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Archive for the ‘fashion’ Category

LaShonda Matlock, NBC Chicago Street Team

Jay-Z may be performing at the United Center but the after-party is definitely at The Shrine!

Hennessy Black & Rich Paul Presents  THE BLACKOUT Thursday March 18th, at The Shrine (2109 South Wabash).  Celebrities expected to attend THE BLACKOUT including LeBron James will be Jay – Z, Trey Songz, Young Jeezy, Michael Jordan, Memphis Bleek, Shaquille O’Neal, Donte Whitner (Buffalo Bills), Ted Ginn Jr. (Miami Dolphins), Jerry Azumah, Hustle Simmons, Mark Anderson, Fred Carter (Minnesota Vikings), Devin Hester and WGCI’s Leon Rogers.

This is don’t miss party people so come and enjoy The Blackout!

The Blackout Teaser from MCM on Vimeo.

March 18th
The Shrine
2109 South Wabash
9pm-2am

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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

On Location at  The Shrine with Soul Songstress Aniba Hotep.

Who is Aniba Hotep-please explain for the world to know.

I am a Messenger of Peace-the person who sees the happy ending to the path of life.  Consider me a combination my unique life’s experience and applied knowledge-from mentors who have gone before me.  Living through these experiences-this is who I am.  Where it all began was in my hometown, performing in talent shows and composing my own music in an academic honors programs, which lead to a chance to perform at the famed Apollo theater as a young child.

Aniba Hotep

How do you define your style…is it Soul Music or is it R&B?

My style is absolutely Soul Music.  Originally from small town in Virginia, my musical roots were being established in the Church from age 11.  My sound is influenced by my religious upbringing-infused with the blues.  Listening to me perform-you can hear Southern based Soul a kind of Soul Blues-akin to many of the greats like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Johnny Taylor, Al Green and Billie Holiday.

When I first heard you play you reminded me of some of the great disco classics from the days of Salsoul Records.  How do you feel about disco and house music?

Where I’m from-house is GoGo music.  And when I first moved here-I fell in love with the older stuff like First Choice and Loleatta Holloway-and you can hear some of these songs incorporated in my live sets.  However, I would not have labeled what I heard and listened to at that time as house music.

How does fashion play a role in your music?

Fashion is very much intertwined with my music.  When first arriving in Chicago-I started first expressing myself on the poetry scene and then transitioned into the music.  Even then, I wanted to leave a mark in all facets of this are.  When people see a show they deserve a visual-and fashion would never not be a factor.

What do you enjoy most about your art and performing?

Aniba Hotep-Live

I enjoy the songwriting aspect of my art.  I write most of my material and music.  Building a song that people appreciate-pleases me.  Once an audience is engaged in my art-that’s when I am most comfortable and closer to finding a love for the stage.

What about the city of Chicago influences you?

I became an adult in the city of Chicago.  It has always influenced me musically.  Before arriving I was always in record stores listening to and looking for records from Chaka Khan, Ramsey Lewis and Booker-T-the Chicago taste in music was similar to what I was listening to and what I like to give in my shows.

What’s in store for your fans in 2010?

I plan to continue with the“All Souled Out” concert series-we already have a growing fan base.  The next time you can come to see me play will be at The Morseland-Friday, February 26 at 9pm. We plan to perform at the upcoming Chicago Soul Music Festival and will look to book an overseas tour.

Come on out an see the most soulful band out of Chicago since Earth, Wind and Fire-Aniba Hotep and The Sol Collective!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Lady Gaga will invade Chicago next weekend, but now it’s at a new location. Turns out the production of her show just won’t work at the Chicago Theatre so now her shows on January 8-10 will happen at The Rosemont Theatre.Lady Gaga

Here’s the kicker: if you were fortunate enough to land tickets to any of her sold out Chicago Theatre shows those tickets are not automatically good for the The Rosemont Theatre. YOU MUST TAKE ACTION TO KEEP YOUR TICKETS VALID….AND YOU ONLY HAVE 48 HOURS TO DO SO, beginning at 5pm today!

If you have Lady Gaga tickets here’s what you need to do: return your Chicago Theatre tickets for a full refund at your point of purchase – then you will be given the information on an exclusive presale for The Rosemont Theatre shows at that time.  So, in essence, you have to buy your tickets all over again.  But rest assured, ticket holders for the Chicago Theatre show(s) are guaranteed the same amount of tickets to the Rosemont Theatre show(s) on the same night they bought originally. This guarantee is only valid during the 48 hour presale time.

Confused? For any ticket holder questions, go to www.ticketmaster.com or call ticketmaster customer service at 800-653-8000.

All of this is good news if you didn’t score Lady Gaga tickets the first time around. Since The Rosemont Theatre is a bigger venue that means more tickets will go on sale this Monday morning, January 4, at 10am via www.ticketmaster.com or at any ticketmaster outlet. Get more information HERE.  And…even better…you can win FREE tickets for Lady Gaga next week with Eric & Kathy on 101.9 The MIX!

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by April Lawson

Looking for a mash up of art, fashion, toy’s and unique tee’s? Don’t miss the grand opening of the Black Market Caviar Designer Shoppe this Friday Dec. 4th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 1945 W. Chicago Ave. There will be music by DJ Skyler, The lovely Black Market Caviar Agents (models), door prizes and 60 lucky guests will get the opportunity to screen print their very own exclusive Black Market Caviar t-shirt.

The brainchildren behind Black Market Caviar are brothers Brian Lopez and Marco Hafid Lopez from Humboldt Park. Collectively the duo’s dossier is impressive. They have designed everything from toys, shoes, and apparel while continuing to create fine art as well. Brian has painted murals and designed footwear for Shorty Capone Fashion Corp. based in Mumbai, India. While Marco Hafid, (Lopez)  is currently represented by Linda Warren Gallery in Chicago, and has worked with well-known designers like Ralph Lauren and Diane Von Furstenberg.

Brothers Brian & Marco Lopez

Much like the innovative spirit of Threadless, a Chicago based community-centered online apparel store run by skinnyCorp, Black Market Caviar continues to harness that same mash-up collaborative energy. “Black Market Caviar is a not just a store but a brand attitude that says we can stay stylish and artistic even in these economically trying times. It’s not about monetary wealth, but a wealth of the spirit, mind and body. It’s about choosing to live rich,” says owner, artist Marco Lopez. The shop offers chic clothing by new designers. Some labels carried are Trash and Luxury, Ryu, Idylle, Ends/Wealth, Plastic Party, Breathe On Apparel and Normal Watches.

Simultaneously, The Black Market Caviar Art Show will open at Rotofugi Designer Toy Store and Gallery, (next door to the store) The art show will be from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will run through the end of December.  To RSVP please e-mail RSVP@BlackMarketCaviar.com. For more information about the store visit www.BlackMarketCaviar.com

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by April Lawson

Let’s face it. The typical a la carte fashion show in the Windy city is really more club promotion/publicity stunt to get folks drinking at some of the most notable swanky digs.  The models aren’t real and the fashion is barely believable.  The only thing you can count on is the buzz from the alcohol. That is just what I expected Sunday night at Cubby Bear for the Bryan K. Osburn Collection of Holiday evening wear.  But I must say wholeheartedly that I was pleasantly shocked. What the audience got was high-end couture worn by professional runway models at the most surprising venue.

Brian K. Osburn & Models

Osburne presented evening gowns with clean classic lines and party dresses with bold distinctive prints. He is far from a neophyte, having studied with Vera Wang, and being featured in French Vogue.

Songstress, Diana Ross

This man of the ‘cloth’ has styled a roster of Hollywood divas including the Grand Dame Diana Ross, actress Lynne Whitfield and singer Natalie Cole. More than a rising star, Bryan K. Osburn is perched firmly atop the fashion food chain. Not half bad when you’re a block away from the beer guzzling bleachers of Wrigley Field.

Kim Kardashian look-alike, Model Annie Mendez in a bold flower print gown

Dream Team Stylists, Cindy, Sue, Lillian & Linda

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Eric Smith, NBC5 Street Team

On location at La Fonda Del Gusto in Wicker Park with Cesar Rolon.

Tell us about your background…how did you get to where you are?

My professional background started in Radio and TV where I worked as a PR Executive for radio stations covering a great portion of the Chicago market.  I also have served as Executive Director of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce-revitalizing it’s commercial business district and the Puerto Rican Chamber of  Commerce which ultimately led to me working to establish the Hispanic Woman’s Business Conference.

Cesar, Eric and James

What motivates you?

I absolutely love what I do.  I am a workaholic. I come from a family of 5  originally from Puerto Rico and history ignites my fire.  I feel a sense of obligation to payback and return the favor of those who came before me.

What inspired you to create Latino Fashion Week Chicago?

Years ago, while attending the parade of sculptures along Michigan Avenue produced by the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, I discovered they didn’t have one figure created by a Latino.  Then visiting stores along the Mag Mile I asked if anyone carried a Latino designer to find there were none.  This became my motivation to create a platform for and to promote Latin fashion designers.  As a result,

Sonya Galaviz

I have helped launch the careers of several prominent Latino fashionistas including designers James De Colon and Sonya Galaviz and Sin Cosmetic’s Hernan Rivera.

What else have you done?

I created Chicago R.E.A.C.H.-Reaching Elderlies Across Chicagos Horizons-the only all inclusive adult care center for seniors 65 hrs and older.  The mission of the center is to serve those who are most devastated by life’s circumstances-we provide the necessities including covering medical prescriptions.

Currently, I am partnering with American Family Insurance and Ikea to create DreamRoomGiveaway-a 6month campaign accross 7 cities where the  5 most needy families in each city can apply to win $5000 in furniture for their own Dream Room.

So what’s next?

Runway Samba

2010 will be quite busy.  I’ve got Latino Fashion Week Chicago whose theme will be “The Passport”.  We are looking to establish Chicago’s first Cuban Music Festival.  And I’m contemplating a collaboration on the Festival Metropolatino on the grounds of Soldiers Field in July.

Looks like Mr. Colon will be quite busy in the new year-can’t wait to see what comes next so stay tuned!

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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

On location at TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center-676 N. LaSalle Street-with Founder, President and Wellness Coach-Amy Leffel.

Speak a little bit about your background-life before TEAMiFIT and how all this happened?

I received my undergraduate degree at Indiana University in Exercise Physiology and Public Health.  I worked as a personal trainer and exercise specialist-teaching fitness classes at gyms across the city.  Then I went back to school to get my masters degree in Education, where I worked with kids from 1st grade all the way up to 8th.  While as a school teacher, I was also teaching fitness classes and working as a personal trainer on the side.  So I have about seven years working in fitness.  This has been my passion, so doing this doesn’t feel like work.

TEAMiFIT at Chicago Soul Music Festival

Amy Got Soul

The initial concept was exercise on location at different outdoor venues across the city.  What gave you the idea to get started that way?

I’ve had this vision a long time.  April through September every year we hold outside classes.  So you’ll have classes happening all around the city…Lincoln Park, West Loop, West Town, River North, Gold Coast, Lake View and South Loop.  We also take these classes to the beach.  And as the weather cools we bring this more of this action to our space here.

So what makes TEAMiFIT different?

TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center

TurboKick

TEAMiFit is a one-stop shop promoting health and wellness!  You can come here and get fitness classes for adults and kids.  We have Strictly CORE, TurboKick, Zumba, Strength Boxing classes and more…we’ve got all kinds of flava flava-including Power Yoga and Power Pilates.  We’ve got specialized workshops like plyometric training focusing on high-intensity movements for high impact.  We also have small group personal training called ‘Armed and Dangerous’ for only six people, to work with a personal trainer at a discounted price.  And beginning in November we are going to have educational classes ‘Doing Life Together’, where our lifestyle coaches will educate based on personal experience using their expertise to focus on what our members want.  Topics will include like how to eat right when working out, how to balance life, how to spend smart over the holidays, educational self-massage, couples massage, etc.  The lifestyle coaches will be here to educate and build relationships with our clientele.  We’re basically doing life together.

TEAMiFIT

TEAMiFIT

Amy is definitely on the move in Chicago and wants to get your body moving.  For additional information and register for classes visit TEAMiFIT online and Facebook.  To hear the entire interview, download the audio casts below.

Part 1  Interview w/Amy ‘Body’

Part 2 Interview w/Amy ‘What You Waiting For?’

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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

In the fourth year of installment, Fashion Focus Chicago once again lit up the runway with the latest couture fashions this past weekend at Millennium Park. A gathering of the City’s upscale fashionistas and industry insiders, this was a collection of creative intellectuals on the scene-to push the envelope of Chicago’s fashion industry. A call to all in the know that although we are in the Midwest-far away from the East and West coasts, the Windy City is here-determined to make an imprint in the marketplace, and we will do so with our own sense of style and flair.

Chicagos Hot Couture

Fashion in Focus

Within minutes of arriving I was graced with the presence of Melissa Gamble- Chairwoman of the Mayor’s Fashion Council, Jason Felger-Executive Vice President of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, Alice Berry-Chicago Native-designer and Fashion Council member and the one and only Mayor Daley who launched the Council and subsequently Fashion Focus Chicago to establish the city as a fashion destination.

Most impressive was the fact that these collections debuted the next rising stars of top students from Chicago’s fashion design schools: Columbia College Chicago, The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago, Academy Chicago and the School of the Art Institute Chicago.

ChicagoRisingStar

Dress Code 2009

From the looks presented on the runway this evening, the goal of establishing a fashion mecca here is well in sight! To learn more and score event tickets visit
Fashion Focus Chicago.

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DWD signNBC5meby April Lawson

They say green is the new black, but what the devil is a Nutrition Stylist? Debra Ward is a River North designer with a unique holistic approach to style. Her company DWD doesn’t just design clothing, but also bodies from the inside out. While some designers ensconce their clients in layers of diaphanous fabrics, DWD believes as within so without -viewing the person as a complete being. After 25 years in the business, Ward has evolved from her role as Wardrobe Consultant to Nutritional Stylist and now offers Nutritional Coaching in addition to chic urban style.

“We provide a nutritional plan based on fashion desires so you get an ideal body to go with the style. You get Little Black Dress meals, and DWD InsideWrapped Sweater Jabari Glynnissoups to maintain that body. It’s smart, sexy and healthy.” Says Debra.

You get the complete package:  whole mind, whole food and whole body. DWD is Located at 501 N. Wells near Illinois.

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Aristotle famously declared that “man without a city is either beast or god,”  by which he meant that communal participation is the defining characteristic of being human.  So when Anthony Luciano, the New York based accessories designer whose newest collection of lux handbags is flying off the shelves at Neiman Marcus, responds aphoristically in an email that “I’m not participating in the recession,” you have to  wonder if he is some glib beast whose head is stuck in the economic sand or, quite possibly, the incarnate deity that  every retailer could use  at the moment.

Anthony Luciano
Anthony Luciano
“I can only expand,”  he wrote in another email exchange, ” by saying I believe that even in tough economic times people are still drawn to beautiful and unique things which is what I do best. I have, of course, put more price conscious items into the line to attract a more discerning client but I will always do special custom made lux accessories.”
Eureka. Who needs any more bedazler logo crazed “status” bags? Who ever needed those in the first place?  In his current collection, Mr Luciano’s uses soft waxed and hand painted python to remarkable effect, producing, for instance, weightless hobo carryalls with over exaggerated leather tassels and irresistibly soft clutches with feminine floral touches. The waxing and painting produces solid colored  surfaces that remind one of licorice or liquid, even. Colored python skins have a subtlety akin to watercolors.
Even in July of last year someone had the good sense to point  out to Women’s Wear Daily that “if you want people to part with their money, they have to feel like they are getting something for it.” One wishes more retailers and designers shared WWD’s and Mr. Luciano’s insight. People don’t want basics in a down economy. They already have plenty of those. And they’ve already had it with  items whose prices bear no relation to craftsmanship.
purple python clutch
purple python clutch
Even  if you’ve only recently started pinching your pennies, giving you something for you money is not a new concept for Mr. Luciano. Inside each of his handbags you’ll find he has sewn in a penny, his trademark since he started his company in 2000. “It’s an Italian tradition. When you give a handbag or wallet as a gift you should put money in it first for good luck.”
WHERE: Neiman Marcus Michigan Ave on Thursday October 8th and Friday October 9th
WHAT:  Meet Anthony Luciano and  watch him construct pieces by hand on the selling floor. Take the opportunity to collaborate with the designer and choose from a variety of hand picked frames from his vast collection to create a custom bag.  Anthony will help you choose the perfect leather and sketch a design and make your unique piece.

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If you weren’t able to make it to New York Fashion week this year, perhaps you can make it to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile on Saturday.

David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, the design duo behind the label Rag and Bone, will be making a personal appearance in Chicago, first on the 5th floor of Saks between noon and 2 pm and then at Intermix between 2 and 3:30pm.

This is the second visit by the lads to the Windy City in a year. Since they were last here at Hejfina in Bucktown, they have opened a second store in New York’s Soho neighborhood and both have become fathers for the second time.

It’s a testament to the speed with which this young label has ascended as a retail darling, and to the positive reviews for their  Spring 2010 show, that they  can swoop into town and, in a “who’s-your-daddy” show of force, land at both Saks and Intermix.

Fall 2009 collection

Fall 2009 collection

While the Fall collection was inspired by a trip to Japan and the movies because, as Wainwright confessed, “I’ve always wanted a samurai sword and I’ve always loved Star Wars,”  Rag and Bone’s strength is in what he describes as “our English, military-school heritage mixed with a utilitarian, made-in-America ethos.”

The focus of their appearances in Chicago will be to promote the women’s line but guys don’t let that intimidate you. The lads make, among other things, some of the most covetable vests and leather jackets you’re likely to see, so you should run accross to the men’s store at Saks and invest in your future (stylish self).

Saks Fifth Avenue is located at 700 North Michigan Avenue and Intermix is located at 40 East Delaware in Chicago. Intermix will be offering  15% off any purchase of Rag and Bone.

TheBestDressedList.com

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At last night’s televised portion of the Emmys, Ricky Gervais made the hilariously irreverent confession: “This is the greatest awards ceremony in the world, there’s no doubt about that. Definitely, definitely no doubt about that. The thing about the Oscars and the Golden Globes is they’ve got film stars there, with their jawlines and chiseled looks, making me feel bad. But in this room – I’m not being funny – I’m probably above average. Here, Steve Carell is considered handsome.”

Much the same logic could be used to describe what is usually wrong with the women’s fashion at the Emmys. Since the  Emmys lack the star power, prestige  and, most importantly, the audience of the Golden Globes and The Oscars, it’s rare that actresses bring their A fashion game because it is even rarer that  the top design houses  loan out their A rate dresses. This means that if an actress is not careful, in that room–I’m not being funny–the Housewives of Atlanta would rate above average.

And so it was last nite.  Jennifer Carpenter, Kara DioGuardi, Sandra Oh, Holly Hunter, Sigourney Weaver, Drew Barrymore and Christina Applegate brought it. That’s because they would look spot on even at a more prestigious event.

On the other hand, stars like Vanessa Williams, Debra Messing, Marcia Gay Harden,  Julia Louis Dreyfus, Jessica Lange and Glenn Close didn’t. That’s because they looked like “make under” versions of the OC housewives. Their dresses, and most of the dresses period, were so safe and boring that you could easily find them hanging on the rack of a high end department store.

Tina Fey and Toni Colette have always been two outsize talents who have been in desperate need of a good stylist. Ms Fey, it seems, finally found one. Ms Colette, it seems, found the Rachel Zoe School for the Newly Emaciated and Fakebaked.  January Jones, Kristin Chenoweth (a very deserving winner for “Pushing Daisies”)  and Leighton Meester used overzealous stylists. Kim Kardashian used an overzealous pimp.

And then there was the worst offender of the evening, Heidi Klum, with her TMI maternity frock. Good god, the only way for her to have been  more inappropriately dressed was to have  arrived in a hospital gown with Seal telegraphing the number of centimeters she was dilated.

The best dressed men were  Tracy Morgan (surprisingly so), Steve Carell (reliably so), Ricky Gervais (eclectically so), Justin Timberlake (youthfully so), and Simon Baker (hot damn so). Jon Cryer was by far the worst dressed, perhaps because he dressed as his character on “Two and a Half Men.”

For a photo gallery and a slightly different perspective than the one expressed here, click here.

TheBestDressedList.com

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

On location at the Studio L’amour, West Loop. There is nothing better than an original, and Michelle L’amour is just that-dancer, choreographer, business woman, teacher, promoter and most of all Queen of Tease!

How did you become Michelle L’Amour?
My background training was in Classical Dance. But I didn’t get a chance to do Burlesque until after college when I was asked to choreograph and perform a Burlesque show. I didn’t really know what it was at the time but I said yes because I wanted to dance and perform. Then I heard the music and was completely hooked and knew that this is what I was meant to be doing.

So when you say you heard the music can you elaborate on that?
The music is the classic dirty jazz, bump and grind style music…it’s really great…great drums, horns…

Michelle L'amour

Michelle L'amour

What makes you different than most women in and outside of the business?
Well, one of my goals was to draw attention to the Chicago Burlesque scene and what I was doing here. I really wanted to pull attention to this city because I love this city and I think it’s great and deserves the attention. My first step in doing that was winning the Ms. Exotic World title in 2005, which is like the World Series of Burlesque. And then I did America’s Got Talent the first season so that definitely drew attention here. But I had also been teaching, because this was one of my goals, to educate the people in the city about Burlesque what it was and what it can be today. I’ve been teaching Burlesque for about 4 years now and have since opened my own dance school Studio L’Amour which has been open for about a year.

For those of us who don’t know can you describe what Burlesque is?
Burlesque is all about the tease. Exaggerating your femininity, showcasing the curves and really playing up the fact that you are a woman.

So would you define what you do more as art or entertainment?
I think art can be entertainment. And I think I do both.

How did you take something like this(Burlesque) and do it in Chicago visa vis New York or LA?
I really think that teaching women helped break the ice a bit. If you can get women on your side you are in good shape, we are harder to please. Women learn in class what it takes to do Burlesque, that it is not as easy as it looks and it is my job to make it look easy. So when they come to class using muscles they didn’t know they had, and let things jiggle that they didn’t think they were supposed to let jiggle one gains a large amount of appreciation for the art form. It’s something fun you can bring your boyfriend to-it brings sexuality in a great light.

Well enough read…to hear the entire interview click to download now.

Stay tuned for upcoming events at Studio L’Amour including:

StripTease Classes/Dr. Sketchys-Figure Drawing Class/LipShtick

Naked Girls Reading/Sex Body Fashion Show/The Tassel and Twirl Workshop

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

Starting out as an invitation to a great party on Chicago’s hot music scene at the EnVent West Loop venue turned into an opportunity to take a closer look at the new KIA Soul vehicle and The Soul Collective.

The KIA Soul urban passenger vehicle was designed by Mike Torpey, who found inspiration for the vehicle while on assignment in Korea after watching a television show on wild boars. Believe it or not, the vehicle’s shape is derived from his sketch of a wild boar with a back pack, and as he states it is… “tough, rugged…with a cool stance and is ready to go places…”

The New KIA Soul

The New KIA Soul

After having test-driven the vehicle it is all that and then some. KIA Soul is a cool urban vehicle perfect for city living. Its design is sleek, tight and compact with out being too small, rugged in posture-yet smooth around the bends. Definitely holding it’s own against other similar vehicles in it’s class like the Honday Civic, Scion xD and Sukuki SX4, this vehicle will surely stand out with many options for personalization and with the upcoming signature releases-Denim Soul, Ignition Soul, Light-Up Soul and more.

KIA Soul defines “a new way to roll” by partnering with Collective members Janelle Monae, Jonas and Francois, Jeff Stape, Jeffery Kalmikoff and Major Nelson. As stated by Katherine Cima, Manager of Sponsorships and Promotion for KMA, “Soul is a state of mind. The Soul Collective members have their own unique style and personality, they don’t roll the way the rest of us do. And as part of this campaign, these tastemakers are articulating how they roll, with KIA Soul-connecting with Gen Y at their passion points which are music, fashion design and art.”

Stating further, “The Soul Collective 10 city tour events are a fun place for people to come mingle, hear great music and test drive KIA Soul. Taking place over the course of three days and culminating on the last day in each market, a free concert only for those who take a test drive.” And she was right on point, I had the opportunity to see Chicago’s own Moneypenny

Money Penny Headlines Opening Night

moneypenny

do her thing opening night, those in attendance were more than ready to mingle and I got tix to the closing ceremony with The Walkmen because I test drove the new KIA Soul!

For additional information and tour dates visit KIASoulCollective.com.

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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

This Labor Day Weekend, the African Festival of the Arts celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Washington Park!  It is always a favorite and highly-anticipated way to end the summer and this year will be no exception!  Enjoy vendors with a variety of fabulous merchandise:  art, photography, clothing, accessories, body products, jewelry and so much more; delicious food; and, fantastic musical acts, including The Ohio Players, Booker T. Jones, Ahmad Jamal, George Clinton and many more national and local artists, fashion shows and dance.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and spend the whole day with plenty to keep you occupied and plenty of room to spread out, relax and regroup, and then continue to check out the vendors in the African Marketplace! 

Theres Something for All Ages!

There's Something for All Ages!

And don’t forget about the Pavilions where you will find activities to suit every taste!  At the Children’s Pavilion youth of all ages can learn and enjoy games, music, dance, storytelling, theater, arts and crafts all day long! Contributors include: Hyde Park Arts Center, the Field Museum and other family-focused institutions that offer fun, educational and interactive programs. Many social service agencies will be represented in the pavilion to provide answers to family, parental and children’s questions.

The ICE Theaters Film Pavilion presents daily screenings of short and full-length films that interpret the culture and experiences of peoples living in all parts of the African Diaspora.  They’ll also feature a showcase of films produced mainly by black filmmakers from around the world, including a section of works produced for and/or by black youth. Enjoy free popcorn, get free movie posters and learn more about Black World Cinema, an independent film series available only at your neighborhood ICE Theaters.

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

The Festival is world renowned for its assembly of artists from around the Diaspora featuring original paintings, sculptures limited editions, prints, photographs, and ceramics. This year, the Fine Arts Pavilion will include artists such as Stacey Brown (festival artist of the year), Emerson Williams, Uwa Hunwick, Bayo Iribhogbe, Frank Frasier, Melvin King, Rondell, Nii-Oti, Akosuah Bandele, Marvin Sims, Ousmane Gueye, Dana Easter, Dimali, Isodor Howard, Samuel Akainyah, and Dayo Layoe.

Visit the AFA Pavilion Page for more on the Chrysler Financial Pavilion, Author and Book Pavilion, Meet the Artists Media Tent, The Drum Village, Spirituality Pavilion, Health and Wellness Village, Cyberspace Pavilion, Quilting Pavilion and the HipHop Stage and Pavilion!  Visit the Festival Schedule Page for the full entertainment schedule, created by Soleil’s To-Dos and featuring the wonderful, interactive calendar features that you’ve grown to rely on!

Just Chillin

Just Chillin'

But wait – there’s more To-Do!!!  That’s right – be sure to visit the “All Chill Zone” at the Soleil’s To-Dos booth.  (You’ll find the booth number and location at www.so-LAZE.com, on the Facebook Page, through our Twitter Feed or by calling (773) 268 To-Do (8636).)  We’ll be stone cold chillin’ and giving you the perfect spot to catch up with friends, sit and eat, slap a few cards, wax poetic and groove to the beats – including live music!  Yes, thanks to Sam Martin, the Idea Doctor, you can expect some special guests to stop through and grace us with some mini-performances.  BYOChair, or cop a squat in one of ours, if available, and chill for a while!  We’ll also be doing some special giveaways including theater; concert tickets; dinners; and, for one lucky woman, a one-hour photo shoot with Lee Bey Photography!

So, whatever your plans this weekend, be sure to make a visit to the African Festival of the Arts!  The Festival runs from Friday through Monday, from 10am-10pm.  General Daily Admission, $10 in advance; $15 at the gate; Seniors and Children (Under 12 – over 65), $5; Daily Family Pass (2 adults and 4 children under 12), $30; Adult (4-day) Weekend Pass, $30.

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Chasity Chaos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Penny Starr Jr., producer of “The Velvet Hammer Burlesque” a self-titled documentary film on the Los Angeles neo-burlesque troupe, will be in town to conduct a burlesque workshop August 29 at Think Big Studios located at 2120 W. Grand Ave.Penny Starr Jr

The granddaughter of Philadelphia’s legendary burlesque performer Penny Starr, Starr Jr. decided to dedicate herself to uplifting the legacy of her grandmother after producing the film. “You can only live with the circus for so long before you want to join,” said Starr Jr.

The workshop boasts the following classes:

11am-12pm – A Burlesque Routine in 10 Moves or Less

12:15pm-1:15pm – Rhinestone Application & Design Principles

1:30pm-2:30pm – Take it Off: Pop vs. Peel Striptease Techniques

In addition to holding the workshops, Starr Jr. will also assist Chicago’s own burlesque production company Vaudezilla in celebrating the year anniversary of BROADZILLA!, a free burlesque show held the last Friday of every month at Exit, 1315 W North Av.

For more information on the workshop, visit http://vaudezilla.com/pennystarrjr.htm

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tom_kolovos_wordpressnewTom Kolovos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chris Rock once joked that as a father you have  only two responsibilities: to keep your son from winding up on the (crack) pipe and your daughter from winding up on the (stripper) pole.

After last night , I would add a third:  keep your daughter  from winding up on Donald Trump‘s “Miss Universe Pageant.”


Slideshow: Miss Universe Competition


Billy Bush was the host of the festivities and his main function was to repeatedly remind us that contestants would be sporting some of the hottest bathing suits. Ever. OMG!

All buttoned up in an ill fitting tux, he kept promising us that “lots of skin” would be on display.

He wasn’t kidding. As the top 15 contestants changed into their suits, we were treated to a photo shoot of contestants in (perhaps the tackiest of) string bikinis. When Flo Rida came out to perform, bikini clad contestants who were not lucky enough to make it into the top 15 were lucky enough to be able  to sashay behind him, in the manner of what used to be disparagingly called “a video ho” on MTV.

After the contestants were winnowed down to the top 10, we were  finally treated to a synopsis of their inner life, whilst they stood there in….. string bikinis.

Billy’s pithy revelations were limited to their ages and  their hobbies, which were almost exclusively limited to  exercising, shopping and watching reality television. Really? At least in the  pre-feminist ‘ 70s, pageant organizers wanted us to know so much more about the contestants, including their measurements and favorite color (peach used to be the most common, as I recall).

It is difficult to walk away from the telecast last night without thinking that the “pageant” should be properly retitled Donald Trump Presents:  I’d Like to Hit That (When Melania Isn’t Watching).” The top 15 we were told were chosen by an (unnamed) panel of judges and by representatives from the “Donald Trump organization.”

When we were introduced to the judges who were actually going to pick the winner, I couldn’t help but wonder what qualification any of them had to pick the winner of, well, anything.

Some of the judges (both male and female) were downright creepy in that sex trafficking sort of way. And because, unlike the Miss America pageant, the Miss USA/Universe pageant has never  bothered with the pretense that it is a scholarship competition in which some (dubious) talent is involved, sex–sorry, skin– is all it can traffic in.

Oh, it turns out Miss Venezuela won the title, even though Miss Dominican Republic was by far the most stunning and beautifully dressed of all the contestants this year. She had to settle for runner up.

I, simply, better settle down.

tomkolovos.com, TheBestDressedLIst.com

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NBC5meby April Lawson

Get over “hump” day tonight with a little bubbly and a fresh pair of jeans.  Join Veruca Salt and GO Green Management for The Try Something On cocktail party showcasing clothes from Veruca Salt on 520 N. Kingsbury. Veruca Salt is a great boutique that has everything from Primp, Susana Monaco, funky t-shirts and unique belts to Vincent Longo cosmetics. And for yoga enthusiasts like myself, they also carry Hard Tail workout clothes!

Steve’s Deli will be catering the event and Veruca Salt will be providing champagne for you to enjoy from 5:30pm-8:00pm. Guys, The Try Something On event is not just for women, men can attend too. But this cocktail party is all about the woman! So let’s make our ladies happy!

Veruca Salt

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tom_kolovos_wordpressnewTom Kolovos, NBC Chicago Street Team

OK ladies, if you normally have the requisite fashionista aversion to a dress which retails for $38, you may want to reconsider said aversion. Perhaps the economy has transformed you into a recessionista, or you needed something to wear in the 98 degree heat to Lollapalooza.

But the best reason to justify a $38 dress is because it’s actually a great summer buy and transforms into several dresses in one.

The dress is called Le Sac, and you’ll find this versatile piece at American Apparel. It comes in solid colors and a black strap that runs through essentially a halter top shape, but with enough imagination (and the pictured instruction postcard that comes with it), you can create at least five different dresses you would not be embarrassed to wear — the Braided halter, the Architectural mini, the Grecian, the Gathered mini or any of several variations that might look completely at home on a Narciso Rodriguez runway. Really.

Click here to read the rest of this post on NBCChicago.com.

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tom_kolovos_wordpressnewTom Kolovos, NBC Chicago Street Team

What separates the men from the boys this time of year? The men know it’s not how much you spend but how much you save.

If it is true that along with age comes wisdom, then some of us have been around long enough to know that one of the great joys of shopping the summer sales is getting a deal on  designer clothes that you normally can’t afford and that are going to perfect  your Fall wardrobe. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and, yes, real men get great deals on their Fall clothes in August!

One of the perennials you should be seeking out are coats. Spring coats that failed to impress your fellow shoppers can be had for 75% off if you remind yourself that for a city like Chicago, the difference between the weight of a Fall or Spring coat is indistinguishable.

Best buys this time of year would include a new trench or a leather jacket. For the latter, try the  sleek olive green military inspired one from Rag and Bone or the grey Ellie Tahari, both at Saks Fifth Avenue right now.

Those with an eagle eye for fashion this Fall will tell you that donning a henley instead of a t shirt or button front shirt is one of the surest ways to update your casual wardrobe. So if you’re a desperado for the perfect henley, pick up the  perfect  cotton and cashmere version from Rag and Bone that is still available,  again at Saks. Roberto Agnes can help you locate all of the items mentioned here.

Finally, lightweight knits that can be easily layered like the v neck sweater — and especially the cardigan — will be ubiquitous right through next Spring. Pick up the grey Etro cardigan with tie dye detail, for instance, again at Saks (most likely still available through the Beverly Hills store. Ask for Christopher).

Let the best Spring 2010 men’s collection at Bottega Veneta inspire you. And remember, the early bird gets the worm and the kickass fall wardrobe.

TheBestDressedList.com

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tom_kolovos_wordpressnewTom Kolovos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Ok, guys I’ll let you in on one of my best pieces of advice for free, so listen up.

Ralph Lauren makes his classic polo shirt in a cut called “Custom Fit.” It is cut much closer to the body than the sloppy polo shirts of yore, which way too many of you are still wearing, and  which make you look oh so “2000 and late” while all the other guys look oh “so 3008.”

The “custom fit” has a higher armhole, natural shoulder and runs trimmer and shorter throught the body. This means it makes you look leaner, trimmer and completely in the know about how a shirt–any shirt, including a polo–should fit right now.

I don’t care if you’re 5 or 95, everyone looks completely appropriately dressed in a Ralph Lauren polo shirt, whether you  pair it with a nice pair of jeans and loafers or shorts and flipflops. Pick a flattering color and you’re an instant  style icon.

Just make sure you never tuck it your pants and wear a belt with it, grandpa.

If you run into any Ralph Lauren Polo store right now, every color of the custom fit polo is on sale for $37.49, marked down from $75.  It comes in 12-15 colors so you are bound to find several you love. If you happen to go into the Michigan Avenue store, ask for Jennifer on the first floor.

Finally, Saks will be having a consolidation sale in the Chicago Michigan Avenue  store this Thursday August 6th, which means an additional 25% off the last markdown price in both the men’s and women’s departments for a total of 75% off. Most of the merchandise is pretty well picked over but you never know……..(There’s still a great selection of men’s shoes, though!!!!!)

If you happen to live in Los Angeles or are visiting there on Thursday, run, don’t walk to the Beverly Hills store’s Warehouse Sale which will have the best selection of all the Saks stores.

TheBestDressedList.com

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tom_kolovos_wordpressnewTom Kolovos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Let’s say you’re a guy who knows that cargo shorts suffered a timely death at least 2 seasons ago but that you’re also on a budget this summer just when you need a few new pairs of shorts  now.  What should you look for and where?

Look for shorts in bold solids or patterns that end somewhere above your knee and taper from the mid thigh to the hem. If you’re looking for a bargain right now, head to Club Monaco and ask for their “Broderick” short. All patterns are on sale for $29.  The short comes in a  good array of checks, plaids and bold graphics.

A client who took my advice last week wrote in an email: “Just wanted to say thank you for the tip on the shorts at Club Monaco.  I went there on Sunday after the gym and immediately found 3 pair I liked.  One was in my size and the salesperson was able to find the other 2 in other stores.  Very cute, shapely, stylish and perfect for the streets!  All for less than $100, so a great deal overall!”

My personal favorites are the “Dk Blue Mix/Blue Fonce” which is essentially a teal diamond patterned print and the “Black Pattern” which looks like black lattice on a white background. Both of them have a very  crisp retro feel and look great with a white shirt or t shirt. (I would prefer that they ran a bit leaner through the thigh, but let’s not quibble about it for $29 bucks……)

Oh, and instead of wearing your  shorts with flip flops, run over to Aldo, buy yourself the terry cloth shoe inserts, insert them in a pair of dress loafers  and……  long story short, you will look  perfectly hot.

TheBestDressedList.com

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Chasity Chaos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Since this weekend is destined to be blissfully chaotic, I thought I drop you a line to let you know what’s on my agenda for the next 72 hours…

Khari B., the Discopoet, is holding a CD release party for his long awaited sophomore album, I’MMA BAD MUTHA: The Rockstar Poetry Project, 7 p.m. today at the Dusable Museum of African American History, located at 740 East 56th Place.

The CD has been described as a live instrument experiment and studio album that brings together a ferocious 12-piece Funk/Rock ensemble of some of Chicago’s undisputed music champions.

Tickets for the event are $25 and include a CD. For more info, visit http://discopoetry-rss.eventbrite.com/.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but I’m back in Chicago! I wouldn’t be Chaos if I snuck back into the city all quiet and low-key like… So I, in conjunction with BlackWater Marketing Group, am organizing a massive event called The Flavor Mosaic to celebrate my arrival back to Chicago and my birthday.

The event begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday and will end at 3 a.m. on Sunday. It will be held at Galleria Unico located at 44 E Superior. Come indulge in zesty beats from over 10 deejays, an open bar filled with exotic drinks, ethnic delights and grilled goodies, and enjoy tarot card readings, massages, trunk shows, live musical performances and art shows… But most importantly, come kick it with me! I’ve missed you Chi-Town!

Entry for my shindig is $35 for women and $45 for men. The entry fee includes access to all of the events for the evening and access to the open bar and food. For more info visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=121844361512&ref=ts. To RSVP email BlackWaterMarketing@gmail.com.

To wrap up my weekend, I will be spending Sunday night at Bytch Fest 2009. Bytch Fest is a feminist punk event that’s goal is to create an environment where women can freely express themselves without the judgment of a critical society which seeks to wipe out creativity. The event will be held 9 p.m. Saturday at Fizz, 3220 N Lincoln Ave. The affair will include burlesque performances, performances by feminist bands and more.

Entry for this event is $20. For more info visit http://www.myspace.com/bytchfest2009

As you can see this is going to be a busy, but a kick ass weekend! I hope to see you guys out!

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