Everybody was supposed to be there for the fashion, but all eyes were clearly on a considerably pregnant Ashlee Simpson during a Monday morning press conference for Chicago’s Fall Fashion Week. Simpson was there—front row, no less; in a long hippie dress and a simple neck scarf—to support hubby (and North Shore native) Pete Wentz, who has just opened a store in Lake View called Clandestine Industries and who will host the Gen Art kickoff show on October 1. (For more info, see chicagofashionresource.com) I couldn’t help but think that it’s a pretty big coup to have a rock star as your mascot, especially considering that the other big fashion event of the year—Macy’s Glamorama—has enlisted, ahem, M.C. Hammer for its fall event. Don’t want to touch that.

As for the Chicago Fashion Week, which runs October 1 through 7, it will feature nearly two dozen local designers, including such pros as Lara Miller, Michelle Tan, and my personal favorite, Katrin Schnabl. Great names all, but I was disappointed that, at Monday’s runway show, there wasn’t much new blood. It’s all fine and good and well to promote the talent that we have here, but it would be nice to see someone new once in a while. To that end, one person to keep your eye on is Elda De La Rosa, whose apple green gown apparently invoked at least one of my friends in the crowd to think of Oscar de la Renta.