By  on April 22, 2005

CHICAGO — Zac Posen’s first trip to the Windy City was a memorable one.

The designer’s fans seemed unable to get enough of him or his luxe looks during a trunk show at Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue last Friday. They were still trying to place orders as workers packed up the collection. Store officials, without offering specifics, said sales reached the high six figures.

“It was incredible,” Posen said. “The energy was so exciting. Everyone was so honest and nice.”

Posen dined with friends at the members-only Racquet Club of Chicago and visited high-end boutiques Blake and Ikram.

Women in Chicago “have their own style,” he said. “I felt like the women were so beautifully put together with great accessories and suiting. They had a fashion-forward edge to their suiting.”

That translated into strong sales of Posen’s suiting separates, with his $1,600 pleated snake jacket, $1,050 waxed wool Sargent skirt and $850 double-pleat waxed wool trousers among the trunk show’s top sellers. Shoppers also scooped up his $2,700 silk jacquard Vector dress.

Chicagoans got a preview of Posen’s fall collection during a party and fashion show last Thursday night, complete with ice sculptures, hosted by In Style and Neiman Marcus.

Although about 350 partygoers basked in the glamour, not all were entirely swept up in the moment.

“I like the colors, pleats and fabrics, but for my body type those high-waisted pants and skirts won’t work,” Anita Boras said after the show staged on Neiman’s second floor.

Her friend Karen Krantz, who teaches fashion marketing at the Illinois Institute of Art, applauded the event but said some styles were too buttoned-up.

“I didn’t like the peasant blouses with the high necks....I like more curves,” she said.

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