Oliver Peoples Chicago Grand Opening Event Photos

On Wednesday, July 13, 2011 a combination of the city’s trendiest tastemakers, top media and local neighborhood businesses helped welcome the new Oliver Peoples boutique to Chicago’s renowned Gold Coast neighborhood.

The day began with a press breakfast, where a select number of media were invited to dine among the Oliver Peoples CEO David Schulte and Founder and Creative Director Larry Leight, as well as preview the exclusive limited edition Chicago sunglasses.

Later that evening, over 100 people gathered at the Oliver Peoples store to celebrate the grand opening and get the chance to purchase the limited edition frames.

Guests were greeted by a custom chalk drawing of the Chicago skyline on the sidewalk outside the storefront. The art was created by local Chicago artist, Grant Thye, a member of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Evening Associates Board.

Guests previewed the limited edition Chicago frames and got the chance to try on other styles offered at the boutique while enjoying music spun by a DJ. Photos and videos of guests streamed throughout the event on two different LCD screens.

The event featured passed hors d’oeuvres including truffle mac ‘n cheese bites, lobster tacos, parisienne melon skewers, goat cheese stuffed mushrooms and chocolate cake pops for dessert. Guests sipped on complimentary cocktails courtesy of Grey Goose as well as white wine and Prosecco.

Gift bags were passed out to guests as they exited the event and included gift certificates to Exhale Spa, an Oliver Peoples candle, leather bookmark and mixed CD, Evian water, Butter London nail polish and more.

A portion of the proceeds from the limited edition frames were donated to the Evening Associates Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Museum of Contemporary Chicago’s Art June Gala Photos

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago celebrated the 15th anniversary of its performance program, the MCA Stage, at the remixed/reimagined: 2011 MCA Performance Benefit on June 23, 2011. More than 300 guests arrived to commemorate the longevity and innovation of the MCA Stage with a lively evening that raised more than $300,000 for MCA programming.

The evening, which was was co-chaired by Sara Albrecht and Jay Franke, commenced outside plaza of the MCA with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, courtesy of some of Chicago’s most notable food trucks: The Southern Mac & Cheese Truck, 5411 Empanadas, and the Hummingbird Kitchen. As guests enjoyed their bites and sips amidst stage road cases for seating, impromptu performers treated them to surprise entertainment. Redmoon Theater delivered a “mini-opera” amidst attendees, while drum ensemble JASC Tsukasa Taiko delighted with pulsating beats from the museum’s steps. To conclude the cocktail hour, punk circus marching band, Mucca Pazza, permeated the crowd with energetic melodies and ushered everyone into the theater.

HMR Design Group and Event Creative “re-mixed” the setup of the theater to a color-blocked creation that allowed guests to dine onstage. Bright pink box centerpieces and electric orange table covers from HMR Design Group adorned tables and vibrant pink lighting courtesy of Event Creative welcomed attendees to their seats. A projected image by Sterling Ruby dripped colorful ink onto a large backdrop.

Wolfgang Puck Catering prepared a summer-themed feast, featuring a pre-set first course, tapas, and an entrée. During the seated dinner, a surprise performance from the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus delighted guests, as the entertainers appeared from the dark wings of the theater and took position in the audience seats for four songs and a medley, re-mixing the traditional idea of a performance on stage. Following the meal, the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus led the group to the freight elevator, which opened to reveal another bar for guests while they were transported to the Kovler Atrium.

For dessert and dancing, guests arrived on the second floor, which featured crisp, white lounge seating, tall tables, silver bars and alternating lights from HMR Design Group, while Event Creative mastered sound, the DJ stage and lighting. New York DJs Eclectic Method mixed upbeat music while rotating visuals and videos of the cocktail reception and past performances from the MCA Stage were displayed on large screens. DanceWorks Chicago members danced throughout the galleries as guests enjoyed the dessert bar of buttermilk cake with strawberries and crème fraiche and warm chocolate truffle cakes with whipped cream and spun sugar. Passed treats paired with liqueur included lime bar squares with shortbread crust and a shot of chilled tequila; warm zeppolis with raspberry jam and espresso shots; and “sweet tarts” of lemon curd custard profiterole with lemon icing and a shot of chilled limoncello. Finally, as the evening concluded, iced coffee and biscotti were served to go.


SELF Workout In The Park: San Francisco Event Photos

SELF Magazine’s 18th annual Workout in the Park event brought the pages of SELF to life in San Francisco April 30, 2011, with a day of the hottest new exercise trends, invigorating classes from CRUNCH gym, beauty and fashion consultations, nutritional know-how, tons of freebies and giveaways. This high-energy event is an annual favorite of 12,000+ women across the country and made its debut in the Bay Area this year.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., San Francisco ladies had a fun-filled fitness sesh at Little Marina Green and enjoyed a special appearance by Alison Sweeney, host of the Biggest Loser and author of “The Mommy Diet”.

Ticketholders were given the choice of 17 different fitness classes like Retro-Robics, Beach Body, Masala Bhangra and many others, which featured top instruction from San Francisco’s innovative fitness leader Crunch Fitness. There were even unique classes inspired by TV shows Glee and Dancing With the Stars.

Event sponsors included Garnier, Jockey, Reebok, Asics, Athleta, Lucy.com, Puma, Nivea, Luna Bars and more.

Guests not only got a work out- with the $20 tickets came freebies, beauty consultations, a subscription to SELF Magazine and a contribution to nonprofits Cancer and Careers and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The Bedford’s Under Lock and Key Event Photos

Different than a soft opening, friends & family night or publicly marketed preview event, Wicker Park’s newest hotspot The Bedford had 150 brand ambassadors come in to test out the space before it opened to the public, on April 26, 2011.

Influencers were mailed an actual lock box key in a clear envelope, which was closed with a wax seal.

The Bedford is a reclaimed bank space (originally the Home Bank & Trust, built in 1925), with the main focal point being a large vault room with more than 6,000 working lock boxes. At the event, guests were encouraged to bring the key they received in the mail to open their own lock box, which had fun takeaways in it for them (including everything from local gift cards to even a few pairs of D/Vision sunglasses – each box was different).

There were three dinner seatings where guests sampled from a special menu based off of Mark Steuer’s actual dinner menu and taste Peter Gugni’s delicious cocktails. The owners of the space – Eric Nordness, Anne Smith and Matt Mering of Salita Development – were onsite greeting each guest and give them special walk-throughs of the space.

After dinner, guests were invited to hang out in the vault room or at the bar for the remainder of the evening.

The Bedford is located at 1612 W. Division. Make reservations online at BedfordChicago.com or by calling  773.235.8800.


Magnificent Milestones Grand Opening Event Photos


Magnificent Milestones, Chicago’s premier paper pureveyor, celebrated a milestone of their very own when they opened their new invitation studio in an eco-friendly River North high-rise in January, 2011.

To celebrate the new elegant, roomy space and ever-growing list of brands and products, the store held an intimate, invite-only affair in their new storefront.

The party, which was attended by city wedding planners, friends, members of the media and industry insiders, featured an exclusive preview of the location. Guests browsed Magnificent Milestones’ custom paper creations, enjoyed cool tunes from a DJ, delighted in cotton candy lollipops and cones of truffle popcorn and sipped Effen vodka cocktails.

All guests left with a custom, Chicago-centric Third Coast Collection greeting card designed by shop owner and designer Kara Underwood Gordon.


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