Wednesday, September 7, 2011:
Hello, my friends ... it has certainly been too long - and I've missed you dearly. Between hustling at the agency, freelance work and a move - I have been a bit distracted from the world of the bowtie. I can't promise it wont happen again - but I can tell you I will always be back!
Speaking of being back ... I have good reason to be.
Have you heard a small whisper or tiny chatter about this little shop that opened up on Michigan Avenue? Have you?
Ok - who am I kidding? ... Ladies and gentlemen - TOPSHOP|TOPMAN IS HERE ... and boy do they know how to make a stylish scene.
I recently received an invitation in the mail to attend the TOPSHOP|TOPMAN private shopping event and was definitely intrigued. I was thrilled at the chance to check out the goods before anyone else - and since I have been a hermit lately, I couldn't think of a better excuse to shed the shell.
I arrived around lunch with my Agency Galatea boss, Marie P. Anderson - and quickly got to work checking out the merch. We started on the ground floor and combed through the women's garments. I loved the colors and textures - great styles and cuts - and decent price points. (Marie was gawking over a very Gaga-esque t-shirt with a faded cross printed on it and cut-out shoulders.)
After a few minutes - I began whining about wanting to see the TOPMAN floor and we caught the escalator up to Floor 1 for what was the beginning of many fashion heart attacks. I loved the massive visual display in the men's section and the low ceiling kind of made it feel a bit more chic - like a secret (though, real fancy) basement shop. The visuals are almost too much to take - but I'm okay with a little over-stimulation during shopping.
I can't speak on fit, as I did not yet try on the clothes - but I loved the looks that I saw. Great basic wovens (with interesting added touches) - drop-crotch jeans and slacks that slim near the ankle - and THE suit. Yes - THE suit. I had a total moment when I saw it and I think I scared Marie out of her shoes from the squeal that came out of my mouth. (Fashion heart attack alert.) I wanted to strip this maroon creation right off the mannequin - AND the bowtie. I'll say no more - have a look below. (I died.)
After a few photo opp's, courtesy of Tyler Curtis (and Matthew Reeves of www.DarkroomDemons.com) - we made it down to Level -1. First of all - "Level -1?" It's kind of unnecessary to call it that (and I kind, sort of, totally love it and want to use it in daily language to describe where I am at, should I be in a basement.) Level -1 houses walls of shoes, accessories, more garments (women's, if I remember correctly) and more gorgeous people that work at this delicious store.
After browsing every level of TOPSHOP|TOPMAN, I can safely say that I am in love. Not only is the store visually beautiful - but it adds some much needed fashion street cred to Michigan Avenue (along with the sexy new AllSaints store.) The prices are affordable and the styles are more edgy and London-ey than your average H&M. (Did I just say London-ey?) Chicago has been buzzing with word of this new shop and TOPSHOP|TOPMAN has done a very good job at creating such buzz. If you haven't had a chance to check out the store - you must. I guarantee you'll walk out with something you love - and if you're not careful, you may even catch an English accent.