Weather Vain: Chicago, Illinois - 44 With a Chance of Rain

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+ An Each x Other trench as white as the tablecloths at Pearl Tavern.

+ Ah, these Dieppa Restrepo loafers! The color of some GT Fish & Oyster king crab legs.

+ The perfect, easy-fitting black silk pants c/o Raquel Allegra.

+ A Carven shirt just crisp and business-y enough for the West Loop.

+ What do you know: a two-finger ring, from K/LLER, that’s actually a breeze to wear.

+ A Jenni Kayne blazer in Cubs colors—cause it’s officially that time of year, guys.

+ Shoulder bags—not great for layers. A backpack like this Jerome Dreyfuss one—a whole lot better.

+ This Orly Genger by Jaclyn Mayer bracelet = just weird enough for the out-there cocktails from Aviary

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The Fixers: Where to Get Your Stuff Repaired in Austin, Chicago, Portland, and San Francisco

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How do you find a cobbler who really gets leather or a tailor who can replace the zipper on a favorite dress like it ain’t no thang? Inquire with the designers in town. Well, we went ahead and did the asking for you—so bookmark this business. —erica

TAILORS

Austin – Ace Custom Tailors / 700 S. Lamar Blvd.
“They’re old school and precise—and I can peek in Kick Pleat next door to see what’s new.” —Katie Kime

Chicago – The Alterationist / 804 N. Bishop St.
“The owner Mary is incredibly talented and sweet. She specializes in bridal alterations, but she makes anything fit perfectly.” —Laura Lombardi

Chicago – De Louice / 1755 W. North Ave. #102
“My husband has had great service from De Louice in Wicker Park for custom shirts. He had a simple classic white button down made to his measurements that will last and last.” —Sarah Fox of Cursive Design

Portland - John Blasioli / john@johnblasioli.com
“One of my favorite friends and designers in town, John is unmatched in his eye for tailoring and construction.” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

San Francisco – Lora Dukler Couture / 3112 California St.
“In addition to doing exquisite custom work, Lora is one of the best in Northern California for altering wedding gowns and elaborate dresses of any kind. She’s expensive but more than worth it.” —Ryan DeBonville

SHOE REPAIRS

Austin – Austin Shoe Hospital / multiple locations
“They are surgeons for shoes. Those designer shoes that are so old they’re becoming vintage but you have to hold on to? They make it possible.” —Katie Kime

Austin – Golden Slipper Modern Boot Repair / 1903 S. 1st St.
“I trust my vintage cowboy boots to Golden Slipper. They can repair handbags and luggage, too.” —Natalie Davis of Canoe

Chicago – Beehive Shoe Works / 35 N. Wells St.
“Winter in Chicago is very, very rough on shoes. Beehive has been able to take even my most beat-up pairs and make them look brand-new. Quick turnaround time is a major plus.” —Laura Lombardi

Oakland – Rockridge Keys Cut & Shoes Repair / 5100 Broadway
“I took my cork Dieppa Restrepos here. He took the time to carefully stain the new soles to perfectly match my shoes and added a complimentary repair to the toe of the shoes. There is also an amazing selection of neon custom keys to choose from.” Kindah Khalidy

Portland – Hollywood Shoe Repair / 4504 NE Sandy Blvd.
“They’re great problem-solvers.” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

San Francisco – Anthony Shoe Services / 340 Kearny St.
“These guys will bring back your favorite Prada shoes from the dead, and they repair handbags, too!” —Ryan DeBonville

DRY CLEANERS

Portland – Plaza Cleaners / 803 NW 21st Ave.; 909 NW Everett
“Green dry-cleaning—I actually worked there part-time in college!” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

JEWELRY REPAIRS

Austin – Bead It / 2058 S. Lamar Blvd.
“For all of my costume-jewelry repair, I use Bead It. I take all of my mega-pieces here.” —Katie Kime

Portland - Simon Golub & Sons / 2820 SE 8th Ave. #2
“This is one of my favorite places in town, and I work with them often—super-sweet people who do great work.” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

San Francisco – Balzan Jewelry Repair / 210 Post St. #306
“They do phenomenal work with costume and fine jewelry. It’s not inexpensive, but it’s completely worth it.” —Ryan DeBonville 

Click here for recs in L.A.! And here for ones in NYC!

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Join Sarah Fox on a Tour of Chicago’s West Town

Score the best booze, sandwiches, and tomatoes around.

Sarah Fox, the cool creative behind the jewelry line Cursive Design, has lived in Chicago for twelve years—eight of which she’s spent living in the same West Town apartment in Noble Square with her high-school sweetheart-turned-husband (yes, adorable). Below, six reasons they aren’t moving anytime soon. —alisha prakash

imageLush
“An emporium of rare beer—my favorite is Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale—wine, and liquor. It’s unlike your classic liquor store, since there is a bar with comfortable seating attached. It’s great to go with a group of friends, order some snacks, and try a couple bottles of a collaboration beer or a sparkling rosé. A bonus is that they can chill any bottle for you in about five minutes with a fancy machine.”
(1412 W. Chicago Ave.)

imageSwim Cafe
“Swim opened up a couple months after we moved into our place. It has been really neat to watch it grow and evolve into a thriving coffee shop/cafe. The owner, Karen, is so sweet. I really love their tomato, leek, and goat cheese strata.”
(1357 W. Chicago Ave.)

imageGreen Grocer
“Cassie, the owner, buys from all the local farms in the area. The past couple of weeks I’ve been blowing all of my money on tomatoes. I’m drinking milk again (and enjoying it) thanks to Castle Rock Creamery. Since they opened, I’m positive that my calcium and bone density have improved.”
(1402 W. Grand Ave.)

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Coalfire
“There is something to be said for consistency and quality. It’s so comforting to know I can get the same perfect Margherita pizza again and again. The owners always greet you like family. The best deal is Tuesday night for half off all bottles of wine.”
(1321 W. Grand Ave.)

imageBari Foods
“A classic Italian deli and a great lunch spot to pick up sandwiches. I go in, place my order, and wander the aisles for dinner ingredients.”
(1120 W. Grand Ave.)

imageKinzie Street Bridge
“One of my favorite neighborhood walks is to head east, down Hubbard. You quickly go from a quiet neighborhood to industrial warehouses to downtown in about twenty minutes. The highlights are getting close to Blommer Chocolate Factory—where chocolate smells fill the air!—and walking over the Chicago River on the Kinzie Street Bridge—one of my favorite views of the city.”

Just wait until you see how good Sarah’s newest edition looks around your neck!

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Winifred Grace

At eight years old, when most of us were hawking lemonade in our front yards, Winifred Grace Gundeck was selling her hand-painted barrettes, decorated with balloons or whales, at a chic children’s boutique in her hometown of Miami. “I just went in there one day with my mom and said, ‘I made these. Would you want to buy them for your store?’” Winifred recalls. “I even remember getting my first check. It was for like $9 or $13, and I never cashed it. I still have it.”

Winifred’s juvenile design empire soon expanded to silk hair combs and rhinestone-studded shirtdresses, made out of her dad’s old oxfords. Years later and all grown up, feeling unfulfilled at her job designing logos and book covers in Chicago, she walked into her favorite local boutique wearing a necklace she had made out of an old charm of her grandma’s, and the owner inquired and got Winifred thinking about her jewelry-making future.

About a year later, in 2003, her line was born. Since that day, Winifred’s business has evolved from pieces embellished with all kinds of beads and leather to minimalist bronze cuffs and necklaces based on geometric shapes and constellations. Part of that shift comes from her having her first baby, Alexander: “I was really looking for a way to streamline my business and simplify things,” she explains. “I can sleep in these pieces!” —raquel laneri

winifredgrace.com

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Do Re Mi Jewels

You know how they say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life? Julia Bergen’s all over that. The Chicago-based designer behind Do Re Mi Jewels focused on printmaking while getting her BFA at UC Santa Cruz, but she soon realized how much she loved textiles, embroidery, and, most of all, cross-stitch. Her first kitschy, Subversive-esque designs got a crazy-good response from the Oakland street-fair crowds, motivating Julia to start taking the method more seriously once she moved to the Midwest.

Looking to continue down the cross-stitch path in a way that was more artistically fulfilling, Julia, who crams every nook and cranny of her life with some sort of creative outlet—including spending every weekend studying improvisational music at The Second City’s Conservatory like it ain’t no thing—set her sights on the jewelry. She creates teeny-tiny embroidered patterns that she hangs on necklaces in mini frames as delicate, super-feminine pendants. ”I felt like it was a new direction for me and something that I wasn’t seeing out there,” she explains. “I’m just so excited about what I’m doing because it incorporates my love of design and my love of color—and my love of the art of cross-stitching. I just feel like it’s all coming together.” Might we add that we completely agree? —carlye wisel

doremijewels.com

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To Recap: Guides to 5 Great American Cities—Including Where to Stay

If you’re still looking for a summer vacation, we got you: Book yourself a roundtrip ticket to one of these cities, and let our designers (residents or former-residents, all of them) show you the way. Oh, and: We have some thoughts on where you should crash at night, too, so all you’re left to do is a Kayak search. YOU’RE WELCOME. —erica 

1) Sara Dudzinsky’s Belly-Busting Trip Around Portland, Oregon

Clyde Commons for eating. 

Where to Stay: We love us some Ace Hotel, but we’re really sweating the idea of heading 90 minutes outside of the city and renting this prefab on the water in Oceanside.

2) Laura Lombardi’s Chicago Hit List

Eskell for shopping.

Where to Stay: It’s all about Longman & Eagle. The Logan Square restaurant is one of the buzziest in the city, and, if you rent one of the six upstairs rooms, you can pass out right after stuffing yourself (isn’t that the dream?).

3) Rachel Albright’s Grand Tour of Richmond, Virginia

VMFA for arting.

Where to Stay: The Jefferson Hotel has been killing it since 1895.

4) Susan Domelsmith’s Austin Agenda

Barton Springs for swimming.

Where to Stay: The so-cool, just-throwback enough Hotel San Jose and its sister spot Hotel Saint Cecilia are both so rad that it’s hard to choose, but the bar at the former serves what might be the best michelada in town—FTW.

5) Elizabeth Knight’s 10-Stop Savannah Itinerary

Tybee Island for laying low.

Where to Stay: The Johnny Mercer room at the Dresser Palmer House has its own private second-floor balcony. Yup, it doesn’t get much better than that.

For more of this week’s recaps, click here.

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Laura Lombardi’s Seven Most Trusted Chicago Spots

This transplant knows the coolest stuff happening in her locale.

Although Laura Lombardi hails from New York, she traded in the apple for some wind in 2008—a move motivated by a desire to continue art school in Chicago, but that instead led to the creation of her eponymous line of vintage-fueled metal jewelry in 2009. These days, Laura makes all of her designs by hand from her west-of-downtown studio—which is right across the hall from fellow Of a Kind alum Sarah Fox of Cursive Design. Here, the jeweler shows off her favorite digs in her adopted hometown. jiayi ying

The view of downtown Chicago from Laura’s studio.

ART

Architectural Artifacts
"Architectural Artifacts is a great place to look around and get lost. It is in this big warehouse and is filled with salvaged pieces—giant industrial tables from forever ago and church doors, for example. The man who owns it travels all over the world to source them. He just got back from Argentina with these incredible pots that were made from wood and strips of horse hair." (architecturalartifacts.com)

A feathery game on display at the Field Museum.

The Field Museum
"I really like the Chicago Field Museum—it’s kind of like the Museum of Natural History in New York. They have artifacts from throughout the ages, and I love to go there for inspiration. I took this picture there a while ago—it’s of a Native American game." (fieldmuseum.org) 


Mmm…Milk & Honey granola.

FOOD

Milk & Honey
"Milk & Honey is one of my favorite places in my neighborhood. They have really good housemade granola that they’re locally famous for—it’s sold at all the grocery stores here. It was one of the first places I ate at when I got to Chicago, and it’s always one of those places I keep on going back to." (milkandhoneycafe.com)


Laura’s setup at Dose in October 2011.

SHOPPING

Dose Market
"Dose started in Chicago this year. It’s a monthly market that combines food and fashion. A lot of local restaurants, designers, and boutiques participate—I try to make it down there every month. It’s held at the River East Art Center, which sits right on the river—it’s this gorgeous place with high ceilings and a beautiful view." (dosemarket.com)

The Find
"The Find opened this year on Grand Avenue, which is right by my studio. That street is known for having a lot of furniture and interior design stores, and I think The Find has the most beautiful collection—they have these hand-embroidered flags and interesting cowhide pieces. They really curate the selection." (thefind-antiques.com)

A peek inside Eskell.

Eskell
"This boutique in my neighborhood carries a bunch of really great lines like In God We Trust and Erin Considine, as well as their own designs. It’s my go-to when I need something cute to wear." (eskell.com) 

Merz Apothecary
"Merz is this different-from-the-norm apothecary—it’s sort of a one-stop shop for things that aren’t easy to come by here. They have beet candles, fun gift bags, and a lot of European products. I have this awesome gold toothbrush from there. You know those Minx nails in that super-bright gold? It’s like that!" (merzapothecary.com) 

Come back tomorrow to land Laura’s latest Windy City creation. And sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.

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Going Local: Laura Lombardi Talks Up Her Chicago ‘Hood

Last week, we were all about where designers are clocking time on the internet. Now, we’re delving into where they go for inspiration IRL—when they can take a break from email-answering and sample-making and all that business. Thankfully, jewelry extraordinaire Laura Lombardi doesn’t have to look very far to get her fix—see below.

Some snaps shot around Laura’s studio (that look shockingly in line with her jewelry).

"My favorite place to find inspiration in Chicago is the neighborhood surrounding my studio—the Near West Side/West Loop. I always have my eye out for interesting details on buildings and in the street. It’s primarily a post-industrial area, and there is not a lot of foot traffic. It’s interesting to see the way random pieces of refuse come together to form small vignettes—I take a lot of pictures.” —laura

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Get Inside the Hound Chicago Studio

It’s safe to call the space one of the line’s inspirations.

It’s always exciting to discover that a line is, er, aligned with the space where it’s made, and Jennifer Beeman produces Hound in an apartment-slash-studio in Chicago’s West Loop that’s just as sunny and comfortable as her clothes themselves. Before you dive into Jennifer’s tour, prepare yourself for a little life envy. —catherine kast

Now’s your chance to scoop up the latest creation to come out of Hound HQ! It’s a chambray-on-chambray tank you’ll wear all year round.

“I have an inspiration board where I hang my ideas while I’m working. As I’m thinking of new silhouettes, I tack them up there so I can look at them next to the fabrics I’m working with. It’s where I keep everything I’m working with so I can just look at it and digest it and mull it all over.” [Ed: The fabrics and drawing on the far left may or may not be the makings on her Of a Kind edition. Get it here!]

“I have a huge tea addiction. I pretty much have a pot going constantly. Right now I’m addicted to Davids Tea—that’s what the green tin is in the background.”

“My parents made that orange bulletin board for me! They did a craft project together. They’re not artists by trade. But my mom is really into sewing, and my dad is just a handy fellow.”

“My cat, Roamy, and pug, Sister, are on me like glue all day long! Roamy sits on my desk because it’s right in front of the window—hunting pigeons and meow-ing. When I’m sewing, my pug will go under my machine table and try to lay on my presser foot. So she’s not super helpful, but I love her.

“My mom’s garden is going crazy now, and she’s always sending me home with flowers, like these peonies. It’s hard to find places to put them because the cat knocks them over.”

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Nails by Hound

As far as Jennifer Beeman is concerned, an outfit isn’t complete without some crazy-bright tips.

Jennifer Beeman’s spring 2012 line is practically engineered for summer fun: think bike-ride-ready tanks and shirtdresses that’ll get you that much closer to an outdoor brunch. But a Hound getup requires some super-bold digits, as Jennifer sees things, and she’s paired some of her favorite polish shades with pieces from her new collection to show us how it’s done. —catherine kast

Canoe Camp Top + Essie Tart Deco

“I did Tart Deco with this top because the combination of the bright teal with the bright coral is just really great in my book. I’ve been obsessed with this color for two years now—I never get tired of it!”

Alder Shirtdress + Essie Turquoise & Caicos

“This color is on my toes at all times. It feels almost gel-like—it has a lot of depth. I think the blue sets off the brightness of the coral spots against the darkness of the dress itself. It’s the reverse of the Canoe Camp Top duo.”

Lakeside Tank + Butter Cheeky Chops

“Cheeky Chops is a clean, funny yellow, but it’s not neon. So it works with my pale, pinkish skin tone a lot better. It also works with the Lakeside Tank because it matches the citron-yellow spots perfectly. When you have a crazy print, why not make it crazier with your nails?”

Finch Reversible Blouse + Butter Blagger

“The dark blue color, Blagger, has a nice shine to it that goes well with the sheen of the peach silk. This combo is definitely more unusual.”

Sparrow Dress + Essie A Crewed Interest and Essie Olé Caliente

“Sometimes I like to paint most of my nails one color and one or two nails a different color. You can get more color in that way! It’s hard to tell in photos, but in-person, this dress has a peachy undertone, and I think A Crewed Interest picks that up. It’s a nice contrast to the really bright Olé Caliente, which really stands out against the print.”

Score Jennifer’s polish-ready edition: This two-tone chambray shirt would look killer with a pop of coral.

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