The Bleader | Blog + Reader, Style blog posts

Style

Monday, June 25, 2018

Ravenswood’s Sailor features jewelry, textiles, fine teas, handmade shoes, and more

Posted By on 06.25.18 at 06:00 AM

Sailor, at 4658 N. Damen - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Sailor, at 4658 N. Damen

Why would a successful jewelry designer—with a loyal clientele and her own line sold at more than 80 stores in the U.S.—sign up for the headaches of running a shop? "Love," answers Sara McGuire, 45, the owner of Sailor, a boutique she opened in Ravenswood last fall.

"It's something I've wanted to do for a long time," McGuire says. "To provide a larger context for the work that we make in the studio, to offer insight into how the work is made, to fill a space with art and objects that inspire. And to create something that's small, personal, distinctive, ambitious and welcoming, all at once. A store for everyday luxuries and special occasions. A neighborhood shop with broad horizons. Sailor is the shop I've always wanted to have on my corner."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

This life coach is inspired by Helmut Lang and the films of Wong Kar-wai

Posted By on 06.05.18 at 06:00 AM

Life coach Andrew Asuncion, 26, describes his look as "suburbs-of-Tokyo minimalism." - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Life coach Andrew Asuncion, 26, describes his look as "suburbs-of-Tokyo minimalism."

Who knew a sleeveless button-down shirt could look fashionable? Granted, life coach Andrew Asuncion was covered in Helmut Lang while casually running errands, in an outfit he describes as the "suburbs-of-Tokyo minimalism"—a kind of look he often turns to.

"I've always been intrigued by the costumes and color palettes in Wong Kar-wai films," he says. "In his film 2046 [the character] Bai Ling [played by Zhang Ziyi] always had a perfectly cut dress on, but it was actually the same in every scene—just in different fabrics and material. It was the color and mood that made each and every one distinct. That's what I look for in an outfit: I want it to be my uniform, but different everyday."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, May 24, 2018

DIY designer Joe Freshgoods takes Chicago streetwear out of town with McDonald’s partnership

Posted By on 05.24.18 at 03:30 PM

A T-shirt from Joe Freshgoods's new capsule collection in collaboration with McDonald's - COURTESY OF MCDONALD'S
  • Courtesy of McDonald's
  • A T-shirt from Joe Freshgoods's new capsule collection in collaboration with McDonald's

Joe Freshgoods is a king of authentic Chicago DIY street fashion. A cofounder of the FatTiger Workshop, Freshgoods has gone from selling his designs out of his garage in Pilsen to heading a leading streetwear brand in Chicago. 

A notable moment for the designer came in 2017, when Chicago native and longtime friend of Freshgoods Chance the Rapper accepted the Grammy for best rap performance while wearing a hoodie from Freshgoods’s “Thank you Obama” collection, which dropped on the former president’s last day in office. Although the category wasn't featured on the televised broadcast, the moment has lived on through GIFs and other popular digital formats. Freshgood’s Chicago-area partnerships with Nike, Adidas, and the Chicago Bears came around the same time.  

Now Freshgoods has another opportunity to bring streetwear and the spirit of the Chicago DIY scene to national attention. Earlier this week, the designer announced via his label’s Instagram that he will launch an exclusive capsule collection to celebrate McDonald’s collaboration with Sprite on the new exclusive Mix by Sprite Tropic Berry beverage. Starting at 2 PM on Friday, May 25, patrons at select McDonald's restaurants in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago will have the chance to receive an item of clothing from Freshgoods's capsule collection with the purchase of any soft drink as long as supplies last. The collection will drop alongside an exclusive track and music video by multiplatinum rapper Kyle. Freshgoods says the opportunity to create the capsule collection was offered to him through a phone call, and no doubt inspired by his recent collaborations with other companies.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A bold crimson red is a pick-me-up for a dreary spring

Posted By on 05.22.18 at 01:55 PM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.
Rose Velez, 30, has been cultivating a “northern-Caribbean-meets Carmen Sandiego” look of late. - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Rose Velez, 30, has been cultivating a “northern-Caribbean-meets Carmen Sandiego” look of late.

"For me to buy a colored piece, it has to be specific and bold," says educator and photographer Rose Velez, a New York City transplant who typically wears black. But due to her current infatuation with the Crescent City—"I'm all about New Orleans," she says—Velez has been adding more vibrant colors to her wardrobe. "Whenever I'm in a style rut, I find myself researching a place," the 30-year-old explains. "I'm inspired by historical architecture and various cultures." That includes her Caribbean roots: "I enjoy exploring how to incorporate this island flavor I have in [a place like] Chicago."

Velez says she's learned from locals how to stay stylish under harsher temps: "They are amazing at still looking good in negative-degree weather. It's inspired me to challenge the narrative of dressing out of pure survival and come up with ways to enhance my look during those dreary months—like throwing on a kelly-green coat or indigo-blue knit scarf." In this case, "I needed a pick-me-up from the extended cold weather we've been having and thought a bold crimson red would do the trick."

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

More about hats, from Ray Panice, proprietor of New World Hatters

Posted By on 05.15.18 at 08:41 AM

The tools of a hatter's trade (though not at New World Hatters) - RICHARD A. CHAPMAN/SUN-TIMES
  • Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times
  • The tools of a hatter's trade (though not at New World Hatters)

The
Reader's archive is vast and varied, going back to 1971. Every day in Archive Dive, we'll dig through and bring up some finds.

Last week, I wrote a profile of Susan Abelson, a self-described "milliner of sorts" who owns a shop called Susan Hat in Rogers Park. Hatmaking is a dying art, and so is hat wearing; it takes a certain kind of panache to pull off an especially dramatic specimen, like, say, a hot-pink cloche covered in fabric roses. Abelson can do it. I cannot.

About 20 years ago, Grant Pick wrote a profile of another hatmaker who also talked about the disappearance of his craft. Ray Panice, then 75, had worked at New World Hatters in West Garfield Park for half a century, the particular half century when hats ceased to a standard part of the American wardrobe except in cold weather.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Her style? ‘A little weird, a little masculine, a little trendy, and a lot of streetwear’

Posted By on 03.27.18 at 06:00 AM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.
"I really try to teeter the line between extremes," says design manager Katrina Wolf. - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • "I really try to teeter the line between extremes," says design manager Katrina Wolf.

An associate design manager at a financial technology firm, 27-year-old Katrina Wolf started developing her trademark mix of "a little weird, a little masculine, a little trendy, and a lot of streetwear" when Bria Salvador-French of Lincoln Park's Smith & Davis Salon gave her a bowl haircut five years ago. "Since then I have been really engaged with fashion," Wolf says. "I get really excited to dress myself every day, and I just feel great if I have pulled together a good outfit."

Asked if she has any fashion rules, Wolf says, "I really try to teeter the line between extremes. . . . Masculine and feminine. Sporty and chic. Casual and formal. For example, if I wear my favorite Adidas sweatshirt then I will pair it with pointy-toed boots. I also really like to pattern-clash, as you can see!"

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A ‘dress-and-sneakers type of gal’ inspired by Coco Chanel

Posted By on 03.13.18 at 08:51 PM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.
"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury,” says Tamara Capel-Wilson, quoting her less-is-more muse Chanel. - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • "Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury,” says Tamara Capel-Wilson, quoting her less-is-more muse Chanel.

While running errands on a cold Saturday afternoon, Tamara Capel-Wilson, 37, was sporting an outfit that managed to be elegant, comfortable, stylish, and warm all at the same time. “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it’s not luxury,” she says, quoting her less-is-more muse Coco Chanel. “It’s all about my outerwear and shades.”

In true Chanel fashion, Capel-Wilson, an entrepreneur behind the online girls' clothing boutique Blu Mitten, considers her style “casual chic”: “I’m a dress-and-sneakers type of gal. In the evening you will catch me wearing heels and denim with a beautiful blouse. I love clothes with clean lines, structured handbags, and jewelry. And I don’t leave home without my shades!”

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, March 9, 2018

Anastasia Chatzka vows to return after closing her Ukie Village boutique

Posted By on 03.09.18 at 07:53 PM

Fashion designer Anastasia Chatzka plans to move her sewing studio into the site of her shop. - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Fashion designer Anastasia Chatzka plans to move her sewing studio into the site of her shop.

Anastasia Chatzka, one of the city's most prolific fashion designers, will close her self-named Ukrainian Village boutique this weekend after four years. Chatzka, a Reader Best of Chicago pick in 2015 and 2016, will be selling her designs and the fixtures in her meticulously decorated storefront at 60 to 70 percent off throughout the weekend, from noon to 7 Saturday, then at a closing party from 11 AM to 4 PM Sunday, March 12, at 1001 N. Damen.

Named a "sewing ambassador" by sewing machine manufacturer Husqvarna Viking thanks to her sewing education efforts (which can be seen on her Sew Anastasia YouTube channel), Chatzka, who's also worked with Anna Sui and Betsey Johnson, will keep teaching sewing courses in her new design studio, which is slated to reopen this spring in the same location on Damen. I spoke with her about the future of her business and the future of fashion more generally.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Indiana fashion student Jason Bell Jr. rocks a ‘dapper grandpa’ look

Posted By on 02.27.18 at 05:22 PM

Jason Bell Jr. describes his style as "clean and comfortable, like a dapper grandpa." - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Jason Bell Jr. describes his style as "clean and comfortable, like a dapper grandpa."

"I knew I was bound to get a few pictures in today, so I had to bust a fit," admits Jason Bell Jr., a 19-year-old fashion student and entrepreneur from Bloomington, Indiana. Dressed in a coat handed down by his grandfather, he considers his style "a work in progress": "clean and comfortable, like a dapper grandpa. It's the thin line between old fashion and this generation's style," Bell says.

The apparel merchandising student at Indiana University was in Chicago to direct a photo shoot for Urban Genius, a lifestyle brand he created in high school with friends Drelen Williams and Derreke Johnson. "We were the group of kids that always stood out because of the way we dressed. We had everyone trying to keep up with us," says Bell, who's now making a business out of his precocious sartorial expertise. Find his designs at Urbangenius216.com and on Instagram at @ug216.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Why wear basic black when there's such a thing as faux fur?

Posted By on 02.21.18 at 04:39 PM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

"I know my outfits can be insane at times, and that's just the way I like it," says Heather Thorgaard. - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • "I know my outfits can be insane at times, and that's just the way I like it," says Heather Thorgaard.

"You will never catch me in an all-black outfit, let's be honest," says CouponCabin.com writer Heather Thorgaard, 31, who was sporting a vivid mix of pastel and neon hues that included a striped faux-fur coat that she says reminds her of cotton candy. "I believe that rainbows and sparkles are a neutral," she says.

Besides piling up on different colors, the former fashion major, a native of Ottumwa, Iowa, is also a big fan of maximal accessorizing: "I absolutely love bracelets, rings, and necklaces, and find most back home in Iowa at this little shop called Bob's Jewelry that is filled to the brim with antique and vintage costume jewelry from estate sales all around the midwest. Truly a one-of-a-kind hidden gem!"

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Guards at the Taj Steppenwolf Theatre
June 13
Performing Arts
Tilikum Victory Gardens Theater
July 05

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories