There was no reason to shop the different neighborhoods on Saturday because Gen Art’s Shop Chicago brought it all together for you under one tent at Millennium Park. What a great way to be greeted – with buckets of Bud Light Lime beer on ice, your choice of Arizona Teas, Menage a Trois wines, or just about any soft drink. What more could a shopper want? Oh yeah, there were cupcakes at the Seasonique booth! So there was nothing more that a shopper could want.
And on to the shopping! There was the always popular Erin Gallagher Jewelry, and many more Chicago favorites: Heidi Hess, Kate Boggiano (great blouses for $150 – and a discount!), Objets d’Envy, Kreatia, Serpico, Abigail Glaum-Lathbury, Five Accessories, Lara Miller, Vika Brown, and the list goes on.
There were also some boutiques and lines just in for the event. Lil’ Fishy boutique from LA had bargains on items that we may have never seen here in Chicago, and established jewelry designer lines like Page Sargisson from NY was there. (She is the designer who does the antique poker chip necklaces that you may have seen at department stores or here on Second City Style.)
And then it was on to the great boutiques like Malibar, and Michelle Tan, Habit, Akira, Hubba Hubba and Eskell. They all offered discounts. I saw some beautiful things at Uri Boutique! There were some great deals on cool shoes from House of Sole. Just think of the time I saved running from neighborhood to neighborhood! I went from Division Street to Damen to Wells Street to South Michigan Avenue in less than an hour!
Another stand out to me was Heroine Chic where I got this tough yet elegant belt. Designer Colleen Soisson handcrafted the buckle with tiny gemstones (that really twinkle in the light) and helped me choose a colored leather belt. She had some nice grays, browns and distressed leathers and I wound up with basic black. Her belts run from around $75 – $100 (for buckle and the leather).
Michelle Tan had this fabulous midnight blue short jacket for $350. Did I mention it is in a waterproof fabric, too? With all of her trademark details – the grossgrain ribbon, the urban chic and always a few different ways you can wear the collar or the belt.
jewelry turned my head with these statement necklaces. These runway-look pieces were constructed with interesting fabrics, chains, beads, found objects and work well when layered. Pieces run from $95 – $200. As designers Christy Wait and Brenda Hasselberg pointed out, something like this could be at least $700 at Barney’s. Christy and Brenda are floral designers who recently branched out (no pun intended) into designing this jewelry.
It was also very fun to meet many of the 2008 Gen Art’s Fresh Faces designers and to see their designs up-close and hands-on. Sophia Reyes, Shorty Clothing, Annie Novotny of Frei Designs, Eskell, and Elise Bergman were all there. Elise is modeled her popular multi-wrap (it can be a dress, top, poncho, and more) and it comes in just about any fabric and color you could think of from velvets to silks to wool tweeds.
Samsura Design was one of the featured accessory designers at Fresh Faces and I was excited to get my hands on (and head under) some of these wonderful hats. Designer Sara Czosnyka offers unique pieces, each with a little found object or an artful twist. She can certainly bring millinery back to mainstream…fashionistas, that is!
— Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style
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