Chicago Fashion Incubator: Modahnik and Crystal B. Designs

There were SO many amazing shows at this year’s Chicago Fashion Incubator event. The first two designers of the night have been featured on my blog before! Modahnik and Crystal B. Designs. Seeing these two lines next to each other really draws attention to their uniqueness. Each approaches fashion from their own viewpoint, and both are stunning!

First up, there was Modahnik. The vibrant hues and exuberant patterns manage to be fun and playful while still having depth. The designer–perhaps more than any other designer of the night–makes use of the fabrics and patterns to completely control the viewer. These dresses literally draw you in….and it’s as if the dress is telling you what to look at and in what order. lol. Is that too esoteric?

Then there was Crystal B. Designs. She approaches fashion from the other end of the spectrum. Instead of using patterned fabrics, her designs are crisp, monochromatic, deceptively simple…and architectural in feel. These dresses feel as if they are constructed…not just made. Each fold and drape of fabric is deliberate and builds to a specific effect…
Both of these designers have created extremely wearable designs for real women. These designs may evoke different responses and call to fashionistas of very different styles, but I feel that they both flatter the woman within the dress…I would be overjoyed to wear dresses from both of these designers!
Whew…I have a million more pictures to come…I hope you like the slide format…since it would be a never-ending post to include all of the individual pictures!

Fashion Focus Week: Macy’s Fashion Incubator

Oooohlala! I had such a wonderful time last night at the Macy’s Chicago Fashion Incubator show in Millennium Park! Even though they somehow lost my name on all of the door lists, I finally got into the reception and snagged a cocktail. The tent looked dramatic and awesome…and I had a reserved seat in the press pit with my name on it (swoon!) right next to the fabulous Nikeya Young!

I have a million pictures to post, but I’ll start with what I wore and a couple of crowd shots before I get to the runway pics.


Sleeveless Graphic Tunic and Black Blazer: Lane Bryant, Red Obi Belt: vive la femme, Knee Socks: Betsey Johnson.


Nikeya looks fabulous! She’s wearing a Vegan Leather Jacket by Crescendo Apparel LLC and Dress by Chinoo Designs.

My friend and Chicago stylist, Alyssa!

Nikeya and Tressa Thomas, the artistic director for ThYck Troupe Chicago.

Christina Fan (on the left) of C/FAN Designs, one of the featured designers of the show!

My knee socks kept rolling down! They were NOT made for girls with thighs! lol. Wouldn’t recommend wearing them to a major event if you have legs like mine…but they looked good when I was standing still! lol


I love running into Raven from Chicago Fashion Connect at all of the fashion events in the city!


Stella (on left) from Estrella Modas is another fashion blogger who focuses on emerging designers.


I loved seeing my reserved seat in the press pit!

I was happy with this outfit…I call it “Graphic Schoolgirl.” lol. I think it struck a nice balance of classic pieces with unexpected elements thown in. The blazer has strong, puffed shoulders, so I really shouldn’t have posed with my hand on my hip. I guess that’s a good tip for posing for pictures…Work with your clothes and make sure you know what looks best before you leave the house!

What do you think of this outfit? Do you like the red belt? It was a last minute addition…
OK, I have tons of pictures to sort through and post…and another event tonight!!! Check back later and the rest of the week!


Fashion Focus Chicago: Preview Party

Fashion Focus Chicago is finally here! Tonight was the Preview Party, held at the Public Hotel which was totally posh and beautiful! The crowd was gorgeous and were definitely the creme-de-la-creme of Chicago Fashion! I felt a little out of place because I am a newcomer to the scene and didn’t know anyone, but I warmed up after a bit. Over all, it was a very nice, swanky kick off to the week, and it made me excited about the shows to come!

I know you’ve seen this outfit before, but I love this dress and didn’t know exactly how dressy everyone was going to be. This struck a nice balance between between formal and casual. 🙂
Purple Iliana Knot Dress: Igigi, Red shoes: Me Too, Red Stone Necklace: Francesca’s, Earrings: No idea!
I spied this coat from across the room, and made a beeline for this woman. When I asked her where it was from, she said “It’s Armani….I’m sorry.” LOL. I didn’t know why she was apologizing….I mean…maybe I didn’t look like I could afford to shop at Armani…lol. but come on! Keep your pity in check. lol. Maybe she didn’t mean anything by it…but it is a gorgeous coat! Too bad I have diamond taste on a rhinestone budget! 
I was obsessed with all three of these women! The designer’s name (in the middle) is Lauren Lein and she will be showing her line at the Vert Couture Eco-Fashion Show on Thursday.  The woman on the left in the gorgeous re-purposed (or up-cycled) cocktail dress is a model who I believe will be walking in the show on Thursday. The stunningly beautiful woman on the right is Bianca Alexander, Co-Founder of Conscious Planet Media, and the Executive Producer of the Vert Couture eco-fashion show. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of these dresses and I can’t wait to see what’s in store at the show on Thursday!

I made a friend! Her name is Nicole and she is covering the event for I hope I run into her at some other events throughout the week!
I actually had to cut myself out of this picture, because these people were too glamorous for me. 🙂 Tony (on the left) was there to support Nunu, a jewelry designer and stylist. She is wearing a dress designed by the woman on the right (I didn’t catch her name!). They were a fun group and I’m glad I got to chat with them a bit.
We were all called into a posh back room to see a short video about Fashion Focus Chicago produced by Aleah Connect. I couldn’t resist lounging around on the soft, plush sofa. 🙂
OMG…How many words for stunning can you come up with? Aleah Connect from WCIU’s Fashion Express looked AMAZING!!!
And I snuck a picture with Mario Tricoci!!!! Isn’t he a dapper fellow? He’ll be hosting Wednesday night’s show called InspireDesign. 🙂 He was so sweet, and his wife was GORGEOUS!

I totally stalked this designer around the event and finally got a picture! Her name is Miriam Cecilia Carlson, and she  is incredibly talented. Look at the lines of her dress, and that belt is to DIE for! Her designs are going to be part of the Macy’s Fashion Incubator Show tomorrow night, and I can’t wait!
Here’s another amazing picture of Bianca Alexander. sigh. So wild and refined at the same time!
This is Christina Fan of C/FAN Designs….she is stunningly beautiful and even though it was too warm in the event for those beautiful coats, they slipped them on at the end of the night and I managed to snap a picture. Christina was part of the 2010 crop of Chicago Fashion Incubator designers, and she’ll be showcased tomorrow night too!

Had to get a shot by the chandelier. 🙂

OK, it was a great event, and I can’t believe so many of Chicago Fashion’s superstars were all in the same room with me! I have a ton to do to prepare for the rest of the week…and I hope my camera will survive the millions of pictures I plan to take!

So…goodnight for now!!! More to come!!!

EnTRENCHed in Chicago

Do you have a trench coat? I never owned one until I moved to Chicago and realized that you need about 15 different types of coats to survive the weather and seasons here. lol. The trench coat is a staple of my wardrobe in the fall and spring…it’s classic, practical, and most of the time it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing underneath (hmm, get your mind outta the gutter!).

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind lately, but I did get a chance to run around during my lunch break last week, sporting my favorite (old, so old!) trench coat from Old Navy. I swear, I’ve had this coat for about 5 years, and even though the color is starting to fade, I can’t get rid of it!

One reason I can’t get rid of this trench is because is has 3/4 length sleeves. I love 3/4 sleeves! 

Don’t JUMP! lol

This is what I was wearing under the trench coat. 🙂 I was going to the Ballet that night, so I was a little fancy. 

This is what we do in Chicago…we hang out by vacant lots and look tough…
…and who can resist climbing on the back of an unattended FedEx vehicle??? Not this girl. lol

The Joffrey Ballet’s Don Quixote was wonderful, by the way! I love that most people still get dressed up for it…although we saw a couple of prom-like dresses that should have been retired in the 90s. lol. (That’s mean, I know!)

Here’s the outfit rundown:
Black Trench Coat: Old Navy
Amazing Ombre Flowered Party Dress (with a petticoat included!): Eliza J (by way of Nordstrom Rack)
Sheer Butterfly-sleeved Cardigan: Forever 21
Shoes: Vince Camuto

OK…This week is Fashion Focus Chicago!!! I’ll be attending shows and events every single night…so tons of posts are in works! Also…a week from today is my BIRTHDAY!!!!! I can’t believe how time is flying!

The Party’s Over…

What do you do when you need some fabulous sixties-style makeup for a photoshoot, and don’t know where to start? Well, I went running to Alyson, a makeup artist for Mac, and begged her to help me! (I’ll be telling you all about this mysterious photoshoot in a week or two, so don’t fret yet!) After the photoshoot, I went home and snapped these pics just for fun. I was completely channeling a Doris Day “The Party’s Over” vibe… 🙂

The leather jacket and cage shoes toughen this look up a bit. Without those elements, this would be too  sugary sweet. 
LOOK…Bare arms!!! I have totally been against baring my arms for so long…but in a dress like this…no one is really looking at your arms…they are most likely distracted by your cleavage. lol
The halter neck tie and sweetheart neckline actually are actually pretty flattering to those of us with larger upper bodies.
My favorite part of the night….REMOVING my shoes!!!
And of course, I had to give you a close up of the makeup and false eyelashes! Thanks, Alyson!
Here’s the pile of my accessories…and my toes!

Outfit Rundown:
Dress: Donna Ricco (TJ Maxx, maybe)
Shoes: Nine West via TJ Maxx
Faux Leather Jacket: Giacca via Nordstrom Rack
Pearls: Gift from my Granma on my 18th birthday 🙂
Earrings: Gift from a friend (Thanks Michelle!)
Purse: Chinese Laundry via Savvy Seconds

There’s just something sad and poignant about coming home after a party…taking off all of your finery…and resuming your normal life. *sigh. But…it’s always fun while it lasts, right?

Enough nostalgia! What’s your favorite party dress? Do you try to toughen it up…or do you go totally girly and glam?

Amber from Style Plus Curves

30-Something Plus Size Fashion Blogger Living In Chicago

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