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!

THCIYH: Volume 15

There’s been a lot going on since Lolla, and we’ve been playing it all by ear, more or less.

On this volume of The Haute Closet In Your Head, number fifteen, we’ve got our regular mix of classic rock and lesser-known acts, many of whom we got to shoot around with on the playground that was Lolla’s 20th anniversary (The Kills, Grouplove, Lykke Li, The Cars, Gold Motel and Mayer Hawthorne). Here’s the playlist:

and a few of our pics from the acts that make this disc worthy of play on repeat:

Alison Mosshart, incredible as always, played a fantastic set …

Loved the beater under her other half’s beautifully tailored jacket: Jamie Hince.

We had almost too much fun with Grouplove, a most incredibly easy-going group and our absolute favorite playmates at the fest.

Next, having reached out and failed to confirm a meet with Mayer Hawthorne prior to the fest (we were denied, no other way to play it) we saw a handsome, stylish young man — loved the hoodie/blazer hybrid — and asked for a photo. Mid-shoot, we asked his name and were so floored, put the camera down and emphatically (embarassingly?) declared our love. He was pleased, apparently, and treated us to a super-kooky mini-shoot with some practicing yogis in the distance.

Ham-and-a-half with some serious Detroit cred — his swoon-worthy track is a can’t miss.

Gold Motel is a Chi-town band and we love having their tune on this disc.

Lykke Li came out, channeling the energy and that dark Stockholm style …

this woman believes in her tunes and played a very soulful set.

Lolla is definitely our favorite weekend in the Chi and this is the disc that has been keeping us on the up-and-up post-LA, post-break-up and all the way to Paris for SS12. Get it on at iTunes.


Dose | September 25


THC does FNO in Chicago at VINCE.

Join me Thursday, September 8th from 5-8PM at Vince on Oak for some bubbly and dedicated personal shopping from THC.

It’s FNO – the most fun you can have when it comes to retail. For the past two years, Anna Wintour has been stoking the flames of this fantastic party in NYC and Chicago is finally on board with more than one awesome Fashion’s Night Out event.

But! This one at Vince is the BEST and a can’t miss …

If you don’t already know, Vince is hands-down the best place in Chicagoland to pick up the staples that will make your wardrobe sing, season after season. From their leather and fur to their very best t-shirts, the cuts are divine and my associates who work in the store are even finer. And bring your boyfriend/hubby/lover — Vince stocks the best for gents, too!

I’ll be on hand to help you make decisions about the best pieces to add to your own wardrobe for Fall/Winter.

See you then!

XX April

And … the rest of the best FNO events coming to you in Chicago on September 8th:

Yes, Mr. Brad Goreski himself. We’ll be heading over there for a little post-Vince hosting at the 900 shops.


And, of course, we recommend this Brian Atwood event at Saks — we’re big fans of this homegrown shoe tsar.


Oliver Peoples Speaks

Oliver Peoples is moving to the Gold Coast.

We first learned about the brand from Bret Easton Ellis in his gnarly 90s work, American Psycho. Bret is a keen observer of trends in fashion, music and culture and if you haven’t seen the film or read the book we recommend it … although both, especially the book, can be pretty grisly. If we never have to see a Habitrail ever again, cool.

Back to the brand. Not only does Oliver Peoples make super cool stuff that we love (see us wearing a special pair here), the uber-cool Paul Smith Spectacles and Mosley Tribes lines also fall under their umbrella. The new Chicago boutique will feature all three and an Oliver Peoples style exclusive to Chicago plus full-service optical care.

Headquartered in West Hollywood, CA, the line was co-founded in 1986 by eyewear visionary and designer Larry Leight. To like Oliver Peoples, as so many do, is to love Larry. Herewith, a few questions for the man about the brand:

The Haute Closet: As both are outsize icons with dramatic hair, what frame would you put on Dita Von Teese? On Gwen Stefani?

Larry Leight: For Gwen, I would style her in the DaddyB frame.

She usually likes frames that are a little bigger and more of a shield like. This style, in the black color, has a bit of a rock star image to me without being over the top and cheesy – it’s a bit more discreet.

For Dita I would go with our new Blondell style.

It’s a retro and ultra feminine design which will protect that gorgeous porcelain skin without compromising style.

THC: What is your favorite women’s style in your archive?

LL: I really liked the Harlot.

It’s an older style now but it was one of the first explosive frames when oversized sunglasses turned the corner again around 2004/2005. It got so much attention from fashion magazines, tastemakers, etc. and I was really proud of it. The new version of that oversized look is from our current season called Blondell. Its utilizes titanium so it is super light on the face and looks so glamorous.

THC: What effect did Bret Easton Ellis have on Oliver Peoples?

LL: American Psycho was huge for our company. The book mentions Oliver Peoples by name and Christian Bale wears the O’Malley style in the movie. Oliver Peoples defined the category of intellectual eyewear and the movie illustrated this look in such a visual, real way. The book talks about the established uniform of Wall Street bankers: Hermes tie, Gucci Loafers, and Oliver Peoples glasses…It really drew attention to our brand on a global level and today, the O’Malley, which can be both an optical frame and a sunglass, remains one of the most recognizable and sought after frames in the company’s history.

THC : Do you consider celebrity the most effective marketing tool for luxury apparel and accessories? If not, what is?

LL: Not at all, especially for our brand. We don’t have logos so celebrities wearing our brand does very little for us unless you are already “in the know”…. Of course, we consider it to be a great compliment when celebrities are seen in our frames because it’s likely that any brand in the world is accessible to them and they choose to wear ours. I know too that many celebrities use stylists who have great taste and comb through are the product in the market to find only the best for their client.

I can only speak for us when I say that the most effective marketing has been word of mouth among the essential Oliver Peoples customer – progressive individuals with good style who are influencers and tastemakers. These people have helped build our brand globally with the people who we want in our frames. We also produce short films and in-house music compilation CDs which help clearly define our brand image and lifestyle to the consumer. They bring life to the collection of eyewear and have always had a really positive response.

THC: What is the fuel for the brand, inspiration-wise?

LL: The continued support of our loyal customers. Everyone has an “Oliver Peoples” story and hearing them keeps me going.

Larry, we’re glad to help spread the word. Thanks for playing!

We loved the 2010 campaign that married the awesome Shirley Manson with the supergeek, Elijah Wood. For a little taste of the lifestyle that is Oliver Peoples, watch below:


Mega-Swap: This Weekend

A few friends decided to start a business selling the awesome stuff we keep in our closets but never wear.

So join me and a host of Chi-town ladies for a Luxury Gararge Sale that’s full of gems. See you at Galleria Unico, 1936 W Division, this Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 to 5;30 to scoop up some pretty pieces for Spring (or something sexy for Valentine’s Day!)

While there you can make a date with Luxury Garage Sale to sell your own awesome but unloved pieces on eBay. Also! 10% of the proceeds from this sale go to benefit Dress for Success, a favorite non-profit working to outfit low-income ladies with the clothes to get them back into business!

Whatever happens, it will be a party! X


Helen’s Selling Vintage: This Weekend Only

Pieces of April


Check it out on DailyCandy here. Thanks, DC!


Fix Me, Please

Zippers, shoes, pants … things break. Don’t be ashamed. If it’s not something cheap (as in super low quality, and if it is, scrap it, you should be ashamed) you ought to get it fixed. Maybe it’s not so fun to take it in, but it is fun when you get it back. And it will be as good as new or better if you take it to one of our favorite apparel specialists. If you need something doctored, take it here:

Joseph’s Shoe Clinic
6173 N Lincoln – (773) 478-3228

Sandburg Shoe Repair & Leather Crafters
115 W. North Ave – (312) 266-8966

Gibson Couture Cleaners
3447 N Southport Ave – (773) 248-0937

Davis Imperial Cleaners
3325 West Bryn Mawr – (773) 267-4560

Golden Needle (female tailor)
814 N State St – (312) 787-3416

Boguslaw (male tailor)
65 E Oak – (312) 640-1521

Davis Imperial Cleaners
3325 West Bryn Mawr – (773) 267-4560

Without a Trace
100 E Walton St – (312) 787-9922