Chicago Sun-Times
With Jessica Sedgwick

April 2009 Archives


Bucktown boutique Saffron, 2064 N. Damen, is sadly closing its doors at the end of May.

Everything's on sale, including the store's fixtures. Snag deals on: clothing, jewelry, purses, tabletop accessories, bath products, stationery and other gifts.

Shop from Chicago eco-designer Lara Miller (left) and nibble yummy treats from the Chocolate Grape.

Why do I have plans tonight? Sigh.

For those who are free, head over at 6 p.m. tonight to the Chocolate Grape, 2113 W. Division, for a Wine, Chocolate and Shopping event. For $20, you'll get to taste from a menu of red wines, champagne, cheese and decadent chocolate desserts while you shop from Chicago designer Lara Miller's eco-friendly collections and special limited edition styles from Spring 2009 that never made it into the store. Customize a shirt with Chicago tailoring expert Kate Boggiano and shop the latest spring styles and snag some great deals from jewelry designer Erin Gallagher.

At 9 p.m. they will draw a raffle tickets for:
-- Free customization from Kate Boggiano worth $99
-- An Erin Gallagher Gift Certificate
-- Lara Miller Sweater worth $200
-- An hour of closet consultation from style guru Julie Watson
-- A paired bottle of wine and box of truffles from Chocolate Grape

Tickets are not being pre-sold, but they would appreciate an RSVP to:

If you attend, let me know how it is!

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New spring shoes at A Pied, 2037 W. Roscoe, one of the participating stores.

More than a dozen Roscoe Village retailers are staying open late tonight to give you free stuff during their second annual It's in the Bag event from 5 to 9 p.m. With any purchase (even a small one!), you'll get a goodie bag and a mystery gift certificate for a Roscoe Village restaurant or other business. So the more stores you shop, the more free stuff you'll get. Drinks an appetizers will be served. And with every purchase you can register to win the Grand Prize, which is $25 gift certificate to each participating boutique (prize valued at around $400).

At A Pied, 2037 W. Roscoe, you can get an on-the-spot foot massage from the girls at Head 2 Toe Mobile Nail Spa with any purchase. At Kickin' you can get a nail polish change with any purchase.

Other retailers include: Kickin', Cinnamon, The Denim Lounge, Fixture, Little Threads, Lush, with Grace, Original Expressions, A Cooler Planet, New Discoveries and more.

Veruca Salt, 1921 N. Damen, just launched their Spend & Save event.

Spend $100 and get $10 off; spend $200 and get $25 off, spend $500 and get $100 off; spend $1000 and get $250 off. Enjoy!

Event runs through May 2.

I don't know exactly what it is.

But there's just something about a flat from Urban Outfitters. They're not necessarily the most comfortable shoe (I mean, they get the job done, but they're no Naturalizers). They probably only last one season, two if you're lucky.

But just look them. The sleek shape that forms perfectly to your foot. The woven leather patterns, the V-neck toe, the sheer lace overlay. The fact that they often get marked down as low as $6.99 (see prices below).

They're a perfect finish to a pair of skinny jeans and T-shirt or to a summer dress for the Pitchfork Music Festival or Lollapalooza this summer. And although I wouldn't walk 10 miles in them, they give you hours of comfort and support and girly hipster fashion.

Here are a few of this summer's flats from Urban Outfitters -- I order a few every spring. And right now, get free shipping of purchases over $75 (through April 27).

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Lace skimmer, $19.99 (on sale from $38); Fairytales Are True Leather City Skimmer, $6.99 (on sale from $38); Fairytales Are True Scalloped Skimmer, $29.99 (on sale from $38); and Ecote Woven Flat, $38.

Jason Loper of handbag boutique Zola Jones Designs is calling all creative types.

For all of you lonely crafty folks in Chicago, Zola Jones owner and designer Jason Loper has created a new weekly event just for you. At Hump Day/Craft Night, a "BYOB community crafting" event, artists are encouraged to bring their knitting, jewelry supplies, paper crafts and other crafty projects for an evening of creative recessionary escapism.

"When customers see me sitting at the sewing machine handcrafting the Zola Jones line of bags," says Loper, "they're often very excited to tell me about their craft. [This event] will give everyone an opportunity to share that excitement with me and a store full of other creative people."

Refreshments will be offered at the weekly event, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m. beginning May 6 at Zola Jones Designs, 1944 W. Montrose, (773), 848-3257.
Regular hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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TOP ROW, FROM LEFT (FARYL ROBIN): Colette leather heel, $184; Suzu graphic print heel, $204; Whistle gladiator sandal in silver snakeskin, $135; BOTTOM ROW, FROM LEFT (COCLICO): Lake leather peep-toe heel, $300; Odalisk Italian leather heel, or "halter top for you feet," $248; Rex leather thong sandal, $232.

City Soles and Niche, a pair of beautiful designer shoe boutiques that might as well be the same boutique (same owner, same location) are offering a Designer of Moment sale. Every Tuesday they will mark down a different designer 20 percent (and we all need the 20 percent at these stores). The sale, offered both online and in-store, will run from 10 a.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Today they are featuring two designers: Colico, who's spring line includes beautiful open-toed platform leather heels in caramel browns, greys and deep reds, and Faryl Robin, a little more affordable and definitely funkier. Faryl Robin features polka-dots and graphic prints that adorn both leather and fabric heels. One stunning pair, the Colette (top row, left), is a beautiful cheer red leather peep toe with a cork-wrapped heel in chocolate with polka dots. Sign me up.

Locations: 2001 W. North, 1566 N. Damen and 3432 N. Southport.

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Courtesy of AP

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Wanna rub elbows with Cubs catcher Geovany Soto? He'll be hanging out at Carson Pirie Scott, 3333 W. Touhy, at 6:30 p.m. April 16th, to chat with fans about his life on and off the field during an event sponsored by men's clothing designer Perry Ellis. Maybe if you ask Soto nicely he'll help you pick out a shirt.

Customers who purchase $50 or more of Perry Ellis merchandise will receive a baseball for Soto to sign and entry into the gift-with-purchase line. The first 50 customers who make it into that line will get a complimentary Perry Ellis gift bag.

A quick flip through the Perry Ellis Web site shows the designer added a few floral and paisley shirts to its inventory of all plaid and stripes. I'll be disappointed if Soto is not wearing this Uneven Paisley Print Shirt, $59.99 (at right). And what makes it uneven?

Points to any of you who can convince him to grab a beer after the event. Peanuts count as well.


I've written about before: Really cute clothes for babies and toddlers. Always has sales. Clothes shipped to you in just a few days. And right now they're offering 20 percent off all clearance items.

Shown above: Guitar set (both top and pants included), $18, before the 20 percent off. Available in sizes 12-18 months, 2T and 4T.

Offer ends Friday, April 10.

Though our lovely city seems to be very anti-Spring right now, Macy's on State is the opposite. The store launched its 2009 Flower Show, Dream in Color, Saturday with a vibrant landscape of flowers, plant life, pink flamingos, flowering cherry trees and more. In addition to the floral displays, Macy's will be offering performances, plant seminars, shopping parties and chef demonstrations, from now until April 19.

Get schooled by chef John Coletta of Quartino. Photo by John J. Kim/Sun-Times


APRIL 7: Quartino chef John Coletta will give a demonstration on how to incorporate global influences into everyday cooking as he prepares pasta dishes. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the lower level, Culinary Kitchen.

APRIL 7: A Can-Can Dancer Performance from Circle Theatre. Noon on the first floor.

APRIL 8: Cooking demonstration by Michael Fiorello of Mercat a la Planxa. He will demonstrate how Mercat's cuisine fuses regional flavors and ingredients with classic French techniques. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the lower level, Culinary Kitchen.

APRIL 9: AC Rock acapella performance. Noon on the first floor.

APRIL 9: Cooking demonstration by chef Freddy Sanchez of Adobo Grill. He will demonstrate recipes native to his ancestry, including his Chayote Salad and Tarascan Tortilla Soup. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the lower level, Culinary Kitchen.

APRIL 10: Food and Artist Marketplace, featuring samples from local restaurants, including Sugar Bliss Cupcakes, Quartino, The Meatloaf Bakery, Army & Lou's and Green Zebra. Shoppers will also see demonstrations from local artists. From noon to 2 p.m. on the lower level.

APRIL 10: Meet fashion and home designer Rebecca Moses as she introduces her new Heart Soul Style Summer Entertaining Collection. Inspired by her life in Italy, Rebecca will demonstrate how to create three beautiful but affordable table settings. Light refreshments will be served. At noon on the lower level.

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The adorable and fairly affordable boutique The Dressing Room, 4635 N. Lincoln, offers a pretty good special each month. What you'll get during all of April: 20 percent off ALL dresses and skirts.

Next door at its sister store, The Dressing Room Shoes, 4657 N. Lincoln, you can snag 20 percent off select sandals.

Starting now through April 11, with any purchase at Shoe Carnival you'll get a BOGO When You Want 2 card. Present this card anytime before January 19, 2010 and receive "buy one, get the second pair half off."

Brands at Shoe Carnival include Adidas, Converse, K-Swiss, L.A. Underground, New Balance, Nike, Mudd, Puma, Self Esteem, Sketchers, Unlisted, Vans and more.

Retailers such as Marabo (shown above) offer modest and fashion-forward clothing for Muslim women.

Check out latest spring and summer fashions for Muslim women from e-retailers and Chicago vendors at the Muslim Women's Spring Fashion Show & Bazaar. The event is from 2 to 3 p.m. this Saturday, April 4, at MCC FTS Gymnasium, 8601 N. Menard in Morton Grove.

You'll be supporting Muslim-owned companies who make trendy clothing for Muslim women while helping raise funds for MCCFTS and Gaza relief efforts. Tickets are $20 at the door; $10 for children 11 and under. (Pre-purchsed tickets are $15. Contact

Fashion retailers include Shukr, Artizara, Primo Moda, Raaz Inc., Contemporary Modestwear, Islamic Outfitters, Marabo, Just Long and El-Jeeb Clothing.

After the show, stay for a bazaar, from 3 to 6 p.m., to shop and snack. Babysitter available for a fee!


If money was no object, I'd dress myself head-to-toe in the European designers sold at the beautiful Bucktown boutique Robin Richman, 2108 N. Damen, (773) 278-6150. It's my favorite boutique that I can't really afford to shop at (though I've been known to splurge here every once in awhile...). But every few months or so Robin Richman takes pity on us and hosts an online-only sale where selected items are marked way down. But only one of each item is offered during the sale, so the first caller gets it! This time, the store is offering an April in Paris Sale, from now until April 10, featuring nine of the boutique's favorite French items.

Included in the sale are the Yannik Mur Black Vegetable Ivory Ring (shown at top left), on sale for $25 (originally $50) and the Renee Tallman Double Wing Necklace (middle row, left), on sale for $90 (originally $125).

Head to the Web site for information on all of the items. Let me know if you buy something! I'll be super jealous.


Turn off the world -- and your own repetitive and annoying thoughts that penetrate the mind all day long -- during a FREE guided meditation at Exhale spa, 945 N. State. They're offering a month-long series to help you explore meditation, learn new techniques and find what works best for you. Classes are from 6 to 6:30 April 6, 13, 20 and 27. Reservations are required though, so call (312) 753-6500 to reserve your spot for the free class.

Here's what Exhale has to say about meditation: "It tames the mind and calms the body by bringing focus to the breath, leading your 'thinking' mind into a deeper state of relaxation and allowing you to let go of repetitive thoughts." Exhale also says meditation can boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and improve concentration.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2009 is the previous archive.

May 2009 is the next archive.

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