Monday, September 12, 2011

A Night in Paris, to Welcome London: The TOPSHOP|TOPMAN Private Dinner

Wednesday, September 7, 2011:
After attending the fantastic TOPSHOP|TOPMAN private shopping event - it was soon time to head over to Paris Club for the private dinner, hosted by Sir Philip Green.  (What a private day I was having.)  I was only allowed to arrive solo, so I threw the bowtie back on in the office and began my way over to the event.

Once I arrived - I was checked in and given a small card with a number on it ... a table number.  I memorized the number '11' and did what any solo party-goer would do - I located the bar.  A handsome bartender walked over and I asked him what the deal was tonight.  His response? ... "It's open bar, sir." ... "Oh?", I thought - "It's that kind of a party?"  I order a whiskey/coke and before the I'm-alone-and-it's-awkward set in, Emma Arnold of Tres Awesome (one of my favorite fashion blogs) nudged me on the shoulder.  She was a welcomed sight - with her cool, calm demeanor and leather jacket-over a t-shirt-over a dress hotness.  It was about to begin...

Before I could could make that slurping sound with my straw (more whiskey, please) - we had a full-on party going.  I saw Samantha Saifer (CS Magazine) across the room - looking amazing (those pants?! - love.) ... James Goeke and I spotted each other, both raised a 'hello hand' and he came by to gossip (P.s. LOVE him, James!) ... not far behind him, his wifey Jessica Zweig (Cheeky Chicago) came over for a smooch/hug combo ... I finally met the handsome Mr. Anderson Bell (FanFueled Tickets) and ordered him another Stella, as he told us about how he keeps his girlish figure ... my obsessions walked in shortly after - Christina Fan (C/FAN) and Ms. April Francis (AF - Refinery29 Contributor - Total Fox) - #CallMeYouTwo ...  Getting the point?  The room was packed with Chicago's most stylish and elite - and there I was ... somehow invited to be in the middle of it all.
Christina Fan & Bridget White:
The original time for dinner (8p) had come and passed (though, most of us didn't notice - see: open bar.)  As it approached 8:30p. I heard someone say "Well - Miley's not here yet."  I'm sorry - what?!  At this point, my stomach is Not. Happy. with said Miley Cyrus, who is holding us back from quite a delicious, fancy dinner.  So ... we wait.  Around 9p. it is time and I begin the search for No. 11.  

Arriving at my table, I was delighted to be sitting with some of my favorite Chicagoans.  I just about squealed when Molly Each (Michigan Avenue Magazine) scooted in to my right - love that women.  To my left - Ms. Bridget White (eDrop-Off) sat down (looking as beautiful as ever) ... minutes later, we'd be swapping childhood stories and literally holding back tears - xo, B-dub!  Across from me sat a stellar lineup of Chicago's finest men:  Matt Lee (Editor-in-Chief of The Men's Book) - which, to me, is liking sitting across from Oprah ... Jason Berngard (Market Lead, Gilt City), whom is marrying my girlfriend, Sam Saifer (don't tell him) ... and Michael Corrigan (Zapwater Communications) - THE man of the hour (as far as I'm concerned), who had a hand in planning the entire night.  Excellent work, Michael!

After everyone was settled, watered and wined - it was time to hear from Sir Philip Green - the man behind TOPSHOP|TOPMAN.  He stood and spoke kindly - telling us how thrilled he was to be in Chicago and how much he was looking forward to growing his business here.  After a few words - we raised our glasses and had a cheers to TOPSHOP|TOPMAN ... and rightfully so.
So - there we were - drinking fantastic wine, eating shrimp the size of my hand and having conversations that I wanted to last all night.  I could have thought of no better way to end the summer - surrounded by amazing, hardworking (and really good-looking) people - sipping wine - laughing and eating absolutely delicious food.  I didn't think it could get any better - until dinner was over.
Full and ready to burn those calories - the crew headed upstairs to the roof - aka: Studio Paris (which I had never been) - for another round of open bar (Sir Philip - I love you) and some stellar DJ sets.  There, I shook it up with Monica Dimperio (The MidWasteland), Kevin Aeh (Time Out Chicago), the handsome Ian Doran (Jack Spade) - and of course, Miley (who - by this time - had stolen someone's suspenders and thought it would be like, so funny to wear them with her outfit.)
LOOK at me, Miley!
Here was what I remember of our conversation:

Ryan:  "Hi.  I'm Ryan."

Miley:  (in that weird voice of hers)  "Hiii.  I'm Miii-lay"  (What?  She has an accent.)

They shake hands.  They dance for approximately 48 seconds.  They part ways.

Shorty after this experience, I was back to my girl Bridget, shakin' it like it was Saturday.  Until I realized ... it was Wednesday ... and 2a.m. ... and definitely time to go...
Kevin Aeh & Monica Dimperio:

As the cab drove through the streets of Chicago - wind whipping through the window - I thought about the truly amazing evening TOPSHOP|TOPMAN had created for us that night.  Never before had I been to an event like it ... and it took a shop from across the pond to give me that experience.  

As the cab driver reached my place, I had only one thought on my mind:  When is the next TOPSHOP|TOPMAN opening?!

(I just hope I make the list.)


Myself, Christina Fan & Bridget White:
Monica Dimperio ends the night with some #SASS:

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