Friday, June 21, 2013


Luxe File Chicago recently sat down with one of the country’s fiercest, most accolade-riddled fashion designers, Azeeza Khan of Atelier AZZA, whose signature embroidered dresses, blazers and hand-embellished collars have been spotted everywhere - from the "who-wore-it-best" lists to the catwalks of Bryant Park.

Here, the Chicago-born beauty gives us the hot scoop on haute handbags, Lollapalooza street-style and what to pair with a sexy summer pedi.

Azeeza Khan

FABULOUS FLATS. For summer, a pair of glamorous and comfortable flats is essential. "I am obsessed with Valentino's jelly flats. They are perfect for the beach, and I'm always wearing t-strap sandals. Both pair perfectly with everything in my showroom." For Azeeza, open toe kicks are a warm weather must-have accessory. She keeps her feet and toes soft and pretty with weekly pedicures.

Valentino Rockstud 
Leather T-Strap Flats

IN THE CLEAR. As the seasons change, so do Azeeza's handbags. From carry-all totes to chic clutches, she loves the cool, crisp look of lucite and the durability of modern acrylics: "I like their wash-and-go feel. They fit my jetsetter lifestyle."

Charlotte Olympia Pandora Clutch

DRESS TO KILL. "I'm obsessed with flirty summer dresses." For a day look, Azeeza wears one of her signature pieces (pictured below), as a tunic, and finished the look with leather leggings and jellies. For a night out, she recommends pairing it with ultra-luxe accessories such as an embellished belt or collar.  

Azeeza in AZZA

HAIR GAMES. Finally! The warm weather is here and that means letting hair play a little hooky and do what it likes. Whether she’s running to the gym or meeting friends for cocktails on an outdoor patio, Azeeza opts for simplicity: only a sleek, pretty braid will do. 

Nicole Kidman exudes relaxed glamour 
in a summery, side braid

"I need an off-the-neck look that is easy and chic. A braid is the perfect mix of sophistication and just plain fun." Beauty note: For smooth braids, pony tails or twist-ups, Azeeza recommends Shu Uemura’s White Tea Polishing Milk, a lightweight, leave-in gloss that protects hair and keeps it silky-soft.

Far-Out Festivals. Chicago’s eclectic music scene may offer up some of the nation’s top musical talent but, for the city’s style set, it may as well be Fashion Week. Fashionable urbanites flock to Grant Park, raging their wild sides in a cacophony of rebellious colors and edgy rockstar graphics. 

Songbird Siren: Lana Del Rey

Azeeza loves this year’s Lollapalooza lineup, especially Lana Del Rey (pictured above), whose music and sensuous melodies define the AZZA aesthetic. When it comes to fest style, Azeeza’s tip is to up the wow factor and dress over the top, from baroque to classic bombshell.


Last year, Azeeza followed her own advice and got her just rewards. “I wore some blinged-out pieces from my collection and was given VIP access because everyone thought I was a performer!"

Now that’s fierce.

Photo Credit: 
Lollapalooza photo of Azeeza Khan courtesy of Emma Arnold for Trés Awesome

Thursday, June 13, 2013

SIMPLE TO SIMPLY DELICIOUS: 5 Tasty Gifts for Dad on Father's Day

If your toughest challenge on June 16 is what to give the guy who gave you life, consider this: Is your Dad a foodie with a beer fetish? Does he dabble in adventurous cocktail construction? Are there more cookbooks in his library than classics?

This Father Day’s, Luxe File Chicago is helping solve the conundrum on what to give dad on the happiest day of his life.

When dad screams, we reach for the remote. When dad screams for ice cream, we make a congo for the kitchen. Give the big guy a gift that will appeal to his softer side: Cuisinart's Stainless-Steel Ice Cream Maker. Makes two quarts of your favorite dessert in 25 minutes. Now that’s a sweet night in.  

Last time we checked, the local liquor store was where dad headed to satisfy a beer fix. Now, thanks to the evolution of craft beer-making which is sweeping the country (from basements to the family garage), your yeast-loving pater is embracing his inner brewologist and making his own 6-pack of suds. Do dad right with a contraption that will bring him back into the light: enter the Beer Machine.

Don’t be fooled by its late night infomercial appeal, the tabletop brewery kit makes your dad’s favorite lager faster than you can say fermentation-conditioning-carbonation apparatus.

For the dad who enjoys turning up the heat in the kitchen or over the grill, why not give him a culinary tomb for Father's Day that is authored by a celebrity chef and daddy too. Beautifully written, Molto Batali by Chef Mario Batali gives thanks with a culinary arsenal of easy-to-exquisite seasonal recipes that will turn any family meal into a memorable feast.

When it comes to going big, your dad believes playing it safe is for sissies (thankfully his idea to breed pygmy elephants as family pets didn’t pan out). Hebert Candies’ 17” chocolate towers filled with over two and a half pounds of sugary heaven will not only satiate his sweet tooth, but will stave off any ill-conceived attempts to skydive off the Willis Tower. Or at least until Father’s Day is over.

Are tasteless Bloody Marys putting the “weak” in your weekend brunch? This Father’s Day, Stu's Kitchen is going Karate Kid on your banal Saturday morning cocktail and opening a jar of whoop-ass with its homemade sour pickle juice and insanely addictive garlic-soaked pickle spears. Dad’s taste buds won’t know what hit them.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Luxe File Chicago recently caught up with Erica Strama, one of the town’s most notable luxury fashion publicists, whose warm weather protocol ranges from boho chic-inspired maxi dresses to heat-defying pucker stains and fierce footwear.

Erica Strama
Senior Marketing Manager

Trouvé’s Flap Pocket Denim Shirt (above) is what I like to call my "wear-with-anything" and "make-everything-look-cooler" summer essential. I plan to throw this over tank tops, sundresses, maxi dresses – you name it. The beauty of this shirt is that it’s lighter than a denim jacket, but still gives off that carefree, boho-chic vibe. Cuff the sleeves for an effortless effect.

I’m always searching for a maxi dress that’s equal parts comfortable and flattering. I found the perfect one: Tommy Bahama’s Tambour Coral Jungle Maxi Dress. With a jeweled neckline and a built-in bra, you can just add a pair of wedges and you’re good to go. This is coming with me to Maui.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Chicago designer Lana Bramlette’s collection of fine jewelry. These gold Cascade earrings are the perfect everyday complement to summer’s flowy silhouettes.

Hooray for the single-sole pump! In the season’s hottest color combo, black and white, the Hitchup Pump by Stuart Weitzman is comfortable enough to wear all day and all night – ideal for a working gal like me. And who doesn’t love the leg-lengthening benefits of a pointy-toe?

When the seasons change, so should your lip color. I normally opt for basic nude, but when temps heat up, I like to swap my go-to beige-y shade for a bold hue. My new favorite is the NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu, a super-saturated bright pink. The long-wearing formula gives a melt-proof stain and keeps your lips moist. #genius

NEXT UP: Azeeza Khan of Atelier AZZA

Written by Sally Shorr

Thursday, June 6, 2013


WHAT: Winestyr + Cureeo Party

WHERE: 666 W. Hubbard Street

WHEN: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

$$$: Free; register online HERE.

Kelly Wearstler

LUXE FILE LOVES: ZZ Top may think women will go racing after an average joe in dapper duds from SuitSupply (who are we kidding?) but give us a Kelly Wearstler-designed man cave with a sophisticated art collection, a stellar wine cellar, and a 60-inch flat screen TV – ideal for viewing vintage episodes of Fashion TV and Sex and the City – and we start perspiring like we're standing in a rain forest. 

Enter Winestyr and Cureeo – two Chicago start-ups whose primary purpose is to connect artists and craft wine makers with avid art collectors and oenophiles – who are joining forces to host an informative evening of artwork and all-American wines.

Jaws Séance (on Cureeo)

Well, two out of three ain't bad.

Photo Credit:
Lead illustration by Peter Oumanski

Saturday, June 1, 2013

STYLE INSIDER: Ikram Goldman

Bold trendsetting is comfortably ensconced at Ikram. Recognized by its sleek red lacquer edifice (below) and nestled along a quiet, tree-lined street in Chicago’s bustling River North district, this famed boutique stocks imaginative pieces and accessories from top fashion innovators to up-and-coming designers.

Helmed by Ikram Goldman, the fashionable proprietor, is considered the high priestess of haute couture. Known for picking promising talent, she has a gimlet eye for transforming the styles of her august clients after a single meeting.

Luxe File Chicago caught up with Ikram to get a peek at her favorite couture-to-closet picks.

Ikram Goldman

Reveal your inner rock star with Provo's star print tank top and leopard print pant. Backstage passes not included.

Muveil’s Superman embroidered tee and pleated skirt is the dewy season’s superhero blockbuster.

Swap your favorite cashmere slippers for Céline’s First Class-appropriate fur lined Birkenstocks. Goldman assures us they the coolest things you can put on your feet on a hot summer day.

An uptown girl with a downtown agenda? Scrap the ladylike pearls for this seasonal stunner: Joomi Lim's fringe-and-spike necklace.

Nothing spells summer quite like a scene-stealing beach bag. Hit the beach or trot around town with Proenza Schouler's colorful Neoprene tote. 

Photo Credit
Photo of Ikram Goldman courtesy of Katrina Wittkamp for Michigan Avenue