To introduce our new vintage online clothing store- Outside the Box Vintage– Maria and I decided to explore the vast urban jungle of my backyard. Using found objects as props we decided to play dress up on one of the hottest days of the year so far this summer. We were melting, sweating, and oh so shiny. Why didn’t we wait another day? We had finally shaken our procrastinating ways and were in determined work mode. This is our feminist take on Vogue fashion shoots.
Today is the day. Fashion Food Feminism is producing a fashion show in Chicago and it’s happening tonight. In January Maria and I brainstormed up the idea to put on a fashion show with vintage clothes and have it be a fundraiser for a new local theatre company, Sankofa, that we are both involved in. The show evolved and now the runway will feature not only vintage, but also clothing from local designers.
It has been a fun, but sometimes stressful production. There is so much work that goes into a fashion show, but at least I was aware going in. I’ve volunteered at many fashion shows, but this is my first time putting one together myself. The hardest task was finding a venue on a very limited budget of zero dollars. However, by reaching out to a few friends I was able to secure an awesome location in downtown Chicago on the roof of the building courtesy of friend and designer Gabrielle Zwick. The location is perfect for enjoying a Chicago summer night and looking out at the lake or the sparkling city.
Being a feminist produced fashion show we want to do things differently. We will be debuting our new vintage collection- Outside the Box Vintage. It is a reminder to ourselves and to others to remember to think outside the box, to challenge traditional thought, and to be free to express yourself. All the designers and vendors are women. The theme for the night is playful and not sexy. I kept hearing the word sexy so many times during the planning of this event and I constantly had to say no we are not selling sex, I want it to be fun and playful. It is important to us to use fashion as a tool to empower women and not cater to the idea of what is sexy.
Another challenge I encountered was finding a local plus size designer. There was only one in the area I was able to find and she was unavailable for the event. It just made it blatantly obvious to me the lack of options available to women who are plus size and want to dress their best.
There is going to be desserts and sangria. I’m excited to try the desserts and the sangria is delicious. It is not going to be the typical runway experience and there isn’t going to be your typical runway. I’m not going to reveal all the details, you’ll have to come and find out!
So I’m inviting you to come join us for a playful summer’s night mingling amongst Chicago’s skyline. Your exclusive view will include a fashion show with the best vintage and local designs Chicago has! Celebrate supporting local Chicago culture and promote diversity. In addition, since it’s Chicago’s Pride Weekend we will be celebrating supporting equality and gay rights. You know you wanna come. You can purchase tickets here.
I have a confession to make…I don’t own any tennis shoes. Not a single pair. So how did I find myself at Self’s Workout in the Park? I volunteered to go and write about it. I was swayed by the thought of exercising outdoors downtown surrounded by Chicago’s beautiful skyscrapers. So, I headed to the event in cut off jean shorts, a casual shirt, and flats. I was going to document other people working out, be an observer of this phenomenon of working out. I could immediately identify who was also going to event as soon as I got off the train. These women were decked out in their lycra and sports bras and power walking as though they were on a mission. They were ready to work out and I was ready to photograph them.
It’s not as if I’m opposed to working out. It just comes in phases or cycles for me. The last time I owned a pair of tennis shoes was in 2009 when I was a coach for Girls on the Run. Twice a week I would meet up with my group of girls at their school and try to get them to run, to move. It was a challenge and I’m worried for kids. Before that college was the prime of my gym time. When a gym membership is included with your tuition and it’s within walking distance it seems more reasonable to go work out. When you live in Chicago and the nearest gym within walking distance is a mile and you have to pay for the gym membership it’s not exactly convenient to go work out.
Instead I just make physical activity part of my routine. I walk to the grocery store and ride my bike as much as I can. I don’t think women should feel pressured to work out so they can achieve a certain look. Working out should be about moving your body for health, because it’s not healthy to be too sedentary. The women at Self’s Workout were there because they wanted to be. They were super excited to be working out. Everything was fun and upbeat. The Laughing Cow and I started a friendship.
Ladies could indulge in facials.
I signed up for a facial dermascan so I could see how much the sun has damaged my skin.
The left side shows blood vessels and growths. The right side show all the sun spots that could pop up. I was advised to protect my eyelids and lips more. I do generally avoid putting sunblock on my eyelids because if I sweat, which I do cause I bike, it burns my eyes.
And I found the lone male that was working out at the park with the ladies.
Maybe next year I’ll own a pair of sneakers and attempt to work out.