Classic Chicago Woman October 2016
Illustrated by Rosemary Fanti
Written by Megan McKinney
Stuart Mesires: Spectacular entrepreneur, purveyor of classic vintage fashion . . . Wife, mother, hostess, trendsetter among peers . . . Classic Chicago magazine columnist . . . Prominent presence in social media . . . Active participant in the city’s charitable and social activities.
Once: Philadelphia Main Line girlhood . . . Upbringing produced zeal for fashions with mid-century resort and country club panache . . . Agnes Irwin School, Rosemont, PA . . . Assembly Ball debutante . . . Hamilton College, Clinton, NY— BA in art history . . . Parsons School of Design, New York City — MFA in fashion design . . . New York fashion designer for 11 years while living in Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights . . . Tommy Hilfiger . . . Lands’ End . . . Lilly Pulitzer.
Now: Husband, lawyer George Mesires, son Alexander (known as Xander) . . . North Side Chicago address . . . Family summers on the Thousand Islands, an archipelago of more than 1,800 islands straddling the Canadian-U.S. border on the Saint Lawrence River. . . Frequent travel to Philadelphia Main Line for visits with family, old friends . . . Quick trips to New York to see Broadway productions, museum shows, fashion trends . . . Summer 2016: visited Brimfield (MA) Antique Show, other smaller shows throughout upstate New York . . . Summer 2015: curated show, Summer Dress, for Thousand Islands Arts Center, Clayton, NY.
Career: Since 2009, proprietor of Ladybug Vintage, unique, eclectic, Chicago-based collection of vintage jewelry and clothing—fashions echoing international glamour of the 1960s and ’70s . . . Named best source for high-end vintage in Chicago by Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop . . . Collection blends lifelong passion for vintage treasure hunting with expertise in worlds of fashion and design . . . Hallmarks of Ladybug Vintage: the whimsy, refinement and insouciance of country club chic and classic design with a twist . . . Author, Vintage Vantage, popular monthly column in Classic Chicago . . . Mission: to present vintage as something rare and special but accessible.
For the Public Good: Fund-raising for Northwestern Medicine on the Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital . . . Further philanthropic activity on behalf of Chicago History Museum from position on Costume Council board (former Costume Council vice president).
Diversions: Treasure hunting: blending antiquing with quests for classic retro fashion and design . . . “I love to draw, paint, go antiquing, read and write about vintage.”
What’s Next: Writing a book about vintage fashion and “growing Ladybug Vintage.”
Classic Connections: Historic Charleston, SC, links include Declaration of Independence signer Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Historic Link Closer to Home: Great-great-grandfather William Alexander Vincent, prominent Lake Forest attorney, Clarence Darrow partner, most famously known as lead defense attorney in 1897’s first Luetgert trial, gaining a hung jury for a man accused of dissolving wife in a sausage vat.