Itika Oldwine, NBC Chicago Street Team
One of my fave Chicago haunts is the Drake Hotel on the Magnificent Mile. I fell in love with the place when I began to frequent their Afternoon Tea at the Palm Court. During my last visit I noticed that the Palm Court has been remodeled and given a super swanky makeover. According to Special Events Manager Shaun Rajah, it has been more than 20 years since the room received a makeover of this caliber!
During this particular visit I got a chance to check out the remodeled Drake, and also experience their featured event called Catwalk Fridays. Every Friday, for one month each season (think Spring, Summer and Fall), Shaun invites local designers to showcase their designs in the Palm Court while guests sip tea (or in my case champagne) and models mingle throughout. On this particular Friday, local luxury handbag designer Christopher Augmon was featured. Christopher is a handsome and very talented guy who has created a beautiful collection of bags for men and women. My favorite piece from his collection is a bag made with our 44th president in mind. It’s crafted out of blue and red leather and has the number 44 stitched in the canvas. His collection is inspired by “multiple cultural influences and the essence of nature.” I especially like that he designs bags for men and women. There’s nothing like a great man-bag!
The models strutting their stuff were dressed in designs by Marena Marena, and were all students of the Joan Marie School of Modeling right here in Chicago. Also, a portion of the proceeds from Catwalk Fridays goes to the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. I was quite impressed with this new addition to tea and must say that Catwalk Fridays is definitely a fun and fashionable twist to Afternoon Tea at The Drake.