Chicago fashion does not cool off when the weather dips as evidenced by upcoming fashion events rolling off the runway, out of trunk shows and into your stylish heart. These will keep your fashion faculties firing at full speed until the spring thaw.
Gilles Mendel at neapolitan collection
715 Elm St.
Winnetka, IL 60093
Date: Jan. 14-16, 2014 at 10 a.m.
This chic boutique has a long history of bringing in star designers for trunk shows. Owner Kelly Golden has introduced Chicagoans to lines from the likes of Derek Lam, Wes Gordon and jewelry from Kimberly McDonald and Sarah Besnainou. This January, famed Russian designer J. Mendel will be showing off its collection at neapolitan. The current designer and CEO of the family brand, Gilles Mendel, has been honored for his designs by the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and also designed costumes for the New York City Ballet. Browse his edgy, designer handbags, clutches, totes and leather handbags for spring/summer 2014 and meet the designer in person on January 14.
Ravenswood Event Center
4011 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
Date: Feb. 1, 2014 at 10 a.m.
If a Kardashian-style wedding is in neither your style or budget, consider visiting Indie Wed, an alternative to the traditional bridal expo with more than 100 wedding artisans and professionals from the Midwest and beyond. The longest-running independent bridal fair in the country is for couples with a free spirit who may prefer a truly original event or who want some handmade, artistic flourishes on their special day. Expect wandering models donning spectacular bridal fashions, two floors of food tastings, unique musical performances and a Cirque de l’Amour wedding lounge among other activities.
Shoppertunity Fashion Show
Marriott Chicago Schaumburg
50 N. Martingale Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Date: Feb. 15, 2014 at 10 a.m.
Lulu Avenue offers attractive, on-trend jewelry that is truly affordable, and here’s your chance to see how it can adorn your 2014 look. The fashion and fine jewelry company features JudeFrances designs, among others, and is owned by Charles and Colvard, a company that has been in business for almost 100 years and owner of the worldwide patent on Moissanite (some think it’s even better looking than diamonds). The free event includes giveaways, a whimsical interactive fashion show and a contest for the best dressed in attendance. You must RSVP and be there in person to be entered into the raffle for a sparkly piece of Moissanite jewelry. Refreshments and fun are guaranteed.
Related: Best Chicago-Based Designers
Little Black Dress
333 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL, 60654
Date: Feb 28, 2014 at 6 p.m.
The runway showcase of Ramsey Jay Prince Designs & Studios and Archer Townsend will be hosted by media personality Larvetta L. Smith and Emmy-nominated TV personality/producer Jeff Conway. Brandi Archer and James Townsend’s contemporary knitwear line is designed and sewn in the heart of Chicago, so expect to see some expertly constructed city girl smart and sexy pieces. Ramsey Jay Prince, known for his over-the-top designs, ensures lots of surprises, and butler-passed bites like deviled eggs with crab and caviar and grilled, chilled wild Gulf shrimp skewers means your mouth will be as active as your eyes. The winter fashion show will raise funds for In Her Shoes Foundation’s “Girl Rising” Summer Camp Teen Leadership Academy.
Luxury Bridal Expo
323 E. Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Date: March 23, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.
Why attend this one? “Our events are unlike any other show because of the quality of wedding purveyors and world renowned designers that we’re able to show,” says Jim Verraros of Luxury Bridal Expo. “This gives brides the opportunity to see what’s truly available to them in all price points.” Count on a stunning bridal runway show featuring the top names in designer bridal: Rivini, Lazaro, Liancarlo, Victor Harper Couture, Matthew Christopher, Hayley Paige, Rosa Clara, Justin Alexander and many more. More than 60 wedding purveyors will be there to help you sort out the intricacies of your wedding day and with hors d’oeuvres provided by Swissotel, you’ll feel pampered.
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.