Opening Ceremony

We all like to be entertained and unfortunately, clothing is rarely entertaining.  Luckily we have Opening Ceremony to do the trick.  I couldn’t pull off half of what they sell, but I adore their endless creativity and wit.  I’ve gone to their stables in both NYC and Tokyo and enjoyed them like the Griswolds at Wally World.  There’s plenty of puzzling store displays and confusing outerwear to hold your attention. It’s a bit expensive, but I think they actually deserve to slap on high sticker prices because they think a little harder than repeating a label of off putting colors a million times on a 6 x 6 inch bag.  Here’s a couple of pictures I took in their store in Tokyo as well as their new commercial directed by Spike Jonez.

Dressing room pods….  so advanced.

You can also find Opening Ceremony’s line at Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman.

Winter’s Bone

It won’t be fun, but everyone should really see this movie (#309)!  This is definitely one that will stick with you for a very long time.  With it’s weighty content of crystal meth ruining a town, it could have easily come off overdone, but instead every shot, every prop, and every character is perfectly necessary.  Winter’s Bone is now playing in theaters.

Chicago Magazine – Best of Chicago: Theatre

A BIG thank you to photographer Lisa Predko and Chicago Magazine for letting me style this talented group of actors, directors, singers and writers for the Best Of issue.

The amazing furniture store Post 27, which I highly recommend checking out if you like anything mid century modern, was kind enough to let us use reclaimed wood blocks by artist Bladon Connor.  The wood blocks only come in a set of four and are meant to create an end table when clustered together, but we instead reconfigured them in multiple different ways to get more options for the subjects.  We asked the talent to bring a muted palette of clothing to the studio and then I added pops of color from the accessories I pulled from local retail stores.

We couldn’t have asked for more open and willing subjects and had a blast hanging out with them all day!  The Best of Chicago issue of Chicago Magazine is on the stands now!

Gearing Up Our Workforce. Ladies, please read!

This is a re-post from an e-mail I received.  Don’t miss it!

Julia Childs was a stubborn minded, elegant woman who was faced with the male dominated industry of chefdom.  Fortunately for her brilliance and perseverance, she bulleted through that stigma and was deemed one of the most influential people in the culinary arts. Her feminine charm and warmth was a breath of fresh air that flipped the industry on its head.

One can’t help but notice a similarity in the photo industry although that is thankfully rapidly changing.  We are now able to name more than 5 female assistants, female digital techs, etc. etc.  This seminar is purely a discussion of how women have progressed in this field and where we stand now.

I decided to simplify and informally hold the seminar at my studio august 2nd and begin with a round table discussion.  If this all works we can then plan more for future events of this nature.  Thank you for your endless patience, this time its happening for real.

Date: Monday, August 2 Time: 6:30Place: Erika Dufour Photography 2140 w Fulton Street Contact: erika@erikadufour.com

Stylists wonder how to say thank you.

The worst part of my job is affecting other people’s jobs by doing returns.  I know it screws up a store’s numbers for the day, I know sometimes it takes away a sales clerk commission, but unfortunately in Chicago I have no choice.  If there was some kind of rental policy, wardrobe stylists would  jump all over it.  But there isn’t, therefore we have to abuse the return policy by returning everything that wasn’t used.

So, how do I redeem myself to the poor person that just got my return wammy (this week is especially a killer, YIKES)?  The only way I have found is to report online my positive customer service experience.  Granted, I don’t always get to do this, not all stores have this set up, but you can write positive reviews at Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.  Does anyone who has retail experience know of any other way to polish the turd we leave at your register?

Built by Wendy

I have been a long time fan of Chicago native designer, Built by Wendy.  What I love the most about Wendy is that she has made a success business after a labor of love.  She not only makes great clothes, but you can even buy her sewing patterns or one of her sewing books if you’re feeling crafty.  She even designs guitar straps for those of you who are musically inclined.  Even though designer Wendy Mullin fled the Midwest and now resides in Brooklyn, you can find her line at local store Penelope or if you ever in NYC, check out her two stores in Soho and Brooklyn.

Rachel Zoe

I think television has done a funny thing for my job.  It has made everyone who likes to shop and is into fashion want to be a stylist.  I guess this is similar to girls who got married wanting to become a wedding planner.  Well “shoppingistas” (ista added with a strong connotation of snarkyness), it’s not quite what you think it is.  Sure, the Rachel Zoe jobs do exist, but they are very few and far between.  For the rest of us, it’s a lot of hauling bags around, research, and budgeting.  Oh, and you’re usually shopping at Target rather than having interns deliver Louis Vuitton to you.  I’m not saying this in a negative sense, it’s still an amazing job, but this job contains a little more upper lip sweat outbreaks than one would think and I mean that literally, I sweat a lot and in public, ew.

Yes, shopping is fun, but shopping can also make you googly eyed and a bit delirious if you do it for 10 hours a day for a number of days in a row.  Like any fun job, the fun is pushed to a level that we didn’t know existed and fun can actually become a big challenge.  This isn’t meant to be discouraging, but rather insightful.  Therefore, bring a hanky for your first assignment.  You’ll need it for dabbing.

If you’ve ever worked on a catalog…

Or if you ever got a little cynical flipping through one because everything is so damn perfect, then you would think this is hilarious!  An actor/writer out in LA started this blog where she created fictitious characters that live in the sample images she pulls from catalogs.  Ha!  I love a little catalog humor.  You need something to knock the perfect world we get hired to create down a notch.  Here are a couple goodies.

Carbon Nation

I learned about this great event called Green Drinks for those who are interested in environmental and sustainable issues from one of our subjects for Chicago Magazine’s Green Awards winners, Sarah Elizabeth Ippel.  Here’s the image I styled as it appeared in Chicago Magazine by photographer Ryan Robinson.

The meetings are open to everyone and are really inspiring.  I went last night and learned about all sorts of great events that are going on in the city, one being a screening of the documentary Carbon Nation in Millenium Park on August 10th by local director, Peter Byck.  Please come out to support a local creative and learn more about this issue!  Here’s a clip from the film.