Sunday, September 30, 2012

[Chicago Dining] Fashionable Brunching at Nellcote!

Sundays in Chicago are synonymous for one thing: Brunching!  In a city known for it's eclectic food it only makes sense that a meal time is given the adjective of action and therefore qualifying it as an actual event.

Personally I'm hoping that one day it will become an Olympic sport, but until then I guess all we can do is continue to practice until we are experts.  After all doesn't the saying go "Practice makes Perfect".  So, for this Sunday's brunching edition we ventured over to Nellcote in Chicago's West Loop.

Why Nellcote?  Easy, all of the reviews and press surrounding this establishment's authentic locavore experience that is defined by humble dishes that focus on simple yet approachable dining.  To compliment the  stellar menu the setting is just to die.  Ornate luxury was the apparent design concept with its Italian marble stairs, extravagant woodwork, crystal chandeliers, etc.

One charming quality I immediately fell in love with was that with all of the opulence in decor and rich foods, Nellcote has personality.  Being that Chicago is a major sports city (probably a total understatement) it was really refreshing for my husband and other fellow football fans to see that they were able to dine in luxury while at the same time not miss a minute of Sunday NFL football.

Needless to say today's brunching pick was a total touchdown (I know, I know total cliche).  Enjoy my pictures from today's #FashionBrunch:

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  All of my comments and this review are completely my own opinion and no one else.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] Randolph Street Market: Shop for Charity!

Each month one of the biggest vintage markets in the country is held right here in Chicago.  Last night I had the opportunity to not only get a sneak peek of what the Randolph Street Market vendors will be showcasing at this weekend's show, but most importantly I was there to participate in the "2nd Annual Editor's Choice for Charity" event.

I couldn't turn down the chance to help market-goers by doing the initial ground work and select 5 'Editor's Choice' picks ranging from hard to find fashion accessories that are on-trend to key furniture pieces that are sure to add instant personality and style to any room in your home.  The best part is that when all of my 'Editor's Choice' picks are purchased a portion of the sales will be donated to the "Girls in the Game" charity.  This nonprofit organization focuses on empowering more than 3,000 girls in Chicago to make healthier choices and develop the confidence and leadership skills they need to succeed on and off the field.

So as you are heading over to the Randolph Street Market this weekend, remember to shop for a great cause and look out for my 5 'Editor's Choice' picks (pictured below) as well as any other of the blue ribbon picks!  

Vintage Tomatoe Box Clutch

Vintage DKNY Waist belt

Refurbished industrial wood & metal bar 

Vintage low-rider bikes

Vintage 1970's Dressing Mirror

Friday, September 28, 2012

[MFW] Philipp Plein Spring 2013 Collection!

Philipp Plein presented his "Pompadour Punk" Spring 2013 Collection at Milan Fashion Week  Plein's collection is a ladylike twist to rocker chic.  The mixing of contrasts such as bubble gum pink studded pink leather moto jacket with a flower motif skinny leg pant lend to soften the edginess of the fabrics.

My favorite look from Plein's show is this shredded loose fit tunic sweater that is paired white ankle length pants.  The subtle rocker edge is in the details.  The studded patch on the knees, coupled with the zipper pockets and ankle enclosures are not overwhelming and lend to their versatility in wear.

*Photo Credit: Philipp Plein

Agree with me on this amazing ensemble's subtle & versatile rocker chic qualities?  Re-create it with my following suggestions:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

[MFW] SMH Dolce & Gabbana!

During Milan Fashion Week the fashion duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana showcased their Spring 2013 Collection.  In fashion 101 one of the first lessons you learn is the golden rule that your accessories are either the compliment or the focal point of any ensemble.  Being that this was their presentation of their Spring 2013 collection you would assume that the focal point would be the apparel.  Not in this case.  The glaring reality was that the very questionable accessories, specifically earrings were the central focus of this collection.

The collection referenced an obvious inspiration to Blackamoor statues, a common icon in Italian art of the colonial era--but one that is definitely considered by many (myself included) as an offensive and extremely racist relic of the past.

It's just astonishing to me that in this present day and time that individuals are so numb to the idea of what is truly art and what is blatant trash.

*Photo Credit: MCV/Firstview

Sunday, September 23, 2012

[Personal Style] Pencil Skirt + Bow-tie...

Menswear seems like it can be a pretty easy trend to incorporate but the reality is that if you don't keep in mind the words "Menswear Inspired" you could be heading down the road of Frumpy at the intersection of Sloppy.

My trick to mastering this trend is always pairing menswear inspired pieces with feminine silhouettes.  I've paired an over-sized button down collar shirt with a pencil skirt.  The pencil skirt is a slim-fitting skirt with a straight and narrow cut.  This tailored shape adds that key element of femininity while at the same time elevating your look to a polished ensemble that can  be an instant night out with or brunchin' with the girls.

As I've always mentioned with all of my previous style posts, accessories are key.  Accessories set the tone for your look.  I chose my custom made ASSATA Designs bow-tie as the defining piece for my look.  Edgy, Comfy, Chic define my signature style and this bow-tie adds those key touches to this otherwise polished ensemble.

Love my look? Re-create it with my suggestions below:

Friday, September 21, 2012

[Personal Style] I Can't Believe That It's Officially Been ONE Year...

One year ago today I was back in my hometown of West Valley City, Utah sitting around my parents dining room table as my sister and mother were finishing the final touches to the decor for Jesus and I's wedding rehearsal dinner happening later on that Friday evening.

I still fondly look back and remember that in that moment all I could think about was how quickly the year of wedding planning and preparation had flown by.  I smiled when I thought back to the very intimate and special way that Jesus got down on one knee and asked me the touching and heartfelt words of, "Will you marry me?".  How I could hear the quiet tears of joy my father shed over the phone when I called to tell him and my mother that I had accepted Jesus' proposal,  and to learn that he shed the same tears when Jesus had called him a few weeks earlier asking for his blessing.

All the pre-wedding milestone memories came flooding back: My Tongan-American engagement party, my beautiful bridal shower, having my "Say Yes To The Dress" moment, etc.  These memories led up to that moment and all I could do right then and there was take a deep breath  and try to remember to treasure every single minute.  Starting with that Friday night's rehearsal dinner all the way through to Sunday's send-off brunch it was a whirlwind of laughs, tears, cheers, and most importantly love.  That weekend I said "Yes" to my best friend, my +1 to the roller coaster rides at Great America, my double in a game of bags, and most importantly my second half to share in the journey that is life.

This first  year has been a whirlwind filled with momentous joys and great lessons learned.  Reaching this great milestone in our relationship reaffirms so much to me that I am definitely one of the lucky ones.  Thank you so much to my amazing husband for helping to inspire me to enjoy life, become more adventurous, to smile and laugh more, and more importantly to enjoy life for life.  I can not thank you enough for all of your unending love and support.  I love you muchos & Happy Anniversary! xoxo

Rehearsal Dinner on Friday

Wedding Day on Saturday

Send-off Brunch on Sunday

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

[Pasifika Fashion Series] Kapiliola Fonua, New Zealand's next big talent!

Kapiliola Fonua is a young design student with a bright fashion design future ahead of him.  Of Tongan descent he moved to New Zealand from his native island of Tonga and drew inspiration from his early childhood there for this stunning piece.  Last week this beautiful piece he created was the overall winner of New Zealand Fashion Week's 'Remake Challenge'.

When I first initially seen his winning piece I was immediately floored by the intricate flower detailing of the bodice and the waterfall of petals of the hem.  The first image that jumped into my head was Azzedine Alaia's   Fall 2011 collection that was full of laser cut-outs and floor length waterfall ruffles.

Then I learned the dress was constructed of Kleenex Cottonelle tissues!?! The perplexing notion that he was able to create such refined and intricate detailing for the bodice and those cascading petals caused me to experience two things: 1. Complete and utter elation for the future of the art of fashion 2. Longing and want for more of this brilliant young man's talent.

Until young Kapi graduates I guess we all will just have to suffice with the opportunity to purchase his beautiful design (here) and eagerly wait in anticipation for the launch of his womenswear line.

*Photo Credit: trade me
Photos of Kapi's dress:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] AKIRA Chicago's 10th Annual Fall Fashion Show!

Every year for the last 10 years AKIRA Chicago  has wow'd the Chicago fashion scene with their stellar fashion productions.  It's no hidden secret that it's one of city's best fashion parties to look forward too every year.  This year's fashion show themed 'Metropolitan' will feature 5 distinctly different runway shows that will highlight what to wear to work, to lunch, to dinner, out on the town, etc.  As a regular on the "L" Train it's so refreshing to see how AKIRA Chicago will interpret fashions of the modern city chic.  This Saturday, September 22nd is the last day to snag a ticket (purchase here).

 Now, if you are like me the next important question is "What am I going to wear to AKIRA Chicago's 10th Annual fashion show?"  This question is usually followed by another set of questions that I can answer for you with one simple answer: start with your what's going to be on your feet.  Fall's biggest footwear trend is all about the bootie.  Keeping this in mind I decided to strictly focus on this silhouette when I went to visit AKIRA Chicago's Bucktown location on North Avenue.

Perusing the entire store looking for the 'one' for what seemed like hours I narrowed in on these 3 Michael Antonio booties (pictured below).  All three equally represent key fall trends: glitter & shine, jewel tone hues, and embellishments & adornments.

After much deliberation and a great consultation from the ladies at AKIRA Chicago, I finally settled in on the black velvet 'Maple'.  I'm a huge fan of a a great stacked heel and anytime metal is infused as an adornment it's almost always a done deal.  I mean seriously, once I noticed the metal my swoon-o-meter was slightly beginning to ding and then it was officially over once I finally settled in and began to take notice of the boots amazing details.  Buckles, holographic snake skin foiled platform and heel & suede--my swoon-o-meter was off the charts!

See what other amazing finds I discovered at AKIRA Chicago on my visit.  Definitely start here in assembling your ensemble for the 'Metropolitan' Fall Fashion Show :

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  All of my comments and this review are completely my own opinion and no one else.