I have always loved the idea of Rent The Runway, where you go online and rent a fabulous $2000 designer dress for an occasion for a fraction of what it would cost to own it. Lauren has had success with finding some fabulous dresses and I know other fashion editors who are fans of Rent The Runway. I simply thought I did not really need a fancy formal dress for any occasion in the near future, and my own closet is filled with vintage and designer cocktail attire for any event that may come up. Therefore, I did not think I had a personal reason to use the service. That was until I met Lucy Sykes Rellie, Fashion Director for Rent The Runway, who was in Chicago last week for a special event at W Hotel City Center.
The warm, oh so fashionable yet down-to-earth fashion editor (yes, she was Fashion Director at Marie Claire from 2001-2007) was very helpful and showed me some of the fantastic designer dresses they carry at Rent The Runway. Racks that were “made for Chicago” that evening were set up with styles geared to our favorite neighborhoods: Wicker Park, River North, Gold Coast and Lincoln Park. Of course I liked something from every neighborhood!
That evening they were offering Chicago guests 50% off on rentals. So when Lucy asked me if I had any spacial occasions coming up, I said, “Well the next event for me is New York Fashion Week, but that’s way off in February!” Then Lucy pulled out a Prabal Gurung dress for me that she knew (and I knew) would be perfect for me for New York Fashion Week! I found out you can reserve well into the future with Rent The Runway, and I also discovered there are a lot of day dresses to rent. Now I’m totally converted!
I ran up to one of the Rent The Runway computers that were set up for the event and Katie helped me to reserve my dress (with a back up size) for February 6th- 9th. It will ship to me in Chicago and I can ship it back from New York. Then she reminded me that for and additional $20 I can add on another dress. So then we looked up another favorite designer Bibhu Mohapatra (who incidentally I met at this very W Hotel a year ago)to a find a dress from that collection as my back up, the Caramel Swirl Sheath. This was perfect! Score! Now I have 2 dresses to wear in 4 days at New York Fashion Week.
I was so excited I could not contain myself. Now I am so looking forward to the two dresses. And guess what? If I want to change the order, the size the date or the dress, as long as I contact Rent The Runway with ample time, I can just pick up the phone and they are there, at my service.
Rent The Runway for the Holidays… or for any occasion!
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style