BOWLED OVER: Windy City foodies are all abuzz about the latest venture by Graham Elliot Bowles, a James Beard Foundation award nominee and former chef at Avenues in the Peninsula Hotel. Bowles’ indie vibe is found throughout his solo effort called Graham Elliot, from the denim and Chuck Taylor sneaker-clad waitstaff to the River North restaurant’s music with Bowles’ iPod playlist for the day, including tracks by American Football, an alt-rock band from Urbana, Ill., to Cake and the Cure as well as Bowles himself on acoustic guitar. The food is equally delightful, including a foie gras parfait with Rice Krispies, cranberry compote, herbs and yogurt sorbet.

HOMECOMING: After its debut at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York last fall, “Chic Chicago: Couture Treasures from the Chicago History Museum,” including one of the most notable dresses in fashion, has come home. Running through July 26 at the Chicago History Museum, the exhibition features a Paul Poiret 1913 Sorbet gown, the first dress created for an uncorseted figure once worn by Windy City socialite Anita Carolyn Blair.

This story first appeared in the October 9, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“That gave way to modern fashion,” said curator Timothy Long.

It’s one of more than 50 pieces worn by Chicago women, from Gilded Age gowns by Worth and Pingat to modern looks from Chanel and Versace, including a Chanel dress worn by Chicago’s own Oprah Winfrey.

Sparking most interest is a black-and-white wool and cotton convertible dress from Comme des Garçons.

“Many woman are disturbed by the dress,” Long said. “It’s loose in shape and crude in fabric. Even the staff was asking why do we have that piece. People are saying it’s ugly; it’s weird.”

QUICK FIX: Frenzied frugal fashion queens have a new trick to tame their tresses. Blo.dri, a new hair finishing salon on North Clark Street that opened last month, specializes in blowouts, updos and other styles done in 30 minutes or less. Better still are the prices: Blowouts are just $25 to $35.

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