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Best of Chicago: Style

The Editors | January 5, 2017 | Feature Features

Here, the chefs, shows, shops and more that truly make Chicago shine—plus, smart selections from you, our readers, in categories from cute boutiques to stellar spas.
At his West Town boutique, Stephen Naparstek displays exquisite garments in a gallery-like setting.

Stephen Naparstek, owner of avant-garde fashion and lifestyle boutique Gallery Aesthete, has brought his shop full circle: His first retail venture in Chicago, Bonnie & Clyde’s, was at 1751 W. Division St. When a flood forced him out, he moved to a secret spot near Oak Street and started Gallery Aesthete. Now he is back out west at Division and Wood streets with a reimagined version of his design mecca. Behind the unassuming, signless front facade and hallway entrance lies an immaculately conceived space by interior architect Lukas Machnik. “The garments are very sculptural, so I took an approach of a gallery presentation,” explains Machnik. Contrasting matte white walls with patinated steel and raw concrete floors create the edgy look. Labels such as Guidi, Comme des Garçons and Ann Demeulemeester drape on custom-forged steel hangers designed to show off their sculptural shapes. A rotating art collection and functional home goods are on offer, intended to make you feel like you are shopping in a gallery. Two new menswear collections Naparstek is excited about are from Craig Green, British Menswear Designer of the Year, and Maurizio Amadei of MA+. Also in the works is a limited-edition collaboration on a sneaker by Rick Owens, made of Guidi horse leather. “The appreciation of artistic value is the core of our DNA,” says Naparstek, “whether it is fine art, fashion, objects or home design goods that co-exist with our aesthetic.” 1751 W. Division St., 312.265.1883


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