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Now You Know Events has a fresh new look at a direct url: www.nowyouknowevents.com. In case you didn’t know, Now You Know! We have grown bigger and gotten better bringing you more events and event coverage than ever before. Keep your social calendar booked by subscribing to our newsletter here. We value your feedback and opinions so please feel free to comment on any post or send us a direct email at: info@nowyouknowevents.com. You can also submit event requests and partnerships via the email. And please like and follow us on all our social media outlets. See links below. We look forward to seeing you on the other side. Remember, we’re now at: www.nowyouknowevents.com.

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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Social, Where We've Been!

 

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Versace for H&M Launch Chicago

Lines…. I despise them and have a hard time justifying spending my time in them when I could be doing something more valuable with that time.  However, there are always exceptions and this past weekend I chose to partake in an adventure like none I had ever experienced in my life.  I joined fashion enthusiasts from all over Chicago and nearby states to be one of the first to get our hands on designer Versace pieces at very reasonable prices. 

Saturday morning (November 19, 2011) at 8am, H&M opened it’s doors to fashion followers awaiting the much anticipated Versace launch.  Guests lined up long before the official 8am opening.  Some folks were there as early as 1 o’clock in the afternoon the day prior (Friday, November 18, 2011).  For months, I had this date on my calendar waiting in excitement for the day to finally arrive.  Never having participated in an event like this in the past, I was not too sure what to expect.  Trying to plan ahead I contacted friends who had previous experience for some tips.

The best advice I was given: Get there EARLY if you want a wristband, dress warm, and pack snacks.  My alarm went off at 1am, I hopped in the shower, and threw on several layers of clothes ready to brave the cold for hours.  I arrived at H&M on Michigan Avenue just before 2am to a line full of people waiting with chairs, blankets, boxes, etc.  There were about 90 people already lined-up and they were prepared.  I made my way to the back with only my purse and a few key items inside – some 5-hour energy and a couple of flasks – no snacks, no chair, no blanket… this was definitely going to be interesting. 

I sat on the cold ground and within less than ten minutes my backside was cold and sore.  Thank goodness for the next patron to get in line who came with a blanket large enough for two to sit and was more than willing to share.  Quickly we became friends along with the fellow in front of us who clearly planned ahead with survival kit in hand – lots of layers, chair, blanket, a book, refreshments including a bottle of vodka, and noise/confetti poppers to celebrate the special occassion.  The three of us quickly bonded over our common love for fashion and shared an equal level of energy and enthusiasm while most people in line chose to sleep.  I was glad I sat next to such friendly fun folks since none of my friends decided to brave the cold with me.

As time wore on, though, I began to feel the cold and started to wonder if I was actually going to make it through the entire night when to my suprise, a special friend showed up with a blanket and hot chocolate in hand and then decided to keep me company through the night.  How lucky for me!  Around 5am, Starbucks also passed out gratis coffee and croissants courtesy of H&M. 

To keep from getting too cold and bored, we all took turns scoping out the line viewing the masses of people slumped over in chairs, curling up in cardboard boxes beneath blankets, and watching the clock anxiously awaiting morning to get a wristband.  People came from all over Chicago, Indiana, Minnesota, and other neighboring states.  The night went by surprisingly fast in such great, fun company and finally it was time….. just after 7am wristbands were passed out to the first 240 people in line with groups of 20 in each time slot from 8am until about 1pm.  We made it into the 10am group which meant almost three more hours to wait, but at least most of it was inside. 

Huge props to H&M store and security staff for doing an incredibly phenomenal job of keeping everyone organized and preventing any incidents from occuring.  The Versace for women was set-up in the back of the store and was roped off so only the designated group could shop at once.  The men’s line was on the thrid floor and no wristband was needed to shop but you had to wait in line up there for your turn.  Several passers-by stopped in thinking they would just be able to shop the Versace line completely oblivious to the fact that people waited in line ALL night for this experience.  By the looks on their faces and their reluctance to walk away when they were told they must wait til 1pm to shop, they clearly didn’t get it.  One woman even tried to pass off a fake wristband but security was on it and had her quickly escorted out of the store.  From start to finish it was a smooth operation.

Finally 10am arrived and it was my turn to shop… I was so excited but I was also so delirious from lack of sleep.  I had my eye on a few key items – mostly leggings and jewelry.  The one item I wanted the most wasn’t what I expected – the fur vest – which worked out fine because there was only one left in a size too small for me during my shopping spree.  I grabbed my items and a few extra for friends, tried a few things on, then headed to the register.  It was almost noon and time for me to head home and catch some z’s!  All-in-all, it was a positive and fun experience for me.  Would I do it again???  Hmmmm…. probably only if it were a designer that I am head-over-heels crazy about.  Otherwise, I would choose sleep and shelter.

Did you attend the Versace for H&M launch in Chicago or another city?  What was your experience like?  Email us at nykevents@gmail.com or comment on this post to let us know. 

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Fashion, Where We've Been!

 

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C Chic Unveils Second Novella: Moirai

C Chic Chicago unveiled her second Novella at Borris Powell’s Lincoln Park Studio last Friday night – 11/11/11!  Just a few months after releasing her first book, Karma Is My Bitch, C Chic is already sharing her second story, Moirai with her fans. 

To celebrate the sequel, she held an invite-only cover unveiling.  Guests gathered in anticipation while savoring over the infamous Suzy Singh’s delicious samosas, sipping champagne with strawberries, and enjoying music by DJ Illusive.  Other surprises included live models wearing the latest Borris J Powell collection, and the chance to enter a raffle to win a G.I.A. Luxe handbag.

Enjoy the photo slideshow from the event and view more photos on facebook.

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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Where We've Been!

 

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Recapping CeCe & Melinda’s 3rd Year Anniversary Party

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IN PHOTO SLIDESHOW:
Zoe Gainey & Omar Villalobos
Cece Gonzales, Tsi kiki Felix, Patricia Cabrera and Melinda Joseph
Erin Browne, Pam Rose, Veronica Minahan and Jamie Finnan
Cece Gonzales, Kevin Christophersen, Mark Marple, Elizabeth McLaughlin
Nicole Townsend & Ben Cottrell
James Feeley, Kim Feeley and Jon Landon
Marcus Riley, Mio Chukwu and Conrad Chukwu

If you missed out on the big celebration, here are some photos from the main event.  It was a great turn-out and everyone had such a wonderful time.

From CeCe & Melinda:

“Over the weekend we celebrated 3 years in business at Privet!!!! Over 150 of our nearest and dearest supporters came out to enjoy 42 Below cocktails, Drawing Room appetizers and Swirlz Cupcakes with us! We toasted to all of the wonderful events we produce and for the many more to come celebrating those who have supported us from the beginning, especially being minority-owned women in business! A great time was had by all! Our dresses were designed by Chicago designer Julius LeCour!

Thank you so much for your support of consistently supporting us in Chicago, we truly appreciate your coverage and would be honored for you to feature our photos from our 3rd year anniversary celebration!”

The full gallery can be found at CeCe & Melinda!

All photos courtesy of CeCe & Melinda

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Where We've Been!

 

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LUXEHOME Presents the 5th Annual CHILL: An International Wine & Culinary Event

 40 Top Chefs+150 Premium Wines+3 Great Charities=1 Fabulous Evening

Luxehome, the world’s largest collection of premier boutiques for homebuilding and renovation, located inside the Merchandise Mart welcomed a full house this past Thursday night for their 5th annual CHILL event featuring cuisine from some of Chicago’s most distinguished chefs paired with superb wine from around the world.  CHILL was everything guests anticipated it to be and more.

The equation on the banner above is actually a miscalculation since CHILL decided to expand and do it even bigger and better this year adding to the list of top chefs.  There were actually 40 participating Chicago area restaurants this year.  Click HERE to see the full list of everyone who was involved.  With 40 restaurants and only 2.5 hours to try everything, there was no time to waste.  We made our way around the entire 1st floor of Merchandise Mart and hands down of all the delacacies our palates tasted Thursday night, Japonais by far impressed us the most offering up two dishes: a melt-in-your-mouth sushi rolled with fresh tuna and a braised short rib dish.  Both dishes were unbelievably delicious.  For someone who rarely eats meat, to say this dish was incredible speaks volumes.  It was INCREDIBLE!  Plus, Japonais paired their culinary masterpieces with some smooth sake.  Guests again had two drink options: a simple sake straight up or The Aviation – a specialty cocktail garnished with a “real” marachino cherry.  Heaven!

With some of the city’s most delectable bites from top Chicago restaurants and 30 plus wineries and spirit vendors on site, it’s no wonder CHILL sold-out!  Plus proceeds from the night benefited three local charities: The Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and The Lynn Sage Foundation.  More funds were raised through a Silent Auction featuring wine and restaurant packages donated from participating wineries, distributors, restaurants and more.  And two dueling pianists entertained the crowd all night singing some of the most popular tunes but adding their own twist to each song.  It was a rockin’ good time!

There is no doubt CHILL will be on my calendar next year.  This is one event I am most definitely going to make an annual tradition for me.  Great food, great wine, and a great cause.  It’s a win-win-win situation all around.  My only suggestion would be to expand the time to at least 3 hours.  There is just no way possible to indulge in and enjoy ALL the deliciousness offered in such a short amount of time.

See more delicious photos when you like NowYouKnow on facebook!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Dining, Social, Where We've Been!

 

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Head’s Up: Chicago Welcomes New Era Flagship Downtown

Photo Courtesy of SinnamonS

New Era has finally made it’s way to the midwest setting up shop in none other than the Windy City!  The newest flagship location is located at 201 S. State Street (just north of Adams).  This is the very first owned & operated retail location in the midwest and with 2 levels and a total of 4,500 square feet it also happens to be the largest New Era shop in existence.  With almost 9 decades in the business, being known as the official on-field cap of the MLB, and even spotted on runways – you better believe we were excited to welcome New Era to Chi-town and even more excited to be invited to the VIP grand opening this past Thursday night.  A huge thanks to the Chicago Blogger’s Network for making sure we were involved.

From 8PM-11PM, New Era’s newest location opened it’s doors for a private party exclusive to VIP invited guests only allowing them a sneak peak at their newest and largest location.  Guests were able to shop the hottest in headwear, satiate their appetites with light bites including mini hotdogs and chicken wraps, quench their thirst with a fully stocked open bar, and move to the beats of DJ J2K of Flosstradamus & Hollywood Holt fame.

And what is a celebration without cake & gifts?  New Era delivered there, too.  Mini cupcakes in a variety of flavors (including an insanely delicious chocolate peanut butter) with the New Era logo were passed out to guests and before leaving all attendees received New Era Backpacks filled with goodies including t-shirts, belts, mini hats, etc all donning the brand’s logo.

The second floor hosted an even more exclusive VIP party for select guests.  The lucky few also went home that night with a very special limited edition New Era cap embroidered with the Chicago Skyline.  Only 300 of those caps exist and NowYouKnow was lucky enough to go home with a few.

The newest New Era store officially opened it’s doors to the public this past Saturday.  if you haven’t made it over there yet, be sure to swing by when you get a chance to check out some of the hottest caps plus apparel and accessories for men and women.  My personal favorite… these adorable animal hats which have become quite popular and the fact that as an adult I can actually get away wearing – what would otherwise be deemed absurd wear for an adult – makes them all the better!

Photo Courtesy of SinnamonS

 

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Fashion, Shopping, Sporting, Where We've Been!

 

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Vapiano Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Their Chicago Grand Opening

Occasionally, we like to go out and just enjoy ourselves without worrying about gathering details, taking photos, and talking to specific people.  Last Thursday, we set out to do just that… enjoy ourselves at the Grand Opening of Vapiano in Lincoln Park, but we were so incredibly blown away with how well the event was organized and executed that we just had to write about it.    What made the event so impressive was the food, the drinks, the ambiance, the music, the staff, the…. well, EVERYTHING!  Vapiano held NOTHING back to satisfy their guests Thursday night.

A red carpet was in fact rolled out at the entrance for attendees to strut down and feel like a star as they entered the open, airy, modern establishment.  Their web site says it best, “Somewhere between the nicest of fast casual and hippest of casual dining restaurants is VAPIANO.”  I personally love the space and have a good feeling that this place is here to stay.

Described on Vappiano’s site as, “Defining the future of fresh casual – a new and refreshing niche in the restaurant industry – Vapiano is an innovative European concept serving made-to-order hand tossed pizzas, fresh, house-made pasta and hand tossed gourmet salads. An established concept with more than 70 worldwide locations and another 100 in development in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, Vapiano puts a new spin on the dining experience with its urban upscale Italian decor and its modern customer service.”

To welcome everyone Thursday night and make sure all guests left with a good taste of what Vapiano has to offer, staff passed out a variety of fresh pizza, full bowls of several pasta dishes, and other bites as well.  The bar was also flowing with choices of red or white wine, champaigne, and cocktails.  And DJ Megan Taylor of Fig Media kept the crowd entertained for the evening spinning beats all night.  As if all that wasn’t enough, each guest left with a gift bag in typical restaurant “doggy bag” style – a container of fresh pasta, a small bottle of olive oil, and their signature gummy bears that they always hand out to guests upon leaving for a special treat.

There is no question that I will be frequenting Vapiano often.  It’s in my neighborhood, the ambiance is warm and invting, the staff is on their game, and the food is fresh and tasty.  They even have fresh basil and rosemary on the table to add to dishes.  Plus, Vapiano has stepped into the future with their easy pay system… Customers receive a “chip card” that resembles a credit card which they use to personally order their food or drinks from the bar or from the individual fresh pizza, pasta or salad stations.  They pay once they have finished dining.  It’s innovative and convenient and changing the way restaurants do business.

If your mouth is watering, you might want to gather a group of friends or make a dinner date at Vapiano.  Here is all the information:

Vapiano
2577 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
773-904-7984

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Dining, Where We've Been!

 

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K Dock Media Says Good-Bye to Fashion Focus and Hello to Halloween with a Fashion and Fantasy Masquerade

Chic haute couture is a description you might hear when it comes to defining fashion at its finest. This past weekend K Dock Media presented their 2nd Annual Pre-Halloween Masquerade at Crimson lounge in Sax Hotel. This event marked the end of the Chicago’s Fashion Focus week and featured seven of the city’s most talented and innovative up and coming designers. This was where chic haute couture met daring avant garde and fine fashion it was.

Each designer had a dedicated stage for their models to display their creations pose while the masked crowd sipped cocktails and snapped pictures on their cells eagerly devouring each piece in its turn.  The following artists were featured at this fantastical affair: Hakeem Gayden – ( 2010 Gen Art Designer), Andrew Aubrey Osafo, Que Shebley  (2010 Gen Art Designer), Maison de La Cour , Atha Sharod Bridal, St. Frimpong, and Alexandre N. Chandoha (2010 Gen Art Designer).  NowYouKnow was thrilled to have been granted behind the scenes access for one-on-one, up-close-and-personal interviews with each of the evening’s apparel artists.  NYK gives YOU the opportunity to get to know these fabulous fashion mavens below.

Andrew Aubrey Osafo, whose label is Kwabena Klassics was born in Ghana and spent many years of his childhood in London.  His designs are inspired by his parents who have always been unique, especially in their sense of style.  Still, he would get in trouble for taking ‘perfectly good clothes’ and “re-creating” them into more fashionable pieces.  He focuses on using bright, vibrant, printed fabrics that he imports from Ghana.  While these textiles are typically used to make dashikis, Osafo has, using his excellent sense of style, transformed African prints into wearable western fashion. He designs apparel for both men and women.  Select pieces from his collection can be found in some of the finest boutiques including Panache on Southport and She Boutique in Highland Park.

Eugen Frimpong, the mind behind St.Frimpong, also grew-up in Ghana.  As a designer he focuses on making clothes that reflect a woman’s strong and confident side while aiming to give men a softer, more feminine look.  Men always have control so he wanted to give women confidence – give them the feeling they could do anything they want to do without limitations. The inspiration for his piece that evening a leader in 19th century British Ghana. He wanted to step outside his norm and bring out his darker side with this particular piece.  He makes custom clothing and his works can be found on his website.

Alexandre Chandoha of Acosta was born in Brazil and raised in Chicago.  He has loved fashion and creating for as long as he can remember. He designs to “make women feel beautiful and amazing. It’s not about us or me as a designer. It’s about the women wearing my pieces”.   Alexandre is also a painter. It was his easel that provided the inspiration for his latest collection.  He is currently working on launching Acosta with a full collection in Fall 2012. If you are interested in getting in contact with Alexandre Call at 1 773-396-2221 or facebook Alexandre Chandoha.

Que Shebley is originally from Michigan and moved to Chicago 3 years ago.  His love of fashion comes from his father who specialized in wholesale Italian shoes. Que wants to change and expand the idea of ready-to-wear by adding elements of couture detail in all of his work.   He enjoys making apparel for both men and women including bridal and is very interested in getting into film costume. While Que will occasionally make traditional apparel his forte and his passion lies in the avant garde. This piece come from his collection “Architectural Farmers World.”  It’s about mixing extremes. The Farmer embodies nature and simplicity while the Architect is the harsh and structural modern world. He uses raw leather and mohair over metal forms to show how those worlds clash together. Que currently works with the Joffrey Ballet and is getting ready to launch his ready-to-wear line in 2012. Que Shebley currently does custom work and can be contacted at que-shebley.com.

Hakeem Gayden has been designing since his freshman year of high school. While at The International Academy of Design and Technology in Chicago he did 8 fashion shows of his work including Fashion Focus 2009.  He gets inspiration for his line Lavea Couture from nature and sculpture. He describes his work as, “very avant garde, haute couture, off-the-wall and crazy. I Love to take risks. I always do no matter what.”  His piece was part of his Blades of Petals collection- blades for stress, flowers for being humble. Hakeem makes custom-made clothes and rarely uses patterns. He can be reached by email – hakgayden@gmail.com or on facebook: mikeluke.

Robert Sharod is from Chicago and his daughter Atha is the inspiration behind  Atha Sharod Bridal.  When she was born he felt he could finally be free to explore his creativity.  “It’s difficult to explore creativity when you are a black male with low-income parents, especially when you are intelligent.  Being a fashion designer felt like I’d be wasting my life and I had to get over that and understand who I really was.” His decision to do bridal was an easy one.  It’s where the money is. He’s very open and honest about that. Robert has three children and comes from a low-income family.  He doesn’t understand how people create fashion for fashions sake. For him it just doesn’t make sense to design something that can’t (or wouldn’t) be worn in real life.  The gown tonight was inspired by an 8 month stay in Paris  (he speaks fluent French).  “There are lots of prostitutes in France but they do it so beautifully and are so wonderfully decorated. They are some of the most beautiful women in the world.” “I’m in love with love… always in love.  So bridal is perfect for me. I’m open – very open… that’s what my piece is about – being open.”

Robert’s new adventure will be opening a chain of African hairbraiding salons named Fanta Spa Hair Braiding Salons after his youngest daughter.  He will also be moving into an office space in the Zhou B Art Center.  If you want to see more from Robert Sharod don’t miss his Dec 8th event with Chicago Style Weddings.

Julius LaCour Jr. of Maison De LaCour was born in New Orleans, LA in 1985.  From a young age, Julius dared to be different.  He fell in love with fashion and wanted to dress like the models and icons he saw in magazines.  Since he couldn’t afford the designer clothes he wanted, Julius decided to create his own designs.  At age 13 he taught himself to sew, reworking the clothes he already owned and turning them into unique and daring creations.

To see more pictures of this night of fantastical fashion Like our Facebook page.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Fashion, Holiday, Where We've Been!

 

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Fashion Focus 2011… Fall in Love with Fong (Anna Fong)

Fashion Focus Week 2011 was full of runway shows and fashion galore with the main focus being on the shows under the Chase Promenade tent at Millennium Park.  As amazing as all those shows were, it was a refreshing change to be invited to attend Anna Fong’s: A Mayan Tale Fashion Extravaganza Friday evening at the historical Renaissance Blackstone Hotel.  An up-and-coming, emerging designer with a stunning backdrop to weave her fashion tale was the perfect closing to a full week of celebrating fashion creations from local designers.

  

Anna’s collection: A Mayan Tale was inspired by her Guatemalan heritage full of rich, vibrant hues oozing modern femininity yet remaining timeless and classic.  Anna Fong is known for blending vintage, historical fashion with chic, updated wears and then adding ethnic touches.

Anna Fong is quickly making a name for herself and being recognized internationally.  Some of her accolades include traveling to Nagoya, Japan as part of Toyota’s fashion design team for the new I-real concept personal vehicle (July 2008), partinicpating in Chicago’s World Fashion Focus representing China (October 2008), and being a featured Designer at Latino fashion Week (November 2008), amongst other successes.  To see more, please visit Anna Fong online.

NowYouKnow was very excited to be at Anna’s show for an up close and personal look at the designer’s pieces.  Anna worked hard to organize a night to remember that went beyond fashion.  Her show was an evening full of fun, excitement, and surprises.  As guests arrived on the red carpet they had an opportunity to view the new 2012 MERCEDES-BENZ C-Class Coupe thanks to sponsor Mercedes Benz of Chicago.  As they made their way into the ballroom, attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception.  Once everyone was seated, they were treated to a “Styling Preview by  industry veteran Tony De Pasca of Carissima Salon.” 

  

Then the lights went dim and the real show began… with a bang!  Heart-racing, drumming music echoed throughout the room as two men and two women made their way to the stage dressed in beautiful costume with feathered headdresses and face paint to put on an unforgettable dance performance filled with energy, heat, and passion wowing the crowd with every movement.  Now that was the way to set-off A Mayan Tale which was equally impressive as models from Rock Agency hit the runway showcasing an eclectic view of Anna’s work in waves.  Aside from the gorgeous designs, what made this show so great was the whole stage set-up.  Each run, four models took the stage.  One-by-one they rocked the runway but didn’t exit until each one had walked it giving the audience a real opportunity to see the collection.

  

Hosting the night was the lovely Susanna Negovan.  At the end of the show, guests were informed of Anna’s goal to not only be a successful designer but to also give back by helping others in need.  She had partnered with “International Justice Mission (IJM) – a non-profit human rights organization which combats human trafficking and rescues victims of trafficking.”    Guests were encouraged to bid on exquisite silent auction items with all proceeds directly benefiting IJM.  Silent auction items were generosuly donated by the following sponsors Bang & Olufsen, Sunda, Tony De Pasca of Carissima Salon, The Underground, Zazu Salon & Day Spa, and Bella Colletta JewelryDiet Pepsi also provided swag bags to the first 100 guests which included quilted gold totes, Bumble & Bumble hair products, and Diet Pepsi, of course.

 

More photos from this amazing show can be viewed at NowYouKnow on Facebook..

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Fashion, Where We've Been!

 

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Fashion Focus Vert Couture 2011 Proves Being Green is Easy & Stylish

Fashion Focus Chicago 2011 continued Thursday night with the 3rd annual Vert Couture Eco-Fashion Show presented by Conscious Living TV.  Guests were promised an evening of sustainable yet sexy clothes for the spring/summer 2012 season and boy did the show deliver.  This is the first year that the event has been held at the Chase Promenade in Millenium Park – the largest green roof in the United States.  The entire event was carbon neutral and each element – the food, the space and the designs centered around the idea of eco-conscious living.  A portion of the proceed’s were set aside to benefit Keep Chicago Beautiful, an environmental non-profit organization that has been providing both educational and community services, which have helped to keep Chicago beautiful for the past 24 years.

We can and should all contribute to the ‘Green’ effort by doing our part.  It is ALL of our responsibility to take care of the earth.. It is, after all the only planet we have.  One of the biggest and most-well known fashion icons, Coco Chanel, said it best, “Fashion is not something that exists only in dresses.  Fashion is in the sky, in the street.  Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”  Vert Couture executive producers, Michael and Bianca Alexander, couldn’t agree more.  That is exactly why they founded Conscious Planet Media + Conscious Living TV and why Vert Couture has been part of Chicago’s Fashion Focus Week for the past 3 years. It’s the first and only eco-conscious show to be included as one of the Headlining shows during Fashion Focus and is now one of the most anticipated shows of the week.

After last night’s production, it’s clear to see why people have become so excited about the opportunity to attend this one-of-a-kind event.  Guests enjoyed an eco-conscious reception from 6-7:30. They sipping on specialty cocktails created by Prairie organic vodka while noshing on vegan bites from Karyn’s on Green Street.  After the reception, Vert Couture attendees took their seats for a spectacular exhibition of eco-conscious fashion. We were thrilled to see that YES, fashion can be both “Sexy & Sustainable!”

The show opened with a brief introduction by Michael and Bianca who thanked their sponsors and designers for making the event possible.  Karen Weigert, the first City of Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer, welcomed the guests and explained how Chicago is working to grow, maintain and promote eco-conciousness throughout the city.  And Kelly Kane & Company wowed the crowd with a dance piece with an organic flair.  The Dancer’s Apparel was provided by Brightly Twisted. Click Here to see a slide show of their fantastic performance.

The lights went down and it was time for the show to begin. Designs from eight local fashion designers/labels were  showcased: Heart, Dollparts, Brenda Abdullah, Richard Dayhoff, Victoria Larkin, Rosina Mae, Silk Utopia, and Lauren Lein.  Each collection was introduced by a short video clip of the designer explaing the ethos, inspiration and methods behind their work. It was a stellar production from start to finish including the music which was perfectly paired with each segment.  Take for example, the very eye-catching eco-friendly men’s performance underwear designed by Richard Dayhoff.  As hot, male models hit the runway in the brand’s skivvies, “I’m sexy and I know it,” played in the background.

Bravo to Michael and Bianca, the Vert Couture 2011 host committee, the Vert Couture Benefactors (Amber’s Kitchen and Fisher Construction, the designers, the stylists, the city of Chicago, the supporters, and everyone else who made the show possible.  We look forward to seeing what’s in store for the future of sustainable clothing.

More photos when you like NowYouKnow on facebook.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Fashion, Where We've Been!

 

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WHERE WE’VE BEEN – The InspireDesign fashion show, presented by Mario Tricoci and vitaminwater

Last night’s event was nothing short of spectacular. All of the elements, from food to music to fashion, fell into place to create the type of multi-sensory experience we’d like to see more of in Chicago. The evening opened with a VIP cocktail party full of petite amuse-bouche accompanied by specialty cocktails by Avion Tequila.

After whetting their appetites and being pampered by Mario Tricoci staff the crowd filed into the main tent where the light slowly dimmed to reveal a catwalk glowing in deep electric blue.  Local Artists Brandon & Lucas Marx set the tone of the show with fresh alternative rock.  Having a local group opening for InspiredDesign was particularly appropriate given that the central theme behind the evening’s fashion was the music, art and culture behind the inspiration of each of the Chicago designers collections.

Below you will find samplings from each of the designers.

Imaginary People by Telo Dunne & Olivia Shanks

Michelle Tan

J.Cheikh

Narcisse Designs

Reddoll by Tatyana Merenyok

For more information check out our guest blog post at explorechicago.org.

For more pictures including the Crowd, VIP Pre-Party, and a complete portfolio of the Fashion Show, LIKE our Facebook Page.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Fashion, Where We've Been!

 

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Fashion Focus Week 2011 Chicago Fashion Incubator Show

Just like everyone else in the city, NowYouKnow has been anticipating this week… Fashion Focus Chicago 2011!  We have been especially anxious because we get to cover several shows this year, including the The Designers of the Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI) presented by Macy’s at the Millennium Park Chase Promenade Central.  To say we were impressed doesn’t even begin to express our true feelings.  It was an incredible production showcasing past and present CFI designers including Crystal B Designs, Cettina, Modahnik, Shavonne Dorsey Apparel, Gidi, and Eric Kipp, plus many more.  It was great to see the different perspective of each of the new designers – everything from western influenced African heritage to classic menswear to architectural forms and elegant evening wear. Each designer had put insurmountable thought and work into their beautiful pieces that flowed so incredibly well together.

As if the show itself wasn’t phenomenal enough, we spied actor Billy Zane, known for his great performance as the fiance in Titanic, sitting in the audience.  It is always great to have a famous Hollywood actor come out in support of Chicago Fashion, perhaps fashion is spreading much faster now in Chicago than we thought.  Watch out New York…. here we come!

Also lets not forget, the production of the show was done beautifully.  The lighting and music added such a magnificent touch to the show.  View all the photos from this amazing show when you like NowYouKnow on Facebook.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Holiday, Where We've Been!

 

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Next Fashion Chicago Kicks Off Fashion Focus Week 2011 In Style

Wow!  What a way to kick-off Fashion Focus Week 2011 in Chicago, a highly anticipated series of fashion events showcasing the incredible talent of local designers.  Everything about the evening embraced the city of Chicago bringing the spotlight to so many amazing local successes.  Executive Producer, Rose Mandel of Mandel Productions, chose a gorgeous space to host the event, Germania Place – full of class, elegance, and style.  Two of the cities top media personalities, Marcus Riley of NBC5 and Candace Jordan of Candid Candace hosted the night’s affair.  They are a perfect pairing as they play off of each other very well keeping the audience entertained and the show moving.

Guests were invited to mix and mingle prior to the big show sipping cocktails and enjoying hors d’ouevres catered by Kenmare.  The VIP reception was held in the balcony area overlooking the event space which was well-arranged by show producer Benjamin Cottrell who has been working hard for several months organizing the event with Mandell Productions.  He was also responsible for styling and in charge of the models during the show.  He maintained such a cool, calm demeanor throughout and impressed the audience with a spectacular fashion extravaganza.

During Fashion Focus Week in Chicago, you can expect to see anyone associated with the fashion industry whether through work or just personal enjoyment of the fashion world.  Last night, EVERYONE was there.  They packed the room full and familiar faces were spotted throughout the evening.  And we all couldn’t wait to see the stunning fashions of eleven local Chicago designers.

     

Designs being showcased included Elda de la Rosa, Fraley Le, Gary Gonzalez (paired with handbags by Furla), Sofia (paired with handbags by Furla), Cleons Clothing Company, Cache, Sahar Dada, Hector-Javier MonArrez, Sujata Gazder, Bottega Contessa (whose pieces were accompanied by the incredibly talented violinist, Katarina Visnevska), and Mira Couture.  It was hard to take your eyes off the runway as you didn’t want to miss even one of these amazing garments.  If my budget allowed I would have bought at least half of the pieces being modeled.  A girl can dream, though, can’t she?  And stare… as the grand finale completed the show and all the models walked down the runway one after another showing off the designers fashions one last time.

   

Other highlights from the event included the ever-talented artist/illustrator Rosemary Fanti sketching guests and models throughout the night.  She never ceases to amaze me and I just love when she is part of any event  You have superb talent combined with such a warm and vibrant personality… you can’t go wrong.  Steve Starr and Amie Hana were the main event photgrapher’s for the evening.  There were so many amazing contributors and sponsors for this event such as Grace Public Relations, IT Factor Agency, Katie Von Fossan, Fifth Third Bank, Fletcher Jones Audi, and Today’s Chicago Women just to name a few.

        

More photos can be viewed HERE!

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Fashion, Where We've Been!

 

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Aviator’s Night for Sight Takes Off & Soars High

Photo by Slawomir Chrzasczcz for NBC5

Life is so much more enjoyable when you go through it with an open-mind and an open-heart.  Too often in life, we take things for granted and aren’t phased much by challenges that do not affect us directly.  Take the five senses for example – touch, taste, smell, hearing, and vision.  This weekend several people were reminded about the importance of one of those senses…. vision at the Aviator’s Night for Sight benefiting the Illinois Eye Bank (IEB) – an organization dedicated to the restoration of sight.

Anthony Diaz, an Illinois Eye Bank Ambassador was one of the individuals highlighted.  His story is sweet, touching, and very inspirational.

“Anthony Diaz was born with a scarred cornea.  By age 4, his vision had diminished to less than 20% of normal eyesight, making it difficult for him to read and play his favorite sport: soccer. Anthony successfully underwent a cornea transplant, thanks to the Illinois Eye-Bank’s ongoing efforts to connect eye donors with corneal surgeons and patients. Now at age 10, Anthony is taking full advantage of his restored sight. He has continued to pursue his love of soccer and is an active Eye-Bank Ambassador, advocating the importance of eye, organ and tissue donation. He has raised more than $1,000 for the Eye-Bank.”

Aviators' Night for Sight committee - Photo taken by Steve Starr

An incredible story that really drives home the importance of the IEB and the huge impact the organization has on so many lives.  The Illinois Eye-Bank lab is staffed and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Last year they provided sight-restoring corneal tissue to 2,233 people. It’s a costly endeavor and well worth it when you realize we are making it possible for someone to see again.  It’s clear to ‘see’ now just how important Saturday night was when the entire evening was benefiting such a worthy cause.

Organizers for the event went above and beyond collaborating with the top sponsors Michigan Avenue Magazine, Akira, and Tzar to ensure a night to remember for all.  The top three sponsors included Northwest Flyers, Bluestar Jets, and Beerman Swerdlove.  The gala was held at the Schaumburg Regional Airport providing the perfect backdrop for the Aviator’s themed event.  Food and spirits were aplenty throughout the evening.  Specialty Grey Goose cocktails were served alongside a premium open bar all night.  Guests also enjoyed delectable bites from restaurants throughout Chicago and the suburbs including Crunchy Golden Lobster Potstickers from Roy’s and world-famous chicken fingers that are made from scratch (including their “top-secret” honey mustard sauce for dipping) from Pilot Pete’s located at the airport.  Two of the most popular dishes came from RL which served-up delicious burgers and Thalia Spice which had rolled fresh sushi for guests and was fortunate to have it paired with Rock sake.  In addition Le Colonial and Mid America Club supplied mouth-watering bites.

Photo By Slawomir Chrzasczcz for NBC5

There were some amazing raffles happening throughout the night, too.  The owner of Thalia Spice won a 2-hour flight for up to 8 people valued at $4000 from Northwest Flyers and couldn’t have been more thrilled.  Northwest Flyers actually provided all the jets for the evening.  Bluestar Jets provided a helicopter, Continental AutoSports brought over two Ferraris and a Maserati, and Continental Audi of Naperville had the Audi A8 on display.  Some guests even had an opportunity to enjoy a discovery flight on a Piper J3.

The excitement sure didn’t end there.  More treats awaited including a stunning fashion installation filled with a variety of looks from Chicago boutique Akira which paired their pieces with other designer garments and shoes such as Caterpillar, Hudson, French Connection, Sam Edelman, and K Scott James.  Up-and-coming designers Hector Monarrez for the MonArrez Collection and New York City designer Marissa Senzon for By Chance showcased some of their signature pieces in the fashion installation. Sunglasses were provided by Spex. Hair and Make-Up were provided by Beautique Salon And Spa. Models were provided by Factor Model Management.

Photos By Slawomir Chrzasczcz for NBC5

And finally entertaining the crowd was music by Vagando that had several guests up on their feet dancing.  My date and I salsa’d the night away completely losing track of time but we sure enjoyed ourselves.  The whole evening proved to be a night to remember.  And before flying out of there, Diane Hollingsworth, Executive Director of The Illinois Eye Bank said, “You cannot measure the impact someone has on another persons’ life when they have made the choice to donate their eyes in order to save the eyesight of another. That gift of sight through a cornea transplant is immeasurable.” It was clear that most attendees were there to support the IEB.

To find out more about the Illinois Eye Bank and how you can make a difference please visit their website: www.illinoiseyebank.org.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Where We've Been!

 

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Pharrell Qream Vodka Launch Chicago with Special Guest Jermaine Dupri

Entertainers and stars are always looking for the next big thing to capitalize on.  Most big names in the entertainment industry are now also attached to fashion labels, perfumes and colognes, and even make-up.  The newest venture is branding their own liquor.  Pharrell Williams has been traveling to all the big US cities to launch his new Qream Vodka.  In his own words, “Inspired by royalty, I created this drink to celebrate the beautiful, independent, and sophisticated women of today.  It is a truly elegant experience for the modern day queen and her court of friends.”

Wow, with a quote like that I almost don’t care what it tastes like.  Seriously, just pour me a glass.  Well, I got to try several glasses of this new “royal” vodka Friday night when Pharrell himself hosted Qream’s launch at the Ivy Room with special guest and good friend Jermaine Dupri.  It tastes so good; it’s almost like drinking a smoothie.  With great cocktails and great company, I personally couldn’t have asked for a better night, especially since I can’t even remember the last time I actually got to go out, kick back, let loose, and just have a genuinely good time without the pressures of any work responsibility.

NowYouKnow was invited to be a special guest by our friends at TixMixer Chicago.  We arrived at the Ivy Room with no intentions of working – just needing a fun night out.  We ended up having one of the best times and decided that we had to share our experience with our readers.  Qream’s logos were projected on the floor and shown on a large screen behind the DJ all night, hors d’ouevres were passed, and specialty Qream cocktails were around for all to enjoy in both flavors – strawberry and peach.

Aside from the deliciously creamy vodka cocktails and eclectic crowd, the music was also kickin’.  The DJ had me moving and shaking like I was 21 years old again.  And when special guest Jermaine Dupri took over the turntables, I couldn’t stop dancing.  My friends and I threw caution to the wind and partied the night away.  And Pharrell and Jermaine partied right alongside the guests just hanging out with the crowd taking photos.

What an amazing night with great people and delicious drinks.  Qream, just like Pharrell’s music is multifaceted crossing into many boundaries.  Just as Qream’s web site promises, I can attest that, “It is delicious sipped solo without any accompaniment but also is a great addition for a mixed cocktail.  And my personal favorite, being the “queen” of making ‘adult desserts,’ it’s perfect baked into cupcakes and other pastries.”

To learn more about Pharrell’s royal vodka visit the Qream website, LIKE Qream on Facebook, and Follow Qream on twitter.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Where We've Been!

 

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Hector MonArrez Debuts His Women’s Collection

Chicago – Listen up, especially the ladies.  If you are not familiar with designer Hector MonArrez, you need to take notice and get to know this incredibly talented yet humble designer.  Upon meeting Hector you see a soft-spoken, modest, petite young man but trust me, he is a powerhouse.  This past Friday, Hector debuted both his fall/winter and spring summer collections at the Front Row Fashion Show.

Hector spent several months planning the show, pouring his blood, sweat, and tears into it.  He worked hard not only putting the pieces together but making sure every moment during the actual event would be perfect.  He had every reason in the world to be proud and celebrate on Friday because I can easily say this was one of the best shows I have been to in Chicago this year.

He chose a perfect venue – one that had never been used before and one that exuded class and elegance to mirror his collection.  VIP guests arrived at the Union Club of Chicago’s Crystal Ballroom around 6:30PM to enjoy a private champagne reception.  Guests also enjoyed red and white wine and some very sophisticated hors d’ouevres including lobster risotto, ceviche, scallops, and stuffed mushrooms amongst others.  And everyone was dressed to impress.  Special guests included the infamous Candid Candace (Candace Jordan), CeCe and Melinda, Steve Starr, C Chic Chicago, and more.

       

Seating for the big show began around 8PM and Zoraida Sambolin of NBC Universal hosted the affair wearing a gorgeous dress designed just for her by the man of the hour – Hector Mona\Arrez.  After Zoraida opened the show, music began to play and beautiful holograms were projected on the wall providing the perfect prelude to introduce the designers collection.

        

         

Models took the runway in chic edgy pieces.  The designs were a combination of edgy and classy rolled into one.  Sophisticated dresses with leather accents dominated the runway. Pink was a big color fitting for the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month).  Fur, another big trend this season, also stood out.  And evening gowns in metallic shades and sequins popped on the runway, too.

Hector received a well-deserved standing ovation for his out-“standing” show.  Remember his name: Hector MonArrez because it is one you are going to be seeing a lot and one you are most definitely going to want to wear.

LIKE NowYouKnow on Facebook to see all the photos from the show.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Fashion, Where We've Been!

 

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NYK Recounts The “Auchentoshan, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, Presents: The Social Excellence Awards” event.

This event was held on the second floor of Frontier in West Town.  It’s an intimate spot with a long elegant bar and black leather seating.  The crowd was far from the usual ‘it people’ scene.  It was better.  It was diverse. While there were still people you would recognize from going to other functions around Chicago you also saw artists, young and not so young professionals, and plenty of people having a genuinely good time. Although the room was crowded the waitresses still did a great job passing savory snacks and Auchentoshan cocktails throughout the night.  Once you made your way through the crowd there, awaiting your arrival, was the tasting table.

Why drink Auchentoshan? This is NOT your grandfather’s scotch! I switch to scotch and whiskey every winter as my drink(s) of choice although I’ve found it difficult to find something that doesn’t burn the *** out of my throat or taste of old bandaids. Auchentoshan is not only smooth it also ‘plays well with others’ resulting in  amazing cocktails.

So what gives Auchentoshan this great flavor? Auchentoshan is the only distillery in Scotland to have a third still, truly triple distilling every single drop.  This means that the scotch is purer and stronger (81% Alcohol by volume vs the normal 70%). Where as most modern distilleries use stainless steel washbacks (vessel where yeast is added to cause fermentation which produces alcohol), Auchentoshan uses Oregon pine.  Also, the casks that the scotch matures in has a huge influence on flavour. They spend a lot of time and money selecting oak casks that held bourbon, sherry or fine wines – each lending its own unique flavour. More on that process Here.

Six people were selected to receive awards (Handed out by our host, Niko David) for excellence in their field.  The first was Janice Bond. She is the the Executive Director for the Bronzeville Institute of Technology www.bronzeville.org, a non-profit organization that focuses on how technology can improve lives. While her official title is “Brand/New Media Strategist and Business Development professional” we’d like to call her an e-philanthropist.

Phil Tadros is the founder of Doejo Media. They help startups and brands find the opportunities they need  launch and grow successfully. In their own words Doejo is a “growing collective of badasses… a mastermind start-up incubator think tank and production house.” Tadros is also the founder of the Galaist.com. This is your one-stop-shop for making the perfect event!

Anthony Mosely is force behind Collaboraction.  Collaboraction is an NPO that brings together artists from all over Chicago to create contemporary, multi-media theater experiences. You can find them and their original productions in the Flat Iron Building in Wicker Park.

After Anthony came the extremely charismatic Exavier Pope who got the entire room to chant AUCHEN! TOSHAN! several times before quieting down to hear what he was being honored for. While he owns his own boutique law firm and writes an entertainment/sports, business law blog for the Chicago Tribune’s Chicago Now website there’s more to the man than meets the eye. You would never know by looking at him now that he had once been homeless as a child. Having come so far from so little he has used what he has learned to become a motivational speaker for schools, corporations, associations and other groups on the power of  inspiration.

Dwayne Hirsch is the brain behind Business Spotlight Networking.  This weekly event at Red Kiva gives up and coming entrepreneurs the platform to talk about what they’re doing with other professionals.  It’s a great opportunity to network with like-minded people while creating brand awareness for your product.  Dawyne is also working with a ‘his and hers’ premium energy drink launching in Chicago.

Last but certainly not least was author and DJ Kobie Randolph.  Kobie is author of The Champagne Life. “The Champagne Life is the often humorous and at times ironic incredibly true story of Kobie Randolph, his alter ego, “The World Famous DJ K-LUV” and his road to breaking into the entertainment industry.”

For more pictures from our evening with Auchentoshan visit our Facebook page.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Where We've Been!

 

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Akira’s 8th Annual Garden of Eden Fashion Show ‘Hall of Mirrors’ Packed the House

Every fall, Akira hosts one of the biggest fashion shows of the year in Chicago.  This year marked their 8th Annual Garden of Eden show entitled, ‘Hall of Mirrors.’  They once again partnered with the amazing Imerman Angels, an organization that positively impacts the lives of those touched with cancer – patients, survivors, and their loved ones.  Anticipating a much greater turn out this year, Akira moved the show to the Grossinger City Autoplex, which proved to be a very wise decision.

Akira made use of every inch of space available setting up general admission space in one area, shopping in another, VIP somewhere else, a media/press room in one corner, and of course the actual runway staging in a completely different space.  Even with all that room to work with and move about, the house was packed.  Thousands of guests must have attended this annual celebration Sunday. 

Prior to the show attendees enjoyed food from such places as Epic, Ai Sushi, Forever Yogurt, Steve’s Deli, Dos Diablos, Prasino, and more.  Guests also sipped cocktails from Le Sin French Vodka, Wine from Tisdale, and Champagne from Andre.  For individuals wanting a non-alcoholic beverage, there was plenty of Fuze and Smart Water available.

Entertaining the crowd was the infamous DJ Madrid.  A silent auction was set-up to encourage attendees to bid on items in support of Imerman Angels.  And Akira set-up shop that would have any fashionista drooling.  Jeffrey Campbell shoes seem to be the ‘it’ item right now and there were tons of JC boots available for purchase.  Also, glitz, sparkle, and glamour were abound.

At 7pm, guests were ushered into their seats excited for the much anticipated runway show that was complete with 120 different looks.  The runway was set-up in the garage at Grossinger City Autoplex which made for the perfect backdrop providing a raw space for Ford Models to strut down the aisles for all guests to see.  The models passed through six runs all focusing on a different theme.  ‘The 16 Guardians’ started the show with clothing by Penguin and footwear by PF Flyers.  Next up was ‘The Reception of the Dodge of Genoa’ showing off the ‘it’ footwear of the season by Jeffrey Campbell – bold, fierce, and in your face fashionable.  The third run, ‘Reflective Armor,’ showed a lot of denim (and skin) with jeans by William Rast, women’s footwear by Zigi NY, and men’s footwear by Saucony.  The last three runs captured my attention the most.  Edgy looks with chains and dark colors abounded the runway during ‘The Darkest Hour.’  Models in the ‘Return of the Royal Families’ wore chic, classy, and sophisticated looks.  And finally during the last run, ‘Ball of the Yew Trees,’ models were all dressed to celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year with party attire favorites. 

It was quite a show as expected with all the hard work and time that went into planning such an extravagant event.  And afterwards, guests headed over to Japanois for the official afterparty where they enjoyed high-class cocktails, upscale food, and more music from DJ Madrid.

See more photos from the big show on our Facebook Page.  Just LIKE NowYouKnow and you’ll be able to enjoy photos from major event in Chicago as well as stay up-to-date on big events in and around town.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Where We've Been!

 

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Fear No Fashion Returns to Chicago in Support of PAVE

Over the last year since NowYouKnow was founded, we have attended numerous events throughout the city including fashion shows, restaurant openings, charitable events, business launches, anniversary celebrations, shopping extravaganzas, and so much more.  It goes without saying that we have had ourselves plenty a good time in this city but some of the events that stay with me the most are those that give back.  Friday night, the Fear No Fashion at Bentley Gold Coast benefitting PAVE – Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment – did just that…. stayed with me. 

As great as the entire event was with the most luxurious cars, delicious food, creative cocktails, fabulous fashions, and one of the best hosts – Marcellas Reynolds, a native of Chicago, I left remembering PAVE.  And even deeper than that, remebering founder Angela Rose and PAVE ambassador Laura Dunn who touched the crowd so deeply with their stories,their bravery, their courage, their strength, and their fight to help other and empower other victims.

Angela Rose founded PAVE at a young age after being abducted and sexually assaulted.  Instead of staying silent and allowing herself to continue being a victim she gave herself a voice and in essence has given millions of other victims a voice, too.  PAVE is currently in 50 cities and 4 countries.  They speak at colleges all over and train students on sexual assault prevention.  Sharing her story has given other victiims the courage to share their story, too.

PAVE Ambassador Laura Dunn was motivated to speak out after Angela spoke at her college.  She was a guest speaker at the Fear No Fashion event Friday night and shared her story thanking Angela for changing her life for the better.  Her story was featured in the September 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan.  She has also been featured on NPR, CNN, and Time Magazine and is currently working on getting the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act passed.

The show Friday was all about promoting personal empowerment and raising awareness and money for PAVE so more individuals can benefit from it’s services.  There was a silent auction filled with all kinds of goodies to bid on including exquisite jewelry, signed sports paraphenelia, and nights out to the hottest spots in Chicago.  And the show was filled with models from Agency Galatea and designs by Borris Powell, Rodwall Couture, and Neiman Marcus.  Marcellas Reynolds kept the crowd entertained even when forced to ad lib for a brief moment, but if anyone can pull it off he’s the man. 

For more information on the power of PAVE, please visit: www.ShatteringTheSilence.org.

 View the full Fear No Fashion 2011 album at NowYouKnow’s Facebook Page.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Fashion, Philanthropy, Where We've Been!

 

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Chicago Marathon + Nike + Chicago Artist Tara D. = Nike LunarGlide+3

Nike LunarGlide+3 Launch by Chicago artist Tara D.

Just Do It….. Three simple words that have long been associated with Nike, a sportswear and equipment company, that has officially been around almost as long as me.  Just Do It…. Three simple words that inspire, motivate, encourage, and empower.  Just Do It…. Three Simple words that just may be enough to persuade one to run one of the most anticipated races of the year in the windy city – The official Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  And if those three simple words weren’t inspiration enough, perhaps the launch of a new running shoe – The Nike LunarGlide+3 – designed by Chicago’s own, Tara D. is just what you need to get up and run and…. Just Do It!

This weekend Akin in Lincoln Park celebrated the launch of the all new (Chicago-inspired) LunarGlide+3 with proud designer Tara D in the house and several runners and fans there to celebrate with her.  NowYouKnow was excited to be there for the launch thanks to a personal invite by the Chicago Blogger Network.

Before even entering the store, guests were greeted by Tara D’s mobile gallery truck, the Hot Box, parked out front and artistically decorated as expected by the artist.  Steps into the store DJ MarkBoy spun beats in preparation for a sporty fashion show featuring the LunarGlide+3, a funky fresh t-shirt also designed by Tara D., and other Chicago marathon apparel.

Tara D.  – all decked out in her t-shirt & gym shoe designs  – was showing off her artistry skills throughout the event while guests enjoyed light bites and refreshments, checked out the new footwear, browsed the store, and were treated to a fashion show.  At the end of the show, the guest of honor shared some words about her excitement participating on this project and what inspired her design.

Not a runner herself, Tara D. thought it best to talk to runners before beginning the design process.  She hit the streets trying to get some information and inspiration but she didn’t get the response she hoped for so she decided to try talking to some of the running stores which helped a lot, especially their tip to hit the lakefront where inspiration took off.  It wasn’t long before her idea blossomed.

Aside from the shoe paying homage to Chi-town being the colors of the Chicago flag (red, blue, & white) and having CHI written across the tongue (not that’s hot), the shoe was actually made to offer ideal support and stability for runners.  Features include a mid-foot strap that wraps all the way around to cradle the foot, dynamic mid-sole support, horizontal flex-grooves to help build key muscles in your feet, and a waffle-out sole perfect for running.  The shoe is ideal for beginners and advanced runners.

Whether you’re gearing up to run the Chicago Marathon, this Sunday, October 9th or just in the market for a new pair of running shoes, NowYouKnow highly recommends the brand new LunarGlide+3.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Where We've Been!

 

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