THE 61st ANNUAL GOLD COAST FASHION AWARD SHOW
Hello guys! Happy Friday!! YAY!
It’s been a couple of weeks since I wanted to share this post with you and it’s finally LIVE!
On September 21st I had the pleasure to attend to the 61st Annual Gold Coast Fashion Award Show, which is the signature fundraising event for the Children’s Service Board an affiliate organization of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. It was such a fun experience that I got to live with my babe Christine (aka @tristinstyling). The reception started at 6 pm at Revel Fulton Market where we enjoyed drinks and the most decadent food from Chicago’s top notch restaurants.
The night started with us interviewing Neiman Marcus’ runway producer, Margaret Merritt, and ended with an incredible fashion show, where we got to enjoy the hottest trends for Fall 2016. Of course a lot of velvet and lace was involved. Something I didn’t mind at all. Safe to say, I wanted every piece modeled down the runway.
Before attending the show we got pampered thanks to Art + Science in Wicker Park. They did such an amazing job with my hair and make up, don’t you think?
We met Margaret backstage while she was taking a couple of Advils before the show started lol. We talked fashion, lifestyle and other fun subjects. She is such a sweetheart and a very kind person, something I really needed since I was super nervous. Her down-to-earth personality calmed me down immediately when we started chatting.
So, without further ado, here’s our little fifteen minute conversation:
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from as things are constantly changing?
Margaret: Well, I really can’t take credit for it. Our VP and Fashion Director is the one who sets the vision for the company, and then on a show like this, that is considered an “Art of Fashion” show, I execute his vision. I can interpret what he wants pretty good. It’s a collaboration.
Q: You wear so many hats and have done so many different things within the fashion industry, where did you start and how do you juggle all these hats?
Margaret: Well, in the past month I’ve only been home for three nights!! Which is crazy. But I’m just happy, passionate and grateful that I still get to do this and that I’m still relevant with everything that’s going on in the fashion industry. I do think when you’ve been in the industry for a long time you can bring a lot to the table, but I also love that I get inspiration from others as well. I feel like it’s a good balance. I just keep going!
Q: For how many years have you been in the fashion industry?
Margaret: Thirty! I’ve seen it all through the decades. 80’s, 90’s…. And I love the fact that it all comes back. What’s really cool to me though, is to run into people that I’ve known since I started and viceversa. I think that’s special.
Q: What do you do when you have time off? How do you relax?
Margaret: I have one husband last time I checked. And two cats. And we just stay in, relax, cook, watch movies. Nothing fashion or shopping related. I want to watch like, Deadliest Catch hahaha, or something that’s completely opposite to what I do for a living.
Q: How do you feel about social media and how it has changed everything in the last couple of years?
Margaret: Well I think that was has happened to fashion is that is so instant. If you see something down the runway you don’t want to wait six months to buy it, you know? As we all know, that’s starting to change. Some designers have a “buy now” collection and I think we are going to see more of that. And that’s all because of social media.
Q: Out of all the things you’ve been able to do within the fashion industry, what do you enjoy the most?
*Margaret has done modeling, PR and used to run a talent agency. Now she’s dedicated to fashion production.
Margaret: Backstage! Definitely backstage. To me is live theater. I like the fact that you don’t know what’s going to happen. I love the energy that you experience backstage.
Q: How many looks are we going to see tonight?
Margaret: For tonight we have 22 models, 22 dressers and 62 looks. We pulled the looks together with shoes and accessories. Everything is in the hanger in the same order that they put the pieces on to make it easier and faster for the model to get dressed.
Q: What motivated you to open your own company? How did you decide to take the leap?
Margaret: It all happened in a very organic way. I feel lucky because I started as an agent in Hawaii. Then I left Hawaii and I continued in the modeling business as an agent. And then, from working backstage I was approached by Saks 5th Avenue to be their Fashion and PR Director. I didn’t know I wanted to do that. But it was great, because it gives you a whole new perspective of the industry. After I did that, I went back to being backstage because I love the runway and the models and working with these young girls and their parents. There are many young girls and a lot of bad things that go on in this world, so I like to take care of them.
Then I had the opportunity to work with Neiman Marcus. I’m actually an independent contractor for them and it takes 99% of my time, so that’s why I’m doing this right now. A lot of the shows I put together for them are for charity, so I like that too.
Q: What do you think about the Chicago fashion scene?
Margaret: I love it! I think it’s a great market. There are a lot of models, a lot of brands, a lot of agencies and PR firms and a lot of commercial styling. There’s a lot going on here. It’s grown a lot in the last decade.
Here are some pics of us with Margaret:
Well guys, this is it! I feel so grateful I got to experience an event like this, interviewing Margaret, and loved being backstage with all the chaos and models getting ready to walk down the runway. Loved that kind of energy.
Hope you enjoyed this, even though is not an outfit post! I’m planning on doing more of these articles and interviews and to add a little more ‘lifestyle’ posts to this blog! Would love for you to follow along!
Let me know your thoughts 😉
Have a great weekend!
Special thanks to:
Art + Science for doing an amazing job with our hair and makeup
Motion PR for the special invite
Neiman Marcus for putting up together an amazing Runway Show
Volunteers, restaurants and companies that made this beautiful evening come to life