For all of my West Coast readers, check out this power-packed by-invite-only event in Beverly Hills on Sunday, March 2nd! James Cameron will host "Fame & Philanthropy", an event benefitting the non-profit organization "The City Project" headquartered in L.A. TCP is dedicated to providing structured education and development programs for underprivileged kids. Guests for this year's event will be welcomed at The Vineyard Beverly Hills, a unique 157 acre majestic mountain top property in Beverly Hills. Beginning at 5 pm, this black tie event will include a dinner menu designed by a surprise celebrity chef, a musical performance by Ne-Yo, a live auction and a conversation with Hollywood mogul and renowned film director James Cameron. Charlize Theron is scheduled to make a guest appearance, wonder if Sean will tag along? (Stay tuned to Candid Candace for post coverage and for more event info, contact email@example.com. For more info about TCP, click here!)
On February 12, an intimate group of guests celebrated the exclusive launch of Remi Canarie at Roam in Old Town. Local designer duo Liz Patelski and Lisa Rigney (aka Remi Canarie) chatted with guests and showcased an NYFW-style presentation of the SS14 collection. Owner Mallory Ulaszek greeted everyone and offered a champagne toast for the new collection, sold exclusively at Roam.
We all love Chicago native/hot hip-hop artist/actor Common for his music but we also love him for his big heart! On Saturday, March 29, he will be hosting "Masterpiece/Masterpeace", an awards gala and fundraiser at the Fairmont to benefit his Common Ground Foundation which raises funds to impact youth (ages 13-15) from Chicago's south and west side communities. Through Common's "Dreamers & Believers, Youth Mentoring Program and Summer Camp" kids are exposed to creative arts that offer new opportunities and possibilities. I love an entertainer who gives back and he's one of the BEST so buy your tickets here (or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-295-1915) and help him make Chicago a better place! (To see my fun-filled Watch312.com video from last year's gala with legendary Magic Johnson, see below!)
Mark your calendar now for an unforgettable night of dinner, dancing and entertainment at Advocate Christ Medical Center’s 2014 Salute Gala: Fire & Ice to be held on Saturday, May 3, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. The event will raise funds to benefit the growth and expansion of the medical center’s Oak Lawn campus and will feature a keynote address from best-selling author and co-host of “The Doctors” Dr. Ian Smith. Smith, a familiar face on television, is a former medical correspondent for NBC and has filed reports for NBC’s Nightly News and The Today Show. He currently serves as the medical contributor for the Rachael Ray Show and a nationally syndicated radio show, HealthWatch. Dawn Hasbrouck of FOX-32 will return as the event’s emcee. The medical center will recognize the physicians of the Heart and Vascular Institute as its 2014 Outstanding Physician Honorees. Chicago attorney Andrew P. Tecson (of Chuhak & Tecson) will be feted as the 2014 Outstanding Community Honoree. (For tickets, $350, and more info contact Margo Cusic, Director of Development, at 708.684.3764 or Margo.Cusic@advocatehealth.com or visit www.advocatehealth.com/salute ).
Don't miss Randolph Street Market’s "SPRING FLING", coming March 29-30, my favorite Chicago market with a treasure trove of goods for every taste! It might still be freezing, but Randolph Street Market is thinking spring and, to prove it, is encouraging shoppers to don their finest Easter bonnets to gain free entry. There will be hidden Easter Eggs containing Market Bucks, season passes, sweet treats, Chicago food vendors, free downtown furniture delivery, a Fotio Photobooth, a re-upholstery station, 75+ dealers, and, for the first time, the Market will feature a Letterpress class with Tandem Felix Letterpress for a one hour DIY letterpress postcard making lesson on both days. For $25, you can shop the Market and take part in this DIY lover’s dream! New webseries, American Dealers, will also be on site Sunday mixing and mingling. (For more info, call (312) 666-1200 or email@example.com or randolphstreetmarket.com)
Chicago’s culinary scene was out in force for the 2013 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence which were presented at the 17th Annual Grand Chefs Gala at Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Over 900 guests attended the “St. Tropez” themed gala, enjoying signature hors d’oeuvres prepared and presented by the city’s finest chefs. The event also paid tribute to the late Chef Jean Banchet, who passed away last November. By the end of the evening, $550,000 net was raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (the largest sum ever raised at the event) and its mission to find a cure for CF. An exciting live auction featured a private home tour and cooking demonstrations with Chicago celebrity Chef Rick Bayless, as well as a trip to the French Riviera with stays in St. Tropez and Monaco. Other hot items included excursions to Switzerland and the Canadian Rockies, while local packages included autographed Blackhawk memorabilia and cooking experiences with some of Chicago’s top chefs. The 2013 Jean Banchet Award for Culinary Excellence Winners include: Rising Chef of the Year: Thai Dang, Embeya; Rising Pastry Chef of the Year: Thomas Raquel, Acadia; Best Chef-de-Cuisine: Nicholas Romero, Grace; Best Sommelier: Valerie Cao, Grace; Best Mixologist: Paul McGee, Three Dots and a Dash; Best Restaurant Service: Grace; Best Restaurant Design: Embeya; Best New Restaurant: Fat Rice; Pastry Chef of the Year: Leigh Omilinsky, Café des Architectes; Chef of the Year: Curtis Duffy, Grace; Restaurant of the Year: Grace; People’s Choice Award: Patricio Sandoval, Mercadito. Congrats to ALL!
The Equality Illinois 2014 Justice for All Gala held its most successful fundraiser to date on February 8 with a record crowd of 1,400 who were on hand to celebrate the passage of Illinois' marriage equality bill. Chaired by Col. Jennifer Pritzker, the event honored U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and filmmaker Lana Wachowksi with the 2014 Freedom Award. Other special guests included Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, representatives from the Chicago Urban League and State Farm, plus so many more. Funds raised from the gala and throughout the year will fund the programs and advocacy of Equality Illinois as they continue the fight to bring full equality to #lgbt Illinoisans. (Photos by Mystic Images Photography)
Congrats are also in order for another hometown favorite, dynamic speaker/author Laura Schwartz, who is looking radiant on the cover of this month's "Smart Meetings Magazine". Congrats beautiful!!
I attended a lovely fundraiser for attorney Pat Spratt at the elegant E. Lake Shore Drive home of Mitch Serrano and Dr. Mark Fritsch. Pat is running for Circuit Court Judge. I met her through my dear friend Bonnie Spurlock and admired her charitable efforts on behalf of PAWS Chicago and I think she would make a great judge! Please remember her in the voting box, #155. (For more info, click here).
I don't know if this NY apartment is your taste but it sure is mine! Boaz Mazor, longtime associate of Oscar de la Renta, shared his home in David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary and I flipped. It's a dream space, decorated completely by Mazor and filled with meaningful treasures. Read/see the whole story here!
Italian jeweler Buccellati opened the doors of its beautiful flagship store on Oak Street for a wine pairing event hosted by Julie Latsko, John McGovern, Patrick Wood-Prince and Toni Canada of the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago. Guests who braved the Arctic blast warmed up with steak tartare with quail egg, foie gras Torchon with fig jam & pistachio, smoked Hamachi with cocoa caviar, sweet pea panna cotta with white asparagus and truffle, ahi tuna on lotus root chip, beef tenderloin Tellicherry, and crisp ravioli with truffled new potatoes along with fine Italian wines from Ermacora, Malvira and Ocone served in exquisite Buccellati ice buckets and decanters. This was a pre-event to the 5th Annual Uncorked: A Case for Wine hosted by the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute and co-chaired by Lauren Grundhofer Peterson, Frank Ponterio and Phoebe DePree on February 22 at The Casino Club of Chicago.
Under the Good Deed category, THE MAIDS, a residential cleaning franchise serving Dupage County and owned by Mike Rosen of Chicago, recently partnered with the Cleaning for a Reason Foundation. This Texas-based, non-profit organization is dedicated to providing complimentary cleaning services to women undergoing cancer treatment. MAIDS has volunteered to donate cleaning services to cancer patients in Lombard, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Addison, Glendale Heights and Villa Park. Each patient may receive up to four months of complimentary cleaning services from THE MAIDS. “As a local business owner, I continually look for ways to give back to the communities I serve and Cleaning for a Reason is a wonderful opportunity that directly impacts the lives of so many community members in a positive way,” explained Rosen. “I understand how cancer treatment can change a person’s quality of life, making tasks once so easy, quite difficult.” To apply for, or recommend someone for THE MAIDS’ free professional cleaning services for women undergoing cancer treatment, please contact The Cleaning for a Reason Foundation at 877-337-3348 or visit www.cleaningforareason.org. (Love this......)
Don't forget to check out my weekly "Candid Candace" column in Sunday's Chicago Tribune! Click here for my recent event coverage! And, if you want, please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Chicago Now and my internet show, "Candid Candace Chicago" on Watch312.com!
Love, as always,