I’ve been likened to the fictional sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw once or twice, but one thing we don’t have in common: the ability to trot in sky-high Manolo Blahniks. I bought my first pair recently on sale at Barneys (open-toe, patent-leather Mary Janes), but I’ve yet to wear them out of the house. Just looking at them in my closet gives me plenty of pleasure, sans pain.
But since I said I would participate in last night’s Service Club of Chicago charity fashion show at Chaise Lounge, I knew I might have to suck it up. (The Service Club is a women’s organization that provides not-for-profits with funds for projects that aren’t covered in the NFPs’ operating budgets.) Even so, when I met with the ladies from Personal Vogue, the wardrobe-consulting company that was styling the event, I begged them to let me hoof it in comfy shoes. “How about my silver Tory Burch ballet flats with that blue Theory dress?” I asked.
“No, we definitely need you in heels,” cofounder Linda Jordan responded. You can’t blame me for trying. I’m not exactly accustomed to strutting down runways—much less doing so in gravity-defying stilettos (hey, I had back surgery just over a year ago). Although I got vetoed on the shoes, Jordan did solicit my thoughts on the clothes; Personal Vogue’s mission is helping women fill in the holes in their closets, based on budget, style, and body type. My final picks: a royal blue, belted Theory dress and a shimmery, sparkly number by Alice + Olivia.
Thankfully, there was no fashion roadkill last night—even though I ended up wearing a pair of four-inch Blahniks and had to descend a flight of stairs en route to the runway. Those glasses of Champagne before the show must have helped. My fellow models for the night—other local ladies in the media, including Natalie Martinez, Ginger Zee, and Lauren Jiggetts from NBC; Liz Crokin from RedEye; and Audarshia Townsend from UR Chicago and the Chicago Tribune Magazine—did a bang-up job, glamming it up for the crowd of 125 nightlifers, media types, and local tastemakers. Audarshia, who writes the blog 312diningdiva.com, played up her diva image, applying lipgloss as she sauntered down the catwalk.
The night raised several thousand dollars for the Service Club. But strutting down the runway without falling flat on my face? Priceless. It’s just too bad I didn’t get to keep the clothes.
* * *Coming up this weekend: On Saturday, Chicago rapper Common holds a concert at the House of Blues benefiting the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and the Common Ground Foundation. The event is open to the public, but tickets are sold out.
Photograph: Courtesy of Sarah Preston