The Italian Expo was held last weekend: three days of fine Italian food, wine, fashion and fun! This year the expo was held at the Bridgeport Art Center at 1200 W. 35th Street. I plan on becoming a regular at this annual event since it has everything I love under one roof, and hey…I’m Italian! Besides wine, food, fashion and shopping there was Italian product and travel information and luxurious car displays featuring Fiat 500, Ferrari, Ducati and Lamborghini. They unveiled the never seen before and totally amazing Lamborghini Aventadora. For the girls, there was fashion and autos for the guys (which were not exclusive to each) and of course food, wine and music for everyone!
Eight local designers set up shop in the large loft space and also competed to win a trip to Milan Fashion Week: VEIL, Britney Devaris, Cettina by Concetta Cipriano, Sheila Rashid, Renovar by Alma Wieser, Michelle Tan, C/Fan by Christina Fan, and Miriam Cecilia. The winner of this competition this year was Renovar by Alma Wieser, who will directly showcase her collection at Milan Fashion Week as well as have the opportunity to participate in business-to-business meetings and present her collection to fashion industry professionals while in Milan. Alma started Renovar in 2005 with the objective to design clothing by using craftsmanship similar to the old world fashion houses to create wearable art, which does not look “produced.”
The Expo is held annually and organized by the Italian American Chamber of Commerce and offers unlimited tastings by top Chicago Italian restaurants and the finest wineries in various rooms with panoramic views. For the foodies they held ongoing cooking shows by Chris Macchia of Coco Pazzo, Federico Comacchio of Phil Stephani’s 437 Rush, Luca Corazzina of 312 Chicago, Bruno Abate of Tocco, Tito Conza and Bill Mulchrone of Cavatappi, John Coletta of Quartino, Cristiano Bassani of BaPi Italian Ristorante and Massimo Campagnini of Volare with Jonathan Lane of Benny’s Chop House. Musical performances included Italy’s Duo Pianistico Italiano with Laura Lanzetti and Antonello Gatto, Gruppo Amarcord, directed by Guido de Maria, and local performers Raj Mahal and DJ Madrid with Katarina Visnievska, Blane Fonda and Gun Love.
Salute! Don’t miss it next year. For more information go to ItalianExpo.us
— Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style; Runway Photos: RB Del Rosario