BY COY THOMPSON
Every great host and hostess maintains meticulous control over all components of a party right down to the last detail. So, when only one of the co-founders of Marchesa, the day’s guests of honor, arrived at the Costume Council’s recent luncheon, none of the elegant event chairs batted an eyelash. Karen Craig accepted the Costume Council’s premiere Presidents’ Circle award, created to honor rising stars of haute couture, on behalf of herself and her Marchesa partner, Georgina Chapman.
Kathleen Haines-Finley and co-chairs Michelle Bibergal, Sherrill Bodine, Paula Borg, Annette Finding, Heather Farley Ingram, Judy Lockhart, Mark Olley, and Pauline Kurtides Sheenan welcomed the almost 200 guests, who had contributed over $30,000 in support of the Council’s commitment to the Chicago History Museum. Neiman Marcus’s Senior Vice President and Fashion Director, Ken Downing, and Petra Slinkard, curator of costume at the Chicago History Museum, interviewed Karen about the fashion world, touching on Anna Wintour’s take on Marchesa.
The food was delicious, the crowd was glamorous, the outfits were original, and the Laurent-Perrier champagne divine. Neiman’s, Laurent-Perrier, and the Lenox Corporation were in-kind sponsors.
Because it’s so chic to have a post-party event after a luncheon, Neiman Marcus hosted anyone that wanted to come over to their Michigan Avenue store to try on some of the dresses from the Marchesa trunk show. They had models walking through the crowd in the beautiful gowns, a DJ keeping the energy high, and, of course, more champagne.
At one point, there were more ladies in the dressing room then there were near the racks. Ms. Craig was there for almost all of the party providing helpful advice for ladies trying on her creations: which dress best suited them and what might best suit their needs. She was gracious and very approachable—many people got the chance to ask her their questions that they didn’t get to ask at the luncheon.
The event was a huge success, and the Chicago philanthropic supporters that were in attendance were elegant in every way.
Through the support of the Costume Council, the Chicago History Museum has maintained a thriving costume collection and operated a conservation lab that manages and sustains this critical aspect of its holdings. For further information on the Museum and its costume collection, visit chicagohistory.org.
Photo credit: Sean Su