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CHICAGO — It’s hard to tell which was the biggest crowd pleaser at Marshall Field’s Glamorama: the hour-long, high-energy fashion show complete with lip-synching, dancing models and the unusual collection of celebrities ranging from Pamela Anderson to Cris Judd, or the almost seven-foot fountain of drizzling chocolate tempting attendees at the after party.
This story first appeared in the August 21, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
All in all, the evening lived up to its hype as one of the must-see fashion events in the city, attracting 3,200 people to the fashion show and nearly 2,000 to the after party. The festivities raised about $300,000 for the Art Institute of Chicago.
Prior to the show, even some members of Chicago’s finest stopped directing the backed-up traffic in front of the Chicago Theatre to catch a glimpse of Anderson emerging from a stretch limo in a red Monique Lhuillier dress.
Anderson joined Judd and actors Lauren Holly, Jordanna Brewster and Sara Wynter, and celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch to provide some of the evening’s star power.
“I had a great time,” said designer Anna Sui, whose Art Deco-inspired fall fashions were showcased to the 1990 Deee-Lite hit “Groove Is in the Heart.” “That’s a big challenge to make a show like that entertaining throughout.”
Field’s had help from musical guests Uncle Kracker and Bond, and comic actress Tracey Ullman, who, in a vintage black and red dress, hosted the evening with lighthearted ease. Announcing that she’s not running for California governor, she said, “I’ll let one of you Americans do it.”
Michael Kors’ fall collection kicked off the evening with video clips of models lip-syncing George Michael’s “Freedom ’90” and dancing to the pop hit down the runway, joined at the segment’s end by the Chicago Mass Choir gospel group.
Fashions from the likes of John Varvatos, Marc Jacobs, Matthew Williamson, Dolce & Gabbana and Oscar de la Renta continued to captivate the crowd, which responded with cheers to Ralph Lauren’s floor-length, cream beaded gown, and his black viscose and silk gown paired with a cashmere evening coat with marabou collar.
After the show, hundreds walked down the road to Marshall Field’s State Street store, which contained a variety of party rooms complete with mojitos and flavored martinis, including the Field-tini, a mix of Bacardi Limón, sour apple schnapps and apple juice, and culinary treats on its seventh floor.
“It looked amazing,” Sui said of the much-talked-about gurgling chocolate fountain.
Sui, who was pleased to notice party goers wearing some of her designs, admitted leaving without nabbing a taste, as she was concerned about catching a 4:30 a.m. flight the next morning.
Others did indulge, pointing skewers of fruits, cookies, pound cake and marshmallows into the flowing cocoa.
Holly kept to her vodka and 7 Up in the VIP area, sporting a blue Badgley Mischka tunic and Paper, Denim & Cloth jeans and Givenchy jewelry purchased at Field’s earlier that day.
Holly, who recently moved to the tony Chicago suburb, Lake Forest, with her investment banker husband and two young sons, sung her new city’s praises. “It’s more energetic than L.A.,” she said, “and I haven’t met a single person who’s been rude.”
Holly wasn’t the only celeb who felt comfortable with the Midwestern vibe. Judd, as well, wearing an ivory Yves Saint Laurent suit, busted a few dance moves in the VIP area as onlookers gaped and giggled.