Chicago Sun-Times
With Jessica Sedgwick

September 2008 Archives

Designer Edward Wilkerson, the main creative force behind LAFAYETTE 148 (which is based in New York but sold in Chicago at Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus), will be at Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, to show off his new fall collection. LAFAYETTE 148 is featured every Friday on "The Today Show" as part of their Fashion Ambush! segment and has recently been featured on "The Apprentice" and "The View." Celebrity customers of the brand include Eva Longoria, Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer, Queen Latifah and Meryl Streep.

If you go, shoot me a note and let me know what you think of the collection! I may be too busy talking my husband off a ledge if the White Sox lose tonight.

Courtesy of the Chicago International Film Festival.

If you're a film nerd like me, and you're actually excited about the possibility of meeting Charlie Kaufman at the Chicago International Film Festival in a few weeks, you should save yourself some extra cash and purchase a festival pass today. Go to this link to purchase tickets and use this promo code: 44FESTPASS. You'll save $10 on the pass, but the offer expires today. There are three passes to choose from. My husband and I usually get the Moviegoer Pass, which gets you 10 tickets for $110. Anyone else planning to see "Wendy and Lucy"?

Planning on stopping by the World Music Festival this Thursday? Bring some extra cash and stop by the International Market Place from 6 to 11 p.m. in the G.A.R. Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. South Side jewelry artist and full-time lawyer Sandra Aya, who owns the company Pretty Afrika, is a featured artist at the event, and she's definitely worth a visit. Inspired by her time living and going to school in Ghana, West Africa, Sandra creates bold pieces, mostly necklaces, earrings and rings, using turquoise, bone and other beads. And since creativity runs in the family, her mother, Theresa Obeng Sam, will also be a featured artist at the show. Her company, Nubian Creation, offers quilts, handbags and home accessories.

Here's a little of what you can expect from Pretty Afrika. Happy shopping!:

Pretty Afrika by Sandra Aya[1].jpg
Gold coral necklace, $155

This cooler weather makes me want to drink Oktoberfest beers and think about the new fall clothes I'm going to buy and hide from my husband. And while none of these shopping events serve beer, they do combine my love of cocktails and fall fashion. So grab your friends and hit one of these free events this week (and let me know what you find!):

Poor little shoes! I only had enough room in Thursday's column in the print addition of the Sun-Times to include boot trends. But several other shoe trends -- including the T-strap Mary Jane, my favorite -- are out in full force this fall. Nordstrom fashion guru Gregg Andrews says to keep an eye out for these five retro-inspired looks:

1. T-strap Mary Janes (shown below). The extra strip down the middle makes the Mary Jane look a little less "Catholic school girl" and a little more fashion-forward and fun.

2. Covered platforms. The shoes' material continues all the way to the ground, and no wooden or other kind of heel shows.

3. Flats with big embellishments. It will be hard for you to find a flat at a store that doesn't have a gemstone or buckle or medallion. Also, designers seemed to have ignored the ballet slipper this fall. Flats are made out of tougher fabrics, like patent leather and wool.

4. Colored patent leather. Look for patent in navy blue, berry shades, chocolate brown and gun metal or grey.

5. Exotic skins. Shoe designers love their reptile -- leather that's been pressed like crocodile or alligator.

T-TIME: Chie Mihara is the king of T-strap Mary Janes this fall. It's almost not fair for me to show you these, since they're pretty darn expensive, but every once in awhile I like to treat myself to a pair of Chie Miharas (they're incredibly comfortable and last forever). At left, these leather Mary Janes are $338. At right, these suede beauties are $408. Both are handmade in Spain and available at Niche, 1566 N. Damen, 2001 W. North and 3432 N. Southport.

Chicago native and renowned footwear and accessories designer Donald J Pliner will be at Bloomingdale's (900 N. Michigan) tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sept. 13, to meet and greet shoppers, show off his new collection and sign autographs on the soles of your shoes. A DJ will be providing your shopping soundtrack. And there will be cookies! Sorry, no cocktails. Just water.

I wrote about this adorable T-shirt last month, but the Anthropologie on State still has plenty of them left, so I'm reposting: Anthropologie and designer brand Velvet are teaming up to support YouthAIDS. When you buy this limited-edition T-shirt (which you can't buy anywhere other than Anthropologie), 100 percent of the proceeds go to YouthAIDS. (I own a Velvet T-shirt, and I want to live in it. The designers Graham and Spencer use a very soft cotton/spandex mix fabric they call "gauzy whisper.")

07.24.08YouthAidsTee 2.jpg
This floral-printed, scoop-neck T-shirt with cap sleeves is $78 and is available in XS to XL at Anthropologie stores.

YouthAIDS is a non-profit organization that uses media, pop culture, music, theater and sports to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and reach 600 million young people in more than 60 countries with life-saving messages, products and services. Both Anthropologie and Velvet were introduced to the organization by Ashley Judd, who has serve as the YouthAIDS global ambassador since 2002.

Celebrate the return of boot weather with one of these fun shopping events this week:

1. Poor Little Rich Girls launch parties:, an online lifestyles magazine for young women, is hosting two launch parties with $5 martinis, $4 signature drinks, a DJ and a live dance performance by Dance 2Xs. First, at 8 tonight, Sept. 10, at Soiree, 2438 N. Lincoln. And then at 8 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 11, at Moxie, 3517 N. Clark.

2. Renegade Craft Fair: This isn't your mother's craft show. The free Renegade Craft Fair, which is becoming one of my favorite Chicago events, offers unique and edgy gifts, jewelry, clothing, art and posters from more than 300 artists (many of them from Chicago). They've added live music this year. On Saturday, Sept. 13, Hey Willpower will play at 6 p.m., Mahjongg at 7 and Northern State at 8:30. On Sunday, Sept. 14, The Living Blue will perform at 6 p.m., Pit Er Pat at 7 and Califone at 8:30. The fair will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday along Division between Damen and Hermitage in Wicker Park. For a full list of vendors, go to

For the planet-loving bride: A dress from the Adele Wechsler Eco Couture collection.

TOPSHOP is a popular United Kingdom chain that I once shopped at for two hours in London, and, as a result, lost my husband, who I eventually found -- after a frantic and tearful search -- in the basement of a pub around the corner, completely care-free and "pissed," as the English say. Anyway, the chain will open its first American store in New York City in November, and in anticipation of that, the company is launching a United States Web site,, tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 9. In honor of the launch, customers who spend more than $50 will receive a free charity Kate Moss T-shirt.

chairty t-shirt.jpg

For each T-shirt that's given away, TOPSHOP will make a donation on behalf of Kate to the Starlight Children's Foundation.

The new site will also launch Kate's new fall collection, which will include chiffon blouses, leather jackets and dresses with fringe. And also launching Tuesday, Sept. 9, is, TOPSHOP's new U.S. Web site for men.

Nothing like a sale on fall clothes before fall even begins! This Saturday, Sept. 13., at the Bucktown boutique Veruca Salt, 1921 N. Damen, you'll get 20 percent off your first pair of denim, 30 percent off your second pair, 40 percent off your third pair and 50 percent off your fourth pair. Enjoy!


Rich by Rich & Skinny, $153, available in the store or at

We feel sad when businesses have to close -- but we love the going-out-of-business sales!

So sad. There was no room this week in my Shopping column in the print edition of the Sun-Times to include new trends for men. And I know, you guys are always left out. So I'm going to show you some online love. This fall -- think fitted. Macy's trend guru Jennifer Wilkins says silhouettes for men are narrow (so throw out the baggy Gap sweater from 2002 that was way too big for you to begin with). Here are three other trends in men's fashion for the fall:

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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