It’s almost spring-break season, and there’s nothing more appealing than the idea of skipping town and recharging with a stylish sabbatical. From road trips to cross-country flights, Amy Tara Koch — style expert, “Windy Cindy Live” and “Today” contributor and acclaimed author — shares her favorite weekend escapes, chock full of the hottest shopping, dining, cultural activities and even some time at the spa.
Dispatches from our Chicagoan in Hollywood, Liz Crokin: Rihanna and Chris Brown are making it no secret that they’re back together and totally in love. The couple were spotted together all over Hollywood during Grammy weekend, hitting exclusive parties — and they didn’t refrain from the PDA. This may be a hard pill to swallow for some people, considering the fact that he physically assaulted her on the night of the Grammys four years ago. But many in her inner circle are happy about the reunion, including her family.
It took Alana Grelyak a few months to take Michael Gabriele’s invite for coffee seriously. Though they first hit it off at a party he threw in November 2009, their five-year age difference made her hesitant to go out with him — so he used Facebook to stay in touch until she had a change of heart. They dated for three years before getting married last fall at the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, where Grelyak’s parents and grandparents were both married. Selecting the music for the ceremony was particularly meaningful for the couple — Gabriele is a director and producer at DDB Chicago, and Grelyak an associate composer at Sonixphere — so when a Ukrainian quartet sang Grelyak down the aisle, “everyone was crying,” she says.
Smell the roses Marni (above), the iconic brand known for its luxury women’s apparel, debuts its first fragrance at Saks Fifth Avenue this month. Switzerland-born designer Consuelo Castiglioni drew inspiration from her homeland’s woody landscape when creating the fragrance, which combines strong rose notes with traces of cinnamon bark, cardamom and cedar. Snag the scent in a shower gel ($50), body lotion ($55) or classic eau de parfum (starting at $105) at 700 N. Michigan or Saksfifthavenue.com.
Cough up some major cash and you can lounge on a Brazilian beach, feasting on fresh lobster tail and sipping caipirinhas. Or, do your wallet a favor and get the same flavor — for a fraction of the cost — at La Sirena Clandestina, a 40-seat hot spot that opened last fall. Tucked into a corner of Fulton Market, this unassuming eatery seems more fit in a small fishing town than a big Midwestern city. But that’s exactly what chef John Manion intended. “I wanted it to feel different from the big restaurants you typically find in Chicago,” says Manion, formerly of Branch 27, Mas and Goose Island. His inspiration? A quaint Brazilian city called Buzios that Brigitte Bardot famously visited in the ’60s.
Dear Jenny, I need some advice. I am 22 years old, a college student and grew up in the Chicago area like you. I have feelings for two guys who, unfortunately, do not want to commit to me. They like to party, drink and go out with their friends — including girls. When I spend time with each of them, we always have fun and there’s a connection, but sometimes I feel like I am wasting my time. I’m not sure if they will ever grow up and want to commit. One guy just turned 21 and the other one is 25 — do you think that these guys will ever want to commit, or am I just wasting my time? I don’t know what to do. Please help!