When the Midwest native Kelsey Tanner-O’Connor moved to Paris at age 18, she fully realized her love for vintage and couture fashion. But that doesn’t mean it’s where all her money went. “I was raised a farm girl, and I didn’t have a bank account to finance the habit,” she says. Instead, the former model collected gently used or never worn clothing and accessories from a variety of sources—estate sales, dealers, and auctions—eventually leading her to open Décollage (1219 W. Madison St.; 312-226-8087, shopdecollage.com) this past March. “My whole concept is to make people feel like they are not in a vintage store,” says Tanner-O’Connor, who decorated the space with 1920s Vogue covers and dress form mannequins. “I want it to feel like you’re walking into a store from the 1940s and 1950s, not a store from 2011 with clothing from the 1940s and 1950s.” The current inventory spans across several decades, including a 1930s black chiffon asymmetric cocktail dress with shoulder strap detail ($249), a 1960s pink shift dress with pearl and rhinestone detail ($78), a 1970s orange dragon print dress ($48), and a 1980s Bill Blass customized suit ($134). If you don’t see something you like, just ask Tanner-O’Connor. “My husband and I own the building, and I have 2,000 square feet of storage filled with other pieces,” she says.
Top Sales This Week
The International Academy of Design & Technology (iadtchicagoimagine.com) hosts its annual student fashion show, Imagine 2011, on Thursday, May 19th, at 8 p.m. Held at the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Rd.; 312-413-9875), the event features more than 100 student designs, a performance from musician Kristinia DeBarge, and an appearance by Miss Illinois USA 2011, Angela Sparrow. To buy tickets ($25 to $30), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-980-9242.
Find new and gently used women’s clothing, shoes, hats, accessories, and more during the second annual closet clearance sale at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (756 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 312-243-9088, art.org) on Saturday, May 21st, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Best of the Rest
- Virtu (2034 N. Damen Ave.; 773-235-3790, virtuchicago.com) holds the opening reception for an Anne Sportun spring trunk show with 10 percent off the designer’s jewelry on Friday, May 20th, from 4 to 8 p.m. The trunk show continues through Sunday, May 22nd.
- In conjunction with Feisty Kitten Showroom, Annie O (324 N. Leavitt St., suite 200; 312-421-8676, annieo.net) holds its spring sample sale with 20 percent off wholesale prices on pieces from Tulle, Topin, Scrapbook, and more, as well as a less-than-$10 section on Thursday, May 19th, from 12 to 7 p.m. Cash only.
- Green Home Experts (823 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park; 708-660-1443, ghexperts.com) and other eco-friendly Oak Park businesses partake in Earth Fest 2011 on Saturday, May 21st, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oak Park Public Works Center (201 S. Blvd., Oak Park; 708-358-5700). The event includes clothing and gardening items as well as health services and entertainment. For more information about the fest, visit oak-park.us/earthfest or call 708-660-1443.
- Find clothing and accessories from around the world during the fair trade fashion show at Greenheart Shop (1911 W. Division St.; 312-264-1625, greenheartshop.org) on Saturday, May 21st, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
- Krista K (3458 N. Southport Ave.; 773-248-1967, kristak.com) and Krista K Maternity + Baby (3530 N. Southport Ave.; 773-248-4477) celebrate nine years with 20 percent discounts and refreshments Friday, May 20th, through Sunday, May 22nd.
- White Chicago (222 W. Huron St.; 312-397-1571, whitechicago.com) hosts a Lori London trunk show of veils and headpieces on Friday, May 20th, and Saturday, May 21st, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Save 10 percent off any Lori London purchase at the event.
- Take $25 off any $50 purchase at Eileen Fisher (108 N. State St.; 312-578-0932, eileenfisher.com) during the grand-opening party on Thursday, May 19th, from 4 to 7 p.m. Guests also receive Champagne and hors d’oeuvres.
- The Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence (driehausdesign.org) features fashion designs from local student, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction at 700 South Des Plaines Avenue on Friday, May 20th, at 6 p.m.
After five years, Anjenu (1747 W. Division St.; 773-469-2212, anjenu.com) will close its bricks-and-mortar store to focus on expanding its selection of wedding invitations. Until the closing date—Sunday, May 29th—get 35 to 75 percent off everything in the boutique.