November 30, 2010

Etsy Showcase: Cold-Weather Stylin' with Yokoo

Oh, I do love thee...

I first learned about the Yokoo Etsy Shop while reading an article about Opening Cermony and the teenage blogging sensation, Tavi Gevinson. Tavi was donating a lot of items from her own closet and the unique accessories immediately caught my attention. Upon further research, I learned that Tavi is a loyal client of Yokoo. And why wouldn't she be? It is clear that their aesthetic is very similar. Plus, the designer (shown in the photos below) even reminds me of Tavi. Don't you think?

Yokoo has some of THE most amazing cold-weather accessories. The various oversized scarves (coined by Yokoo as the "Soopascarf" or "Snow Leopard"), the quirky bow headbands and the chain scarves are my current favorites. There's also the Uniscarf which consists of a scarf with attached sleeves. How SICK is that?!? All of these items are knitted by hand and available in a ridiculously-hard-to-choose amount of colors.

Knitting has never looked so innovative and fashion-forward. With these items, I'm ready to brave the Winter in style. Are you with me?

UPDATE: Etsy recently featured the below video on Yokoo.  It will give you a glimpse into the life of this wonderful designer. My favorite quote: "I grew up poor but only because everyone else had money". I simply adore that perspective.

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November 28, 2010

Guest Blogger: Top Picks from London Fashion Week SS 2011

Although the temperatures are dropping, guest blogger SinnamonS is back to take you to a warmer season with her favorites from London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011!

Mark Fast

Mark Fast for Spring/Summer 2011 did what he is best known for by giving us a strange-yet-showgirl look with a collection that was completely knitwear and fringe. Mark Fast had an interesting influence for this collection: “a utopia destroyed by acid rain”. Mark Fast's past collections have also been knitwear but with more of an open woven technique. However, this collection, which used various shapes and techniques, made the clothing look more like a solid piece of fabric and not just a piece of knitwear. Fringe was a trend seen many times during fashion week from designers such as Ralph Lauren and Roberto Cavalli. And Mark Fast followed suit. He used it throughout the collection - offering up variations of color and pattern structure in every piece.  Mark designs by hand on a domestic knitting machine - which means you are getting a personal touch with every piece. With his use of plastic inserts and Swarovski crystals, the collection blurred the line between showgirl and futuristic bad girl.

London Fashion Week always provides new faces and seeing Mark Fast on the runway this season was no surprise. Being that this is his 4th season, Mark still has a lot to prove as a designer. Overall Mark Fast showed a wide range of looks from pants to dresses and even threw in a piece of swimwear. Stylists will have their hands full with this line but I'm sure we will see a country star like Carrie Underwood or someone like Nicki Minaj in one of his body conscious pieces soon. I’m excited to see what happens with Mark and I look forward to much more!

For more, go to

Todd Lynn

If you wanted a look into the future, Todd Lynn for Spring/Summer 2011 gave you just that. For this collection, Todd Lynn showed his most severe silhouettes yet. The show notes promised lots of snakeskin and contrasting textures and did not disappoint. With muted metallics and earth tones, Lynn's collection was not very reflective of spring and summer. It seemed to be more appropriate for fall but, nevertheless, it was interesting and wearable with a futuristic twist. He used a variation of some of my favorite fabrics like snakeskin, leather, linen and Italian cotton. These textures are typically seen in a fall collection but he somehow made it appropriate for spring/summer. The designer named his collection “Genesis Redux”, describing the clothes as beautiful new creatures. The models graced the runway with Louboutin watersnake heels, which unsurprisingly added flare and excitement to the show! The women's dresses and suits looked like a second skin or a protective shield and the men's metallic jackets seemed to serve as protective armour, contributing to the futuristic look of the collection. Although the collection looks complicated and sharp, the fabrics are soft and flexible enough to be wearable.

London Fashion Week puts the edgy designers in the forefront and Todd Lynn definitely stepped up to the plate with this one! His clients include heavy hitters like U2, The Rolling Stones and Marilyn Manson. Hopefully he can add SinnamonS to that roster.

For more, visit


Burberry is known for sticking to their classic style but with an added twist. For Spring/Summer 2011, Burberry did just that. The title of the collection was "Heritage Biker" and Christopher Bailey took Burberry to a whole new level. From the normal military style jackets and iconic trenches to a fitted jacket heavily studded on the shoulders or with quilted sleeve panels constructed with leather and python. With this collection, the typical Burberry woman had been left at the door to play outside with the children. A new woman had emerged from Burberry as younger, fresh and edgy. Burberry's new girl rocked 6-inch killer heels, animal prints, motorcycle jackets, spiked military jackets & skinny leather pants. With the pops of color from the clutches and belts, this show proved to be full of life! The nod to glam rock was expressed time and time again with silver versions of various pieces, while motocross padding continued from the jackets onto skinny leather trousers. Leopard print mini dresses with harness-like straps were perfect for the party girl.

Christopher Bailey proved that he is not a one dimensional designer and he shed the idea of Burberry being solely for the English or American housewife. He also proved that he is a global powerhouse who has a strong eye for street trends and produces items that appeal to more than just the consumer base.

Additionally, Burberry’s embrace of technology is inspiring.  They not only streamed live on their website, but also in their worldwide stores including London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris and Dubai. Also, consumers with the Burberry iPad and iPhone applications were able to buy certain items immediately off the runway to be delivered seven weeks after their order was placed.

The brilliance of Bailey is in his ability to translate the heritage of Burberry into the trendiest of contemporary fashion today. This was a fantastic show! Make sure you check out the Burberry in Chicago (633 N. Michigan Ave) for more looks from the runway.

Click here to view the runway show. For more info, visit

-Shanna S. aka SinnamonS
Contact her directly via email

Check out her NY Fashion Week SS 2011 recap HERE.

*photos courtesy of

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November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from ChiTown Fashionista

Wishing you a wonderfully Happy Thanksgiving! And good luck on Black Friday. *smile*
I am truly grateful for family, friends, and YOU - my fabulously fashionable readers!

What are you grateful for?

November 21, 2010

Lanvin + H&M: The ChiTown Fashionista Experience

I did it. I braved the long line and the crowd for a chance to purchase something from the Lanvin + H&M collection this past weekend!

As soon as I heard about the collection, I was determined to check it out in person. Fast forward to the night before the launch, which is when I received word that people were already forming a line outside the Michigan Avenue store. At that moment, I made what I thought to be a decision not to go. If people were lining up at 8pm the night before, how ridiculous would the line be in the morning? However, the shopaholic in me decided to set my alarm for 5am anyway. When the alarm went off, I checked twitter and @CurlyInTheCity had tweeted that she was in line with about 80 other people. I immediately phoned my fellow blogger and ultimate ride-or-die shopping partner, Raijean. Next thing I knew, I was in the car with Raijean and heading to H&M.

We hopped in line and after a few minutes, Starbucks was passing out complimentary coffee and pastries. An hour and a half later, the H&M staff passed out the shopping rules and the color coded wristbands. The wristband colors designated which 15 minute time slot you would have to shop the women's collection. Yes. There was serious organization. I was in group H, which meant I couldn't shop until 10:25am!

shopping rules, starbucks employee, H&M staff handing out wristbands

We remained in line until the store opened at 8am just so we could get inside to warm up and check out the men's collection. As everyone poured into the store, we were greeted by mannequins clad in Lanvin, enthusiastic H&M staff and sounds being pumped by a live DJ.

crowd pouring into the store, H&M staff

Everyone rushed straight upstairs to the Lanvin men's collection where chaos ensued. Within a few minutes, mannequins and signs were removed by staff (for fear of mass destruction) and racks were almost bare. It was utter madness!

chaos in the men's section

We decided to stay in the store and keep an eye on the women's collection to ensure the merchandise was not running out.

Side note: My main goal was to obtain the red chandelier necklace. Since I didn't know how long it would remain in stock, I tweeted my buddies @ChicagoStyle and @EyeAdorePretty to see if they could grab one for me during their 9:05am slot. They did and I am forever grateful!!

I was very glad to see that the staff was replenishing the merchandise in between each time slot and there appeared to be an ample supply of mostly everything.

the women's collection

By the time 10:25am arrived, the chandelier necklace was gone. However, there was a lot of clothing from which to choose. Although the dresses and outerwear were well-made, I had my eyes set on the t-shirts. Once I grabbed my shirt, I checked out the shoes. I was a bit underwhelmed by the quality so I proceeded to checkout.

Overall, I think the Lanvin + H&M collection is one of the best designer collaborations I've seen. Although the shoes were not up to par, the party dresses, skirts, faux fur outerwear and jewelry were delightful. My only gripe is with the sizing. The clothing only went to a size 10 AND I was told that the size 10 fit like an 8. It was definitely disappointing for many and I'm sure H&M will hear about it.

Wondering what I purchased?? Well...the red chandelier necklace (of course!), the "sexy legs" t-shirt (love the detail) and a canvas tote (whose proceeds benefited UNICEF). My purchases were 100% worth the wait! And if I had to do it all over again, I certainly would.

my loot

So, tell me. Did you get a chance to shop the collection? What did you think? What did you buy? Was there pandemonium in your city? Feel free to share your story.

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November 16, 2010

Top 5 High-Heel Shearling Boots Under $200

High-heeled shearling boots are the perfect combination of warmth and sass! Although shearling (real and faux) is a current trend in both fashion and footwear, it is also a wardrobe mainstay that never goes out of style. So, investing in a pair of shearling boots won't seem ridiculous a year from now.

Since I love to hunt for great quality items for those of us that do not have money trees growing in our backyard, here are my Top 5 High-Heeled Shearling Boots under $200.

left column:
MAXSTUDIO 'Shearing' - $179.00
BCBGeneration Melo - $148.95

right column:
MICHAEL by Michael Kors 'Carlie' - $195.00
ASOS Fleece Clog Lace - $120.68

Sam Edelman 'Winsford' - $208 (Ok. So I cheated a little bit here. But are they not worth the extra 8 bucks?! Plus, this is the best price you'll find on this boot.  Thanks, Lori's Shoes!)

Clearly, you can tell I'm fond of the foldover cuff. It's a great way to get two looks in one boot.  Add a wooden platform and grommets and you have the perfect weekend boot!

Which pair is YOUR favorite? Do tell.

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November 12, 2010

Handbag Swoon - J.Crew Rhapsody Purse

Vintage Inspired. Heavily Desired.

Available at J.Crew for $199.


SoundChick Feather Earrings Giveaway WINNER!

Thanks to everyone that entered the SoundChick Feather Earrings Giveaway!

And the winner is...


Congratulations, Yanira! I will be in contact with you soon.

If you did not win this time, don't fret! There are more giveaways on the horizon. So stay tuned...


November 10, 2010

Fashion in Detroit 2010: The Midwest Represents!

Joe Faris with the Motor City Denim Co. design team

Fashion in Detroit occurred on the tail end of Chicago's Fashion Focus. In spite of all the events going on during Fashion Focus, I was determined to make the trip to Detroit for day #2 of the event. With an executive committee that consists of heavy hitters in Detroit fashion, including Joe Faris of Project Runway fame, I was excited to see what Fashion in Detroit had to offer.

Now, let's take to the runway, shall we?

Femilia Couture
Created and produced in Michigan, Femilia Couture is a hybrid of high fashion and organic clothing. Designers Emily Thornhill and Fotoula Lambros showcased an all-white collection on the runway. From pant suits to jersey dresses to evening gowns, everything was well made and simply adorable. Initially perceived as a only "concept", I thought the all-white idea was brilliant. It allowed the designs to speak for themselves and made women want to buy a perfect little white dress next Spring. Then, I find out that the all-white "concept" was meant to provide onlookers with a blank canvas since everything can be created in a host of different colors. I was in love. These items, already lovely and beautifully constructed in their purest form, can be produced in a color of my choice?!?! Where do I sign up? With majority of their garments priced under $200, all of which are customizable to any size, Femilia Couture was definitely one of my favorite collections of the day. I jokingly tweeted that I would have to cheat on Chicago fashion with Femilia Couture but there may be a little truth to that. *wink*

Christiane LaRue by Bonnie Foley
From zebra to art deco, the print dresses were feminine and appeared effortless. The French lace garments, however, were my personal favorites. The lace wrap skirt, mini-dress and formal gown were the showstoppers. The red lace and feather dress was elegant yet slightly revealing...leaving just enough to the imagination. This collection was definitely created with the flirty girl in mind.

Known for it's selection of cold-weather outerwear, including their signature line and other major brands like North Face, I didn't know what to expect from the Moosejaw runway show. It turned out to be the liveliest show of the bunch! The outfits weren't necessarily groundbreaking or innovative (although I did love the colorful socks and jackets with thumb holes), but who doesn't need practical outerwear when battling the cold Midwest winter? Moosejaw compensated for the lack of "design" with a high level of entertainment. Every model danced on the runway (there was even breakin' and pop-lockin') to the beat of great songs like "Din Daa Daa'. Was I overwhelmed by the fashion? Not so much. Was it a memorable runway show? Absolutely.

Heike Jarick
Heike Jarick is a German born, New York based designer whose designs have graced the red carpet. Her runway show was full of color, sequin, a ton of draping and amazing statement jewelry. The porcupine-like detail on the suede collar that turned out to be beading had me in awe. (check out the closeup below).

Heike understands a woman's body. The draping and fabric choices on the dresses made me want to slip into each and every one of them. When I asked her why she decided to show at Fashion in Detroit, her response was "I was invited. So, I figured 'why not?'" And that free spirit is exactly what made me an official fan of Heike Jarick.

Prophetik by Jeff Garner
Jeff Garner is known for his amazing sustainable fashion. Hailing from Tennessee, Jeff Garner is yet another designer who supports the great things brewing in the Detroit fashion realm. Having shown at London Fashion Week, many people, including myself, were anxious to see the collection. However, when volunteers started laying sod on the runway prior to the showing, the anticipation was amplified to the umpteenth power. What was to follow would be an unforgettable runway show with a medieval twist - as shown through the clothing, the live banjo player and cloak-wearing vocalist. The dresses had great movement. At times, the models appeared to be floating down the runway. I was also intrigued by the garments that seemed to have been dipped in contrasting dye. It was a unique technique that was very well-executed. Sustainable fashion never looked so good.

Motor City Denim Co.
The Motor City Denim Co. clothing line exudes Americana. With Eminem's "Welcome to Detroit" song blaring through the speakers and the American flag incorporated into many of the pieces, designer Joe Faris represented his blue-collar state and America as a whole. My favorite items were the leather and denim jackets as well as the dresses with the exposed zippers. Actually, zippers were used throughout the collection, most notably as embellishments on the denim jackets and the back pockets of the jeans. Clothing aside, the real highlights of the runway show were the models. Every day women of varying heights and sizes demonstrated Motor City Denim Co.'s versatility and wearability. As an executive committee member of Fashion in Detroit, it is apparent that Joe Faris is extremely passionate about Detroit. And his collection is a definite reflection of that.

In addition to enjoying the runway shows, I met some really amazing fashionistas, photographers and designers (including Valerie Mayen from Project Runway). Fashion in Detroit was a great experience. I can't wait to see which designers will be included next year!

I've decided to end this blog post with the video that Jeff Garner played right before the Prophetik runway show. It addresses the topic of sustainability and how Detroit is adopting the concept. It made me appreciate the city even more and I hope it does the same for you…

So, who’s going with me next time?

*all photos, except for the Heike Jarick collar closeup, are courtesy of photographer extraordinaire (and my newfound buddy), George Clarence. View all of his Fashion in Detroit photos HERE.

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November 7, 2010

Guest Blogger: Top Picks from NY Fashion Week SS 2011

Check out which three designers SinnamonS (our guest blogger and local fashion maven) fancied at NY Fashion Week SS 2011:

Ralph Lauren

The Ralph Lauren collection was all about the Sexy Equestrian/Cowgirl. He has reinvented this look countless times in his 40-plus-year career, but he always manages to give us new surprises and this season was no different. Trends this season seemed to be more muted and based in earth tones. And as usual, Ralph Lauren was right on trend. His color palate mostly consisted of white, lots of browns as well as a few pale pinks and blues with silver accents. The blouse also made a statement on the runway but with a Victorian twist.

There were many belts, bags and fringe. The show displayed a fresh take on the masculine-feminine counterpoint with the inclusion of the pairing of free-flowing dresses with utilitarian leathers, laced-up suede and embroidery.

It was a simply stunning collection. When it's time to make a purchase, visit the local Ralph Lauren at 750 N Michigan Ave.

So make sure you update your Spring/Summer 2011 Collection with a Little Cowgirl. Why? Cause SinnamonS said so!


L.A.M.B. has always pulled a very large chair up to the table when it comes to fashion by taking risks and making bold statements. For Spring 2011, Gwen Stefani did not disappoint. Her influence for this collection vibrated to an Afro-Caribbean beat, which is no surprise seeing as you can hear this particular influence all throughout her music. Gwen’s L.A.M.B. collection was all about a varied use of African Prints from which most designers would've steered clear. However, that’s what makes L.A.M.B. the unique label that it is!

Aside from the obvious use of color, tie-dye and prints, Gwen also added some great pieces of all black, mixed blend fabrics, plaids and amazing sheer pieces. This collection completely stayed true to the L.A.M.B. aesthetic of Rock mixed with Island and Punk. Stefani's dresses and drop-crotch trousers were probably some of the best pieces aside from the effortless jackets which added its own flair. There is definitely something for everyone in this collection.

This was an awesome collection. Check out L.A.M.B. at your local Nordstrom!

Badgley Mischka

For Spring/Summer 2011, Mark Badgley and James Mischka took their inspiration from the 1988 film, White Mischief. There was a group in the movie that apparently dressed impeccably while behaving quite badly, particularly when the sun went down. The design duo Badgley Mischka are known for their red carpet creations. And with this collection, it looks as if they are taking red carpet dressing to new heights. Taking influence from the 70s & 80s and playing with a naughty-nice sensibility, Badgley Mischka gave a wide range. The collection gave you a great range of color from gold, icy silver, white, powdery pinks and icy blues which kept the collection light and angelic at the same time.

This show was all over the place but in a good way. The pair showcased three collections at the same time—couture, ready-to-wear and the contemporary Mark & James line. Even though there were various collections, it still made sense. The decadence of the collection played out nicely with long flowing dresses (some with unique appliqués), cropped tops, naughty sheer pieces, high-waisted pants, floppy-hats ans well as one-shoulder and strapless gowns. This collection was both elegant and youthful. Stylists will be clamoring for many of these dresses for red carpet events. I’m excited to see what happens.

For more, visit

-Shanna S. aka SinnamonS
Contact her directly via email

Check out her London Fashion Week SS 2011 recap HERE.

*photos courtesy of

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November 4, 2010

RUNWAY SHOW VIDEO: IRREGULAR a fashion homage by Renovar

When I received word that Alma Weiser (aka the "mother" of Heaven Gallery) was having a runway show for her line, Renovar, that was to pay homage to designers such as Yamamoto, Miyake and Comme Des Garcons, I was excited.  Then, I found out I would be out of town that day.  Excitement turned into disappointment.  Entitled 'IRREGULAR a fashion homage by Renovar', I just KNEW it would be an amazing runway show.

Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, I was able to check it out on YouTube.  *score* 

The show was so fantastical that I had to share with my readers.  Alma uses reconstruction to breathe life into vintage garments.  And the items in this show were beyond lively. Fun, quirky and whimsical are the words that come to mind.  Besides the clothes, I absolutely loved the hats!  These statement headpieces will make you want to buy one just to wear to the grocery store.  Yes, they are THAT fabulous.

Enough of me typing, I'll let you see for yourself:

And if you want to see more vintage greatness, check out VINTAGE HEAVEN at Heaven Gallery (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave) this weekend! It will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 6pm.  Meet local vendors, including Alma, and support the Chicago vintage community. Cool? Cool.

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November 2, 2010

Fashion Focus 2010 - My Final Thoughts

By now (based on my previous posts), you know that Fashion Focus is the "unofficial" Chicago Fashion Week.  It is a time when local designers, buyers, boutique owners and fashionistas descend upon Millennium Park to celebrate their love for fashion.

In its six years of existence, 2010 was my first time attending all but one of the runway shows.  More so than the designs, it was the people that made Fashion Focus a winner. Every night, the vibe in the tent was welcoming.  Everyone socialized, networked and took advantage of the many photo opportunities.  It was a chance to hang with my fellow fashion bloggers, run into old friends and meet some super cool individuals.

After all of the hoopla had died down, I felt like something was missing from Fashion Focus.  Although I now have a handful of newfound designers on my list for future purchases, I pondered as to why I wasn't completely overwhelmed by the week-long event. 

Here are my suggestions on ways that Fashion Focus could become bigger and better in the future:

1. Obtain the support of a well-connected, internationally known designer (i.e. Cynthia Rowley) or former Project Runway contestant (i.e. Ra'mon Lawrence) that hails from the Chicagoland area.  This will help to gain more media coverage and increase the participation of top-notch designers both locally and nationally - which also leads to more major sponsors.

2. Include more highly-trained stylists/staff backstage.  Staff that pays great attention to detail will eliminate the seldom-but-noticeable incidents of wrinkled garments, open zippers and ill-fitting garments.

3. Host Fashion Focus in the Spring as well.  This gives designers the opportunity to showcase both their Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collections.  Plus, it mirrors the execution of Fashion Weeks around the world.

Now, don't get it twisted.  I will support Chicago fashion until the end of days.  However, my hope is that Chicago will garner more national (and even international) attention in the fashion realm.  With the help of Chicago fashion bloggers, events such as Fashion Focus and organizations like the Chicago Fashion Foundation, we are off to a great start. Now, we must figure out how to take Chicago to the next level.

Any thoughts?

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GIVEAWAY: Feather Earrings by SoundChick Accessories

ChiTown Fashionista is back with another giveaway!! This one is sponsored by the lovely Samantha of SoundChick Accessories

Samantha is a local designer that creates headbands, earrings bracelets and rings that all incorporate one common element...feathers.  In a time where feather accessories appear to be everywhere, SoundChick still manages to remain unique.  My favorites are the earrings that use pheasant feathers and the cocktail rings (Visit the SoundChick Etsy Shop to view the entire collection.).  Plus, with such an adorable logo, how can you not fall in love with SoundChick?!

For this giveaway, SoundChick is offering a pair of Pink Feather Flower Earrings to one lucky winner!

Handmade using pink pheasant feathers and leather, this earring is nothing short of a statement piece.  Hair up or down, v-neck or turtleneck, they will work well with a multitude of items in your wardrobe.

Here's how to enter ('cause you know you want to):
Leave a comment below with your name and email address.

For additional entries:
-Retweet this post
-Follow SoundChick on Twitter or Facebook
-Follow ChiTown Fashionista on Twitter or Facebook


*This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 9th at 11:59pm CST. The winner will be randomly selected*

UPDATE: Click HERE for the winner announcement.

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