haute

THCIYH: Vol. 26

You can listen in on spotify here.

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Bling Blang! Top Pop!

Hello, Holidaze!

If this isn’t the sparkliest time of year … we have to say we love everything about Chicago right now.

And we <3 to see fantastic happenings happening in our favorite neighborhood, the LP.

So, after eating a Franchise at CBA, where else will you be able to pick up the necessities for a bright and merry season around Armitage? Hint: the secret Topshop Pop Up!

Herewith, how to daze and delight the hunks and babes in your life this holiday after a pit stop at 1925 North Halsted this Thursday, 12/6, from 1pm-8pm and Friday and Saturday, 1pm-7pm:

 

First up, for a very sexy cocktail hour, grab this peplum — we <3 its sweet/naughty subversion!
Paired with this diamante clutch? So sleek. Both will keep your nights hot all season long …

 

And if this winter white sparkle stunner isn’t the perfect look for the hottest NYE party in Chicago … you’re doing it all wrong. We recommend rocking this to Entrepreneuer’s Eve at Adler Planetarium, there isn’t a better spot for boy-catching (but don’t tell anyone we told you that!).

 

Have you the perfect faux? A Haute Closet isn’t complete without one, and this one is really stunning, the perfect topper to cap off the year … and anytime it’s chilly in the windy city with jeans, tees, stilettos … !Gotta get a gift for your BFF … how about this funky little knapsack? Love it! It’s bar none the best on-trend bag we’ve seen at such a good price all season.

 

And … we really must have boys on the brain … because all we want to say is this bunny sweater is sure to be his favorite thing to see you in (besides fancy knickers of course, but perhaps he’ll like those better on the floor.)

Wow, are we going on Santa’s naught list this year, or what?

All of these pieces are exclusive to this very special happening, only here:

 

<3 you and topshop

— April

PS: Not so secret, THC likes working w/ Topshop and this post is sponsored by Sir Philip!

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Addicted to lingerie … + having a good time!

So, we <3 lingerie. A lot.

And we <3 Dose Market and all of the Dosers. So we were STOKED to shop Orange Lingerie at Dose

… and include her custom service in this bachelorette party planning post we created for the gals over at beuweddings on the occasion of our best friend’s engagement.

Sending happy wishes and lots of sexiness your way!

<3 April

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THCIYH: Vol 23

Things to be grateful for:

Not being known for being on reality TV … ☑

Everyone who helps make Dose Market a reality … ☑

Girlfriends … ☑

The occasion of a four-leaf clover … ☑

Forgiveness … ☑

The advent of a mentor …  ☑

Family Love + Teamwork … ☑

Opening up … ☑

The best gift ever …

So grateful for the perfect storm of ‘3’.

Here’s the disc:

Click for THCIYH on iTunes or Spotify.

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Chicago’s Favorite Fashion Stylist

Love this new mag from Jason Binn + Gilt, DuJour. Many thanks for the feature, Anna.

It’s about that time … get your Haute Closet in order for FW12!

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#madebynike outtakes

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Diamonds, Lit + Intrigue

We had the ultimate pleasure of sitting down with Nicolas Bos, CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels. Herewith, the word on the best jewels in the world from the man himself, an education. Behold:

A year in the making by Van Cleef & Arpels -- the jelly's tentacles move ever so nicely.

April Francis: Let’s get right into it, Nicolas. How do you produce this ruby beauty, the Mystery Setting?

Nicolas Bos: The way it’s done is there’s a little architecture on the back, which is made out of red gold, which is rails, and then the stones are actually square stones that I’ve cut to size to match exactly all of the other stones. They are grooved and you slide them over the rail. That’s how you have the juxtaposition of stone. There’s no glue, it’s just the metal.

AF: And tension.

NB: And tension, and you always close the architecture with doors, which are architectural screws. You can unscrew them. You can always stagger other stones out and change one. It’s a very, very special technique.

AF: And it’s unique to you.

NB: It’s the holy grail of jewelers, technically. Particularly when they start and they are apprentice jewelers and wherever they work, setting pieces for, this is the most difficult. It’s crazy what it takes. It’s a combination of jewelry work and lapidary work, which is cutting the stones. We are only able to produce a handful of pieces every year with rubies and…

AF: How much time goes into this piece?

NB: Production on a piece like that would be maybe a year. Because – and this is true for other pieces — although they are all trained the same way, we do find very, very subtle differences in the way the jewelers work. If you want the piece to be really beautiful, you can’t have several jewelers working on the same. There would be slight differences. The difference in working with one stone versus all the stones — you need the feel of the same hand. That’s why it’s so time consuming. There’s no way to scale. You can’t spread the work to different jewelers, different work. You need just one guy to do all the lapidary work and then a jeweler for all the metal work.

AF: I love how everything moves, it’s very nice.

NB: There’s an idea of poetry, which is very, very important. And an idea of whimsy.

A lush cuff by Van Cleef & Arpels.

AF: It seems that literary references are very important to all of the collections?

NB: Yes, very much so.

Emerald and diamond shoulder dusters ...

AF: I’m a big reader.

NB: I like collections inspired by cities or places or art sometimes, but it’s much more difficult not to be… I love that [literature] and I think that’s kind of interesting in terms of reference. When you start working with paintings, with shapes and definitions, it’s much more difficult to get out of it. Whereas text, it’s very visual and you can get all the designers and everybody really relying on the same vision, but yet they will all have their own interpretations. So I find it a great source of inspiration because…

AF: …it keeps things original.

NB: You can read a page of [an author] and they will not see exactly the same thing. The same designer on your team will have a different interpretation from the exact same description, so it keeps things much more open than if they look the painting, of course there will be an issue in a way of it being in the style of the painting.

... the pièce de résistance. Emerald and diamond earring and necklace set by Van Cleef & Arpels.

AF: Do you think that’s sort of your input on the company or has that been historical? Or is that you?

NB: That’s me.

AF: That’s awesome, that’s really very cool. I appreciate that very much, because then you don’t get derivative work. It’s original.

NB: You have two risks in the industry. One is to kind of disregard the heritage, which I don’t believe in at all. Sometimes it’s kind of tempting, because we’ve been doing the butterflies and flowers for a hundred and something years – so let’s do skulls. You know, we’ve done roses, so let’s do roses with thorns. That’s not at all what we’re expected to do. This is not what we know how to do. Some of the lapiers have tried that, and… There is an issue with that…

No issues here.

NB: There is then, too, to just reproduce what was done in the past. If you have this amazing piece from 1962, this amazing piece from 1930s, let’s keep the tradition alive. Sometimes it’s so much of a preservative craft, making sure that traditional crafts are really maintained. But if you do everything the same as it was a hundred years ago, then you just lose the creativity because all the things aren’t as relevant in exactly the same ways as 80 years. Because the world is changing and different. And you don’t add anything and are just emptying the archive. That’s very much the idea, to find this very iconic inspiration, but then different interpretations.

AF: So, one more thing: the archive. I know all of the pieces are singular, or most of them.  But do you have drawings or illustrations of all of the pieces. You have a substantial archive, I would imagine.

NB: Yes, we have two actually, one in Paris and one in New York, which are different.

AF: And do those pieces get loaned out for things, or do they ever go on display? I know there was an exhibit.

NB: You mean the archive?

AF: Or the pieces, maybe there’s a special moment, maybe one of your spokeswomen needs to wear a piece to an event. Does she get to wear something from the archive or does it sort of stay in the archive?

NB: We have two archives. The drawings and production books, which is one archive. Then we have a private museum, which is not a location but a private collection of about 400 pieces iconic from different periods and different styles. So, a bit like the heritage collection, but this is a collection that we don’t sell. So for instance the exhibit that was organized [at museums] in September. They ask us to select from our collections some pieces that they went to show. Then they go to private museums or private owners for some pieces. From Paris or New York, which is about 450 pieces, from all one collection. They do have some access to jewelry collections, and so those pieces are lent for this exhibition. And then sometimes we do loan museum pieces to some celebrities. There is a diamond tiara in the archives that was actually worn by Princess Grace for the wedding of her daughter. We loaned it to Julia Roberts.

Yes, we love you Van Cleef & Arpels.

PS: NB is a total babe. Also, the recipient of a special Haute Closet In Your Head disc.

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#madebynike all day

Nike is and has always been #1.

How do I love’ the swoosh? Let me count the ways:

  1. Cool collaborations (Michael Jordan, et al.)
  2. Global influence and expression (my beloved Sky-His are Japanese, British + American.)
  3. On top of technology (have you seen the Vapor Flash or worn any Nike gear? So good.)
  4. It always looks great. And performs like a winner every. single. time.
  5. They keep great lady company (hi Anastasia Pivovarova, Allyson Felix + Sofia Boutella.)
  6. Phil Knight is a TRUE champion.
  7. And this:

 

I need the best and best looking technical apparel for all the adventures I get into on every kind of turf. THC comes complete with an all-Nike athletic trunk featuring the freshest fabrics, kicks and silhouettes.

We go together. Very happily. So developing a relationship with Nike over the past couple of years and being on the testing end of the sporty chic NSW collection: heaven.

I’m so honored to be one of the Made by Nike girls and had a riot shooting this video in Miami. Incredible teamwork they’ve got going on up there in Portland and around the world.

Click through to madebynike.tumblr.com and peer into the lockers of the coolest girls around. This is the only destination you need for women’s sport.

Just do it + feel good doing it. No excuses. Ever.

<3

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Bodacious, Babelicious, Festival Goddess

Wake up and say hello to Summer in the Chi, lovies!

We’ve been cooking up some extra special treats for you all Spring and we’re happy to announce that one of them launches today — a super fun giveaway from The 900 Shops (our spot for Fogal tights and a Bloomie’s 5th floor fix.)

Here’s what a THC kinda babe wears to stay cool from Big Star to Pitchfork to Lollapalooza:

The best part about our look? Every single piece is begging to be worn so many ways. Behold, the magnificent six for THC-style Summer rockin’:

  1. Rebecca Minkoff’s bracelet sends the message you’re not to be messed with. Desirable.
  2. The Miu Miu shades? They’re sparkly red. Enough said. [Squelches squeal.]
  3. An AllSaints tee lives like lounge-wear, keeps you covered, easy and breezy.
  4. A Cambridge Satchel goes clean in white, remains streamlined for hands-free jamming.
  5. Fiorentini & Baker Boots equal awesome All. Year. Long.
  6. J Brand lavender jeans? What’s not to love. Game on, gamines.

Cast your vote for your favorite look online (we’ll take a #2 please) or stop by to do so on the second floor of The 900 Shops all month long. Oh, and if you share your favorite on social media (that would be a #2 again, ladies), you’ll earn even more entries.

Hello — go!

PS: We won’t hate you if you go for glossed & found, stay tres awesome or take a note from pink memo — we love it all. XX

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THCIYH: Volume 21

What’s up Haute Closet In Your Headies?!

Comin’ at you with a summer disc that’s been rockin’ our Antipast socks — download and get down.

And don’t get down on yourself for expressing yourself in clothes — it’s the fastest way to read what you’ve got goin’ on inside.

Dig it.

PS: Much to our dismay, this anthemic Lana del Rey cut didn’t make it to iTunes, but check it out here:

PPS: You can listen on Spotify too.

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Down the Rabbit Hole

Check out this website … there is definitely a little Alice in Wonderland action going on.

As there should be: the Timo Weiland collection is full of color, magical, fantastical.

First encountered this dapper young American at Paris (capsule) in September 2011, showing SS12 to worldwide buyers. Perusing the racks, we gasped when we discovered his PERFECT use of print, perfect cut, perfect edgy American pretty:

There’s a short version of this one, with just one little birdie perched on the bodice. As obvious, the attention to detail is stunning.

And Timo does incredible stuff for men, with looks coming down the runway boy-girl-boy-girl in florals, with backwards caps … the styling, it’s all so wearable.

Design partners with Alan Eckstein, the two men working closely together to produce each collection.

Timo will be at p.45 with his women’s ready-to-wear Saturday March 24, 12-6 pm with both one-of-a-kind styles and runway looks. Go say hello!

PS: Timo, this look has our name written all over it. Need it, we breathe it!

Photos via style.com

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Get Dosed! on 3.11

Oh, hello there — Spring is here and we’ve rounded up the best Spring pieces from all kinds of our favorite people and places.

Did we mention it’s all going to be at Dose, this Sunday, 3.11?

Check out Agga B’s day-to-night dress collection:

C/FAN’s ferociously precious silk sweaters:

TwentyThirtyForty’s sale rack + all new Spring from their favorite designers:

The retail debut of new Chicago designer, Azeeza Khan. With her Atelier AZZA, you get a chic update on Indian silks, beading and embroidery:

Since it’s Dose, you know it’s going to be all kinds of good things for home, for babies, for body, for sparkle, for fun (!), for him, to eat, to put in your pantry … we can’t wait!

Don’t miss — this Sunday, 10am-4pm, at the River East Art Center! Every month it’s a new Dose, perfectly edited and of the moment. Get Dosed!

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via Journelle

Treat your precious underthings nicely, and they’ll treat you even nicer.

Great tips from Journelle via a recent stop in their shop on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach:

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THCIYH: Volume 20

Read the most enthralling article on a plane back from Miami, this one, and hooked into the term maternalist. A quick survey of girlfriends — no one had heard it. Let’s add to the conversation. Reminds of the eye-opening, “Rhetoric and the Achievement of Woman’s Rights” by Dr. Alisse Portnoy. Not political, just real.

We’re not done moving yet, either — next up, Texas. Time for new tunes: THCIYH #20, for the road and for you!

See ya!

No question.

X AF

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New Orange Yoga Mat

get the look!

get the look! by inika featuring platform high heels << quaint, non? yeah, but nice looking set.

get real though: don’t ever scrimp on shoes. (Especially not in fantasyland).

unsure, at first blush, about the orange yoga mat we took home today, it being the only jade of its kind in a decidedly black manduka bin …

but the color, shining all over the place!

quick, google:

“Psychology of Color: Orange

The most flamboyant color on the planet! It’s the color tied most this fun times, happy and energetic days, warmth and organic products. It is also associated with ambition. There is nothing even remotely calm associated with this color. Orange is associated with a new dawn in attitude.”

OK!  The Dosettes are wearing orange this season. See us on Sunday, March 11th, at the River East Art Center for a serious Dose of SS12.

Happy days,

X

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The best things …

come from the heart, the garden and Robin Richman.

Yesterday, we picked up some Spring sock porn from the RR store:

You know how happy that makes us.

While there, we also picked up this:

Chicago can be/is a pretty scary place. So when we heard about the very scary assault that went down a few weeks ago at the incredible Asrai Garden, our heart sank to the floor. We won’t go into the details, just get down to the Double Door on Monday, 3/5 — it’s going to be a spectacular time and a more than worthy benefit for a beautiful spirit.

Maybe you’ll wear some pretty socks! It’s all about good cheer and a fresh start, so make sure to bring your best vibrations. See ya there (after class, of course)!

XX April

PS: Would be remiss if we didn’t add this — Kristen was very sadly targeted in a very bad way, but always, ALWAYS be aware of what’s going on around you, always, as mama would say.

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Brides!

Lettuce Entertain You asked us to bring together a group of bridal vendors for their 4th Annual Bridal Event at Paris Club:

Here’s the list of all our bridal friends participating in the event this Sunday, 3/4:

GOWNS/ACCESSORIES
Lulu’s at the Belle Kay
Silver Moon
Samantha Sleeper
Roslyn
Mignonette
Giselle Couture

CAKE
Le Royale Icing
Magnolia Bakery
Bittersweet Bakery

INVITES
Spilled Ink Press
Be U Brides
Sarah Drake

FUN
Traveling Photobooth
Orlando and Garrett from Salon 1800
Katie J from NARS at Barneys
Posey
Gentleman’s Deck
Angry Barber
Shrine
Isabella Fine Lingerie

And there’s definitely more. Not to mention tequila from 12-3 in the Groom’s Room!

Join us at Paris Club this Sunday, 3/4 — tickets here. You can also walk-in day of. Let your lovely engaged friends know!

PS: Here’s a little recent press on one of our gown designers, the inimitable Samantha Sleeper:

 

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THCIYH: Volume 19

This is some sort of emergency THC — all I wanted to do was go to bed. But here it is.

And here’s a taste, the first tune on the disc, c/o an extraordinary group of musicians …

xo

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THCIYH: Volume 18

Hello, warp zone! January, didn’t know you had it in you, but it’s true, we’re resolute — a LOT has happened since the dawn of 2012.

Woke up VERY early on the 1st to hop a ride over to Laguna Beach … once there, was taken into the loving embrace of Geo and Katresha at Blue Pearl Laguna who went ahead and changed it all.

Seven days filled with 10-mile hikes, twice-daily yoga, personal training, veggies and fruits and nuts and sheep’s milk, kefir and yogurt, lemons and alkaline water … Not sure if we’re fun anymore!

But of course we had a mobile Haute Closet with us, entirely composed of the choicest Nike gear … and a Camelbak. Glamorous.

Point is, we turned off our phone and got in tune with our glutes. We’ve been renewed.

Here’s the fresh list (click to play on Spotify or download to iTunes):

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THCIYH: Volume 17.5

Volume 17 has officially gone missing.

Herewith, the next episode:

Also on spotify.

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