CHSO January 2014 : Page 86

Style. HealtH. beauty. Food. drink. culture. Welcome to our annual look at tHe beSt our city HaS to oFFer! by the editors, with megan clemens, Gabriel charles tyler and tanisha Wallis best of tHe city

Feature Best Of The City

The Editors


Shoe In We love it when we find something truly amazing that we had no idea existed. That's exactly what happened when we learned about James Sommerfeldt, a 31-year-old footwear genius who designs and makes jaw-dropping shoes from his studio in West Town. Considered by many fashion experts as the best emerging shoe designer in the country, the Project Accessory alum—whose shoes start at a cool $900—will create your dream pair after measuring your feet, dissecting your desires and talking to you about your fashion favorites. It takes at least four weeks for the shoes to be created, but they're oh-so worth the wait. Consider this artwork for your feet.


We've loved Alexis Cozzini ever since the moment we first met the brunette beauty (a former CS Best Dressed listee!). Not only is she gorgeous, but she is actually really, really nice. And, when Cozzini opened the Gold Coast's Sarca women's boutique in 2009, • "heck, we loved her even more. Well, she's at J t again with her newest endeavor, Citizen Stone, a Lincoln Park women's boutique which sells everything from Valentine Gauthier's organic attire and Ben-Amun baubles to Ivy Kirzhner shoes, tech ^accessories, cool coffee-table books and more. 1440 N. Dayton St., Suite 302, 312. 624.9062

Leather and Lust!

Nancy Gonzalez, Prada, Fendi... luxe leathers in bold colors showed up across myriad runways for the spring season. And now, Tola, Chicago's newest handcrafted leather-accessories label is bringing the trend home—and with surprisingly accessible price points. President Laurie Roberts leads an all-female team that hand-sews the pieces (everything from clutches and coasters to cardholders and guitar straps) from a Logan Square studio. The brand uses only the finest Italian and Brazilian leathers (hair-on-hide goods, too). An asymmetrically hand-stitched handbag? Yes, please.

Sweet Carolina

The new CH Carolina Herrera boutique in the Gold Coast is the brand's 16th location in the United States and first in Chicago. The uberluxe shop (did we mention the "CH" monograms on the ceiling?) Boasts ready-to-wear, sportswear, tailored suits and evening separates for the ladies; and tailored suits and casual sportswear for gents; not to mention bold-colored accessories, books and fragrances. 70 E. Oak St., 312.988.9339


Sad to see boutiques Cityblue Apparel & Denim (Old Town) and CB (Lake Forest) shut their doors? Don't be. Style maven Mallory Ulaszek had a plan all along: Enter Roam, a carefully curated boutique for men and women that's taken up shop where Nicole Miller was once located. Ulaszek's love of travel had a huge influence on her new storefront, natch. "Traveling and a sense of roaming, pun intended, is something that is personal to me," she says. "I wanted my new venture to have more of a personal spin." See by Chloe, C/FAN and Citizen, with the addition of emerging designers such as Daniel Vosovic and Illesteva, are just a few of the fashionable offerings. Shopping chic labels among salvaged furniture and taxidermy? We dig it. 1419 N. Wells St, 312.664.2222

TOP FIVE: Local Labels We Love!

1 Dana Rebecca Designs Jennifer Lawrence, Mila Kunis and Zoe Saldana are just a few celebs who have been spotted donning designer Dana Gordon's hot rocks. This season, we're smitten with Gordon's new Courtney Lauren collection, featuring 14K rose gold, tourmalines and diamonds.

2 Diego Rocha W h o needs big-name brands when Chicago's own Diego Rocha (of Project Accessory fame) is crafting luxe, ladylike handbags and clutches in covetable skins like python, alligator and ostrich? We'll take one of each, please!

3 Frederick Lynn Haberdashers This 2,200-square-foot River North newcomer offers custom-tailored men's clothing hand-sewn from some of the world's most exclusive fabrics—think opulent vicuna from Dormeuil—in a refined yet relaxed atmosphere.

4 Seesaw Society This small but savvy line is one of our favorites of the past year, with adorable (yet wearable) preppy pieces for children. Started by two Chicago moms, the line includes holiday dresses, tea-party favorites and summer smocks.

5 Atelier Azza Designer Azeeza Khan knows a thing or two about dressing Chicago's fashion-forward females—after all, her sartorial talents have been touted in Vogue, Glamour and Elle magazines. We're in love with many of her new looks for spring 2014.


This truly is a month of firsts for William J. O'Brien, the Chicagobased artist renowned for his multidisciplinary oeuvre— everything from painting and sculpture to ceramics and textiles—and use of myriad cultural references. Not only will the Loyola University and School of the Art Institute of Chicago alum be celebrating his first solo European exhibit at the Almine Rech Gallery in Paris, but the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is hosting his first major survey exhibition, running Jan. 25 through May 18. The eponymously titled exhibit features more than 130 of O'Brien's most signature works arranged in poetic "stanzas" (perfectly keeping with the artist's fondness of poetry) that spotlight his ability to convey narratives across various media and embrace the materials he uses while subverting their conventional purpose—think abstract sculptures composed of carpet and string that captivate as easily as they confound. Last but not least: To celebrate the career of this rapidly rising art star, the MCA is releasing the first monograph of O'Brien's work, which is sure to be a must-have for art-lovers everywhere. 220 E. Chicago Ave.,
312. 280.2660,

Flower Power

Add a much-needed dose of color to the gray winter months with a visit to the Botanic Garden's first-ever solo Orchid Show , taking place Feb. 15 through March 16. Expect breathtaking displays of natural beauty as thousands of rare and exotic orchids grace the trees, columns and artfully designed hanging structures. Experts from the Illinois o r c h i d Society will be on hand each weekend to explain the history of these unusual flowers, and a Garden Shop kiosk will let guests take home a piece of the enchantment. 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, 847.835.5440,

Chicago's Finest

Comedian MikeO ' Brien first appeared on our radar as the awkward but lovable celebrity interviewer on his hit Web series 7 Minutes in Heaven. Now the Second City veteran has officially hit the big time as a featured player on Saturday Night Live, where he's been operating behind the scenes as a writer since 2009. O u r DVRs are already filling up with laughs.

Screen Time

Chicago has certainly been enjoying its moments on the big screen (courtesy of such blockbusters as The Dark Knight and the Transformers franchise), and the much-anticipated March premiere of Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet, will once again put our city in the spotlight. Not only is the film an adaptation of local author Veronica Roth's best-selling novel (set in a future Chicago), but the filmmakers chose to shoot much of the film on location here. We're ready for our closeup!

Gale Force

Never one to rest on his laurels (we still get chills thinking about his masterful direction of Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy in The Iceman Cometh), Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls is leading the world premiere production of lauded Chicago playwright Rebecca Gilman's Luna Gale, appearing at the Goodman Jan. 18 through Feb. 23. The heart-wrenching story of a young child caught in the middle of an intense family conflict, Luna Gale is the seventh collaboration between Gilman and the Goodman (where she serves as an artistic associate), and will be her fourth play directed by Falls. And if history is any guide, we're betting the pair have another hit on their hands. 170 N. Dearborn St., 312.443.3800,

TOP FIVE: Must-See Performances

1 The Phantom of the Opera Fresh off its sellout U.K. tour, this new spin on Andrew Lloyd Webber's timeless classic lands in Chicago with fantastic new sets, costumes and choreography, but retains the much-loved original soundtrack. Jan . 9 - March 6.

2 The Barber of Seville Lyric oper a stages a new production of one of the most beloved comedic operas of all time, Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville, directed by Tony- and olivier Awardwinner Rob Ashford and featuring the Lyric debut of rising opera star Isabel Leonard. Feb. 1-28.

3 Russian Transport Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble members Tim Hopper, Mariann Mayberry and Alan Wilder star in this humorous yet darkly dramatic story of one Brooklyn-based Russian family's tenacious quest to achieve the American Dream against all odds. Feb. 6 - May 11.

4 Contemporary Choreographers While the Joffrey Ballet's mixed repertory program boasts three Joffrey premieres, we're most excited about famed Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman's mesmerizing and explosive episode 31.
Feb. 12-23.

5 Muti and Uchida Two of the classical music world's brighest luminaries, Maestro Ricardo Muti of the Chicago Symphony orchestra and the internationally esteemed pianist Mitsuko Uchida, come together for thrilling performances of Schubert's Symphony No. 9 and Schumann's Piano Concerto. March 20 - 22 .

SAVFd BY THF Pfl l With one Touche Eclat sold every 10 seconds in the world, Yves Saint Laurent's cult-favorite luminizing and skinbrightening pen is easily one of the most popular beauty products on the market. And that's a pretty safe-bet essential to have in a kit when you're Dell Ashley, the national makeup artist for YSL. Ashley, who is based here, but travels 47 weeks of the year for in-store meet-and-greets, press events and red-carpet appearances, has spent the last nine years familiarizing himself with the brand's secret weapons, and spring 2014 is no exception. His picks include the new Gloss Volupte lip glosses that come in 23 shades and one of three finishes—golden, iridescent and pure. (We're obsessed with the innovative contoured applicator that mimics the shape of one's lips for a more precise on-the-go swipe.) Ashley predicts the Face Collector Palette, a dual-purpose rosy blush and highlighter, will be a game-changer.

TOP FIVE: Only-in-Chicago Workout Spots

1 Shred 415 It's what we've always dreamed of: a 60-minute workout that blends high-intensity cardio and weights in four 15-minute intervals.(Get it?) After Shred's first Lincoln Park location earned thousands of fans, it opened locations in the Gold Coast and the North Shore.

2 Reform Chicago It looks like normal Pilates, and feels like normal Pilates, but Reform Chicago is its own entity - featuring Allegro reformer machines that allot an intense cardio workout that can lengthen, strengthen, and increase flexibility faster and more effectively than traditional Pilates.

3 Power Sculpt Fitness We're totally obsessed with this always-jam-packed Lakeview spot that offers hard-core classes that kick your butt, and then sends you home exhausted but happy. Try the PSF Signature, AB Blast or TRX Bootcamp. Be ready to work— ha rd.

4 On Your Mark Located in Bucktown and the West Loop, OYM has earned a loyal fan base of professional athletes and regular folk who can't get enough of its one-two punch of the latest fitness science with good old-fashioned sweat.

5 Yoga Fuzion Love yoga but crave some more heart-rate stimulation? This is the place. With the detoxifying, skin-glowing benefits of Infrared heat, the River North studio is kept at a manageable 9 0 degrees and the classes send those toxins running for the hills. O u r faves? Barre Fuzion (a mixture of weight training, yoga and barre) and Power Vinyasa Flow (vinyasa meets cardio).

Brush Up!

A brush is a brush, right? Not for Chicago makeup artist Jenny Patinkin, who calls herself "the anti-makeup makeup artist" because she wants application to be fast, easy and flawless. So, when she couldn't find a quality makeup brush that met her standards, she set out to develop her own line, which just debuted at Barneys New York in Chicago. But even that wasn't easy. "For two years, I tried to have them made domestically," she says. She eventually found highly skilled Japanese artisans who could produce the quality she wanted; handmade from the softest natural hairs available, the brushes start to blend as soon as they touch the skin, bending and flexing to fit the natural curves of the face.

Triple Threat

Three things we love: working out, Chicago-based companies and women-owned businesses. So we're kind of obsessed with Swirlgear, a women's fitness apparel company started by Chicagoan Lacie Whyte. It was back in 2006 during a particular tough marathon that Whyte got to thinking about what her fellow runners were wearing. Or, more specifically, about how she could make the boxy, dull-colored outfits better. And that's exactly what she's done with Swirlgear, creating designer women's running apparel made from moisture-wicking fabric in fun, spray-dyed colors. Functional and fashionable running gear? Looks like our morning workout just got a lot better.

Three Facials We're Loving


When it comes to agedefying facials—no, really—we're hooked on The Peninsula Spa's new facial featuring ESPA products; it leaves our skin plumper, firmer and glowing.


The healing powers of precious minerals and gemstones—think rose quartz, diamonds, rubies—are front and center in this holistic treatment at The Spa at the Four Seasons Chicago. Fourseasons. Comlchicago


The spa at Dana wants to help you put your best face forward with its just-launched Purifying Facial. The deep cleansing treatment includes gentle exfoliation, extractions and a purifying clay mask. Clean never felt (and looked) so good.

A Fish (and Chicken) Tale

The guys behind Chicago hospitality group element Collective (from left: Chris Freeman, Chris Dexter, John Warken and Jared Van Camp) don’t do low-key. (See Nellcôte, RM Champagne Salon and Old Town Social for reference.) But early this year, they’re upping the ante even for them with the opening of two new restaurants. Kinmont (419 W. Superior St.), inside the 6,200-square-foot former Zealous space in River North, will be the city’s first entirely sustainable seafood restaurant. Look for dishes such as brandade Scotch egg from Executive Chef Duncan Biddulph, most recently at Rootstock. In Ukrainian Village, the group puts its unique spin on a socially conscious fast-casual fried chicken sandwich shop with leghorn Chicken (959 N. Western Ave.). Taking flight, indeed.

Shell Game

Oyster fans, your ship has finally come in with the addition of three new bivalvefocused restaurants. Chef Brian Greene, formerly of The Savoy, heads up the just-opened West Town restaurant Bow & Stern Oyster Bar (1371 W. Chicago Ave., 312.988.0644), which features an expansive raw bar with some eight to 12 varieties of fresh-shucked oysters a day flown in six times a week from both coasts and the Gulf. >>> Bow Truss Coffee owner Phil Tadros has already proven he knows a thing or two about java. Next up for the entrepreneur is a twofer project encompassing oysters and craft cocktails in the bilevel space, with Oyster Pail on the ground level and The Wilcox in the basement (3128 N. Broadway St., 773.348.1227). >>> Former Hubbard Inn partner Adolfo Garcia has his eye on the tasty mollusk, too, with the opening of Pearl Tavern (180 N. Wacker Drive, 312.629.1030] in the Loop. As the name hints at, oysters are the main lure, along with other raw treats, including crudo, ceviche and tartare. Ahoy, matey!

Bottle Meet Fork

It's not the most obvious of restaurant partnerships, but that's what will make it interesting and fun, says former Allium and Four Seasons chef Kevin Hickey of his new role at Bottlefork, the Rockit Ranch Productions spot taking over Dragon Ranch in February. "It's a perfect match of our different styles," says Hickey, who calls it a "chef-driven bar," hence the name, with plenty of crossover between food (think roasted chicken with 'nduja under its skin) and drinks. We'll drink—and eat—to that. 441 N. Clark St., 312.955.1900

A Team Effort

With chefs Michael Sheerin, Sarah Jordan and Phil Rubino, whose combined restaurant experience includes such big-name spots as Trenchermen, Blackbird, Spiaggia, Boka and Acadia, in the kitchen, and Harry Caray's original founder Dan Rosenthal behind it, Streeterville's Cicchetti was off to a great start even before it opened its doors in mid- December. And now that it has, we can't wait to try its Venetian-inspired food, which ranges from made-from-scratch squid ink orchietti to housecured sardines to tiramisu sundaes. 671 N. St. Clair St., 312.642.1800

Rick is on a Roll

Chef Rick Bayless has plenty on his plate this year with two new restaurants in the works. Xoco Wicker Park (1471 N. Milwaukee Ave.), a bigger version of the original, opens in March. Later this year, an under-wraps new concept opens on Randolph (900 W. Randolph St.) that will feature, among other things, a nanobrewery. And if that wasn't enough, in August, he'll reprise his role in Cascabel at the Goodman Theatre.


1 Flour Power Chicago's reigning queen of pastries, HotChocolate's Mindy Segal, expands her empire with a Logan Square bakery/cafe opening in early summerthink freshly baked breads, cookies, seasonal rustic desserts—inspired by her recent Parisian honeymoon. How sweet is that? 237 N. Milwaukee Ave.

2 Reign of Spain Chef Ashlee Aubin got our attention (and then some!) At Wood with his delicious riffs on global cuisine (Parisian gnocchi, anyone?). At the West Loop's Salero, slated for a spring opening, Aubin focuses on his love for the food and ingredients of Spain's Basque region. Muchas gracias. 621 W. Randolph St.

3 Asia Major Take three sportscasters (Lou Canellis, Kip Lewis, Ryan Baker), add in one "Food Buddha" (chef Rodelio Aglibot, formerly of Sunda) and you have Reverie, a two-floor River North Asian-centric restaurant and lounge set to open in early summer. 414 N. Orleans St.

4 Star Power Beloved Boka, from the same group behind Girl & the Goat, Balena and GT Fish & Oyster, gets a reboot in February with the hiring of chef Lee Wolen, formerly of The Lobby. No word yet if he's bringing his incredible roasted chicken with him. Keep your fingers crossed. 1729 N. Halsted St.

5 Meat Head Former Vie chef Nathan Sears' Bavarian beer hall-inspired spot, The Radler, and D.A.S., its fancier chef's table concept set inside, took their sweet time coming. But now that they have, we predict the housemade sausages, charcuterie and other meaty goodness-deep-fried ham hock, perhaps? — will be worth the wait. 2375 N. Milwaukee Ave.


While outlandish theatricality is now de rigueur in pop music, it's hard to argue that David Bowie isn't the genuine godfather of rock reinvention—and did it with far more genius than his acolytes. In arguably its most anticipated exhibit ever, this fall the MCA will present David Bowie Is, a 300-item exhibit tracing the Thin White Duke's shape-shifting career. Culled from the Bowie's personal collection of 75,000 artifacts, it features such items as handwritten lyrics, vintage photos, set designs, album artwork and, perhaps most eagerly anticipated, original costumes, including pieces from his legendary Ziggy Stardust tour and a piece by Alexander McQueen. With multimedia displays, original animations and video instillations, it's just as edgy a to-do as Bowie would want it to be. Those who think it sounds like a must-see aren't alone: When the exhibit visited The Victoria & Albert Museum in London last summer, the museum had to lengthen its evening hours to accommodate the crowds. MCA Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312.280.2660

You Go, Girl!

It's the rare writer who has the distinction of publishing a New York Times No. 1 bestseller. But having said book turned into a film featuring some of Hollywood's most respected names is an even smaller club. And that's the enviable position Chicago author Gillian Flynn finds herself in. Flynn's third novel, Gone Girl, about a married couple who may not be at all what they appear, hits screens in october. Directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, the film may be just as big a hit as the novel.


Good things come to those who wait and, this fall, a longawaited, much-anticipated Chicago project begins to take shape. First conceived in 1998, the 2 . 7 mile Bloomingdale Trail sees the defunct, elevated Bloomingdale train tracks that run through Humboldt Park, Wicker Park and Logan Square converted into a biking, running and walking path. But that's not all: As part of the 6 0 6 project, the trail will ultimately be connected to five ground-level parks and feature an observatory, skate park, art installations and more.

Feeling Blue

After a successful pop-up shop in Lakeview last month, online retailer Two Penny Blue is opening its first brick and mortar location this spring, and we are already salivating over the thought of perusing local designer Marie Whitney's full collection of droolworthy blazers and accessories. 3738 N. Southport Ave.,

Open House

Just when it seemed impossible for the West Loop to get any hipper, it is: This spring, look for the debut of uber-refined London institution Soho House at 113-125 N. Green St. Founded in 1995, Soho Houses are both private membership clubs, generally targeted at younger people in the arts and media, and hotels and restaurants open to the public (as long as one adheres to club rules!). The venture's third U.S. location, Soho House Chicago will feature 35 hotel rooms, three restaurants and, among other amenities, a rooftop bar, pool, 12,000-square-foot gym and 40-seat screening room.


1 Cascabel Don't miss the return of Cascabel, the wildly inventive collaboration between chef Rick Bayless and the Lookingglass Theatre Company. The show, running July 30-Aug. 24, features circus performances, flamenco and Bayless' renowned Mexican cuisine. Performed at Goodman Theatre in the Owen, 170 N. Dearborn St.

2 Expo Chicago When Tony Karman launched Expo Chicago in 2011, it was with the sole purpose of bringing a genuinely world-class contemporary and modern art fair back to Chicago—and he has succeeded brilliantly. Don't miss the third annual EXPO Chicago Sept. 18-21. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.

3 Chicago Gourmet Chicago food and wine enthusiasts head to this refined festival Sept. 26-28 for cuisine from more than 100 of the city's top chefs, offerings from hundreds of vintners, tastings from microbreweries and demos galore. Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St.

4 Chicago Auto Show We're not the Motor City, but the Chicago Auto Show is nevertheless the largest auto show in North America. Visit the show Feb. 8-17 to see the most exciting new models, latest innovations and concept cars from the world's top manufacturers. McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive

5 Bacon fest Chicago Bacon is beloved, but the enormous success of Baconfest Chicago is nevertheless mindblowing. Conceived by Michael Griggs, Andre Pluess and Seth Zurer six years ago, last year's event sold out the UIC forum in less than half an hour. You know what that means, bacon lovers: Look for an even more robust fest this year, April 25-26. 725 W. Roosevelt Rd, 773.257.3378

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