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Couture Jewelry Boutique in Northbrook

Starting when she was 18 and an engineering student at University of California at Berkeley, Julie Liu taught herself how to design jewelry. Her hobby of creating necklaces, rings, and earrings for friends and family grew into a word-of-mouth business. Eventually, Liu quit her job as a hedge-fund manager and, in July, opened a jewelry boutique at the Northbrook Court mall. Located on the upper level of the Neiman Marcus corridor…

Sunset or Sunrise?

Starting when she was 18 and an engineering student at University of California at Berkeley, Julie Liu taught herself how to design jewelry. Her hobby of creating necklaces, rings, and earrings for friends and family grew into a word-of-mouth business. Eventually, Liu quit her job as a hedge-fund manager and, in July, opened a jewelry boutique at the Northbrook Court mall. Located on the upper level of the Neiman Marcus corridor, TZEN (2126 Court Dr., Northbrook; 312-788-8346, tzenboutique.com), which means sunset in Chinese, features necklaces, bracelets, and rings that intertwine Liu’s Italian and Asian design techniques. “I want to make my jewelry as organic as possible,” Liu says. And, she says, most pieces are one-of-a-kind or produced in limited quantities. Her TZEN collection features a peridot gemstone necklace ($300) and earrings ($400); a 50-inch multicolor tourmaline necklace ($550) called Abundance; and the Incantato stackable, handcrafted flower rings in rose-, yellow- and white gold ($198 each). Mixing gold with diamonds and pearls, Liu’s couture collection, Mia Pezzi (miapezzi.com), includes an 18-karat gold mesh necklace ($5,000) and bracelet ($2,500); a custom cut, multicolor sapphire necklace ($8,000); and the Incantato rings with diamonds on the petals ($10,000 each). TZEN holds its grand opening party Thursday, September 24th. Guests receive complimentary drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and 10 percent off all rings, necklaces, and bracelets. The first 50 shoppers who spend at least $250 at the event receive two AMC movie tickets; the first 40 who spend at least $500 receive two tickets for a dinner cruise at Navy Pier. The 10 percent discount lasts through Sunday, September 27th.

Top Sales This Week

Urban Style Emporium (200 E. Delaware Pl.; 312-335-1353, urbanstyleemporium.com) opens Friday, September 25th. Opening weekend features two trunk shows—SKIF and Ivan Grundahl—and guests receive 20 percent off all clothing.

The Westfield Style Tour stops by the L.L. Bean and Crate & Barrel Plaza of Westfield Old Orchard Mall (4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie; 847-674-7070) Friday, September 25th through Sunday, September 27th. The event includes modeling, makeovers, entertainment, the opportunity to meet celebrity stylists, and more. Shoppers who spend at least $100 at the mall will receive a Style Tour bag. The designer Christian Siriano, a previous Project Runway winner, gives fashion tips on Saturday, September 26th at 1 p.m. For more information, visit westfield.com/oldorchard/fashion/stylestore/.

The Best of the Rest

  • Blogapalooza features music, food, raffles, discounts, and more at The 900 Shops (900 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-915-3916, shop900.com) on Thursday, September 24th from 5 to 7 p.m. Park in the 900 North Michigan Self Park garage after 4 p.m., and receive a $6 parking validation ticket from any participating retailer.
  • Receive a $15 gift card with any $150 online purchase from Kidrobot (kidrobot.com) through October 8th.
  • The Shop @ Equinox (1750 N. Clark St.; 312-254-4000, equinox.com) holds an Anatomie trunk show Thursday, September 24th and Friday, September 25th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • In collaboration with Gen Art Chicago (genart.org), Shorty Clothing (shortyclothing.com) debuts its 2009 Rock and Roll Meets Rococo collection with an e-boutique launch party on Thursday, September 24th from 7 to 10 p.m. at Lumen (839 W. Fulton Mkt.). The event features cocktails, a virtual fashion show, and more. Part of the proceeds go to Gen Art Chicago. Tickets are $20 in advance at shortyclothing.com or $30 at the door.
  • His Stuff (5314 N. Clark St.; 773-989-9111, hisstuffchicago.com) and Restoration Salon (5349 N. Clark St.; 773-769-3237, restorationsalonchicago.com) hold a happy hour with a fashion show, style tips, and drink specials at Mary’s Attic (5400 N. Clark St.; 773-784-6969, hamburgermaryschicago.com) on Wednesday, September 23rd. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the fashion show starts at 7:30 p.m. The first 50 guests receive free gift bags.
  • This year’s final Randolph Street Market Festival (randolphstreetmarket.com), featuring the Indie Designer Market (indiedesignermarket.com), runs Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th at 1350 West Randolph Street, between Ada Street and Ogden Avenue. Two-day admission is $10; admission is waived during the market’s final two hours on Sunday with a coupon (available at randolphstreetmarket.com).
  • Get 30 percent off all spa services before 3 p.m. Monday through Friday in September at Urban Spa Chic (1401 W. Hubbard St.; 312-492-8050, urbanspachic.com). 
  • Hubba-Hubba (3309 N. Clark St.; 773-477-1414, hubbahubbachicago.com) holds a party with music, martinis, and more September 23rd from 5 to 8 p.m. Shoppers receive 15 percent off their first scarf, 25 percent off their second scarf, and 35 percent off their third scarf through Sunday, September 27th.
  • Style & Spa of Peace (styleandspa.com) celebrates its new all-natural skincare line with a launch party on October 3rd from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the East Bank Club (500 N. Kingsbury St.; 773-540-6986, eastbankclub.com). The free event includes hors d’oeuvres, smoothie bar, mini-spa treatments, music, and gift bags. Reservations must be made by Friday, September 25th; RSVP by e-mailing theresa@styleandspa.com.
  • The Women’s Board of the Joffrey Ballet (10 E. Randolph St.; 312-386-8921, joffrey.org) hosts Couture & Cocktails, Friday, September 25th at the Palmer House (17 E. Monroe St; 312-726-7500). Starting at 7 p.m., the event features a Pamella Roland (pamellaroland.com) runway show, silent auction, music, and food. Tickets, $250 for general admission or $500 for VIP status, are available at joffrey.org or by calling Julia Jankowski at 312-386-8921.
  • Randoons (962 ½ Green Bay Rd., Winnetka; 847-784-1890, randoons.com) holds its seventh annual Sip and Shop event with drinks, snacks, a silent auction, raffles, and prizes on Sunday, September 27th from 12 to 4 p.m. Ten percent of sales go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
  • Save 20 percent on all flatware, including special orders, at Genevieve Lethu (900 N. Michigan Ave., fourth floor; 312-423-9948, genevievelethu.com) this month.
  • Spex (1130 W. Madison St.; 312-226-7200, spexchicago.com) holds the opening reception for its next ART+VISION event, featuring Carole Hennessy’s watercolor paintings and a Lafont trunk show, on Friday, September 25th from 5 to 8 p.m. Hennessy’s work will be on display through November 6th.
  • Crossroads Trading Co. (2711 N. Clark St.; 773-296-2438, crossroadstrading.com) “Fall into Fashion Show” features new styles, music, appetizers, and prizes Thursday, September 24th from 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Blo Dri (408 N. Clark St.; 312-595-3000, blodri.com) celebrates its one-year anniversary through Saturday, September 26th. Guests who buy four “blo outs” receive one free.
  • Take up to 80 percent off sample bags, discontinued styles, accessories and more at 1154 Lill Headquarters (1511 W. 38th St.; 1154lill.com) Saturday, September 26th from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. To RSVP, e-mail samplesale@1154lill.com.
  • Along Broadway between Belmont Avenue and Roscoe Street, the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts and Sidewalk Sale (773-348-8608, lakevieweastfestivalofthearts.com) features more than 160 artists, including Sue Rosengard jewelry and Cat Clausen oil paintings, on Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th.
  • Barneys New York (15 E. Oak St.; 312-587-1700, barneys.com) features complimentary haircuts, manicures, and shoe shines from John Allan and company, Saturday, September 26th from 12 to 4 p.m. Call 312-587-1700 ext. 1105 to schedule an appointment.
  • With Bloomingdale’s (900 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-440-4515, bloomingdales.com), the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago (120 E. Delaware Pl.; 312-280-8800, fourseasons.com) now features a “Getaway from the Gridiron Package” through Super Bowl Sunday (February 7th) 2010. Designed for women who want to escape from the football season, the $175 package includes a 55-minute massage, spa lunch, a pool and fitness club passport, make-up application from the Bobbi Brown counter at Bloomingdale’s, and gifts. Participants also receive 20 percent off a couple’s massage scheduled on a Sunday through Thursday. To book an appointment, call 312-649-2340.

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