Mizrahi Loves Company

April 4, 2009

No woman can herself a true fashionista without knowing (since these days it’s not just about owning) a set of must-have terms, from “sexy”, and “chic”, to “poddy” and “kawaii”. While most of these, of course, vary from generation to generation and from one season to the next, a few have withstood the test of time.

Take, for example, “snappy”, that perfect adjective originally used by Liz Claiborne to describe her fashion line. Fastforward to 2009, and you now hear the term used by fashion star Isaac Mizrahi to describe his new collection for the Liz Claiborne fashion house.

Opting for the “American version of Chanel”, Mizrahi goes for clean lines, classic basics, punches of color, and fun patterns. With over 200 pieces in the collection, including jewelry, bags and shoes, Mizrahi delivers an amazing yet approachable treat.

On Friday, April 3rd, Mizrahi came to The Ivy Room at Tree Studios to celebrate the launching of his new line for Liz Claiborne. The event was sponsored by Carson’s, and CS Magazine. Lucky visitors got to meet the designer, enjoy some cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and watch models casually showcasing some of the latest designs. All of a sudden, “snappy” is the new “sexy”.


Fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi and Shlomi Rabi, at the Ivy Room at Tree Studios, Chicago


Tonight-Go Looney for Mooney!

March 26, 2009

Unless you have been sleeping under a rock for the past month, which, truth be told, would have at least kept your hair (and clothes, and shoes and new deerskin bag…ugh, don’t even get us started) dry as a cracker, then by now you know that Spring has finally come and you have an official excuse to stay outside your house for far too long. After all, what is the point of having good weather if you’re going to stay indoors?

A great excuse to leave your house this evening, for example, is the opening reception for three (count’em!) exhibitions at the John David Mooney Foundation.

The space, in fact, is used by the Edinburgh College of Art to showcase works by the school’s faculty members Gordon Brennan and John Brown, as well as the fellowship winners Janine Biunno and Rachel Gargiulo, among others.

The works engage in a relevant dialogue that touches on issues that range from personal narratives, to global concerns, and yes, some very Chicago-specific matters as well.

The exhibition will run through March 30th, and doors will open at 5:30p.m. tonight.
So throw on that fun little number you had been dying to try on since, oh, last year, and make it a date. Just leave your deerskin bag back home, just in case.


Gordon Brennan and John Brown, World-A-Rama, 2008

Time To Be a McChicagoan!

March 13, 2009

Like many Chicagoans, you, too, will wake up on Saturday morning, scratch your head, kick the pizza box next to your bed, contemplate the meaning of life, and then realize that it is far too early (at least by hang-over standards) for that sort of thinking.

That’s why the best place to start your day is by indulging in the mindless–but visually engaging—spectacle of Dyeing the Chicago River starting at 10:45. The privately funded (but public accessible!) event will kick off at the corner of Columbus and Wacker Drive. Hey, if for no other reason, then you can at least take solace in the fact that you will have nothing with the river turning green, for once.

After you’ve watched icy blue turning emerald green head over to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will stretch from Balbo and Columbus all the way north to the Buckingham Fountain, starting at noon. The event will feature marching bands, giant leprechauns, men in kilts, floats, horse-drawn carriages, clover leaves, anything green, and yes, a heck of a lot of Irish pride.

If you’re still downtown (and upright), you might as well check out the following:

Fado Irish Pub
Come watch some live music with Nappertandy performing their rock versions of Celtic songs and Celtic-inspired take on old school rock & roll until 4pm. Sample the Irish beers on special and tell yourself that the only reason you’re getting your drink on at 1pm is because you would hate to dishonor such a noble Irish tradition.

Lucky Strike Lanes
Grab a Guinness (and a friend’s hand for balance), and slip on the world’s most unattractive pairs of shoes as you challenge your buddies for a game of bowling. Be sure to stick around for DJ Gusto’s spinning and the prizes & giveaways. True hardcores will try the $4 Jameson shots and $5 Irish Car Bombs. It may be time to write your liver that “Dear John” letter.

Grace O’Malley’s
Should your still retain most of your senses (and clothes) by that point, come watch the Shannon Rovers pipe and drum band and the World Academy of Irish Dancers bust move that will probably have you wondering “How?” By that point, it might be a good idea to load up on food and go for the Irish sausage dogs, the fish n’ chips, the corned beef & sauerkraut, and wash it all down with some Green Miller Lite.

Once you get home, be sure to take off your green beads, wash your face of the green clover leaves you had some chick paint on your cheeks, and throw your leprechaun hat on the couch. Just for extra measure, look inside last night’s pizza box for any possible leftovers. You won’t know the difference anyway.

Review: PhotoDimensional at the MoCP

March 10, 2009

The current show at the MoCP begs the question: How strict are the boundaries between two and three-dimensional representations? The show features works by thirteen artists—some emerging, others established—all of whom challenge some of the most basic foundations in photography. A photograph–a frozen moment in time portrayed in a single angle, undermines the very foundations of Post Modernism: multifarious interpretations, lack of singular meanings, and the collapsing of boundaries.

Bettina Hoffman’s DVD “La Ronde”, 2004, is a circumambulatory view of a scene whose participants are eerily frozen in motion. Hoffman cleverly reminds us that for every given shot, 359 other angles are possible.

Heather Mekkelson’s installation, “Debris Field”, 2008-2009, is a recreation of an actual photograph of a post-disaster scenario. The lack of borders delineating the installation and the sheer size of it render the experience overwhelming, drawing the limitations of photography as an accurate conveyer of depth, complexity and space. The stillness of the installation and its positioning in a gallery setting, however, still makes it seem more like a photograph than the real deal.

Katalin Deer and Pello Irazu both photograph three-dimensional compositions that feature photographs within each one, thereby annihilating the distance between the photograph as a vessel to transport information versus as an object in its own right. The concepts of two and three dimensionality appear to be interwoven with such intensity that makes any attempts at separating them as straight as reading an Escher drawing.

Vik Muniz and Laurent Millet create installations that, when photographed, intentionally appear flat and devoid of depth. This allows both artists to comment on the impossibility of experiencing space in ways that are universal and readily legible.

Melinda McDaniel and Susana Reisman turn the photograph into an object of contemplation. McDaniel never fully develops her photographs, allowing the exposure from the gallery lights to continue affecting the final product, thereby turning the object into a continuous experience. Reisman prints her images on long strips of canvas rolled into organic, nautical shapes, which she lets elegantly sag over time, a la Eva Hesse. In both cases, arguably more so than any of the works mentioned above, the artists present photography in a refreshingly and comprehensively new way.

It appears that with that much dialogue occurring in the field of Contemporary photography, the answer to the aforementioned opening question is a simple “What boundaries?”, as it lets photography hover between two and three dimensions, and between a reality seen and a reality imagined.

The show will be running through April 19th, 2009.


Pello Irazo, La Fabrica, (Belgrado), VI, 2007

Almost FAMEous

March 4, 2009

A great union can be defined and manifested in different ways, at times successful and at times, well, not as much. For example, it can be between two human beings, like Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or a Playboy bunny and her plastic surgeon. Other times, it can be between a person and an animal, like Bill Clinton and his tabby cat Socks, or Rihanna and that angry vermin Chris Brown. At times, it can be between two kinds of food, like peanut butter and jelly, or bread and high fructose corn syrup. You get the idea.

Now, it is time to add a new member to the family of great pairs: fashion and media.

As such, you are cordially invited to attend FAME, the Fashion and Media Extravaganza to be held at the Harris Theater by the Illinois Institute of Art on Friday, March 6th.

Superior achievements by students in fashion design, animation, culinary arts, interior design, visual effects and visual communications programs will be showcased twice that day, once at 11a.m. and once more at 6p.m. Each cycle will be broken down into a media show and a fashion show that will follow immediately after.

Special guests will include Erica Strama and NBC Chicago’s very own Art Norman.

With so much attention, glitz and creativity, this union is second to none. To purchase tickets, please click here.


Think You’ve Got The Passion For Fashion?

March 4, 2009

It is that time of the year again. A time when penguins consider the weather far too hot to even think; when snow boots start feeling insecure about getting passed up for cute sneakers in the closet; when grass blades dare to stretch their necks above the ground; when it becomes okay to drop the “S” word—Spring.

As everyone’s favorite season (at least anyone who wishes they didn’t have to hide the goods under a stuffy, cumbersome coat), the change in temperature, mood and yes—style, will be celebrated in a great extravaganza, and rightfully so.

The 2nd Annual Spring Fashion Show will be hosted at The Palmer House by The Women Treatment Center on Saturday, March 7th. Titled The Passion for Fashion, the event honors the remarkable women “who have completed treatment and dramatically changed their lives.”

In addition to the exciting fashion show, an awards ceremony honoring Merri Dee and Sylvia Wolf will be followed by a raffle. The grand prize is a custom designed gourmet dinner for ten in the winner’s home by Food Network superstar Dan Smith of Hearty Boys.

With that much razzle dazzle planned, you’ll feel comfortable enough to kick back, relax, enjoy your time, and drop the “F” word—Finally.

For tickets, please click here


Just Shoe-t me.

March 2, 2009

Okay, so while we are all for incorporating a little bit of foreign influence in fashion, something about the pair of Dior fertility heels feels a wee bit…offensive? silly? both? that sounds about right. The Senufo fertility figure, a revered form in traditional West African ceremonies, was taken out of its original context–a shrine, then molded, re-cast in brass, and glued to the heel of a zebra print sandal for skinny starlets to wear to an event with the hope of being discovered by a hot producer. Makes you wish you knew some real voodoo to exorcise the stupid out of designers. And as for all those bamboozled into buying these shoes–yes, they make you look fat.


Exhibit A–The Culprit: The Fertility Goddess Pump, Dior


Exhibit B: The Victim–Mischa Barton


Exhibit C: The Weapon–Senufo Figure, picture by Man Ray

They’ll Spin You Around (Like a Record, Baby)

February 26, 2009

It has become generally acceptable to frequent a club or a bar for the chance to flirt with the hot bartender with the great smile or the sexy server with the smoldering body. But what about the DJ’s? While normally relegated to an unseen elevated tier above the dance floor, here are some of the hotties who will be raising the roof–and the temperature, tomorrow night:

DJ Voxbox
As one of the most interesting DJ’s to emerge in the scene in recent memory, this handsome sexpot orchestrates his Retromash symphony every Friday night at Wild Pug. Recently named one of the most eligible bachelors by Time Out, this Illinois native weaves his unique techno-robot-futuristic beat into some of everyone’s favorite tunes, from the 1960’s to present day.


Tevis Jory
If Dita von Teese had a younger, sassier sister, DJ Tevis Jory would be it. Tall, slender, and with the perfect mix of punk, spunk and style, this Wicker Park beauty takes command of the booth every Friday night at Northside. Spicing up the night with tunes that will have you dancing, singing and rocking it out, watching this girl in action is at least as entertaining as the music she so deftly mixes.


DJ Greg Haus
With his boyish good looks, a funky blond mop, and green eyes, this veteran DJ knows how to throw his crowd into ecstasy. Working his magic at Berlin every Friday night, this DJ has been sending electric shockwaves through some of the most buzzed about parties in town, including the bluechip MCA’s debut for Wolfgang Tillman. Don’t be surprised if you also happen to catch him at Neo, Hydrate, Smart Bar or the Funky Buddha Lounge–that’s what happens when you’re in demand.


DJ Shaka 23
The grand dame of electronic beats, this former New York City model has amassed one of the most impressive repertoires in town. Lavish New Year’s Eve parties at the Sofitel and W hotels? Been there. Collaborating with Boy George for Glamourama? Done that. This sought-after trendsetting femme fatale concocts what could only be described as musical cocktails: part disco, part electro, and a good squeeze of funk. Watch her serve it at the Victor Hotel.


DJ Ryan Paradise
Something about the combination of chiseled features, a smooth ‘tude and perfect mastery over just about any kind of music always gets us off our feet and up on the dance floor. Come watch this self-proclaimed “Graphic Mad Man” kick it off at the Wicker Park staple Debonaire tomorrow night.


One encounter with any of these sexy Chicagoans, and the conversation with the hot bartender and the smiley server would be limited to: “Hey, think you could introduce me to the DJ?”

Mardi Gras in Chicago: Viewers Indiscretion Advised

February 23, 2009

At first glance, it seems that with the Holidays and the Awards seasons being officially over, all major excuses to indulge in delightfully hedonistic activities have been exhausted. However, a closer look at the calendar reveals that one more indulgence—and the most delectable one, in fact—is left. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for Mardi Gras.

As the most festive day of the year, Mardi Gras celebrates anything hopelessly addictive, senselessly decadent, and outrageously pleasurable. So whether you like boys, girls, or both, here are the best events in town for Tuesday, February 24th:

The hardest bodies in Boystown will be working their butts on the bar counters to give patrons something to look up to, literally. A body spray-paint artist will be around to help anyone who might have come a little unprepared but then had a change of heart—and outfit, upon arrival. Admission is free.

The Spot
The Flaming Dames will be helping patrons usher in Fat Tuesday with their Bourbon Street Burlesque. Sexy, sassy and shamelessly seductive, the smokin’ ladies will be sure to stick to their mantra of “rocking out and taking it off!” Is it just us, or is it getting hot in here? Admission is $15.

Blue Bayou
The burgundy-lips-smacking ladies of Vaudezilla, including the pipin’ Red Hot Annie, will be performing at the locals-favorite venue. Following a performance by Daryl Coutts Band, the ladies will appear and the room temperature will quickly rise. All of a sudden, fogged-up windows will become your friend. Admission is free.

Kit Kat Lounge
Turning up the heat in Chicago will be the reigning queens of all things diva, daring and drop-dead-gorgeous, led by the legendary Traci Ross. A sizzling New Orleans-style selection of dishes and an endless list of glass-licking-good martinis will be the perfect fit for the masquerade ball. Like the drinks themselves, this event promises to have a generous splash of sexy and a strong scent of sticky sweetness that will have you wanting more. Admission is free.

Go to any of the above listings, and you too, will have no problem keeping to the one Mardi Gras pre-condition: that this will be the last of such behavior for the year. Unless, of course, a Holiday or an Award show come up.

Attention Men–How To Get Your Groom On

February 19, 2009

It is impossible not to feel under fire by the myriad of technological arrows shooting over our heads on a daily basis. Most days are spent trying to grab–or dodge, depending on your state of mind–as many arrows as possible: a celebrity tweeters about giving birth; a friend texts dinner invitations; a significant other calls on the cell; telemarketers nag on the landline; a backpacking cousin skypes; an old classmate pokes on Facebook; a boss emails, and the list goes on. It’s a war zone.

Yep, it’s time for a break.

That is where Matt Leyes’ Men’s Grooming Parlor comes in handy. The recently opened space in Andersonville offers a peaceful atmosphere in a handsomely decorated space that feels like a cross between a stately English library and a cozy bed & breakfast.

Leyes, an Aveda-trained and licensed esthetician, is the owner of, and sole practitioner at the salon, which means that each client is provided with a personally customized service. Following a highly informative discussion about the client’s skin, Leyes proceeds to work his magic.

The services range from a simple brow wax and a first visit facial, to a chemical peel and an indulgent hot stone hand & foot massage. The more-than-reasonable price range is wonderfully varied, providing every man with the opportunity to have a unique experience at the parlor.

By the time you’ll leave, you’ll be equipped with all the relaxation, cool, and oh yeah–looks!, to take on just about anything that’s coming your way.

To book an appointment at the Men’s Grooming Parlor, Click Here.