Tiki Time: Three Dots and a Dash

Last week I finally went and checked out Three Dots and a Dash, the new tiki bar from Paul McGee and the Lettuce Entertain You fellas. It had a great atmosphere, the drinks were delicious, and at the moment there is nothing else like it in Chicago. McGee and co are harkening back to the time when tiki bars were uber popular, and they are definitely successful in bringing back the trend.

Piquing my interest in popular things of yore, I researched a little bit about the origin of tiki bars. Don the Beachcomber was the first to set up shop in LA in 1934, Trader Vic’s followed after (RIP Trader Vic’s in the Palmer House). At the time, air and boat travel had become more affordable, and interest in exotic cultures became widespread. Hence, tiki bars became a big hit. But, more importantly, what were people wearing?

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Image from www.what-i-found.blogspot.com

I spy a peplum! I normally have mixed feelings about peplums, but I think the McQueen below executes them well. The dress also features an empire waist and billowy sleeves, another big trend in 1934.

Alexander McQueen Peplum Detail Dress


The dress above is currently sold out (and if you are even reading my blog chances are you aren’t the type who has $1,200 for a dress). Ones also featuring 1934 trends here and here.
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Zang goes to a fashion show

Last Thursday I attended an Atelier Azza fashion show with my fashionable friend Erika.  Azeeza Khan is a Chicago-based designer who debuted Atelier Azza in 2012. She opened her first retail space at North Bridge in December and has quickly grown out of it, she is opening up shop at the 900 Shops any day now. It’s easy to see why and how this designer has grown so quickly, her beautiful designs are interesting yet timeless, work on a large variety of body types, and are appropriate for both the young and the old. Azeeza’s use of embellishments have become somewhat of her signature, and she uses them in a way that is both artful yet not overdone.  Below are some of my snaps from the event:

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The event was catered by Boutique Bites, the perfect choice considering owner Elaina Vazquez’s passion for mixing food and fashion. Aside from being delicious, it fed my interest in all things little!

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I loved the mandarin collar on this piece, complete with Azeeza’s signature embellishment

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 This gorgeous chartreuse looked amazing on the red-headed model.

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Azeeza also featured several separates, proving she is not stopping at dresses. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good embellished top. 

Very Impressed

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Last week I finally had the chance to see the Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity exhibit that is making the final stop on it’s tour at the Art Institute. I have enjoyed Impressionism since studying it in high school, and one of my favorite museums I’ve ever been to is the Musee D’Orsay in Paris (the first stop of this exhibit’s tour).  The exhibit features amazing works of art from Manet, Cassat, Desgas (just to name a few) along with actual garments from that time period that reflect the Parisian styles portrayed in the paintings. I was amazed out how similar they could find dresses suitable to be displayed next to the paintings until I realized about halfway through that the style back then was pretty homogenous, everyone essentially wore the same thing.

 

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This dress is only one in the exhibit that is the actual one in the painting, the artist had it preserved. Check out that print-mixing!

Photo courtesy of The Art Institute

The exhibit also touched on how department stores were coming into existence, and how that affected fashion and how people dressed and shopped. They even had old catalogs–complete with fabric samples! Can you imagine  having your J.Crew catalog coming with samples?

The exhibit runs through September 29th, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is in the Chicago area. It is extremely well curated, not to mention fascinating. You’ll also breathe a sigh of relief that we no longer have to wear corsets.  Au Revoir!

Lollapalooza 2013: Girls Who Rock

This past Saturday I trekked down to Grant Park and entered my first Lollapalooza. Armed with a hipster headband and my sidekick Lisa (along with hand sanitizer) I prepared for a day of laughs, sun, a beer or two, and of course, great music. What I saw were wayyyyy too many crop tops* and three ladies who literally rocked my socks off.

Our first stop was Matt and Kim, they weren’t a must see for me, but Lisa wanted to go and I like their song Daylight, so I went along. I was expecting them to be a bit more chill, and was I wrong. As soon as they entered the stage, Kim started totally jamming out on the drums, occasionally standing on top of them. Her energy was contagious, and it really set the pace for the whole day. When Kim decided to walk across the crowd, I was smitten. This is what sets Lolla apart from other music festivals.

Lollapalooza 2013 - Day 2

Photo courtesy of Elle.com

After Matt and Kim we re-fueled and headed over to Ellie Goulding. I’ve been a big fan of hers since Lights came out (just last summer) and regularly listen to her Pandora station. Walking over to her we were both struck by how beautiful her voice is in real life. After belting out her amazing cover of Your Song, she immediately kicked it into high gear with Anything Can Happen which caused everyone to go nuts. It was so great to be part of such a large group all in sync, and I’m definitely planning on seeing her in concert again soon.

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Photo via my Instagram

After heading over to the other end of the park to watch The National,  The Lumineers and a hot minute of Mumford and Sons, we headed to the performance I was the most excited for: The Postal Service. I had been a fan of that single album of theirs for ten years and could not wait to see them live. Boy, did they deliver. It was a great crowd too, most of the teens in braces were puking up their first beers ever over at Mumford and Sons.

Video courtesy of Billboard

It was also at Postal Service that I officially fell in love with Jenny Lewis. She is gorgeous, and I loved seeing a black sequined cocktail dress at Lolla. She is also insanely insanely talented, not only did she play practically every instrument on stage, she also at one point played her guitar with her teeth. Still not convinced? She ALSO starred in Troop Beverly Hills. Being in one of my favorite bands of all times and starring in one of my favorite movies of all time? You had me at hello! I’m still reeling from the fact that I was able to see them at what they claimed was their last live show ever.

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Image courtesy of Flickr

It was so refreshing seeing these women rock on their own, playing their instruments, and garnering amazing crowds. Wish I had stuck with those piano lessons!

*quick note on Lolla fashion: I was a bit underwhelmed, everyone was wearing pretty much different versions of the same thing–crop tops and high waisted shorts. Yawn! Also, that look isn’t very one size fits all if you know what I mean. We are so lucky to live in such a global marketplace that allows everyone to have their own style, I always get disappointed when people don’t take that advantage to be unique.

 

Riding Dirty: Chicago Bike to Work Week

This week, I’m participating in Chicago Bike Commuter Challenge. Earlier this Spring, I purchased a Schwinn Cruiser, which I’ve been mostly riding back and forth between friend’s houses in Lincoln Park/Lakeview (read: quiet neighborhood streets). So Monday when I hopped on my bike to go to work, it was a bit scary. I rode through the city to my office in River North. Today, I rode in along the Lakefront path which was really amazing since I love being near water, however it got a bit dicey when it was time to get off the path. Not going to lie, this is what I’ve felt the past two days during my commute:planes_t_auto_580_359_s_c1

Complete with daisy skull cap!

Regardless, I’m really glad that I’m challenging myself. And as I get the different routes down and riding more on the road, I’m becoming more comfortable. Sure, I’m probably not going to ride to bike to work every day (it’s impossible to maintain wearing my hair down), hopefully I’ll do it a few times a month. It was a nice way to start and end my work day, and it’s always nice getting some exercise in. I’m extremely lucky that I live in such a bike friendly city, and I’m glad I’m able to take advantage.

Finally, I’m going to share one more thing I learned biking to work this week: wrap dresses are not very bike friendly.

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Right after I bought my bike–I had to get black, it goes with everything!

Artsy Fartsy: Chicago Design Museum


One of the things I love most about living in Chicago is the amazing and accessible art scene. The city itself has an appreciation for art that rivals many other cities, featuring amazing public art throughout downtown, including the Picasso statue presiding over the Loop.  From the architecture to the fabulous museums, the Chicago art scene is always stimulating.

This evening I went and checked out the Chicago Design Museum in Block 37. An initiative of Pop Up Art Loop, this installation focuses on graphic design, including several interactive pieces. I also happened to attend on a night they had free wine and treats from Magnolia Bakery, which was an added bonus. It’s only open through June 30th, so next time you are heading to Zara or Anthro, head up to the third floor and check this awesome space out. Did I mention it’s free? Below are some snippets from things I particularly enjoyed, head there yourself to see the entire works!

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There is a piece revolving around tacos–do I need to convince you any more? 

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I was most drawn to Marian Bantjes, especially this poster that was somewhat of an infographic of the reach of the Grateful Dead, which featured my favorite band, Widespread Panic.

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Walking through the gift shop, I couldn’t help but notice the “Buy Less Shit” button. I need that reminder sometimes, but I thought it was counterintuitive to actually purchase it. 

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My friend LK and I enjoyed the Smile Booth, sadly, my topknot had already checked out for the day.