Chicago's Fashion Week: Shop CHICago

September 29, 2005 by shefindsrebecca
shefinds | Style

Event: GenArt Shop CHICago. The event was part of Fashion Focus Chicago, an 11-day celebration designed to promote independent local designers and the city’s fashion scene.

Where: The W Chicago – City Center

The Experience: I waited in line for about 30 minutes to get into the hotel and, once I was inside, still had to pass through three checkpoints (which was odd, since the event was free and open to the public.) But once I made it in, I felt like I was living in an episode of “Sex and the City.” There were two huge rooms full of designers and there were cosmetic lines offering makeovers and treatments. A DJ was spinning music – and did I mention that there were numerous open bars, serving fabulous pink drinks?

What I Found: To my delight, the jewelry at Shop CHICago was natural and elegant. A lot of designers are taking the Bohemian trend to a new level, mixing delicate stones and beads with silver, gold and glimmer. I especially loved the sparkly earrings and necklaces by jewelry designer Erin Gallagher. All of her jewelry features beautiful and unique stones – my favorite were her necklaces with multi-colored stones arranged in asymmetrical designs.

Greta-Watermelon Tourmaline and Ingrid lolite neckalces by Erin Gallagher.


I also really liked the Sojourn bags, created by Chicago-native Jennifer Gordon. They’re fun, colorful and whimsical, while also being functional and affordable. She offers bags of all sizes; some that fit laptops and others that are perfect for adventures. My favorite part of her collection, though, were the “bracelet bags” – they have handles of beads or Swarovski crystals, which can be detached and worn as a bracelet.

Rio Red Wave bracelet bag by Sojourn.

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Also at the expo was Active Endeavors, a great local boutique with five Chicago-area stores. Don’t be misled by the name; along with having a variety of North Face and Patagonia (Pata-Gucci, anyone?) products, the boutique carries every single one of your favorite brands.

Fashion Focus Chicago runs from September 19-29. For more information about Chicago-based designers and upcoming fashion events, check out the Fashion Focus Chicago website.




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