October 31, 2011

InspireDesign presented by Mario Tricoci and vitaminwater®

Photo by Shauna Battle

Chicago has the talent. Chicago is a FASHION city. No doubt about it. - Mario Tricoci

On Wednesday, October 19th, InspireDesign presented by Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas and vitaminwater® occurred as a segment of Fashion Focus Chicago. The event was also sponsored by Michigan Avenue magazine and Wella Professionals, and included a special opening performance by Brandon and Lucas Marx, the two sons of the legendary Chicago native and singer-songwriter Richard Marx, who rose to fame in the 80s. Although Rock may not be my genre of choice, the new generation of Marx blew their performance out the water and added an edgy element to the festivity.

The runway show featured collections of some of Chicago's most inspiring designers, including J. Chiekh, Narcisse Design, Imaginary People by Olivia Shanks, Michelle Tan and Reddoll by Tatyana Merenyuk.

The show's conclusion served as the grand finale of Mario, Make Me a Model. The competition provides five aspiring models with the platform they need to make their modeling mark. The process included a two-moth-long transformation. In past seasons, only one finalist has been named the winner. Well, it wouldn't be a fashion show without a twist. Mario decided to change the rules and choose two winners this season, Juni Park and Mercedes Johnson. And those two young women certainly deserved it!

View a recap of the entire night below:

For more information on Mario Tricoci and his hair salons & day spas, visit www.tricoci.com.

Thanks for the media swag bags, Mario!

- Gabriel Charles Tyler

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October 26, 2011

Win Tickets to the Opening Week of "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life"

Now that the I've attended the sneak preview of Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, I have a newfound respect for Serge Gainsbourg and his contribution to the music industry.

Yes. He was definitely a ladies man - married numerous times, had an affair with Brigitte Bardot, etc. But he was also a genius who created music that has been covered and sampled by everyone from pop icons to Hip Hop artists.

This movie is definitely a must-see for those who love music, indie films and/or the French culture! And thanks to Music Box Films, I have TWO pairs of tickets available for the opening week* in Chicago.

This time around, the giveaway will be run strictly on Facebook and Twitter.


Complete the below phrase on either the ChiTown Fashionista Facebook page or on Twitter (be sure to add  #GainsbourgChi in your tweet to be included).

"The best part about France is..."

Is it the language? The fashion? The food (mmmm...croissants)? Do tell!

The giveaway will run until noon on Saturday, October 29th. I will select one winner from Facebook and one from Twitter.

*The passes are only good for showtimes at the Music Box Theatre from Monday, October 31st to Thursday, November 3rd.

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October 20, 2011

The GROW HERE WORKSHOP: Guess Who's on the Blogging Panel?

This Saturday, as part of the Fashion Focus festivities, Laundry Magazine is hosting the Grow Here Workshop. It is a day-long fashion workshop that includes sessions with some of the best local fashion industry insiders - designers, bloggers, retailers and more!

As you can see, I will be on the "Wide World of Blogging" panel at 2pm, along with Kelly of Idols and Egos, Dana of Possessionista and Nicki of Fashionista Chicago. I'm excited to share my insight on the fashion blogging industry with my cohorts.

Come out and support this inaugural event! It is a great opportunity for knowledge sharing and networking. I'm quite sure you won't be disappointed.

Click HERE to purchase tickets (Use code: ALWAYSLEARNING to receive 20% off a non-student pass).

I hope to see you there!

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October 19, 2011

Shop Lissa for Statement Pieces by Emerging Designers [EXCERPT]

"Style trendsetters will feel right at home here. However, even those who are looking to simply ramp up their look will appreciate [owner] Melissa’s discerning eye for finding clothing and accessories that are fashion-forward yet completely wearable."

Click HERE to read my entire post on Chicago Like A Local.

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October 17, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Modern Vintage Chicago is coming!

I will bypass the formalities of explaining why you should attend Modern Vintage Chicago this weekend* and get straight to the GIVEAWAY!

*Simply click HERE to see what I spotted at the last one.

I have a pair of tickets for one lucky winner to attend Modern Vintage Chicago. That's right! You and a guest get to attend the event, ogle over the Hermes and Chanel bags and encounter some of Chicago's best indie designers...FOR. FREE.

To enter, post a comment below describing one of your favorite vintage items (include your name and email address).

The giveaway ends this Thursday, October 20th, at 11:59PM (CST) and I will randomly select the winner the following morning.



And the winner is...


Congratulations and enjoy Modern Vintage Chicago!

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October 11, 2011

[Shoe Swoon] ASOS Leo Crest Slipper

I was on the hunt for a unique pair of leopard print flats and after several days of searching, I stumbled upon these beauties!

Needless to say, I purchased them immediately. I broke them in last week and received an overwhelming amount of compliments. These will be my go-to flats this Fall.

Click HERE to get your hands on a pair. With a price of under $70, is there really anything to think about?

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October 10, 2011

French, Film and Fashion: The "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" Sneak Preview GIVEAWAY

As I was flipping through the September issue of Harper's Bazaar, I read a short blurb about the film, Gainesbourg: A Heroic Life, which also included a photo of the French pop music and culture icon Serge Gainsbourg hugged up with French former model/actress Brigitte Bardot. I would later learn that in addition to Brigitte Bardot, Serge Gainsbourg was romantically involved with Jane Birkin. Yes. THE Jane Birkin for which the iconic Hermes "Birkin" bag was named. A critically acclaimed independent film that also references historical fashion figures? I was certainly intrigued.

So, when Music Box Films contacted me for an invite to the sneak preview of the film, I was thrilled! Even more exciting is the fact that Music Box has given me the opportunity to invite my readers to the sneak preview as well. That means you could win the chance to view the film, in an intimate setting, almost TWO weeks before the official opening on October 28th!

I have 2 pairs of tickets to give away. So, who's going to join me?!

The details
Date:        October 17, 2011
Time:        7PM
Location:  Music Box Theater
                 3733 N. Southport Ave

How to enter
1. Leave a comment below indicating why you would like to attend the sneak preview (please include name and email address)

The giveaway will end on Thursday, October 13th at 11:59pm (CST) and I will pick both winners the following morning.

Good luck to you all!

Visit www.gainsbourgaheroiclife.com to view the trailer and learn more about the film.

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October 5, 2011

Robot & Brucling vs. Topman - Bow Ties: The Look for Less

Although I'm not into couture or costume styled bow ties, I cannot deny that Robot & Brucling bow ties have caught on in the fashion world. Bruce Franklin and Christopher Bennett are the owners of Robot & Brucling, a custom bow tie company launched in April of 2010.

Bruce and Christopher created the brand around their love of history, art and punk and rock ‘n’ roll music. They use a variety of materials to achieve an edgy look, including leather, studs, denim, rhinestones, metals and chains. Celebrities like Steph Jones, Beyonce and Rhianna have celebrated the brand.

These guys are good at what they do, but the price tag that accompanies their pieces are rather hefty. With the cheapest thing on their website being a denim bow tie for $65.00, I had to find similar bow ties that provide consumers with the same look at a lower price point. Surprisingly, I found a few similar ties at TopMan, that with a little alteration would look exactly the same as the Robot & Brucling bow ties.


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October 4, 2011

Bows 'N Ties: Pocket-Friendly, Quality Ties for Men

Bows 'N Ties, a San Francisco based e-commerce retailer established in 2009, provides men with quality neck ties, bow ties, cuff links and handkerchiefs at pocket-friendly prices. Like most men I know, I usually stay away from online shopping because I can be a little impatient. However, after seeing a few of the staple products Bows 'N Ties offered in person, I realized that what they had to offer was well worth the standard shipping wait.

It was nice to see a legit online shop for ties and other accessories. However, I wasn't too shocked about the quality of the products on Bow 'N Ties when I found out they were a segment of the United E-Commerce, LLC., the parent company of several online retailers specializing in men’s fashion accessories ranging from finest neckties, cuff link sets, dress shirts, briefcases and leather accessories. I was not only impressed with Bow 'N Ties and their products, I was impressed by how they tied it together.

Neck Ties

After I graduated from elementary school, I told myself that I would never wear a classic, prep style tie again. Many of us have those private school, uniform blues, and we don't want to be reminded of the times when we were forced to dress business casual as children.

When I first saw the "Classic Stripped Silk Tie in Red and Navy" by Parsley, I was reminded of the times I had in elementary school, and although I would never want to go back, I had to admit the tie was sharp. It is the perfect tie to complete the standard prep look. The tie also complements a number of outfits because it can be dressed up or down. You can't go wrong with classic styles and colors, and what I appreciate the most about Bow 'N Ties is that they realize men need options without reinventing the wheel.

Most of the neck ties featured on the website had low price points. With 1,000 listed ties and over 19 unique color waves, it's impossible for you not to find a tie that fits you.

Bow Ties

I love bow ties, so I was very excited to see the retailers offered them. If you can't tell from the photo above, I wore the "Solid Bow Tie Light Olive Green" to a few functions, and let's just say I was feeling myself, and rightfully so.

Although the specific bow tie I had was pre-tied, it drew attention. I liked the color and the feel of the tie. It made me look and feel like a million bucks, when in reality it only cost $14.90.

A few men asked me where I got the bow tie from and how could they purchase similar ties. Of course I told them to head to Bow 'N Ties.

Now, I know many men are against pre-tied bow ties. However, I don't come from that clique of what I like to call "tie snobs." The reality is that many men, whether young or old, don't know how to tie a neck tie, let alone a bow tie. I believe pre-tied bow ties are perfect for informal events and times when you're in a rush.

The great thing about Bow 'N Ties is that they offer both pre-tied and self-tie bow ties, giving the shopper the choice to choose what suits their life and style the best. The online retailer also offers men information about the history of ties, how to choose and style a tie, how to tie a tie in various styles, how to tie a bow tie, and why ties are so integral to completing a look. It's these little tidbits that are important to men and helping them create their signature look.

Tying it Together

I was impressed by Bows 'N Ties because they offered men a large variety of ties and other accessories, which gives the shopper a chance to choose what he likes, instead of the generic ties we see so often in department stores nationwide.

Head to www.bows-n-ties.com and start learning how to tie it together. Use this exclusive ChiTown Fashionista coupon code for 20% off your entire purchase: chitownfashion. At these prices, you can not afford NOT to purchase a few items. Make sure you use the code as soon as possible because it expires on November 30, 2011.

Until Tomorrow,


ChiTown Fashionista would like to thank Bows 'N Ties for providing us with complimentary ties and giving our readers a complimentary discount.

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October 3, 2011

Tying it Together

ChiTown Fashionista is dedicating the rest of this week to Tying it Together. The week-long series will feature local, national and international power houses in fashion and style that offer men dozens of options to tie it together.

Nothing completes a look like the perfect tie. As men, the options we have to switch up our style every once in a while are limited, making the tie one of the few things that can give a shirt or suit a brand new look.

Men’s ties are made of many different kinds of fabrics, including wool, cashmere, silk and linen. They offer men a variety of appearances, designs and prints to fit a number of purposes and occasions. The goal for men is to choose the tie, whether it be a neck tie or a bow tie, to compliment their look. It does not have to be a perfect match, it just needs to tie your outfit together.

Whether you're a man looking for something new or a woman looking for the perfect gift for the man in your life, stay tuned this week as we introduce you to the stores and boutiques with ties you will want to buy. Make sure you check out the Twitter hash tag #TyingitTogether to catch exclusive offers we have for you guys this week.

Until tomorrow,


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