…PLUS COSTUME BALL GLAMOUR, NEXT FASHION SHOW, FASHION FOCUS WEEK, HANDBAGS & HALOS, WEDDING CONGRATS AND SOMEONE YOU SHOULD KNOW!
The Gala Art Benefit "Art of Home", supporting Lakeside Community Development, was held recently at the Zhou B Gallery and even though it was a miserable, rainy night, the crowd was happy to be there to support this worthy cause. "Art of Home" celebrated the unique perspectives of more than 50 Chicago area artists who donated their work including Keiko Nemeth, Brigitte Wolf Salchow, Lynn Basa, Rine Boyer, Doug Frohman, Janet Krehbiel Pierqacci, Eric Lee, Jorjet Harper, Carlos Deleon, Rosemary Fanti, Fred Gebbia, Herbert Migdoll, Tracey Posner and Kimberly Atwood to name a few. Executive Director Brian White said, “Lakeside operates from the belief that communities characterized by racial, economic, and cultural diversity are the ideal. We work in collaboration with a wide variety of community, civic, business and government groups to achieve our mission. A home is more than four walls and a roof. It’s where memories are created, dreams are formed and opportunities are achieved. Lakeside Community Development helps ensure all people have access to safe, decent and affordable housing. We would like to thank Mitch Obtsfeld of i4Design and Zhou B Art Center, Phillip Bernal of Bernal Design, and the committee volunteers who made tonight’s event possible. For your support of Art of Home, we thank you!” It was a lively evening with entertainment by Jose “Papo” Santiago and the always vivacious, NBC-5's Whitney Allen (Weekends With Whitney), as co-emcee with Wayne Johnson (Wayne’s Weekend). There were delicious hors d’oeuvres from Food for Thought as well as sinful Molly’s cupcakes. The colorful, mixed media artwork filled every wall and included oil on canvas, painted glass, ironwork, you name it. Master iron worker Fred Gebbia designed a unique table made from repurposed 19th century grillwork and the Joffrey Ballet’s official photographer, Herbert Migdoll, submitted a huge, 36” by 60” copper metallic and oil enamel silkscreen entitled “Copper Faun.” Lakeside is located in Rogers Park on Chicago’s Far North Side, from which the agency serves eight Chicago community areas and the near north suburbs. And not only do they provide housing opportunities for those in need, they also provide education, advocacy and condo board training. Congrats to all involved with this worthy organization! A special thanks to Phillip Bernal for getting me involved! And, by the way, if you haven’t had the honor of having Fred Gebbia do restoration or repair work for you, then you are missing a BIG boat! Fred, the president of The Fence Doctor, is a genius at what he does and his celebrity and A-list clientele around town are proof positive that he is the go-to guy! (Additional photos by John Cotter...to view more event pics, please click here!)
Bunky Cushing did it again, as always: He seems to pull a rabbit out of his hat every single time in finding a fabulous guest speaker for his annual Handbags & Halos luncheon and this year was no exception! I’ve always admired this year’s featured speaker, Jamee Gregory. Over the years, I’ve read her name and seen her photos in almost every social magazine. She is a NY author, philanthropist and contributing editor of Architectural Digest. Bunky invited 150 friends this year who turned out in force with gently used handbags to donate to Howard Brown Health Center for the 10th year. Every table was filled with familiar faces who listened in rapt attention as Jamee showed slides from her most recent book, “New York Parties: Private Views.” The photos of social events and get-togethers on opulent grounds in the Hamptons or atop a NY building in some fabulous penthouse were breathtaking. She showed the party planning from beginning to end via her beautiful images and they were so glamorous. Before her presentation, HBHC President and CEO Jamal Edward greeted the guests and explained the Center’s mission which is to eliminate the disparities in health care experiences for members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities through research, education and provision of services that promote health and wellness. Bunky spoke passionately about how grateful he was for the support he’s received over the past 10 years and said, “If I could show you my heart, you would see that is overflowing with appreciation for the love and support you’ve shown me.” Palmer House’s Executive Chef Stephen Henry, along with Pastry Chef Fabrice Bouet, created a sumptuous lunch that began with butternut squash soup with grilled cinnamon apples followed by a pan seared chicken breast, apple bread pudding, tri-colored beets and grilled acorn squash. The dessert was a fall sampler of pumpkin pie, cranberry tarts and blackberry tarts. Bunky also thanked the "King of the Kingdom of Catering" David Brandt, Palmer House’s Director of Catering. Congrats to Bunky, his ladies and the Palmer House for another magical day of fun fundraising!
Wow, what a week of fashion we’ve had in Chicago beginning with the Kick-Off Party at PUBLIC Chicago for Fashion Focus, followed by the NEXT Fashion Chicago show at Germania Place! I wish I could’ve attended every event last week but then I would be a mere shadow of myself by now. But I loved seeing photos from the various events like the four Millennium Park tent shows, coordinated and directed by Kiran Advani, the fashion programming director for the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture in partnership with the Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. She and her staff made sure that all ticket holders got seats this year as well as orchestrating a consistent $35 general admission price to make the events more accessible for everyone. I was thrilled to emcee NEXT Fashion Chicago, produced by Rose Mandel of Mandel Productions, along with NBC’s Marcus Riley. The event included designs from Elda de la Rosa, Fraley Le, Gary Gonzalez, Sahar Dada, Cleons, Hector-Javier MonArrez, Sujata Gazder and Mira Couture along with boutiques Sofia, Cache, Furla and Bottega Contessa. A brilliant electric violin performance by Katarina Visnevska accompanied one of the runway walks. (To view the event on Watch312.com, please click on the video below!) That same evening, designer Anna Fong presented her Fall/Winter collections at the Blackstone Hotel and on Tuesday night, Macy’s Fashion Incubator designers presented their collections in the tent in Millennium Park. Wednesday, “Dress Code” debuted at the Chicago History Museum showcasing the designs of fashion students from Columbia College and Mario Tricoci’s “Make Me a Model” showed the designs of Michelle Tan in the tent. The runway competition was so intense that Mario chose two aspiring models as the winners – Mercedes Johnson of Chicago and Juni Park of Skokie. (Finalists included Lynn Tatge, Alexandra Cangelosi and Zachary Ross.) On Thursday, Conscious Living TV presented the VERT Couture Eco-Fashion Show & Benefit which featured Spring/Summer 2012 eco-collections of the following lines: Richard Dayhoff, Brenda Abdullah, Heart, Dollparts, Rosina Mae eco-swimwear, Victoria Larkin, Lauren Lein, Silk Utopia and Mohop Shoes. Friday night brought “The Art of Fashion 2011,” presented by StyleChicago.com. This show featured Spring 2012 collections of accomplished Chicago designers and fashion lines that included Nade Baer, Nora del Busto, Lara Miller, Borris Powell, Eva Pazola, RUCH and Squasht by Les among others. ZZZAZZ Productions’ Tracey Tarantino produced this lavish show. Besides the tent events, there were more than 30 other trunk shows, seminars, shopping events and parties throughout the week. Chicago – a second city? I think NOT! Congrats to all involved who make this such an eventful week in fashion for the Windy City! (Photos by Cindy Barrymore and Steve Starr.)
And the fashion didn’t stop here! The 2011 Costume Ball celebrated the opening exhibit of Charles James: Genius Deconstructed, with its first black tie ball in over ten years! Launched in the ‘70s, the Costume Council hosted the Donor’s Ball to help acquire new garments for the Museum’s costume collection. This year’s black tie affair, expertly co-chaired by Robin Loewenberg Berger, Catherine Eberle and Lawrie Weed, included a sit-down dinner, auction and exhibition preview at the Chicago History Museum. The evening’s Honorary Chair was Helen Harvey Mills, whose mother was a muse of Charles James. The event also honored designer Ralph Rucci (Chado Ralph Rucci) with its Award for Design Excellence. Bill Zwecker and Kathy Brock emceed the event and Nena Ivon, president of the Costume Council, also spoke. Auction co-chairs Melinda Turitz and Alicia Waters did a great job of assembling a potpourri of fashionable items donated by Jimmy Choo, Ferragamo, Alexis Bittar and Kimberly McDonald among other offerings. Raffle items included fine jewelry from Pomellato and a Hermes Birkin bag! Funds raised from this event enable the Chicago History Museum to continue to enhance the public’s understanding of Charles James and provide thoughtful insight into the Museum’s costume collection. Congrats to Curator Tim Long on an outstanding job! (To view ALL of the event pics by Cindy Barrymore, please click here!)
Diana Ozimek is someone you should know. She is a weekly volunteer for PAWS (Pets are Worth Saving), taking their more active dogs on runs as well as fostering puppies and kittens over the past year…and adopting a few along the way! She owns and runs several women’s fitness camps called Windy City Boot Camp. Diana has been involved in the fitness industry for 17 years, building on exercise as a hobby and turning it into a lifestyle and career. Diana earned her B.S. in sports medicine for athletic training at the University of Akron and a masters of arts in education from the University of Phoenix. She is AFAA-certified in group exercise, trained in Yoga Fit as well as a NESTA-certified Adventure Boot Camp instructor. Diana says, “Windy City Adventure Boot Camp is perfect for EVERY woman. If you are a busy mother or busy at the office, you can still keep your fitness a priority everyday with this early morning camp!” Now, here’s the good part: Diana has offered to donate $500 to PAWS for every camp that has 40 women register. Her first Fit 2 Fund camp starts October 31st so, if you’re interested in fitness and have plans to start a program, please consider this one! It will not only be beneficial to YOU but will help our furry friends, too!!!
Finally, a huge congrats to the Illinois Center for Broadcasting’s president Robert Mills and the beautiful Kim Venezia on their recent wedding in Florida! A big New Year’s celebration is planned and hopefully, Candid Candace will be there to toast them! Have a great week in our great city and I hope to “see” you here same time next week!
P.S. What a thrill it was to be in a Michigan Avenue Magazine fashion shoot! The models were gorgeous (of course), the clothing selections were to die for and the accessories and jewelry made me swoon! Congrats to Susanna Negovan and Mich Mag for what I’m sure will be a knockout holiday feature. Thanks for including me! :)