Let the shopping begin: 12 days of style
BY KEVIN AEH August 18, 2013 5:52PM
Festival events (clockwise from right): Christina Hendricks hosts #Shopfest: A Kickoff to Fall Fashion Aug. 22; Pamper Your Pooch; A Magnificent Taste
Updated: August 18, 2013 5:54PM
Chicago has no shortage of summer festivals, celebrating everything from culture to cuisine, so it’s fitting that in a stylish city such as ours, there would be an event celebrating fashion too. And where else would it take place but on the city’s premier shopping street? Presented by MasterCard, the Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival returns for the third consecutive year with 12 days of deals, fashion shows, celebrity appearances, giveaways and other events, including the Magnificent Taste culinary extravaganza, all taking place along the storied street. With more than 40 events to attend, keeping it all straight can be a challenge, so we’re here to help you find the best bets throughout the fest. And with our guide, you’ll never have to worry about being fashionably late to any of it.
Day 1: August 22
Best bet: #ShopFest: A Kick-Off to Fall Fashion
Christina Hendricks, who stars as Joan Harris on “Mad Men,” is the special guest host for this afternoon runway show, highlighting fall looks from Michigan Avenue’s retail centers, The 900 Shops, the Shops at North Bridge and Water Tower Place. R&B star Jason Derulo provides the live soundtrack. 5:30 p.m. at Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan); $35.
Also: For a dose of summer refreshment, stop by Neiman Marcus for free gelato as the department store celebrates the new Brunello Cucinelli collection. Noon to 4 p.m.
Day 2: August 23
Best bet: Mile Style with Splash
Dress to impress when you hit the Avenue today — you could end up in the pages of Splash. As part of the festival’s first-ever street style campaign, photographers will snap your pic, and the best looks will be featured on our Who Wore What Where page. We’ll also be handing out gift certificates for a blowout at Michael Anthony Salon, Magnolia Cupcakes and samples of Hado Tokyo products, the hot new beauty line of out of Japan. Noon to 2 p.m. at Pioneer Court. Also happening Aug. 30.
Also: Check out the latest tech offerings at the AT&T flagship store and enjoy a free express manicure. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Day 3: August 24
Best bet: Shop for a Cause
It feels good to give back — especially when charitable work involves shopping. Purchase a $5 savings pass at the Macy’s Water Tower outpost, and you’ll get up to 25 percent off most purchases at the store that day. Plus, you can enter to win a $500 gift card. Proceeds benefit the March of Dimes.
Also: The Pamper Your Pooch weekend kicks off with special pet-friendly activities, including a river cruise and free photo sessions in the MasterCard Priceless Pavilion at Pioneer Court.
Day 4: August 25
Best bet: After Hours
with Lincoln Park Young
Shop like a VIP and score deep discounts, without battling crowds of fellow shoppers, at this Water Tower Place party. The soiree promises cocktails, snacks and a Water Tower Place coupon book valued at $650. 6 to 9 p.m.; $20.
Also: Outdoor enthusiasts, visit Eddie Bauer for an exclusive screening of “High and Hallowed: Everest 1963,” a film about climbing Mount Everest. 6 p.m.
Day 5: August 26
Best bet: Sparkling Cocktail Hour
Swoon over Swarovski crystals on the 16th floor of the Trump Hotel. Test out the new fall collection and have your pic snapped at the event’s photo station. Don’t miss the display of the brand’s homeware collection, equally as stunning as its jewelry counterpart. 6 to 8 p.m.
Also: Don’t forget to take advantage of the wide range of shopping deals offered throughout the festival. For example, Columbia Sportswear is offering 20 percent off your entire purchase, and Vince offers $50 off purchases of $350 or more.
Day 6: August 27
Best bet: A Magnificent Taste
The annual outdoor culinary event returns with star chefs Art Smith and Rick Bayless as hosts. Fellow top toques from Little Market Brasserie, David Burke’s Primehouse, Siena Tavern and more will also offer tasty bites throughout the evening. Proceeds benefit Common Threads. $125-$200, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Pioneer Court.
Also: Jewelry historian Melinda Lewis stops by Lulu’s on the Avenue in The 900 Shops to sign copies of her book, The Napier Co: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry.
Day 7: August 28
Best bet: Candy wrapper dresses
Katy Perry might be done with candy-themed clothing, but we still think they’re pretty, uh, sweet. Check out fall fashions in the form of candy-wrapper dresses and sample treats from local candy shop Candyality. 2 to 5 p.m. at Pioneer Court.
Also: Start the day by doing something healthy (especially if you’re going to fill up on candy later) with sunrise yoga on the Terrace at Trump Hotel. Book the class with your MasterCard and you’ll get a $25 voucher for the Spa
at Trump. 6 a.m.; $25.
Day 8: August 29
Best bet: ROOF Runway
ROOF at theWit hosts some of the best fashion shows in the city, with skyline views providing a dramatic backdrop. This time, ROOF teams up with the Shops at North Bridge to show off looks from Nordstrom, Tommy Bahama and more. 8 p.m.
Also: Little ones can get in on the fun with Bitty Baby’s Story Time at American Girl Place. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The free picture-book reading also takes place Aug. 27 and Sept. 1.
Day 9: August 30
Best bet: Express Talk: Hats
Partake in a little culture with this gallery talk and tour at the Art Institute. Guided by an art expert, the 30-minute tour kicks off in the Modern Wing and takes you through pieces that feature hats or bonnets.
2 p.m. at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Also: Channel your inner fashion designer at the Art Institute’s Artist Studio, where you can create wearable fashion accessories from papers, fabric scraps and assorted trims. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Day 10: August 31
Best bet: Fashion Brunch
at Water Tower Place
Grab a Bloody Mary or mimosa and take in the top fall looks from Water Tower Place retailers while enjoying brunch by eclectic eatery Foodlife.
Attendees receive a gratis gift bag.
10 a.m. to noon at Water Tower Place; $25.
Also: Shake up the standard Saturday night routine and stop by “Dressed to the Nines,” the Art Institute’s stylish way to take in its Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity exhibit. Dressing up is highly encouraged. Also happening August 24. 6 to 9 p.m.
Day 11: September 1
Best bet: Coco Jones concert
Disney star Coco Jones performs her latest hits in an outdoor concert, taking place immediately after a back-to-school fashion show featuring looks from Water Tower Place. MasterCard members can participate in a meet-and-greet with the singer after the concert. Noon at John Hancock Center Plaza.
Also: Stop by GUESS and enjoy the beats from an in-store DJ while you shop, plus get 25 percent off regular-priced denim — a must for fall wardrobes.
Day 12: September 2
Best bet: Meet and greet with Laura Marano
Also: It’s the last day, so don your most comfortable shopping shoes to make the Mag Mile rounds for sweet deals at a range of retailers. Bring your Water Tower Place shopping receipts to the mall anytime during the festival and get 10 percent off at Foodlife, Foodease Market or Mity Nice Bar & Grill.
For a full schedule of events, visit