Chappell Confidential

Thu. June 12, 2014 12:00 AM
by Terrence Chappell

Chicago House hosted its annual Spring Brunch and Fashion show at the sun-kissed Winter Garden Ballroom. Nothing quite marks the start of spring in Chicago as over three hundred guests sporting their best pastel colors and bow ties all in the name of a good cause and of course fashion. This year's co-chairs Ted Grady (J&L Caterting), Ross Slotten (Klein & Slotten Medical Associates) and Mallory Ulaszek (Roam Boutique) welcomed guests to the ultimate of stylish brunches, which included a runway show of the latest spring looks, community awards, and exclusive silent auction gifts. This year, Chicago House CEO Rev. Stan Sloan presented the Spirit Award to State Representative Naomi Jakobsson for her arduous work in Springfield for the Marriage Equality Bill, even in lieu of her seriously ill son. Chicago House also recognized Jeremy Hilborn for his 11 years of exceptional work as the organization's special events manager. In particular, Hilborn is noted in helping to launch the Speaker Series Luncheon, which recently featured Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Bottom line; the brunch raised $145,000 to support Chicago House's programs, which helps hundreds of men, women, and children.

Elixir Lounge, 3452 N. Halsted opened its doors to an exclusive tasting of their new spring cocktails. I already know what you're thinking, she spensive. Sure you can go down the street and pay half the price for a wells drink. But true cocktailing is about taking your time to enjoy a well-crafted cocktail. And let's face it, who wants to take their time with bottom shelf? Mixologist Vlad upped the intimate lounge's cocktail game with spring drinks that include: Apples to Oranges, a mix of Laid's Applejack, blood orange puree and Elixir's soon-to-be-famous house made orange shrub; the First Date, my personal favorite that blends together Hayman's Old Tom Gin, passion fruit puree and a settle splash of St. Germaine. Other cocktails included Georgia's Revenge, the Grapefruit Basil Martini, perfect for those hot summer days, and the Jardin De Ville. So, on your next Halsted Street outing, which will probably be tonight for some of you fast gurlz and save some coinz to enjoy one of Elixir's signature spring cocktails.

I just love a good hair flip and even more the woman behind that hair flip, which is why I was so honored and excited to attend YWCA's Finding Her Way breakfast at Northern Trust Bank. According to its website, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is committed to providing women with the support and tools needed to thrive and be successful in their careers and personal lives as well as break down gender and racial barriers. During breakfast, guests were welcomed to an inside look into the personal lives of two women who are breathing results of YWCA's powerful mission. Previous clients Angela and Kiela shared with guests their story of struggle, determination, and how joining the YWCA family helped them in their development. In particular Angela was living in a shelter with her five children before she came to YWCA. She enrolled in the organization's Economic Empowerment Institute where she received job training and coaching. Kiela shared with guests how she is the survivor of a childhood sexual assault by a family member. She joined YWCA during college to begin her healing process and was soon able to confront her assaulter. The Finding Her Way breakfast was truly an authentic event because guests heard from the clients first hand. YWCA Board President Gwendolyn L. Butler did a great job at adding a personal, comedic touch to the event while reeling in the mission of helping women.

When I got the invite to attend and check out Alton Lane, a tailored apparel and custom suiting men's store located at 49 E. Oak Street, honestly I thought great just another pretentious, overpriced shop where the owners are probably Brooks Brothers' reject clones who use custom as a verb. My mother taught me to never judge, and I did. I was wrong. Alton Lane and its stylish founders, Colin P.G. Hunt and Peyton Jenkins, couldn't be further from such and actually bring a refreshingly authentic approach to custom suiting and tailoring for men in the city. With a dine-like area of comfy leather couches, a wet bar, and of course topped off with a moose head, the loft space elicits a masculine edge that's classic in its form but welcoming in its function.

"Space is such an important component of it. We are really interested in building relationships with our customers. Personally, I love hosting, I love having people over to my house. So, we wanted that same element here. We want you to feel comfortable and that you're walking into a space that feels like a home," said co-founder Hunter.

Take your pick of any 10,000+ fabrics sourced from Asian and European mills. Custom shirts can run anywhere from $89 to $200 while a custom suit ranges from $595 to as fancy-priced as your account can handle. You would think it was the store's stylish aesthetic with of course refinished wood, or the perfectly lined rows of dress shirts, or even the cute guy behind the register that caught my attention. While all of them indeed leave impressions, but because I'm a kid at heart and easily entertained, it was Alton Lane's 3D scanner that takes 160 measurements of your body to ensure a custom fit. So, save the ill-fitting suits at K&G Fashions and grade school picture days. With stores in New York, Washington D.C., Boston, and now Chicago, Alton Lane is sure to step up our city style game.