6C698FF1-A8C6-44DC-ADDC-E30AD447BB89A week after we learned of the death of the last of the great couturiers I feel everything has been written about this extraordinary creator by those who knew him, wrote about him and treasured his memory. His creativity was unparalleled not only in the world of fashion but also in his homes and his magnificent gardens.

I wanted to briefly talk about my memories of the few times I met him.  The first time was at the launch of his first cosmetic collection in 1966. It was always a ”contest” to see which of the major stores, usually the Speciality Stores….Saks Fifth Avenue, Bonwit Teller, I. Magnin (Neiman Marcus wasn’t in Chicago yet) and, of course, Marshall Field’s, would launch the newest, hottest fragrance.  I must say Saks saw it’s share of these prestigious events. Obviously a cosmetic collection by one of the worlds most illustrious designers was beyond exciting. We had a huge fashion press in Chicago at the time and they were all vying for exclusives. I didn’t then believe in exclusives if the story doesn’t run you are ”dead in the water”. Instead, we always had a press party for visiting designers in addition to a reception for clients usually to benefit a charity. All was set, caterers in place, champagne chilled and I had the tuxedoed wait staff with their champagne ladened silver trays lined up on either side of the cosmetic aisle ready for the guest of honor, M. Givenchy, his people, the President of Saks, Corporate Cosmetic VP’s and our guests. I ran up to my office to quickly change, I am in ”mid-change” when my walkie-talkie (this is before tech thingies!) is swawking….”M. Givenchy’s car has just pulled up”!  My office was on the fourth floor, I finished pulling on my clothes torn down the stairs and made it to the door to escort the entourage into the store and the reception. Whew!!  I have worked with many, many wonderful creators through the years and I can say he was one of the most gracious, charming of all.  He made you feel like you were the only person he wanted to talk to, if only for a brief moment in time. This cosmetic line was short lived and we had the privilege of a second launch several years later. AFD15AD3-A8F0-45DC-9E8C-A92419EFF774.jpegThis photo, now in the Nena Ivon Archives at Columbia College Chicago, hung on my office wall was from the first launch.  Unfortunately, like several other designer photos, the salutation has faded into oblivion over the years.

In M. Givenchy received the Designer of Excellence Award from the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum at a sold-out black-tie gala held in the Museum in 1995 sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue. The front and inside cover of the evening’s invitation, the evening was planned with the direction of M. Givenchy’s dear friend, Victor Skrebneski (holding my hand) who took the photo on the invitation and is seen here with M. Givenchy and Bonnie Deutsch, the President of the Costume Council at that time.  The evening was a roaring success monetarily and prestigiously   It was the talk of the town. All the guests were given a small ivory silk pocket square with the Givenchy signature and rolled hem in grey. All three images courtesy of the Nena Ivon Archives at Columbia College Chicago.


A close up of another Skrebneski photo of one of my favorite Givenchy dresses….you by now know my love of lily of the valley…what could be more divine!!!!!  Photog found on Pinterest.

We all know of the deep friendship between Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn from the time she chose her garments for Sabrina through most of her many films, as well as her personal wardrobe.  One of my most favorite garments are in Charade, loved the film (what’s not to like) and the clothes are to die for…she seems to have a new outfit in every frame…each better than the last.


My favorite Skrebneski photograph of a Givenchy gown. Everything is perfection….the composition, the lighting the incredible staircase, the floor and of course the gown…oh my the gown!!!!  Found on Pinterest.

Of course, a few suggestions for your fashion book library….

I have very fortunate to have worked with the creme de la creme of the fashion world….lucky, lucky me!!


My choice*for the annual must go to event….the Service Club of Chicago’s Spring Hat Luncheon on Friday, May 21st. I seem to be on a mission to get you out and about now that our year long restrictions are being eased. You know I have said during this lock down period that when we can go out again it will be with great style and a major desire to dress up. What a perfect event to do just that! This organization, led by President, Sherrill Bodine and the outstanding group of dedicated women, is one of the oldest in the City and continues to support so many causes. Always planning the next blockbuster event that everyone MUST attend!

So I say get your new chapeau ready, don your most festive attire and let’s party!!!!! *I found my perfect party hat on Pinterest photo credit unknown.

Here is everything you need to know and the guest speaker, Sandy Schreier is beyond fabulous, one you won’t want to miss. Co-Chairs, Michelle Baker, Cathy Bartholomay, and Annette Findling are looking forward to welcoming you.

Spring Hat Luncheon “Desperately Seeking Fashion”

May 21 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

$50 – $5000

Spring Hat Luncheon "Desperately Seeking Fashion"


Join us for the 2021 Spring Luncheon, THE Hat Luncheon in Chicago!

Our fabulous guest speaker is SANDY SCHREIER, fashion historian, collector, author and TV personality. The butterfly hat, pictured here, is by Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen and was part of her Metropolitan Museum exhibition IN PURSUIT OF FASHION: The Sandy Schreier Collection (November 2019-September 2020). Sandy’s presentation DESPERATELY SEEKING FASHION will highlight her magnificent millinery as well as many other pieces from her collection and highlights from her life and unusual career.





“What is a fashion historian? I’m afraid it doesn’t come from years of highfalutin’ study and degrees from Yale. It comes from Sandy Schreier’s lifelong obsession with collecting and researching fashion and Hollywood costuming. Sandy, herself, the great unsung movie star!”
-Isaac Mizrahi


Raffle Prizes


Dress It Up In Style. Saks Fifth Avenue provides an afternoon of fashion & fun for a group of 6 – including a private fashion/trend presentation with live models, lunch and each guest receives a beauty package & $50.00 store gift card! The host can sport their new stunning black cashmere cape with Mink border trim, from Maximilian Furs at Saks Fifth Avenue. Visit them at their new Saks location, 700 N. Michigan Avenue, 312-944-6500. Donation courtesy of Annette Findling & Saks Fifth Avenue
Value: $4,245.00


All That Glitters. Is indeed GOLD! The perfect accessory for the nights on the town we know are returning. From Chicago jeweler John Buechner, our First Prize Winner will go home sporting a gorgeous 14k
yellow gold Italian necklace, 16 inches long and weighing 30.85 grams. Courtesy of John Buechner, Inc., 8 S. Michigan Ave., 312-263-2226.
Value: $3,000.00


Look Better Than Ever. No matter what or who you wear… how good you look is often up to the camera lens and the artistry of the photographer. Famed photographer John Reilly provides you with an
in-studio photo session, along with a keepsake 20×24 Signature Portrait. Courtesy of John Reilly Photography, Chicago/Lake Forest. 312-266-2550.
Value: $1,300.00


Galas are Coming Back and you won’t want to miss ours! Enjoy two VIP tickets to The Service Club of Chicago Gala scheduled for Friday, November 5th, 2021 at The Four Seasons The black-tie event is always a must on the Fall schedule -this year celebrating CHICAGO and all the wonderful things that make us a world-class city. Donation courtesy of Michelle Baker.
Value: $1,300.00


If you follow me you know I’ve been obsessed with the monthly Randolph Street Market since it’s inception and that like many of you bemoaned the fact that we didn’t have the pleasure of our monthly indulgence last year and the beginning of 2021…well that is about to change the end of May, yes, this month, when the illustrious Sally Schwartz takes her RSM on the road to Harbor Country and charming Three Oaks, Michigan! A 90 minute day trip needs to take its place on your summer calendar, May through September! Make a day of it after you have filled your trunk with great finds, explore Three Oaks…lots to see and do there as well. I’ve spent many a long weekend there and I can attest to the fun shops, delicious eateries, think Froehlichs and Staymaker at Journeymaker Distillery, the wonderful Vickers Movie House and on and on. Since you will be going each month you will be able to hit all the other wonderful towns in Harbor Country, it’s my favorite get away location. PS….this is not a paid post, none of my posts are underwritten (I would love them to be..hint…hint!), but rather my eagerness to share this exciting news and don’t we need something to look forward to and, in my opinion, a perfect way to spend a day in the country! Treat yourself, you are in for a real good time!

From Randolph Street Market…here are the details…..I for one, CAN NOT WAIT!!!!

“America’s world-renowned antique flea market takes a road-trip to Three Oaks Michigan, while our Chicago venue is undergoing renovation!!

Coming May, 2021 to Three Oaks Michigan. Tickets Now Available.

Forty chosen regional dealers, plus Los Angeles, Nashville and St. Louis bring curated displays of art and antiques, vintage and modern treasures,hand-crafted goods and more!

Enter Here For A Chance To Win 2 Free Tickets!

Entrance Fee is $5 per adult with children under twelve free. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance for guaranteed entrance. One dollar of every ticket purchased will support Fernwood Botanical Garden in Niles-Buchanan, Michigan. Fernwood lies on the St. Joseph River on 105 acres of virgin forest, prairie, gardens, and walking trails.”

2021 Market Dates and Tickets






10am-6pm EST / 9am-5pm CST


I had to share this very special event with you….March seems to be Nena in conversation with authors….beyond excited. Please join me.

The first 40 registrants will receive a FREE set of Bes-Ben Magnets!The Costume Council of The Chicago History Museum and
nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club invite you and your guests to attend a special virtual program featuring:


With author Elizabeth Jachimowicz
former Costume Curator of the Chicago History Museum (1974-1989)
In Conversation with Nena Ivon of nenasnotes

Pages from Bes-Ben: Chicago’s Mad Hatter courtesy of Elizabeth JachimowiczTUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2021 

5:30pm to 7:00pm Central

 via Zoom Conference

(Link to follow)

$50 / Zoom Event Only

$150 / Event plus Signed BookPlease register online by clicking the button below:RegisterZoom link will be sent prior to program

Book orders must be received by 3/14/21
Available for pick-up ONLY at the Museum during March 16-23
No shipping available

If the images above do not display, please register by clicking here
Copyright © Chicago History Museum, All rights reserved.


I am so excited for this extraordinary gift that my beloved Joffrey Ballet Chicago is giving us tonight, Friday, February 26th at 7. It is free to view….I encourage you to make a donation to one of the jewels in our wonderful Chicago’s crown. It’s the least we can do. What a wonderful way to keep us engaged until we can all be together in person at their new home, the Lyric!


Chicago has an incredible restaurant scene and many of these restaurants are female owned and/or have female chefs, this tradition can be traced back to the late 1890’s when Bertha Palmer introduced Brownies at The Palmer House and Mrs. Hering’s 1890 Chicken Pot Pie launched Marshall Field’s Food Service and the Walnut Room Restaurant, it continues to be served to this day! When my friend, Clodagh Lawless, Proprietor of The Dearborn, brought an amazingly exciting event to my attention I knew I had to share it with you.

Clodagh Lawless

The Dearborn has been one of my go to restaurants from the week they opened. I am obsessed with the decor, obviously the fabulous food but most of all THE staff who welcome everyone like they are family….love it there and am happy to announce they will be reopening on March 10th! We all know the restaurant industry has suffered tremendously during the pandemic….each of us need to support our wonderful restaurant community…here is an easy way to do so and celebrate International Woman’s Day on March 8th. All of us MUST support women’s businesses.

I feel so strongly about this initiative I am copying the Let’s Talk press lease in its entirety. There is a lot of information…the bottom line is…the event is March 8th, pre-order by March 4th go to…

Let’s all do this…sounds like a great fun delicious way to support our beloved restaurant industry.

Here are more details from the Let’s Talk press release…

Let’s Talk is a business initiative – women restaurateurs who are
battling jointly to survive this crisis. It is centered on dining and restaurants, an industry the country loves and that is hit hard, and it is a women’s story – one of collaboration, hope and battle, amidst doom.”

Let’s Talk Womxn was started in July 2020 in Chicago with 15 members. It was created as a forum for women restaurateurs to talk to each other and share resources. It has rapidly evolved to these entrepreneurs undertaking joint initiatives and combining their voice for actions to save their businesses. It is founded and led by Rohini Dey, Ph.D., owner of Vermilion restaurant (Chicago), a former trustee and founder/chair of the James Beard Foundation Women’s Leadership Program and former McKinsey & Co. consultant and World Bank economist. Let’s Talk has expanded to 350+ members across 12 cities including Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, the Bay Area/San Francisco, Phoenix, Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle. The objective of Let’s Talk is to increase visibility, funds and combine economic power for women restaurateurs through this crisis and beyond.”

To celebrate this momentum and women’s positive collaboration, Let’s Talk is delighted to announce its official nationwide debut event on International Women’s Day. Nearly 100 women restaurateurs across nine of its cities invite all to join them for “Dine Together & Let’s Talk” on March 8, 2021. This evening features collaborative, surprise multi-restaurant dining experiences for takeout by the women of Let’s Talk. These dinners span four to ten-course menus priced $45-$150 for order by March 4th, such as at Guests are invited to Dine Together as one city and join in a Zoom conversation from 7-8pm with the Let’s Talk women. Expect candor and a provocative discourse moderated by marquee names, including Congresswoman Marie Newman and bestselling author/TED speaker Angela Duckworth. Let’s Talk invites you share this event with colleagues, friends, daughters and sons to change the dialogue. They emphasize parity is NOT solely a women’s cause.”

“Restaurants are the hardest hit sector,” says Dey. “And women entrepreneurs within this segment are hit hardest. Our restaurants are smaller in scale and often undercapitalized. Women shoulder the inevitable extra home workload, and they are isolated as business owners. Let’s Talk is not an organization, it is not an entity, or an association – from whom we women restaurateurs have received a deluge of webinars, guidelines and manuals – it is an action movement by us.”

More About Let’s Talk: The commitment of each Let’s Talk member is voluntary and out-of-hide. Every Let’s Talk city is cohosted by two to four leading women restaurateurs. Learnings are actively cross-pollinated across cities. On-the-ground city initiatives so far have included Women’s Restaurant Weeks, collaborative tasting menus, food fairs, farmers markets, meal kits, subscriptions, cross-promotions, gift baskets, mentorship and more. Members have pooled voices to apply for grants, meet with governors and city officials, write op-eds and participate on panels to showcase the Let’s Talk model of positive action-oriented collaboration.”

“Partners of “Dine Together & Let’s Talk” include Beam Suntory, the Network of Executive Women, state restaurant associations (IRA, MRA, WHA) and Choose Chicago. For more information, please follow on Instagram @LetsTalkWomxn and check back at as the website is developed.”

Additional details on city participants can be found below. Every city offers a moderated Zoom conversation from 7-8pm. Dinner order links will follow on the Let’s Talk website in the coming weeks ahead.”

• “Participants: Beverly Kim (Parachute and Wherewithall), Julia Momose (Kumiko), Clodagh Lawless (The Dearborn), Rohini Dey (Vermilion), Christine Cikowski (Honey Butter Fried Chicken), Deann Bayless (Frontera Group), Amy Morton (Found Kitchen, Social House), Tigist Reda (Demera), Mary Aregoni (Saigon Sisters), Genie Kwon (Kasama), Sophie Evanoff (Vanille Pâtisserie), Sandra Holl (Floriole), Mindy Gohr (Bittersweet Pastry Shop & Cafe), Julia Shell (The Dandy Crown), Agnes Rapacz (TeeGschwendner), Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass Café), Laurence Noguier (Bistronomic)
Offering: Surprise multi-restaurant four-course ($85) or eight-course ($160) for two.”