CHSO September 2013 : Page 136

Best DresseD 2013 chicago’s chicest women move into lincoln park’s most covetable new residence. by katie schroeder and brian dukerschein photography by Jeremy bustos of we create media hair and makeup by nicole cap for Ford artists wardrobe styling by arlene matthews shot on location at lincoln park 2550 One step inside Lincoln Park 2550, and it’s quite obvious why the space was perfect for our sixth annual Best Dressed feature—from the lobby’s floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private garden to the 15th floor Darcy Bonner-designed suite with unobstructed lake and city views. As the five fascinating and stylish women unpacked Van Cleef & Arpels diamonds, Prada heels, a vintage Dior dress and a Michael Kors fur stole, it dawned on us that these images were going to be absolutely stunning. How right we were.

Fashion Best Dressed 2013

Katie Schroeder And Brian Dukerschein

CHICAGO’S CHICEST WOMEN MOVE INTO LINCOLN PARK’S MOST COVETABLE NEW RESIDENCE.<br /> <br /> By katie schroeder and brian dukerschein photography by Jeremy bustos of we create media hair and makeup by nicole cap for Ford artists wardrobe styling by arlene matthews shot on location at lincoln park 2550<br /> <br /> One step inside Lincoln Park 2550, and it's quite obvious why the space was perfect for our sixth annual Best Dressed feature—from the lobby's floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private garden to the 15th floor Darcy Bonner-designed suite with unobstructed lake and city views. As the five fascinating and stylish women unpacked Van Cleef & Arpels diamonds, Prada heels, a vintage Dior dress and a Michael Kors fur stole, it dawned on us that these images were going to be absolutely stunning. How right we were.<br /> <br /> COCO MEERS<br /> <br /> "Fashion is my outlet for creative expression," says Meers, the founder of prettyquick.com, a beauty concierge service that provides members with VIP access to 80 top Chicago salons and spas. "I never go to a store and pick what's on the rack, and I don't shop by designer." For her, it's more about dressing for the occasion in a pulled-together look. "I love dressing up and I love all my formalwear, but I believe in knowing your body and wearing pieces that accentuate you best. I'm tall so I can pull off volume." Before founding her website, Meers worked in brand management and corporate marketing for L'Oreal in New York and Paris, where she claims she left a bit of her heart. "The French women are so attuned to fashion but not in an overdone way," she says, listing her inspirations as Lanvin, Dior and Chanel. "You will only catch me in yoga pants if I'm going to or from yoga, which should happen more than it does," she quips. And she prefers the tactile element of shopping in person to the convenience of online. "Plus, I have no idea how things will fit, and I love structure." Fitting for a former ballet dancer who helped found The Joffrey Auxiliary Board. "That's another reason why I'm like, 'Whatever! I could run a mile in 6-inch heels.' I'm so used to the pain”<br /> <br /> On Meers: Vintage Torrente couture skirt; top by Theory; shoes by YSL; earrings by Kenneth Jay Lane; cuff by Pamela Love; makeup by Joni Olsen of J'Laree Artistry; hair by Nevena Zee of Custom Hair Lounge + Spa; styled by Hanna Thompson.<br /> <br /> MARIE WHITNEY<br /> <br /> It's not every day you hear a woman casually explain how she planned her wedding in six days and bought a dress off the rack. Especially when she's the wife of Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. "Thirty minutes before our wedding, I looked out the window and saw Theo go by on a Jet Ski, and I was like, 'OK, this is fun.'" But that relaxed, go-with-the-flow charm is what makes you instantly fall for Whitney; not to mention she really is genuinely nice. In 2010, she founded Two Penny Blue, a collection of classic, tailored jackets and blazers in modern fabrics and patterns, and for every one purchased, she donates a school uniform to a girl in Africa. Designing takes her to Paris every fall to source fabrics, where she strolls down Avenue Montaigne for inspiration. In Chicago, she shops Sarca and Perchance, and always stops by Bergdorf Goodman when in New York to pick up pieces by favored designers Diane von Furstenberg, Celine and Stella McCartney. "It's all about feeling confident in your clothes. It doesn't matter how on-trend or high-end a piece may be," she says. "If it doesn't feel like you, it's not worth wearing." Safe to say, spending time with her 5-yearold son in distressed Rag & Bone jeans and an Alexander Wang tee feels a little more natural for Whitney than posing in a floor-length gown while a crew of seven looks on. Her reaction? "Inside, I'm laughing hysterically. I'm laughing so hard right now."<br /> <br /> On Whitney: Gown by Narciso Rodriguez; shoes by Prada; necklace by Anton Heunis; hair by Linda Licocci of Blade Hair Skin Body; makeup by Holly Kasprisin of Chicago Bridal Hair and Makeup.<br /> <br /> JOSEPHINE LEE<br /> <br /> Growing up in Chicago, Lee was a musical prodigy—and a bit of a late bloomer when it came to matters of style. "I was so focused on my craft and playing piano, I just wore whatever my mother dressed me in," she says with a laugh. It wasn't until Lee started performing in Europe that she embraced her personal style. "That's when I completely transformed. I was able to find my own voice and my own look." Lee has similarly transformed the Chicago Children's Choir, where she has been the artistic director since 1999 and president since 2010, into one of the city's premier cultural institutions. "This is my passion—conducting, creating, connecting, expressing. Being at the CCC, I truly understand my destiny: helping to shape and nurture positive, contributing members of society." A busy schedule of rehearsals, performances and galas means Lee prizes clothes that can carry her through the day, and she names her goto brands as Alice + Olivia, Christian Siriano and Atelier Azza by local designer Azeeza Khan, with whom she partnered to revamp the choir's uniforms last fall and credits with revolutionizing the way she looks at color. "I prefer anything that can be dressed up or down quickly," she says. "I'm always on the go, so clothes that move with me are key." One thing you won't see this busy mother of two wearing even at her most casual? "Let's just say you won't find me in Crocs anytime soon!"<br /> <br /> On Lee: Dress by Atelier Azza; shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti; earrings and bracelet by William Levine Fine Jewels; makeup by Shannon O'Brien.<br /> <br /> LAUREN BUXBAUM<br /> <br /> "I dress the way I decorate— minimal pattern and layered with vintage accessories," says the design director of Nate Berkus Associates, who's in charge of assembling collections of furniture for residential clients. "We use 90 percent vintage pieces and that other 10 percent is usually custom-made by local upholsterers or millworkers." Not surprisingly, some of her favorite wardrobe pieces also are vintage, like a gold-plated YSL necklace from Karry'O in Paris and Hermes cuffs and belts. "Nate [Berkus] actually started me on the Hermes kick," she says. "He gave me a green leather notebook after my first year of working here, saying, 'I hate your spiral notebook!'" She swoons over Balenciaga, Valentino and her Givenchy leopard flats ("They're super comfortable, give me reprieve from heels and add interest to an outfit without the suffering."), but her fashion icon is still her 85-year-old grandma: "She has an unbelievable jewelry collection—cocktail rings and statement pieces from Cartier." And while Buxbaum loves Blake, Barneys New York and Opening Ceremony in L.A., she keeps her look eclectic. "When I need to add some interest to my wardrobe but don't want to invest a lot of money, I shop Asos online," she says. "They make great copies of current runway pieces, which allows me to be extra daring with my fashion choices because their clothes are not a crazy investment." What won't you find her in this season? "A full-length puffy coat. I just don't get it."<br /> <br /> On Buxbaum: Dress by Roland Mouret; cuff by YSL; bracelet by Cartier; ring by Roberto Coin; shoes by Gucci; makeup by Lisa Trunda of Ford Artists.<br /> <br /> SHERYL DYER<br /> <br /> "I think about what I'm wearing 10 minutes before I leave the house," says Dyer, a refreshing disclosure from a woman who has spent more than three decades in the heady world of luxury retail. Currently the store director of Van Cleef & Arpels in The Drake Hotel, Dyer spent almost 30 years rising through the ranks at Burberry, ultimately becoming the managing director of the Michigan Avenue flagship. "Thankfully, Burberry suited me," she says of wearing and representing the brand for so long. N o w that her job focuses on jaw-dropping jewels, she enjoys stepping out in equally impressive labels, including Michael Kors, Giambattista Valli and Victoria Beckham. Her work with the Joffrey Ballet, the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum and the Service Club of Chicago leaves little time for shopping—a recent trip to Paris did yield a leather Balenciaga motorcycle jacket, however—so she relies on a trusted circle of fellow sales professionals to help her find cocktail and gala attire that reflects her signature style: "classic, chic and glamorous." Her position with Van Cleef & Arpels means traveling the globe, with access to renowned boutiques and department stores, but this native Chicagoan's heart remains loyal to her hometown. "I feel like anything anyone could ever dream of is here. We have Lanvin; we have Tom Ford. I think it's brilliant!"

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