Fields day for fashion

Designer dazzles windy city

CHICAGO — The hoofing of Savion Glover and the custom a cappella warbling of Ladysmith Black Mambazo provided an authentic atmosphere of global culture. And Chicago’s “Fash Bash” provided so much dog-days glitter Friday in the Windy City that even this upscale market was agog at how much money Marshall Fields had dropped to introduce its fall designer collections.

Emcee Ellen DeGeneres cracked affectionate funnies about the fashion industry, but even Anne Heche’s jaw could be seen dropping at the high-tech fashion blitz that made up a sold-out one-nighter modestly entitled “A World Odyssey of Fashion and Adventure,” produced at the downtown Chicago Theatre by Fields’ fashion honcho JoAnn Young.

Designers hawked their wares on tape (and on the backs of models) before more than 3,100 attendees included Yeohlee, Donna Karan, Michael Kors and Sonia Rickel. A multitude of attending beautiful people and monied types made State Street seem like Rodeo Drive, albeit only for a few hours.

Some 100 models competed for attention with live pooches, computer-generated animation, several simultaneous movies, a mini-Eiffel Tower, falling snow and any number of other Broadway-style gimmicks. A huge party followed at Field’s flagship, which featured sales floors done up like an African jungle, a Venetian Carnivale and the China Doll Club.

Positioned as a fund-raiser for the Art Institute of Chicago, event raised $150,000 in a single night.

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