Fantasy at the Opera

Opera Fantasy

Opera Fantasy

Opera House Chicago

Opera Fantasy by Miss Renaissance

Opera Fantasy by Miss Renaissance

Opera Fantasy by Miss Renaissance

Opera Fantasy by Miss Renaissance

Opera Fantasy by Miss Renaissance

What happens around 1am at the Chicago Lyric Opera House?! Well, normally not much….but the other night, a little dark & stormy fantasy played out at one of Chicago’s most beautiful landmarks.

I’ve long been a fan of Marie Antoinette as well as The Phantom of the Opera. I love the fantasy element of both and I adore playing dress-up (who doesn’t, really!?) So when I came across this beautiful Beth Bowley Gown at BHLDN, I knew my fantasy photo shoot finally had to happen! I totally improvised with my hair & makeup here, but I had long wanted to experiment with gold body paint to create an “opera length” illusion glove. What do you think? I kinda wish I could run around with an arm’s length of gold paint on a regular basis.

I hope you enjoyed getting lost in my little fantasy world for a few minutes. It doesn’t hurt to dream every now and then!

P.S.: This gown is now available for purchase (at a sweet discount) on my Vaunte page!

XO

{Images by Seth Casteel}

BBQ-ing with {Chef Zoe Schor}

Ada Street Chicago for Starving Artist IMG_1732-2 IMG_1735-3 IMG_1740-4 IMG_1749-5 IMG_1782-7

You all know how much I LOVE to eat, right? I. Love. It. Chicago is a huge food town, and Ada Street happens to be one of my favorite restaurants. So when I recently got the opportunity to chat with Ada Street’s Chef Zoe Schor I was insanely excited and honored! Chef Zoe honed her skills at incredible restaurants such as Thomas Keller’s Bouchon and Todd English’s Beso before joining the Ada Street team as executive chef. Her cooking is a blend of classical and contemporary styles & the result is an approachable, seasonal and diverse menu that always hits the spot for me.

I was able to watch Chef Zoe re-create a delicious dish she previously cooked for a Summer event at Ada Street last year. In honor of the restaurant’s patio opening – complete with a ping-pong table, astro turf, and a custom painted garage door by local Chicago street artist Ruben Aguirre – Zoe dished up slow-grilled bbq pork shoulder on top of corn sopes, topped off with a fresh grilled corn salad. YUM! It’s a perfect blend of perfectly seasoned & tender meat with a fresh and slightly spicy topping that harmoniously comes together with the earthy support of the corn sope base. I could eat this little dish all summer long!

The great news is that Chef Zoe will dish up this exact recipe at next weekend’s Starving Artist Party! She’ll be on-site, preparing bbq pork sopes for guests all night. Now that’s exciting..and even more reason for you Chicago peeps to join us at Starving Artist! Tickets are still available, but selling out fast, so get yours soon! And if you haven’t been to Ada Street yet, what are you waiting for?!!

XO

{All images by Miss Renaissance.}

Starving Artist {It’s Giveaway Time!}

Starving Artist Tickets

Remember when I first told you about “Starving Artist” – The Chicago Artists Coalition’s Annual Fundraiser? Well, the event is fast approaching, and as an honored member of this year’s host committee I’m giving away 2 tickets to the party! To win, all you have to do is leave me a comment here, telling me what your favorite Chicago restaurant is & what you would wear to the Starving Artist party. Please, Chicago residents (& surrounding areas) only. This Giveaway will close on Friday, June 21st at midnight & the winner will be randomly chosen.

This is going to be THE party of the Summer – amazing art, incredibly talented chefs creating beautiful food, silent auctions, DJ’s spinning tunes to shake your bootay to, an epic “Taco Battle” between Big Star & Antique Taco….need I say more?! And it’s all for a great cause supporting up-and-coming local artists – so even if you don’t get lucky and win the tickets, you should get yours here & join the fun! I hope to see you there.

XO

Fashion to Fork {Gatsby Style}

Remember this Biz Spotlight from last year? Well, fast forward 9 months, and Elaina and I are becoming fast friends. A few weeks ago, Elaina approached me about shooting a video for her new series “Fashion to Fork” at my house & I was immediately convinced.

Little did I know that Elaina and her team would completely transform my living room, kitchen & roof deck into an amazing & magical vintage “Great Gatsby” fantasy world (my closet even made an appearance)! We had so much fun filming and prepping all day, and as you can see, we ate an amazing meal (with lots of bubbly) in true Boutique Bites style. You may even be able to spot me here & there throughout the video – I’m the blonde wearing a short, light-pink fringe dress.

Oh, and Elaina, any time you want to come over and transform my house while feeding me delicious food – feel free!

Have a wonderful weekend, Lovelies!!

XO

SAIC x Swarovski {The Walk 2013}

SAIC X Swarovski THE WALK 2013

{Work by Blair Disbrow.}

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{Work by Blair Disbrow.}

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{Work by Crystal Crubaugh.}

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{Work by Crystal Crubaugh.}

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{Work by Jordan Kiehle.}

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{Work by Jordan Kiehle.}

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{Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, receiving this year’s “Legend of Fashion” Award.}

This past weekend was a big one for Chicago’s Fashion Scene! The School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrated their annual (& super glam) Fashion Benefit Gala “The Walk.” The runway show was beautiful, and a major highlight was the work of 3 outstanding Junior Students – Blair Disbrow, Jordan Kiehle and Crystle Crubaugh – who were given amazing jewelry and crystal embellishments by The Walk’s presenting sponsor Swarovski to use on their show garments. As you can see in the images above, Blair, Jordan, and Crystle dreamt up an otherwordly array of stunningly creative and beautifully embellished designs!

Another highlight of the night was seeing Kate and Laura Mulleavy – the genius sisters behind famous fashion label Rodarte – take the stage to receive SAIC’s “Legend of Fashion” award. As a huge Rodarte fan, I was humbled by their grace and enthusiasm. It was a night to remember, and I can’t wait for next year’s festivities!

XO

{Images by Robert F. Carl, courtesy of SAIC.}

A Stylish Party {For a Cause}

This is for my Chicago People!! I’m super excited to tell you about an amazing event that I’m co-hosting. It’s the Chicago Artists Coalition’s annual fundraiser, Starving Artist. The event will challenge an incredibly talented group of local artists & chefs to collaborate and inspire one another. The outcome is a night of artistic, edible and aesthetic delight! Trust me, this is a Summer Event you won’t want to miss! There will be music, delicious food, cocktails and, of course, amazing art installations. The Chicago Artists Coalition’s space is beautiful & wide open – a perfect backdrop for this kind of Soiree.

Just to give you a little sneak peek, this year features an all star line-up of participants and partners:

Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice // Andrea Morris of Cocomori // Benjamin Newby of Hennessy Black // Bill Kim of BellyQ and Urban Belly // Furniture designers Bladon Conner & Aaron Pahmier // Chrissy Camba of Bar Pastoral // Artist Claire Ashley // Artist Cody Hudson // Erick Williams of MK // Fabio Viviano of Top Chef and Siena Tavern // Jared Wentworth of Longman and Eagle // HATCH artist Jordan Martins // Mamas Nuts // Artist Sabina Ott // BOLT artist Stacia Yeapanis // Taco Battle: Antique Taco vs. Big Star // Artist Theaster Gates // Zoe Schor of Ada Street.

Visit the CAC’s website for more information about the Coalition’s background and programs. To purchase tickets for Starving Artist, email alexis@chicagoartistscoalition.org or call 312.491.8888.

If you purchase your tickets before June 15 (and I suggest you do, this event will sell out fast!), you’ll enjoy early bird pricing:

$100 general admission

$150 Secret Society (includes a super awesome gift bag and a year long collectors circle membership, a $150 value)

I hope to see you there!

XO

Get Shopping {Madewell is coming to town!}

Madewell comes to Chicago

Listen up, Chicago: If you’re, like me, a fan of Madewell’s laid-back & fun style then you’re in luck. The brand is finally opening a store in Chicago next week! Yay!

Head to 932 N. Rush Street next Wednesday, April 3rd, for their opening day. Madewell staff will be handing out 150 mystery gift cards ranging from $10-500 starting at 10am to kick off the day! I suggest getting there early so you can score big and get your shop on.

Above are a few of my favorite Madewell things for Spring. How amazing are those leather bags…and don’t even get me started on those minty green sunglasses!!

XO

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