City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In February

City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In February

A brilliant blue and sun filled sky overhead brought warmth to a breezy day in the “Windy City” of Chicago. Window shopping. Although still layered in garments of warmth, I joined the mass of shoppers and city dwellers in search of warmer inspiration. Alas, it is still February and I am in Chicago. Regardless, my visit by train continually brings me inspiration. The “Month of Love” finds me continually falling in love with the city that endures to inspire me. Chicago. As with any city, the windows that line fashionable streets can inspire. Changing windows. Changing perspectives. Fashion’s windows draw me in. The lens of my camera is continually lured by the magic of display. Changing display. Not yet past Winter, craving the warmth of Spring, the windows provide a visual of seasonal change ahead…

Chanel Boutique, Michigan Avenue/Chicago
Chanel Boutique, Michigan Avenue/Chicago

And of Chanel’s display and vision of ocean liner travel? Striking, indeed. Iconic Chanel. Travel is ahead. Escape is an option we all contemplate. Perhaps it can be said that the windows that hold fashion’s stylish mannequins are styled to allow us to imagine. To dream. To escape. To become “lost” in a fashionable moment, indeed. If but for a moment. That is truly what this visual compilation is. A moment in time taken to capture and share inspiration…

Iconic Branding:  Georges Marciano's "GUESS"
Iconic Branding: Georges Marciano’s “GUESS”

For those that recall the 1980’s world of Georges Marciano’s GUESS, an appreciation of an enduring, iconic emblem is due. The coveted jeans and logo of my younger years. A visual window tribute of GUESS’s 30 Year Anniversary. The heritage behind the brand whose hallmark represented a world of denim paired with “sexy” now proclaims “Discover the timelessness of sexy”. Indeed, GUESS has succeeded at that. “30 Sexy Years”, they have earned. “Invented in the past and reimagined in the future”. For certain, the world that Marciano created and forged deserves it’s own focus and appreciation beyond my brief visual acknowledgment. Either way, the windows emblazoned with the memorable images of Claudia Schiffer and various distinctive faces of GUESS proves that although fashion changes and evolves, there is a timelessness that remains to those elements of classic style. Denim’s appeal never fades. Especially when paired with feminine beauty & sultry, seductive appeal…

And of the “Month of Love” that February holds? What better acknowledgment of proclaiming love than windows filled with wedded dreams and bridal fantasy? Lost in a dream world, indeed…

Windows Of  WeddedDreams:  Macy's/State Street
Windows Of WeddedDreams: Macy’s/State Street
Distinctive & Fashionable Window Styling
Distinctive & Fashionable Window Styling

Take a moment, the next time you walk a city’s streets, to appreciate the visuals set before you behind large panes of glass. Reflective glass that allows you to view the fashionable scene and the city’s reflection simultaneously. Two scenes that provide delight paired with the energy of a city that swirls around you. Changing windows. Changing display and changing fashion. May you find inspiration from the windows of Chicago, and the windows of the city or cities that surround you. Details to be appreciated, indeed…


City Inspirations: Chicago In October

City Inspirations:  Chicago In October

Chicago. What began as an overcast October day turned into a sky that brought brilliant sunshine infiltrating through the buildings and upon the city streets. Yet a mild, Fall chill appropriately settled into the air. Chicago in October. Slight winds in a city known for its natural force of wind. The “Windy City”. The city by Lake Michigan that finds within its towering structures the Chicago River meandering through. The streets awaiting, camera in hand. Alas, I return again. My year commitment to return monthly to the city of Chicago with the sole purpose of seeking inspiration and appreciation of the city and its details . Details that include the changing scenery from behind the glass panes of display windows and the changing attitudes that permeate the city. Autumn has arrived. And what better way to appreciate the details of a city and its visual appeal than from behind the lens?

Chicago:  A Visual Delight
Chicago: A Visual Delight

The store front windows were layered with textile delights. Luxurious layers of regal and rich hues draped mannequins that boldly displayed fashion’s recent turn. Changing seasons. Changing attire. Fashion’s evolution. There was also a sharp focus of the formal dress. A nod to the future holiday events that await us, for certain. Life is a celebration.

And of course, there is Chanel. The mannequins that boldly adorn the windows of the Chanel boutique on Michigan Avenue always lure me with expectation. What was presented was certainly a “Mod” visual to treat the eyes of passerbys. An intriguing visual, for certain. Iconic black and white with embellishments of distinction. Very Chanel.

Chanel Boutique, N. Michigan Avenue/Chicago
Chanel Boutique, N. Michigan Avenue/Chicago

In the search for inspiration, I continually find myself immersed within it while walking on the pavement of the city’s streets. There is always a detail to allow ones eyes to focus and rest upon. Appreciation. Considering the craftsmanship of the details that embellish the historical buildings that tower and surround. Perhaps it is a matter of focus. Seeking out these details of beauty and distinction, as they are available to each of us. As each moment counts, the simple luxury of perching from a park bench that can beckon us. A seat from which to view the world around us. Priceless

Chicago In October:  City Scenes

Seasonal Delights WIthin The City Scape:  Chicago In October
Seasonal Delights WIthin The City Scape: Chicago In October

With the assemblages of Fall’s emblems and massed plantings that represent the season, threaded throughout the city, the reality of Autumn’s arrival was apparent. Jackets paired with fashionable and sleek boots had returned to the pavement. Autumn’s official arrival was upon us. Myself, as a past “Chicagoan“, as well as those that swarmed the city streets were ready. Fall’s force ahead. Ready and inspired with the changes around us. Chicago in October. Inspired, indeed…


Elegance In Opalescence: The Lustrous Beauty Of Classic Pearls

The Elegance Of Pearls...
The Elegance Of Pearls…

The beauty of the pearl. Remarkable beauty from nature, indeed. It could be stated that there is nothing as glamourous as wearing pearls. “Ropes and ropes of pearls”. Certainly a significant statement of perfection, the pearl will forever be a symbol of beauty, affluence and elegance.

Pearls are unique compared to other gemstones, as the pearl is the only gem that is grown inside of a living creature. It is also the oldest known gem to mankind. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly esteemed and highly valued for centuries. Timeless. The English word “Pearl” is derived from the French word “Perle”, originally from the Latin word “Perna”. The word “Pearl” has evolved into a metaphor for what is “rare”, “fine”, “admirable” and “valuable”. Perhaps the finest of what nature “Gifts” from the shell

Gifts Of The Sea:  The Revered Pearl
Gifts Of The Sea: The Revered Pearl

This hard object of iridescent luster is produced within the soft tissue (the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Like the shell of a clam, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form deposited in concentric layers. Although the “perfect pearl” is perfectly round and smooth, many other types of pearls exist. The most valuable of pearls are said to occur spontaneously in the wild, but are extremely rare. Who knew? These “wild pearls” are referred to as “Natural pearls”. “Cultured” or “Farmed” pearls are from pearl oysters and freshwater mussels and make up the majority of “common pearls”. Alas, perhaps no pearl is common, but a gem to be appreciated! Interestingly, it is the reaction of an implant of tissue into a recipient shell that forms a graft which in turn will form a pearl sac. A reaction that results in opalescent beauty. Cultured elegance of enduring status. It is said that of all of the types of pearls that exist in the world today, 95% are cultured and only 5% are natural. Quite a ratio. Certainly one can understand the value acquired to the “Natural pearl” that graces the shell from which it is formed. Although imitation pearls are widely available in the forms of varied jewelry, the quality certainly varies. The quality of the iridescence of the pure, distinguishable genuine pearl cannot be compared, however. Whether the rare “Natural” pearl or the masses of “Cultured” pearls, the allure, splendor and magnificence of pearls is elegance beyond compare.

Throughout the history of fashion, pearls have been harvested and cultivated primarily for use in jewelry and have been lavishly stitched onto garments of fashion. Of interest, pearls have also been crushed and incorporated into cosmetics, medicines and in paint formulations. Again, who knew? Whether wild or cultured, gem quality pearls are typically always iridescent as is the interior of the shell that creates these glorious gems. Of the family of “Nacreous Pearl Bivalves”, the pearl oyster lives in the sea whereas another bivalve of Mussels lives in freshwater (thus, the “Freshwater Pearl”). The unique luster of pearls depends upon the “reflection, refraction” and diffraction” of light from the translucent layers”. The thinner and more numerous the layers in the pearl, the finer the luster. The iridescence is caused by the “overlapping of successive layers which breaks up light falling onto the surface”. Interesting. In addition, pearls (particularly freshwater pearls) can be dyed various colors, including black. Stunning, for certain and the mere idea of black is certainly thought provoking…), yet it is the “pearly white” pearl and its “Creamy White” variations that I return to. With the metallic mirror-like luster, the opalescent glory these gems of nature provide us is timeless beauty that we will never tire to adorn ourselves with

Vintage Allure: The Pearl Necklace
Vintage Allure: The Pearl Necklace
Vintage Elegance In "Pearls"
Vintage Elegance In “Pearls”
Classic Images Of Pearls:  Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor & Jacqueline  Bouvier (Kennedy)
Classic Images Of Pearls: Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor & Jacqueline Bouvier (Kennedy)

Of course, one cannot venture far in the discussion of pearls than to pay homage to the attention to the pearl that was bestowed them by the iconic fashion designer, Coco Chanel. Chanel represented pearls like none other. “Ropes and ropes of glistening pearls were a requirement for Chanel

Coco Chanel's Iconic & Enduring Style:  Pearls
Coco Chanel’s Iconic & Enduring Style: Pearls
A 1990's Classic:  Linda Evangelista & Christy Turlington In Chanel Pearls
A 1990’s Classic: Linda Evangelista & Christy Turlington In Chanel Pearls
"Chanel's Pearls"
“Chanel’s Pearls”
The Pearl:  A Symbol Of Beauty
The Pearl: A Symbol Of Beauty
The Enduring Allure Of Lustrous Pearls
The Enduring Allure Of Lustrous Pearls
Fashion's Archives:  The Iconic Pearl
Fashion’s Archives: The Iconic Pearl

And of the influence of the “Great Gatsby” and the pearls that flowed like the champagne? A worthy tribute to the iconic elegance and lavish adornment of pearls, for certain…

Tiffany's  Pearls & The Opulence Of The "Great Gatsby"
Tiffany’s Pearls & The Opulence Of The “Great Gatsby”

Consider the pearl. Consider “ropes and ropes” of pearls. Consider the radiant and polished classic pearl earring. A woman should not be without pearls in her cache of fine jewelry. And if time is to pass before one can acquire a “Cultured” pearl of beauty? I say seek out the best imitation that is within your means and acquire it. Great style is simply “presenting” a classic style. Fashion is an attitude. Faux pearls of high quality are better than none, for I agree with Coco Chanel. A woman does need pearls. At least one “rope” of opalescent shine…


“A Woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls” – Coco Chanel