Fashion’s Night Out, Chicago

A possible subtitle for this post would be “down came the rain,” or “rain come and wash out FNO” (an obscure reference to Rain-O-Rama by Lord Kitchener, shoutout to anyone who got that).

Truth be told, by the time 6 pm rolled around this past Thursday, I did NOT want to go out for Fashion’s Night Out. Why? Because I had my heart set on a homemade dinner, and the forecast called for rain. By the time I finally headed out the door, the fashion forecast looked bleak. I didn’t even try to dress for the occasion – because of the weather, I donned gray jeans, a sheer black shirt, high top Adidas and a leather jacket (and jazzed it up with a Kenneth Jay Lane necklace that I scored from Neiman Marcus Last Call). And I dragged my casual chic self over to the Walgreens on the Magnificent Mile, to meet one of my writing inspirations, Tai Beauchamp. Tai has done it ALL with her career. She was a beauty and fashion editor at o, The Oprah Magazine, she was the first African American beauty diector at Seventeen, she’s contributed to every magazine I’v probably ever read, and now she’s the national correspondent for InStyle magazine. Which is what brought her to Walgreens — Tai was hosting a beauty makeover event presented by In Style Magazine and Maybelline! And even with a broken toe, she was lovely and kind and very encouraging to a blogger like me.

Tai is tall!

Meeting Tai was the highlight of my Chicago Fashion’s Night Out experience. Follow her on Twitter, she is lovely!

After I left Walgreens, it was POURING rain. Imagine, if you will, shrieking women in dangerously high heels, tipping down Michigan Avenue en route to the new Topshop – many of them huddled under one tiny pocketbook sized umbrella. I was so not in the mood. And this is what led me to do Fashion’s Night Out WRONG.

Instead of checking Twitter to see where my friends were, or going to the known Chicago fashion meccas despite the pouring rain, I decided to simply cross the street to see what was in my immediate vicinity. This led me to check out Banana Republic, which was clearly wrapping up their FNO event well before 8 pm. The store was open and people were standing around talking, but it certainly didn’t seem like there was a Fashion’s Night Out event happening. No cocktails, no music, no mingling. Meh. I left and hailed a cab to Macy’s on State Street, which seemed to be suffering the same fate.

When I walked into Macy’s, it felt like I was about to have A Night At The Museum kind of experience. Imagine being completely alone in an enormous, historic building like the former Marshall Fields. It’s a bit intimidating! Luckily amongst the purses I found women performing “Psychic Fashion Readings.” I was quickly ushered into a seat, where I learned that my fashion aura is “tangerine…almost cantaloupe” in color, and my psychic could envision me in flowing, goddess like robes adorned with a leather and chain belt…but apparently I tend to hold myself back from truly expressing myself, fashion wise. VERY interesting, fashion psychic!

I was beginning to despair that in coming out too late, I’d truly missed all that Chicago’s Fashion’s Night Out had to offer…then I ventured up to the third floor and discovered the ladies of the Macy’s Chicago Fashion Incubator.

What is the Chicago Fashion Incubator? It’s Macy’s way of mentoring local designers, the goal being to get them ready for the big time! I am proud to call quite a few of these current designers my friends. Allow me to introduce them!

You might recognize these ladies from a previous Afrobella post — it’s the Double Stitch Twins!

Kelley of K. Fleye Designs is always such a sweetheart. And always SO FLY!

Kahindo of Modahnik wasn’t there in person, she was showing her designs at Buffalo Fashion Week! But her clothes were definitely on proud display. Love her work so much, click here to follow her on Facebook!

Shavonne Dorsey Designs

I got to meet another lovely Chicago designer who focuses primarily on curvy girls – Shavonne Dorsey Apparel. Keep an eye out for her, plus size bellas! Her clothes look beautiful and are made in such flattering, soft, touchable fabrics, I was instantly intrigued!

And after that, I headed out to a VERY quiet State Street and hailed a cab home. My expectations of a Fashion’s Night Out comparable with the New York City experience were dashed, but much of that can be blamed on rain and my own laziness. From what I heard, Saks Fifth Avenue and Oak Street were the place to be. So next year, if I’m here, that’s where I’ll be!

Did you go out for Fashion’s Night Out? Did you have fun? Buy anything? Tell me!

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Comments

  1. Actually, that still sounds pretty glamorous. But the highlight of my weekend was my daughter (a little half Trini girl) winning her soccer game…and I wasn’t even there :-(. Seeing her face after the game was awesome though.

    So, is this something they’ll be doing every year, I might have to make a trip to the Chi for the next one.

  2. Actually, that still sounds pretty glamorous. But than again, the highlight of my weekend was my daughter (a little half Trini girl) winning her soccer game…and I wasn’t even there :-(. So my frame of reference is a little skewed, lol.

    So, is this something they’ll be doing every year, I might have to make a trip to the Chi for the next one.

  3. I love Chicago. Mr Parks and I visit at least 3 or more times a year, I would love to attend a Fashion’s Night Out Event if ever possible. Chicago offers it all..

  4. You were meant to go out on a rainy night to meet and write about those Macy Incubator designers!

  5. Love this blog!!! Beautiful black women doing what they love. Keep the positivity going ladies :)

  6. Chicago Rules! Fashion out there is so beautiful. If anyone has heard of websites like wholesaleDir.com or wholesalefashionsquare.com, http://TashaApparel.com offers wholesale clothing at prices below wholesale value. They offer also plus sizes and beautiful dresses.

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