Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Beg, Borrow and Steal" - Artfully Disheveled at John Allan's

Thursday, February 10, 2011:
A couple months back, while clutching the metal rail on the Brown Line train, I got an email on Facebook from a beautiful woman named Maria Ponce.  If you are not familiar with this smart and exotic individual - allow me to fill you in:   Maria is an extremely talented photographer who divides her time between Chicago and New York shooting commercial portrait work, as well as fashion.  She has shot for many stellar Chicago publications - including her most recent work photographing all fifty of Chicago Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful Chicagoans."  (Check out the rest of her hotness by clicking HERE.)  Anyhow - Maria introduced herself (as if I didn't know who she was) and began to tell me about an amazing new line of neckties, pocket squares and bowties (she knew her audience) in Chicago.  Clearly - I was listening (aka:  I began to read faster.)  As I read more, the name of said line immediately intrigued me:  Artfully Disheveled.  Right away, I knew had to learn more and I quickly found out the story behind this young lifestyle brand...
Chris Berre & Trey Berre:
Photo by Maria Ponce
While staying on his brother Trey’s couch in Chicago, Chris Berre thought up the idea for a new line of neck wear that would speak to the modern gentlemen who shared a flair for style that told a story.   The brothers soon reached out to a friend named Palmer, who shared their passion for quality and timeless style choices - and before they knew it, Artfully Disheveled was born.  In it's debut collection titled "Beg, Borrow and Steal", the lifestyle brand features thoughtful accessories "geared towards the urban professional, the eager student, the aspiring artist and any style minded individual."  The debonair Look Book describes the concept behind the name of the brand, explaining that Artfully Disheveled is "rooted in the Italian philosophy of Sprezzatura," and "is a contradiction by definition.  Artfully Disheveled is for the man who desires a look that is sophisticated but not subdued.  That is stylish but not stuffy.  That is classic but not conforming." 
Chris Berre, Ryan M. Beshel & Trey Berre:
Photo by Maria Ponce
Once I knew the story, I immediately reached out to Chris Berre (thanks to Maria's introduction) to learn more.  He was such a gentleman and he quickly invited me to an event at John Allan's to meet himself and his brother and get a look at the collection.  I arrived at the event that Thursday night and found Trey and Chris who were incredibly warm and welcoming.  We discussed menswear in Chicago and I shared my excitement for their young brand.  I was lucky enough to walk away with my own "The Sharps" bowtie, which I immediately tied with pride.  After a cocktail or two and some excellent conversation, it was time for me to head out - but not before snapping a few photos with the guys.  (These things are essential.)  I want to congratulate Trey and Chris for having the courage to begin this new Chicago brand.  Starting a venture such as theirs takes dedication, vision and patience.  Our fine city is in need of more individuals such as themselves that foster a passion for style and the motivation to make an idea come to life.  I look forward to the next collection from Artfully Disheveled and I know for certain that the collars of my shirts will be waiting for their next line of bowties.

Until then, Berre Brothers...


(click to enlarge)
 Chris Berre & Palmer:
All Photos by Maria Ponce

“We believe a man should strive to find his own personal style and not chase trends.” Explains Designer, Palmer.

Founder Chris Berre adds; “Style is enduring whereas fashion is fleeting. One’s personal style should tell a personal story. Artfully Disheveled provides essential pieces that integrate to one’s personal style and provide a ready made story and conversation.”

The Ted Baker-London Grand Opening

Thursday, February 17, 2011:
On a particularly dreary (London-esque) day, I tightened my bowtie in the Agency Galatea office, shut down the computer and made my way to the elevator.  Once at street level, I saw Katie McLenaghan smile at me through the glass - one eye covered with that gorgeous blond hair of hers.  I gave her a smooch, we hailed a cab and we were off to see Ted.  (Well, kinda.)   Arriving a bit early, we walked a few windy blocks and discussed the future of Chicago fashion and Katie schooled me on her favorite legendary socialites of times past and present.  (Candace Jordan:  Yes, my love - you were a lovely topic of conversation!)  Finally rounding the corner of Oak and Rush, we arrived for the event:  The Ted Baker London Grand Opening.
Ryan M. Beshel & Katie McLenaghan:
Once inside, I was blown away by the gorgeous interior of the store.  It has tons of personality and once I found my way to Mr. Michael Corrigan (Friend and Publicist - Zapwater Communications), he explained that the concept was planned as if a heavy wind had blown the decor from the walls the farther back you moved into the space.  (You'll have to check it out for yourself to know what I mean.)  Once I quit fawning over the decor, I had the chance to get down to business and speak to the women behind the brand:  Joni Kilmurry (Ted Baker London’s Marketing & Press Guardian for the West Coast, Gail Dobinson (Ted Baker London Head of Marketing & PR) and Jodie Kilmurry (Ted Baker London Marketing Manager.)  First of all - these women were not only sweet as can be - but they each had their own eccentric style and I could have talked to them all night.  They explained to me that the quality of the fabrics/stitching/buttons, as well as a dedicated attention to detail (and a quirky sense of humor) is what sets Ted Baker apart from it's competition.  (I later learned that the very first stores would provide a laundry service for every shirt purchased and that Ted shops would give away a can of Paxo stuffing at Christmas.  See?  Quality and a sense of humor.)  When I asked Joni to tell me one sentence that best describes the Ted Baker brand - she didn't miss a beat:  "‘No Ordinary Designer Label."  Quite frankly, I'd have to agree.
Joni Kilmurry, Gail Dobinson &  Jodie Kilmurry:
After a fantastic chat, it was time for the ladies to speak to other press - and for me to move on to the bar area.  I snagged a drink, finagled my way through the crowd and planted a kiss on Megan Taylor's cheek (my favorite lady DJ from one of my favorite Chicago creative companies - Fig Media.)  She was playing a to-die-for mix of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and she quickly told me where to get it.  (Just click the link above!)   After a few words with her, I ran into the lovely Sonya Jackson - who was busy shopping up a storm.  (Loved that black dress on you, gorgeous!)  As I flipped around from Sonya's dressing room - I was thrilled, as always, to see the handsome James Goeke and Kevin Aeh chatting it up.  I looked up and coming through the crowd was the ever-popular Mr. Justin Jacobson (with a beautiful lady, of course.)  To his right was the stunning Corri McFadden (an appointed Chicago Brand Ambassador for Ted Baker, if I may add) and the "EDrop-Off Girls" (yes - they have quickly become a sexy little group of celebs, if you ask me.)  After a few words with Jena Gambaccini, I ran into Lynne Bredfeldt from the Park Hyatt (also a Chicago Brand Ambassador) who is always so sweet.  Basically, friends - you get my point:  this party was packed with the best of the best!
Corri McFadden, Christopher Clinton Conway (Executive Director of the Joffrey Ballet), 
Lynne Bredfeldt & Ashley Wheater (Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet):
After catching up with everyone, it was time for me to head out and meet my Julie Darling at Frontier for drinks and to learn a bit about Rodan + Fields (if you're not in the know about this company - get in the know.  They are pretty much taking over.)  If I had stayed for a bit longer, I would have been a part of the double-decker bus action that shuttled all of Ted's friends off to Public House.  Grrrr!  (Maybe next time?)  Either way - I had an absolute blast at the Ted Opening.  If you haven't already left your house to go check this place out - I suggest you do.  I guarantee you'll find something you love - and if you don't - I'll take you for a spin in a double-decker bus to make up for it.



Jodie Kilmurry & Ryan M. Beshel:
 Handsome crowd:
1009 North Rush St.
(312) 255-0290

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

YOU'RE INVITED: Red Carpet Party at LUXBAR to Benefit JDRF

Tuesday, February 15, 2011:
Hello, friends!  Now - as you know, I don't often post about events before they happen - but I couldn't resist telling you about an upcoming soiree, brought to you by my good friends at Michigan Avenue Magazine.  In celebration of the 83rd Academy Awards (aka:  The Oscars) - one of the most glamorous events of the year - LUXBAR and Michigan Ave Mag are teaming up to raise money for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.)  This stellar event, hosted by two of my NBC favorites - Marcus Riley and Ginger Zee - will take place on February 27, 2011 at 6p.m.  Tickets will sell fast, so get them while you can and join myself and The Bowtie Memoirs as we walk the red carpet and check out the winners.  Who knows?  Your beautiful face may even show up right here on TBM, post-event!  
**click on the image below to buy your tickets today**
*Red Carpet Party*
Benefiting JDRF
Join us February 27th @ 6p.m.
For drinks, appetizers,
silent auction and a glamorous good time!
$65 per ticket in advance
$80 at the door
Gold level VIP tickets available
Tickets available for purchase at
18 E Bellevue

Oh - and just one quick question: 

Who are you wearing?
(See YOU there!)



Maven Presents "The Divo Series" - Honoring Successful Chicago Men

Tuesday, February 8, 2011: 
When I first received an email from Sarah Vargo (Maven, LLC), I have to admit - I was quite excited.  She stated that she was planning an event to honor successful Chicago men and that she had wanted me to be a part of it.  (Ok, I was more than excited -  I was downright tickled.)  The event, called 'The Divo Series,' was aimed at bringing together men who excel at their work in each of their respective industries.  Presented at the Foundation Room at Chicago's own House of Blues, the event was sure to be a solid night of networking, good friends and getting to know some of my fellow Chicago Divo's.  
The fabulous Sarah Vargo givin' all the lovin':
I arrived with some of my favorite people around 6p.m. and quickly found a comfortable spot in one of the Foundation Room's private areas.  I was pleased to have been accompanied by my boss, the Marie P. Anderson (Fashion & Beauty Director - Agency Galatea), as well as my lovely assistant Kate Jacobsen and good friends Amy Harper, Callie Greenwood and Katie Gallagher.  We quickly got to work chatting it up with the attendees and working the room.  Mr. Steve Starr (also a Divo!) was working his camera magic with that big Steve Starr smile.  Jason F.C. Laws (yep - a total Divo) and I hit up the bar and surveyed the crowd.  Tyler Curtis quickly 'camerambushed' (my new coined phrase for Tyler) us in our private room with his entourage (such a Divo.)  I ran into Benjamin Cottrell - another fellow Divo - and we caught up on conversation.  All around the room, men (and the ladies who love them) were enthralled in chatter and laughter - exactly what Ms. Vargo had intended, I'm sure.
(L) Jason F.C Laws, his gorgeous friend/business partner & Ryan M. Beshel
(R) Ryan M. Beshel & Steve Starr:
Before the night ended, I ran into a few of my favorite people, including Jessica Bergman, Fayshell Fajardo and Abby Zupancic.  The support of such great friends is really what makes me proud be in such a fantastic industry.  Knowing that people were there to cheer us on and share a drink or a conversation meant the world.  Many thanks to Sarah Vargo for planning such a great event and to everyone who came out to say hello and tip a glass.  I know that without all your love, I couldn't be the Divo I am today.

*snaps fingers and flips hair back*


Fayshell Fajardo and my amazing photographer for the night, Eddie Ellis:
Mikeya Summerville & Rodney Fox:
 Marco Foster, Fayshell Fajardo & Ryan M. Beshel:
 | ..special thanks to Eddie Ellis for the stunning images.. |

Other fine Divo's of the night included:

Anderson Bell - CEO and Founder of FanFueled Tickets
Steve Starr - Owner of Steve Starr Studios
Philip Jones - CEO/Co-Founder of Serious-Gourmet.com
Brian Burt - Founder/CEO - WebRev Marketing, President - Rock Star Auto Glass. Senior VP - The Burt Collection
Jeff Pieta - CEO of AIS, Inc. and Chicago Magazine Single 2009
Tyler Curtis - Creative Partner at Darkroom Demons
Lenox Magee - Editor-in-Chief of 360 Magazine, Blogger of "Lenox and the Second City" on ChicagoNow.com (owned by the Chicago Tribune Media Group), RedEye Freelance Writer
Ryan M. Beshel - Director of Runway at Agency Galatea and editor-in-chief of "The Bowtie Memoirs"
Benjamin Cottrell - Design Principal/Owner of Benjamin Cottrell Designs
Scott Newman - Owner/Broker at Newman Realty
Corey Sanford - Owner at Music Masters Entertainment
Rex Archambault - President of Windy City Marketing, Inc, Motiv8 and 3oclockclub.com
Mark Biery - Founder and Director at LTS Chicago (Live to Support Chicago)
Drew Dallas Deardorff - District Manager at Goorin Bros.
Nick Hansen - Owner of Nicholas Joseph Custom Suits
Jason F.C. Laws - Founder of Mister Laws - Creative Director, Commercial Choreographer and Movement Coach
Roderic Montrece - Publsher & Editor-in-Chief at Zeus
Travis Maciel - Director of Foundation Room at House of Blues
Tariq Khwaja -Managing Partner at American Nationwide Mortgage Company, Manager/Lead Guitar Player for the Chicago Rock Group: MUNROE and Owner - 5 Star Performances