...PLUS JOFFREY’S COSTUME LUNCHEON, RUSSIA DAY, SERVICE CLUB’S FASHION SHOW, VICTORIAN BALL, NICOLE’S BABY LUNCHEON, A WHITE PARTY FOR CHARITY, A NEW FASHION BLOG, "ELEVEN DIVAS" AT DUSABLE, MY FAVORITE WEDDING AND SO MUCH MORE!
Fashion Columbia 2012 raised record funds, was the greenest fundraiser and was largest event at the college to date! Proceeds from the event, which brought out over 200 guests, will benefit the Eunice W. Johnson Scholarship in Fashion Studies. All of this good news must’ve made event chair Desiree Rogers very, very happy along with her glam Host Committee that consisted of Trish Rooney Alden, Madeleine Burrell, Gwendolyn Butler, Bonita Chapman, Nora Daley, Janice Barnes Davis, Susan Downing, Elissa Hamid Efroymson, Rich Gamble, Ikram Goldman, Mary Lou Haddad, Mellody Hobson, Susie Kiphart, Julie Latsko, Sylvia Neil, Diane Primo, MK Pritzker, Shawnelle Ritchie, Lynne Turner and Allison Grant Williams. The event at the Media Production Center at 16th and State Streets opened with a red carpet which led to models wearing a selection of vintage pieces from fashion icon, Eunice Johnson’s Fashion Fair Collection. For the main event, 15 fashion studies students showcased 45 designs that included menswear, evening gowns and dresses. The models wore Fashion Fair cosmetics, of course, from the company founded by Eunice Johnson. Desiree had this to say: “Many of the designs intrigued me and I would have purchased them that evening. I could not help but think of how happy Eunice Johnson would have been to see such talent. It was a magical evening.” During the program, Lana Jewelry founder Lana Bramlette was awarded the Alumni Achievement in Fashion Design Award by VP of Institutional Advancement, Eric Winston. Lana is known as the “Queen of Hoops,” with her jewelry adorning celebs like Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz, to name a few. A host committee dinner, rooftop reception, VIP lounge and after-party all completed this fabulous night of fashion that raised more than $70,000. Event sponsors included Macy’s and Mercedes-Benz. Live auction packages raised an additional $16K and included a fur donated by Fabbri Furs and a travel package to New York Fashion Week. As for the green aspect, the organizers recycled all post-event paper and other products, even composting food scraps! To learn more about Columbia College and the Eunice Johnson Scholarship Fund, please visit www.colum.edu/. (Click here to see ALL of the pics by Caitlin Saville Collins!)
The Joffrey Ballet’s 10th Anniversary Celebration of its Women’s Board continued with a Costume Luncheon held recently at the Ritz Carlton. Joffrey trainees modeled historic ballet costumes from its archives displaying the wonderful cross section, variety and depth of the collection. Besides the costumes, more than 200 guests also enjoyed beautifully decorated tables by Drew Holitik with mounds of flowers spilling out of Joffrey hat boxes and a luncheon menu that featured spring pea soup, followed by grilled chicken salad and ending with a chocolate Pot de Crème – elegant and yummy all at the same time! The 10th Anniversary Chair, Maureen Smith, introduced her long-time friend, Tina Sloan (a well-known actress from her time on “Guiding Light” and the author of “Changing Shoes”), who delivered a hysterical presentation of her one-woman show based on her book and life experiences including her role in the Academy Award- winning film, “Black Swan.” Executive Director Christopher Clinton Conway (who could definitely have his own stand-up comedy show) then introduced Artistic Director Ashley Wheater, who thanked everyone for coming. The chairwomen for the event were Sophie Bross, Liz Ryan, Jennifer Litowitz and Maggie Scheyer with Nena Ivon (Chicago History Museum president and former fashion director of Saks on Michigan Avenue) serving as honorary chair. More than $50K will go towards supporting the Joffrey’s programs and performances as well as providing funds for the Costume Project, whose capable and devoted chair is Lisa Leiden. Seen on the scene were Helen Melchior, Kathleen Klaeser, Dusty Stemer, Tina Weller, Sherren Leigh, Amelia Silva, Leslie Hindman, Suzette Bulley, Jamee Field, Liz Adams, Mary Jo Basler, Sandy Deromedi, Astra Gamsjaeger, Yolanda Tyler, Jim Karas, Shelley Farley, Shauna Montgomery and Marci Holzer among many others. (View more pics here!)
More than 250 Russian nationals and Americans joined together to celebrate Russia Day at a black-tie gala at the Chicago Cultural Center on June 14th. Hosted by the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, chaired by the dynamic Aleksandra Efimova and Prince Piotr Galitzine, the event honored Russia’s national holiday, which is celebrated on June 12th and commemorates the day in 1990 when the Russian Parliament formally declared sovereignty over Russia. This is only the second year that Russia Day has been celebrated in Chicago and the first year the event included a black-tie gala. The evening began with Sergey Kislyak, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the U.S., giving the keynote speech highlighting the importance of strengthening the relationships between the U.S. and Russia and focusing on the similarities between Chicago and Moscow. Other speakers included Prince Galitzine, the chairman of TMK IPSCO (a Russian company with offices in Downers Grove); Alexander Tseitline, VP of technology and research of NLMK USA (the U.S. arm of a Russian-owned steel company); and Mike Rehwinkel, president and CEO of EVRAZ North America. In addition to the speeches, the evening included a dinner featuring authentic Russian food, as well as performances by the Campanella Children’s Choir, the Joffrey Ballet, the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center and 75 members of the Chicago Master Singers, who will be traveling to St. Petersburg at the end of June. The Moscow Committee presented donations to the Children’s Choir as well as to several WWII vets from both the Russian and American sides. “I truly hope Russia Day encourages people of all countries to see the commonalities between each other and fosters collaboration among Russians and Americans to promote peace and economic growth,” Ms. Efimova said. Since its inception in 1960, Chicago Sister Cities International has built bridges between the people of Chicago and its international neighbors to achieve greater mutual understanding and to strengthen civic, economic and cultural ties. (Chicago has been a sister city with Moscow since 1997.) To conclude Russia Day 2012, Aleksandra and the Russian Federal Agency for the Commonwealth hosted a children’s story time that featured Aleksandra’s Russian translated books and toys. Is there no end to this woman’s talents!!?? Congrats Aleksandra...can’t wait to see what you do next!! For more info, please visit www.cityofchicago.org. (Photos by Mila Samokhina unless otherwise noted.)
The Service Club of Chicago is hosting its annual Day on the Terrace Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Peninsula on Monday, July 30th. This year’s luncheon will have a Parisian theme - “C’est Magnifique in Couture & Contemporary Fashion” - and feature the fall collections from Escada, Intermix, Ralph Lauren, Starr Couture, Neapolitan, Lulu’s at the Belle-Kay, Burdi, Thomas James, Stuart Weitzman and a presentation of evening wear and furs by Neiman Marcus. Fashion show co-chairs Jean Antoniou, Tracey DiBuono and Saira Cooper along with Chair Emeritus Hazel Barr guarantee a show-stopping fashion extravaganza with some surprises planned, as always! The Cocktail Reception will begin on the Terrace at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the Fashion Show at 11:45 a.m. and a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $175 with all proceeds benefitting the Club’s supplemental grant program. (Photos by Caitlin Saville Collins.)
Fashion, art, music and dance came together on June 15th at the Stan Mansion for the Victorian Ball in the 21st Century. Founder Laura Elvis created one of the most intriguing events of the summer with proceeds, this year, benefitting Chicago Lost and Found and their efforts to raise funds for art education. This year’s star performers included the Joffrey Ballet’s Abigail Simon and Mauro Villanueva and Miss Chicago Marisa Buchheit. The event was emceed by WGN’s Jane Monzures with a red carpet hosted by HGTV’s design star (and all around cute guy) Kevin Grace. The Ball was produced by the handsome and talented Benjamin Cottrell with photos by Kirsten Miccoli and custom designed looks by Anna G. Costumes. It takes a village to have a successful event and Laura Elvis – along with event contributors Shari Duffy, Cera Stan, Ramsey Prince and April Padilla – pulled it off! Congrats to all!
A beautiful baby shower was hosted at the Casino Club recently by glam soon-to-be-grandma, Lynn McMahan for her only daughter, Nicole Brown. Thirty lucky ladies mixed and mingled amidst the elegance of a room dressed in shades of blue for Baby Boy Brown, who is due in September. Designer Tom Kehoe and Lynn planned beautiful table décor that included oversized floral arrangements of blue (naturally!) hydrangeas, New Zealand tea tree blossoms, white stock, purple hyacinths and baby roses with children’s alphabet blocks scattered across the pale blue tablecloths. In a word: BREATHTAKING! Lynn gave a heartfelt and loving tribute to Nicole and after both of their eyes cleared from tears, Lynn asked Rebecca Besser to say a few words. Rebecca emphasized being consistent, not ever be afraid to tell your children that you love them and to savor every moment. Hazel Barr spoke next, commenting that she has raised “three children, five grandchildren and half the neighborhood!” She went on to say, “You will feel a degree of love that you never thought you would have and like most things in life, you learn on the job.” (She also joked that “having children makes you no more of a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.”) It was a true love fest for Lynn and Nicole and I couldn’t be happier for them or prouder to have been included! Seen in the elegant room were Michaela Parrillo, Toni Canada, Kristina McGrath, Jan Flanagan, Hedwig Golant, Dede Lubeznik, Gail Leahy, Sherrill Bodine, Lynda Silverman, Susan Gohl and Averill Leviton among others. Can’t wait to meet the little guy in September! Congrats, Nicole! Beautiful job, Lynn! (For more pics, please click here!)
And speaking of love, dear friends Alison Howlett and Josh Walters tied the knot in a loving ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral on June 9th. The reception and dinner followed at Gibson’s, where Steve Lombardo and John Colletti outdid themselves to ensure that Alison and Josh were happy as clams! Popular crooner Tony Ocean sang for the wedding party that included Zack Edwards (best man) and Kanika Rankin (maid of honor). The Shannon Rovers even led the couple into the room – how’s THAT for cool?! Guests included proud papa Ed Howlett, Mr. and Mrs. Vinnie Mehta, Senator Howard Carroll and wife Eda, Judge William Bauer and wife Patty, Alison’s mom Lynn Cialdella and grandma Helen Howlett, Judge Mike Howlett and wife Kathy, Helen Cashman and family, Senator Jim Deleo, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Allison, Mr. and Mrs. Al Childress (Alison’s aunt), Roxanne Holloway (Josh’s mom) and John Walters (Josh’s dad) among many others. The couple flew off for their honeymoon shortly after at the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba. Congrats with love, Mr. and Mrs. Walters! (Fab, creative fotos by Kristyna Archer.)
Mark your calendars now for The White Party set for Friday, July 27th, from 9 to 11 p.m. at Underground Chicago, located at 56 W. Illinois. Last year, beloved man-about-town Marco Foster planned this benefit for One Hope United around his birthday so it was a dual celebration. This charity helps abused children as well as foster kids and their parents and since Marco was a foster child himself, this event is very near and dear to his heart. Marco said, “I know what it’s like to get passed around from home to home and it’s not fun. It just so happens my last name is Foster by my adopted mother.” This two-hour cocktail reception will have very low ticket prices as Marco wants everyone to be able to come and support this wonderful cause! For tickets and more information, please click here!
Congrats to personal stylist Maggie Rei Stepf, formerly manager of J.Mendel on Michigan Avenue: This enterprising and talented lady has launched a new website, ChicXCity.com, which exclusively highlights local designers and boutiques as well as featuring insider scoops on deals of must-have items for the season. Maggie also offers wedding styling advice! I’m so happy for her and wish her all the best! Click here and find out the latest fashion news! :)
A thrilling concert featuring eleven of our town’s top female vocalists will return to the DuSable Museum, located at 740 E. 56th Place, on Sunday, July 8th. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Timeless Gifts, which is a summer mentoring program that gives young performers the opportunity to participate in performances where they will be mentored by world-class performers and technicians. The concert, dubbed “Eleven Divas,” was founded by Joan Collaso and will feature Lynne Jordan (love you...and your Shivers!), Frieda Lee, Sue Conway, Julia Huff, Maggie Brown, Bobbi Wilsyn, Tecora Rogers, Margaret Murphy, Theresa Davis, Yvonne Gage and Joan herself. There will be two shows – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – and for ticket info, please call 312.808.0005.
Who will I see at Old St. Pat’s Block Party next weekend, June 29th and 30th!? I hope YOU! I’ll be guest bartending with some very well-known peeps so I hope you’ll come out and see us! (Please don’t order anything difficult as my skills behind the bar leave something to be desired! Have a great week and I hope to see you here the next time! If you enjoy my weekly “blogazine,” please sign up (above right) and receive updates. :)
Love, as always,
P.S. As I’m always happy to promote new models/designers, I would like to introduce you to 19-year-old Johnathan Cook, who is trying to make a fashion statement from Rockford, Illinois! Besides being a designer, Johnathan describes himself as “son, brother to Liberty Cook, gospel singer, musician and model.” From the looks of this photo, I think he’s got a great start! Good luck, Johnathan, and follow your dreams!