nenasnotes BEGINS YEAR SIX……


Oh my, year SIX….wow! And what a year we have had, who knew all our worlds would have been turned upside down and backward! If you follow me you know I include a look back to the previous years, you will find them below, they are in chronological order.

I did start nenasnotes The Fashion Master Class in January and we are now in Series 3 with Series 4 to begin in the New Year. Please let me know if you have any interest in any of my Fashion Clubs and we can discuss in more detail. I like to keep all of them small, I think the attendees are more at ease that way. I’ve kept busy researching for the Master Class and other projects. For the foreseeable future I’ll continue all my classes virtually, seems to work well for everyone.

I haven’t been blogging very much, shame on me, and won’t say I’ll go back to daily posts in the near future. I must admit my reading hasn’t been up to par either, I hope I can get back on track with that as well. I know you enjoy my book reviews and my TBR list is enormous! I have no idea where the days, weeks, months go but they fly by! I’ve been very fortunate to have many fascinating authors in conversation for nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club with more wonderful titles and authors in the coming months. Can you believe we start year Five in May, amazing! I do post regularly on Instagram, if you don’t follow me there, please do, I have a bit of fun with those posts.

I’ll close for now, please let me know if you have subjects you would like me to cover, you know I do “cover the waterfront”, so to speak, in my choice of subject matter…that’s just me!

Get vaccinated, wear your mask, wash your hands, get out and enjoy yourself and we shall get through all this craziness together and soon! Hugs as always…..

OCTOBER 13, 2020


Each year I repost my original story of how I envisioned my blog to be, and have added an up date on each year and here we begin year FIVE! I must admit my original thoughts have pretty much remained the same but also admit I’ve been remiss in posting regularly…sorry about that. This year has been beyond comprehension to say the least and hopefully when we establish our “new normal” we will get back to enjoying the pleasures we have had to put aside. We shall get through this pandemic and I truly believe be the better, different, for all our traumas. (PS I now understand an updated post doesn’t get sent to you so to reread my last October 13th posts go to the archives, sorry about that!)

Much has changed and much has involved. I led my last year’s update with the story of the huge success of nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club event with the personal appearance of Victor Skrebneski and the launch of his book….this year I brought you the news of Victor’s passing. What a difference a few months make.


I continue with nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club and added nenasnotes The Fashion Film Club both now done virtually via Zoom. This has allowed me to include non-local attendees. I will be launching nenasnotes The Fashion Master Class in December, I’ve been asked for years if people could take classes I taught at Columbia College Chicago…this will be an extension of some of those classes.

Fall has always been the start of the year for me so it is appropriate that I revisit my “virtual diary” each year at this time. I hope you will continue reading my musings, please comment, let me know if there is anything special you would like me to research and share with you and share nenasnotes with your friends.

OCTOBER 13, 2019


It’s the beginning of year four of nenasnotes amazing how quickly a year goes by…..I must admit I am basically in the same position I was when I wrote last year’s updated post. I have been remiss in doing regular posts and for that I apologize. The nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club has taken on a life of its own and the monthly meetings are continuing to grow. I was beyond thrilled that the Uber talented Victor Skrebneski joined me in conversation about his sensational new book SKREBNESKI DOCUMENTED: 1948-2018. I will be doing a post in the near future, I promise, on the friendship we have shared for many, many years….stay tuned.


I finally had my first guest post with Barbara Varro’s nostalgic trip with her fabulous reminisces of her celebrity interviews while fashion editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. More guest posts to come, again, I promise. I know you like my book reviews…you can count on more of them.

Okay, your turn what would you like me to concentrate on….by now you know when I post I do have a lot to say…I’d love to know what you want me to research for you….or do you prefer when I take a trip down memory lane with designers I have worked with, personality profiles, book reviews, or just my ramblings about things I find interesting….please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

OCTOBER 13, 2018

Another year has flown by and I am now starting year three of NENASNOTES. I must admit I haven’t been consistent of late, computer issues, other obligations, etc. I plan to continue my same schedule with more tweaks. I am asking the people I have profiled over the last two years to do a guest post on whatever subject they like. I think their thoughts will be of interest to all of us. I do like my Tuesdays posts, BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS, and will continue them and probably expand to an additional day. This has led to the formation of NENASNOTES The Fashion Book Club a monthly gathering to discuss all manner of fashion books, featuring fascinating authors and a throughly engaged audience, I will do monthly posts on these books as well. More recipes, more decor, more fashion….yes, all of those along with interesting personality profiles. If you have something you would like me to discuss please let me know. By now, if you follow me, you know I have a wide range of interests that I like to share with my readers. I now also do two monthly posts for the Randolph Street Market blog, one on collection trends and one on fashion trends these are totally different from my NENASNOTES posts. Do follow me there, on Instagram, (I’m having a blast there!) and Pinterest. I am in the process of launching a sponsorship program with unique incentives based on level of funding. So lots to look forward to…I do hope you will continue to join me in my ventures and do recommend NENASNOTES to your friends and please make comments, they are invaluable. Here we go….welcome Year Three!

OCTOBER 13, 2017


Here is what I wrote one year ago today when I launched NENASNOTES, as I begin my second year, my goals remain the same. I have tweaked the daily themes a bit but the concept hasn’t changed. I will be adding new features and ask that you watch for an upcoming announcement of how you can supoort me and what incentives you can expect. I hope you are enjoying my thoughts on the variety of lifestyle things that interest me…so I say, Happy Birthday NENASNOTES and I hope you, my followers, will continue to join me on a regular basis and invite your friends to have their morning coffee with us as well.

OCTOBER 13, 2016

Well, here we go….I have been waiting to start my blog NENASNOTES for what seems like ages, actually, it has been ages!

I, therefore, feel it is necessary to give you my thoughts on what you can expect on what will become daily postings.

It began with the current trend of focusing on people reinventing themselves, through career and/or lifestyle changes. I realized that there are so many of my friends and acquaintances whose diverse lives now are totally different from how they started. First up were my many former models who were superstars in the myriad shows I produced during my lengthy career as Fashion and Special Director at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago. Most, if not all, have totally changed careers and become successful with their new life choices. You will learn their stories, reminiscences and photos from then and now.


These two groups of conversations will be my Monday posts, here is what I have planned for Tuesday through Friday:

I thought why not carry this further to my other friends and people I know who had fascinating stories to tell and was I correct in that assumption! I began this process with a handful of people, which soon became many more, by doing an in person hour long taped conversational interview and Proust-like questionnaire. Again, I asked for photos and this time a favorite recipe. I hope you will enjoy these posts as much as I am enjoying gathering them. They are riveting.


Tuesday….Books, books, books. I’m afraid I have a book fetish, especially fashion books. It seems to be my goal in life to own every fashion book printed!!! So we will start there. I do read a lot, particularly historical fiction, I love fiction about “real” people, we will go that route as well. Nothing like a good English mystery but don’t mind a “Cozy” once in awhile and can never miss Louis Penny’s newest (who doesn’t love Armand!). So much to read so little time.


Wednesday….Miscellany day could be a great recipe, restaurant, movie, play….whatever strikes my fancy that week.


Thursday….Homes and Gardens, again tapping my friends and their eclectic styles, mostly self-decorated homes and brilliant gardens. A glimpse at my tiny space as well.

Friday….Fashion Flashback. I’ve worked with over 150 designers and fashion personalities through the years and want to share some of these experiences with you. I’m sure those of you who know me thought the blog would be all about the “glamorous” fashion shows I produced, yes, there is that but the nitty gritty as well and only one day a week.


Here we go….I hope you will join me on my on reinvention.

FASHION NOW: Dior Hats: From Christian Dior to Stephen Jones

Today I’m going to share two of my passions….books and The Costume Collection at the Chicago History Museum. These two will come together when The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum presents a very exciting event that I’m delighted to share with you. By now you know I host a monthly nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club (we are now 4 1/2 years into our events!!!) This December I will be featuring two Dior books, MISS DIOR by Justine Picardie and CHRISTIAN DIOR DESIGNER OF DREAMS in conversation with Maureen Footer. How appropriate that The Costume Council is welcoming Stephen Jones to discuss his new book DIOR HATS in November.

Christian Dior needs no introduction to anyone and, yes, there are many books about him and his unique creativity but this book explores how important hats were to M. Dior and his successors. He featured hats beginning with his first collection in 1947…here worn with the famous Bar Suit.

We have a large collection of Dior in the Costume Collection including the hats seen in the photos below which are included on the invitation.

I urge you to make your reservation immediately….this is a not to be missed event, do subscribe at least at the $200.00 level to get the signed book to add to your fashion book library…you won’t be sorry.

Here is all the information on the event…beyond exciting…

“The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum invites you to

Dior Hats: From Christian Dior to Stephen Jones

A virtual conversation with the renowned Stephen Jones, milliner to the House of Dior since 1966, and Oriole Cullen, fashion and textiles curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Ticket Levels

Presenting Sponsor: $1,000
Includes two boxes and the Zoom link.

VIP Sponsor: $500
Includes one box and the Zoom link.

Exclusive Box Set: $200
Includes one box and the Zoom link.

Link to join Zoom webinar: $50

Milliners Guild and SAIC Student Access: $25

We’re pleased to offer a special discount to School of the Art Institute of Chicago students and members of the Milliners Guild who wish to attend the presentation.

Underwriting opportunities available

The Zoom link will be emailed to ticketholders the week of the presentation. Boxes will ship the week of November 1.Complimentary shipping available only in the continental US. Boxes purchased after this date may be picked up at the Museum.

Get Tickets


From Monsieur Dior’s fabulous hats to those that matched haute couture silhouettes by Yves Saint Laurent, floral toques by Marc Bohan, majestic, wide-brimmed hats by Gianfranco Ferré, extravagant confections by John Galliano, poetic creations by Raf Simons, and feather headdresses by Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior Hats revisits sumptuous moments. A series of exclusive, never-before-published photographs by Sølve Sundsbø, as well as emblematic images by fashion’s greatest photographer showcase this key essential. A celebration of distinction at its quintessence.

Compiled under the virtuoso eye of Stephen Jones, this unique tome unearths archival treasures, taking the reader on a fantasy odyssey of discovery through a mix of words and images dedicated to these fascinating objects of desire.


Since the early 1980s Stephen Jones has collaborated with designers from Vivienne Westwood and Claude Montana through to his current work with Thom Browne and Christian Dior. Jones’s hats have been an integral component in some of the most memorable runway spectacles of the past quarter century.

In 2009 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, he curated the hugely popular exhibition Hats, an Anthology by Stephen Jones, breaking attendance records around the world. In addition, his hats are also collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris.

Today, Jones’s retail boutique, design studio, and workroom are all located in a charming Georgian townhouse close to the site of his very first millinery salon. In addition to his Model Millinery collection, he designs the widely-distributed Miss Jones and JonesBoy diffusion ranges.


Oriole Cullen is a Fashion and Textiles curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Prior to joining the V&A, she worked at the Museum of London as curator of Dress and Decorative Arts. She has curated numerous exhibitions and published and lectured on the subject of fashion and textiles. Since 2006 she has overseen the V&A’s Fashion in Motion series, working with contemporary fashion designers to showcase their work in live settings within the Museum space. She was co-curator with Stephen Jones on the 2009 V&A exhibition Hats, an Anthology by Stephen Jones and more recently worked with Stephen on the V&A’s Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition in 2019.


The Chicago History Museum is home to one of the largest repositories of fashion in the United States, with over 50,000 historic garments and accessories. Since 1974, The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum has been raising awareness through its unique collaborations with designers and exhibitions. The ongoing fundraising support from the Costume Council allows for the preservation and interpretation of historic costume and dress.

With more than 200 pieces of Dior fashion in the Chicago History Museum’s costume collection, including hats, CHM has had a longstanding interest in the French fashion house’s work. Join us to hear these two notable figures discuss the history of and current trends in the world of millinery and fashion, including the recently published book Dior Hats: From Christian Dior to Stephen Jones.

Questions? Contact Nell McKeown, institutional advancement events manager, at 312-799-2118 or at”











Evan Boersma, Edson Barbosa, Fernando Duarte, Stefan Goncalvez, and Hyuma Kiyosawa in Swing Low | Photo by Todd Rosenberg



I can’t tell you how excited I am to let you know that The Joffrey Ballet is BACK! After not performing live for over a year, (but giving us glorious dance virtually) not only will they be back on stage but will take their places on the stage of their new home….The Lyric Opera House!

I did a very long blog post in November 2017 on my lifelong love of ballet and my first encounter with the Joffrey and my involvement with them through the years…I would suggest you go into the archives and read or reread the piece…it came from my heart!

Not only do we have this exquisite mixed program to bring us back to live dance but we can look forward to the return of everyone’s favorite ballet THE NUTCRACKER!

Chicago loves dance as well as all our other cultural events and is more than eager to welcome back it’s very own Joffrey Ballet!

Here are all the details from The Joffrey…

The 2021–2022 season begins with a triumphant mixed repertory program of original works by rising stars Chanel DaSilva, Nicolas Blanc, and Yoshihisa Arai, plus a beloved ballet classic choreographed by Joffrey co-founder Gerald Arpino

The Joffrey Ballet opens its inaugural season at the Lyric Opera House and marks its return to live performances with Home: a Celebration, a triumphant mixed repertory program that spotlights original works by today’s rising stars Chanel DaSilva, Joffrey Rehearsal Director Nicolas Blanc, and Joffrey Artist Yoshihisa Arai, plus a remount of a beloved ballet classic choreographed by Joffrey co-founder, the late Gerald Arpino. Home: a Celebrationis presented in ten performances only. .

“On behalf of everyone at the Joffrey, we cannot wait to see audiences at our new home, the Lyric Opera House, for a return to live performances,” said Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet. “Our opening program is a true reflection of the legacy and talent that has been cultivated within Joffrey family, with magnificent works that speak to the complexities of our times. This is a program that was curated specifically with Chicago in mind, a gift for the city that means so much to the Joffrey.”

“A year away from the stage has given all of us a new perspective on the power and necessity of the arts,” added Greg Cameron, President and CEO of the Joffrey. “Our upcoming season is about hope, renewal, and joy, and there is no better place to celebrate those themes than amongst a live audience at Lyric Opera House. We are finally ‘Home.’”

Birthday Variations, choreographed by Joffrey co-founder Gerald Arpino with music by Giuseppe Verdi, was commissioned in 1986 by Becky D’Angelo as a birthday present to her husband Dino, who owned Chicago’s Civic Opera House (now the Lyric Opera House) and loved Verdi’s music. This lively and melodic ballet is considered one of Arpino’s most popular creations.

New York-based artist and Joffrey’s 2020 Winning Works choreographer Chanel DaSilva finds beauty in the complex and multifaceted experience of what it means to be human with her work, Swing Low, an original creation for five men, set to the avant-garde rhythms of Vermont-based cellist and composer Zoë Keating. Swing Low reflects DaSilva’s deep connection to the transformative power of the arts and the indelible joy of movement. The Joffrey’s world premiere of Swing Low took place at Ravinia Festival on September 17, 2021.

Under the Trees’ Voices is the newest ballet from Joffrey Rehearsal Director Nicolas Blanc and channels the power of community in the age of social distancing. In its world premiere for the stage, four distinct sections set to Symphony No. 2 by Italian composer Ezio Bosso imagine a future of hope and unity. Under the Trees’ Voices had its virtual world premiere, on April 30, 2021, as part of Joffrey’s Studio Series.

Anais Bueno in Bolero | Photo by Matt de la Peña

Joffrey Company Artist Yoshihisa Arai takes audiences on a journey through time and space with Boléro. In its world premiere for the stage, 15 dancers take inspiration from the seminal score of the same name by composer Maurice Ravel; dancers are adorned in costumes designed by Joffrey Company Artist Temur Suluashvili. Boléro had its virtual world premiere, on February 12, 2021, as part of Joffrey’s Studio Series.

Tickets and Schedule

The Joffrey Ballet performs Home: a Celebration Wednesday, October 13 through Sunday, October 24, at the Lyric Opera House, 20 North Wacker Drive, Chicago. Thefull performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 pm; Friday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, Oct. 16 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm; Sunday, Oct. 17 at 2 pm; Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 pm; Friday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, Oct. 23 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm; and Sunday, October 24 at 2 pm.

Single tickets start at $35 and are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street and by telephone at 312.386.8905, or online at

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, visit Connect with the Joffrey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.