Fashion Group International of Chicago Night of Stars Gala

Stargazers-FGI-Chicago-Startgazers-Ken Downing-Nina Mariano-Wendy Krimins-Tomoko Yamagishi Dressler-Ippolita Rostagno-James Mischka
Fashion Group International of Chicago Startgazer awards were presented to Ken Downing, Nina Mariano, Wendy Krimins of Nieman Marcus, Tomoko Yamagishi-Dressler, Ippolita Rostagno and James Mischka.

An awards gala is not a typical awards gala…especially when the topic is fashion, style and beauty! The awards presentation at the Fashion Group International of Chicago Night of Stars Gala was entertaining and inspiring from start to finish! Held on Thursday November 12th at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, the event began with a cocktail party along with a silent auction with fantastic prizes including Ippolita jewelry, designer handbags and a trip to London. At the event I had the chance to chat with Ken Downing and James Mischka (Mark Badgley regretfully could not make it to town). Next guests sat down to dinner (and more fashion conversation) followed by the presentation.

Ken Downing was humble and humorous as he accepted his award and told stories of loving fashion his entire life. He said he was too young to actually remember, but he was told his mother once fretted she had nothing to wear to a formal event so he “laid out a vignette on her bed with a dress, gloves, handbag and jewelry.” James Mischka had us laughing too, and regaled how Badgley Mischka’s beginnings were not so easy. Mark Badgley’s sister would go into the first stores they were carried (I. Magnin and Barneys) and would make a big fuss over the dresses so everyone in the store could hear her as she bought the dresses.


To close the event, models in Badgley Miska gowns and dresses gave us a rave worthy shimmery fashion show. The icing on the cake was the event, chaired by Carrie Lannon, raised more than $25,000 for the Fashion Group of Chicago Educational Scholarship Fund, which grants scholarships to fashion and design students.

Carrie-Lannon- Kathleen-Haines-Finley
Kathleen Haines-Finley and Carrie Lannon

The following luminaries from the fashion and design world were honored for their contributions in their respective fields.

Neiman Marcus
Stargazer Retail Award

Ken Downing, Fashion Director and Senior Vice President, Neiman Marcus
Stargazer Fashion Oracle Award

Badgley Mischka
Stargazer Platinum Award accepted by James Mischka

Nina Mariano, Director of Community Relations
Stargazer Philanthropy Award

Nate Berkus, author, interior designer, television personality
Stargazer Interiors Award accepted by Nate Berkus PR Director Krista Blair

Clé de Peau Beauté
Stargazer Beauty Award accepted by Tomoko Yamagishi-Dressler, Senior Vice President of Marketing

Stargazer Jewelry Award accepted by Ippolita Rostagno, designer, founder

– Carol Calacci

Photos: Dan Rest

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