On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, The Frock Shop (2150 S Canalport Ave.), a rental dress boutique in Pilsen, held A Night of Style, their first of several style series fashion mixers to help Chicago women create a complete look for holiday parties and New Year’s.
A Night of Style included lots of glamour, and many treats.
The Frock Shop and former Ann Taylor stylist, Porchea Londone, hosted the holiday style event.
Chicago models and aspiring ones showed a room full of guests new arrival cocktail dresses from BCBG and others like Chicago’s designer, Suzette Opara, Frock Shop x 828Collection Holiday Capsule.
More than a standalone fashion show, The Frock Shop had makeup artists from Paint Gal Studio (1136 S. Delano Ct. W B201, Floor 2, Suite 2023),and hair stylists from The Starr Project Studio (2150 S. Canal Port) available for a Q&A session. Former America’s Next Top Model contestant from Cycle 20, Bianca “Kanani” Andaluz, made an appearance and stayed for a meet and greet and conversation about fashion and modeling.
Before the fashion show started, guests explored the beautiful, artsy space at 2105 S. Canalport in Pilsen. There were a few parties going on between the various lofts. Guests enjoyed a special holiday wine sangria and warm chicken and brisket sandwiches from Dinosaur Barbeque.
Holiday Cocktail Dress Fashion Show:
The first look of the night was a black, short BCBG dress, followed by a show stopper sequin romper.
“You have to rent it because when else are you going to wear it?,” said a Frock Shop stylist.
The piece retails for about $100, but you can rent it for $40.
Green Sequin Party Romper. Photo: Fred Brown
Feature designer, Suzette Opara collaborated with The Frock Shop to bring an exclusive collection that you can only rent at The Frock Shop. The Chicago fashion designer debuted her collection in 2014 and is marked by flirty and confident fits that are not too trendy, but relevant, according to The Frock Shop. Evening gowns start at $1,000 to buy, but to rent, they start at $100.
The outfit that got the most gasps from fashionistas was a BCBG jumper paired with a pink jacket. The dress retails at $150. To rent is $55.
BCBG Holiday Jumper. Photo: Fred Brown
The Frock Shop has added new brands to their dress collections, including London based, Oh My Love brand. The model displayed a Metallic dress. With a turtle neck and long sleeves, it’s a nice winter dress, but it’s also lightweight so you will be comfortable at a holiday party.
Another look of the night was by For Love & Lemons, a brand favorited by celebrities like Kendall Jenner. While the dress has a Free People vibe, their clothes are made of silk instead of polyester, for the more sophisticated holiday party girl.
You can rent all of the dresses mentioned and so much more at The Frock Shop. Prices start at $40 and range to almost $2,000.
As a bonus, you can get styled with accessories to rent for under $10.
Make-up Artist Tips from Paint Gal Studio:
After the fashion show, The Frock Shop brought out make-up artists and hairstylists for an interactive session.
Only have a few minutes? Focus on skin.
For one tip to do at home, the make-up artist, Davenda, from Paint Gal Studio said if you only had time to focus on one thing, focus on your skin because from far away people will notice the difference. This includes: conceal, brighten under eye, and use a bronzer.
At the Paint Gal Studio, artists experiment with cheaper brands and more expensive ones. For the fashion show, Davenda used MAC eyes shadows. She also recommends the Naked3 Pallete from Urban Decay for an easy day to evening look.
Davenda from Paint Gal Studio gives tips. Photo: Fred Brown
The Starr Project Studio:
Upstairs from The Frock Shop is Starr Project Studio.
I spoke with Carmah Benet, business manager for The Starr Project Studio and The Artistry Lounge.
Benet works closely with Star Knight, one of the stylists at The Starr Project Studio who has worked for New York Fashion Week, to help book unique opportunities like events and photo shoots to expand stylists skills beyond the studio.
Each stylist maintains their own social media account and Benet encourages them to use their name as a hashtag to promote business.
“You have to create a name for yourself,” Benet says.
America’s Next Top Model contestant from Cycle 20, Kanani Andaluz, came to the Grand Opening of The Artistry Lounge in September and then Benet helped with her appearance at The Frock Shop.
ANTM: Bianca “Kanani” Andaluz:
Kanani Andaluz took selfies with fans and aspiring models and answered a few questions.
Kanani from America’s Next Top Model. Photo: Amanda Elliott
I sat down with her for a quick interview.
Windy City Cosmo: What was it like to have Tyra Banks as a mentor?
Kanani: “I was star struck as first. Then I had to show her I could do this.”
Kanani auditioned twice and made it twice, but because of transcript release dates, she had to re-audition.
Windy City Cosmo: What was the hardest part of America’s Next Top Model?
Kanani: “My daughter wasn’t even one yet. It was my first time away. Being a first time mom, it was hard not to hear her voice everyday.”
Windy City Cosmo: What do you think makes you unique as a model?
Kanani: “I am ethnically ambiguous. I’m African, Cuban, Puerto Rican, French, and Spanish.
Depending on my hair color or style I can change my look. They always say a model is like an iguana. I feel like i am exactly what that is. I have an androgynous look.”
Windy City Cosmo: What is it like to model in Chicago?
Kanani: “In Chicago…it’s really commercial.”
Kanani described an experience modeling for Ford.
“If we cant put you next to a 12 year old kid and you look like a mom. You are not the right fit.”
Kanani is currently a free agent. She is too short for the New York market, where models start at 5’9″, so she is looking to move to LA, where they accept lifestyle models. Kanani is 5’7 1/2”.
She is also working on a mortuary science degree.
Beauty Appointments and Dress Fittings:
This fall The Frock Shop was selected as a featured boutique for Midwest Fashion Week. With their dresses from cocktail to trendy to gowns, and their connections with beauticians and hair stylists in the same building, it’s one-stop, diva service.
To book make-up appointments: Paint Gal Studio (in studio or at home)
To book hair appointments: The Starr Project Studio
To rent holiday dresses size 0-22: The Frock Shop