*Wrap It Up June, 2006* Twinkies, Conan fever, Darkwave Disco, Upscale TV, and not neccessarily in that order*

Wow- I can't believe that this is the 6 month anniversary of my little column! This past month was so jam-packed, and so much fun that I think you should just print this out and save it for the train ride home. The pics will be smaller, but you can always look at them first and you will remember them as you read this later on the dirty el -- We're just gonna get straight to it, because we have a LOT of ground to cover. Ready? Here goes:

The whole thing started on May 3rd when I crashed the ChicagoFashion Foundation's soiree for guest speaker Stacy Wallace-Albert. The venerable Chicago magazine editor was on hand to speak of her own varied experiences and to answer questions from the super stylish audience- which included Taylor Melinda from the M model and talent agency, Dionne the charming founder of Belfom Designs, and of course, Lana Fertelmeister who heads the board of the CFF. Ms. Wallace-Albert was charming, funny, and schooled us in the how's and why's of editorial fashion as it happens at Chicago magazine. You can check out more of her words of wisdom at www.thefashioneditor.com.

Barnes and Nobles had a visit from the Twinkie monster on May 4th-well, actually it was Worth, Illinois native Brenda McDevitt on hand to sign copies of the Twinkie cookbook and to talk about her contribution to it- a recipe for Twinkie milkshakes. Now normally this would not sound good to me? But Ms. McDevitt explained that she came up with the recipe after watching her daughter dunk her Twinkies in milk. She assured me that ice cream is involved -- To celebrate the 76th birthday of the Twinkie in the Twinkie capitol (umm -- yeah? I mean Chicago!) We loyal followers of pastry trends were rewarded with Twinkie Kabobbles- cut up chunks of the cake with fruit on a skewer, as well as being given free samples to take with us. Is there anything finer that walking down the street chomping on free junk food ( yet so healthy with the kiwi and strawberry -- ) and knowing that you had an extra Twinkie for later in your pocket? Don't even try to top that!

The next day , May 5th, was a three-alarm meltdown, everything washappening! First of all, I was lucky enough to attend the School of the Art Institute Fashion at Macy's (see? I can adapt -- ) on the 9th floor. It was amazing, just purely stunning. It began before you even entered the viewing space with mannequins wearing examples of student work on display just outside the staging area. The catalog was amazing- and to my surprise featured a model tat I worked with last year, the divine Valentine Kopjo. You guys will probably remember her from her red-hot UR cover a few months back. I felt like a proud mom. She was in the show, too. Anyway, the show began with a video installation called ‘Joined', a visual treat of modern dance moves and experimental garments. Cheeky and fun, it set the tone for what was to follow. When the lights went up on the clean, minimalist white plexi catwalk, a group of models clad in white and red garments designed by the fashion department's sophomore students strode out, gave us a little stink eye, and languidly swanned barefoot up and down the three aisles of the runway. It rocked.

There were strong, sexy ideas with a palpable Japanese influence inregard to making free with the shape of the body and using materials in a way challenged the notion of what is wearable fashion. The sophomore grouping showed a marked creativity within the restriction of color palette and materials. With the Junior and senior groups it was easier to pick out individual designers and I sighed over Jeehee Kim's funny kiss lips dress, and had an Elle magazine 80's flashback from Erin A. F. Milosevich's knit ensembles. I also loved Nora Wolfe's understated Grecian column gowns, and Stephanie Kuhr's hilarious circus collection- she had a jacket that was worn as two sleeves in the beginning, then assembled on a model by means of a clever red zipper. Sweet! In the Seniors category It was Sarah Isenart's 7 deadly sins, Megan Rutherford's huge gray wrap over a white grommet detailed gown, and of course? The tripe girl, Abigail Glaum-Lauthbury -- You can see a few more photos from the show at www.musecube.com/faithbowmanphoto.

After that I chilled for few hors and watched the crowd for Conanoutside of Harold Washington. Then I headed over to the MCA to start my volunteer shift for the First Friday event. Wouldn't you know? It turned out to be a singles event! There were Macs set up on the main floor so that people could find out their dating personalities: Jet and my friend Bill Aube turned out to be confident green. Funny enough? With all their confidence I was the only one that met anybody. Poor guy- I think he thought I was a nice girl -- After I finished my two hour shift I got to run around with my new friend bumping into such people as Leslie Kerrigan from Getty Images and Deborah U. of www.avantgaudy.com. She and some other designing women from the U of C Moda team had come out to represent. The Chris Ware exhibit was pretty tight, and I noticed that I was dead wrong about something in the Warhol show: there are electric chairs in the show, I just didn't see them last time. Sorry MCA -- We took off around 9 or so and headed over to Triad Sushi for Al Shaw's birthday soiree. I remember champagne, snagging a piece of sushi off of Bill's plate (yum, eel -- ), and having my new friend attempt to throw edamame pods into my mouth using chopsticks. Much giggling and flirting went on, in addition to meeting Matt Nee of Kompute Records (Al does their pr as well as Promoda's) and a girl named Isabella. I just like that name, and she was sweet, too. No photos! Just good clean fun -- P.S.: Promoda has nothing to do with Chicago Fashion Week. I've been trying to figure out where to put that and here seems a good enough place. They did, however have a hand in styling some shoots for Ur magazine as well as New City's Pizza cover. Big Ups, y'all.

May 9th I suited up in my usher's uniform for the Amina/Sigur Ros concert at the Civic Opera House. We found out about a month ago, and I was in a state of excitement ever since. I could hear the band rehearsing when I came in, and I just felt so happy! Like hell, yeah- I get to see this for free and be paid to do it. Nuts. The show was grand, with lead singer Jonsi Birgisson's voice floating beautifully throughout the auditorium. The light show as just amazing- at one point there were rays of light reaching out towards the audience as if the songs themselves had come alive. My favorite effect (naturally) was a sort of strobe thing that made shadow snapshots of the band on a big scrim at the front of the stage. It was like watching magic.A few days later on May 12th- it happened. I almost got a photo of Conan O'Brien! Almost -- I was walking up the block toward HWC on Lake Street and I thought- hmmm, I should get a shot of the crowd and say something about it for my column. Great journalistic intention, right? Except I just felt guilty. I had blissfully ignored the while thing for days and then this day, Friday, it happened to be raining. As I was walking up the block I got out my camera and flash and min-softbox and put it all together so that I could just do a walk-by deal and not have to stop. I was taking a photo of some guy who had written a promise to give up his firstborn to see the show when a cute little blonde girl told me that Conan was walking the line.I didn't even stop to grab a slice of the free Uno's pizza being given out. I should have, I never got that shot and the news people were god-awful. Eeeuw! They were pushing and shoving and giving me hostile looks. I was like- hello? This is not worth it. I took off and as I was leaving the scene of the crime (the Conan express had shifted and was running off down the block) I realized that I was pretty lucky- I get to meet cool people all the time and take their picture, so who needs to fight over a photo-op of Conan. He looked old anyways. (Yeah, I said it.)As if to prove my point, I ended up at the Upscale TV 2nd anniversary party at K-lounge later that night. Not only did I get to take a photo of William Kelly, the show's host? But there was free sushi (delectable) and free x-rated vodka drinks. You can catch the show on UPN Thursday's at 12:30 am. And while you're doing that check out pretty much anything on NPR and give them some money, too.May 18th I went to the Cultural center for their first ever @rtnight. For 20 dollars you get to hang out after hours, have cocktails and finger food in the GAR rotunda, and dance to a live dj set. This first time they had DJ Kennedy Octane (who also spins at Sonotheque and owns the Casa De Soul boutique on Division) . We also got to see the Instruments of Movement dance troupe perform while wearing Artist Nick Cave's Soundsuits.Mr. Cave is the Chair of the SAIC Fashion Department, as well as the recipient of a Joyce award. His amazing display of found object fantasyland of wearable art has been on display in the Yates Gallery since April 22nd. Seeing his amazing work come to life in front of me was agreat experience. The dancers also mingled with the crowd noshing on tiny turkey sandwiches from Kitsch'n River North and swilling Goose island Beer. You can catch another performance on June 14th, both artist Nick Cave and Instruments of Movement artistic director James Morrow will both be on hand at this one.

I got a last minute invite from my friend Bill to be his plus-one for Darkwave Disco at Sontheque, so after a quick nap I headed over there to see what was going on. I'm in love. You know it's good party when the body heat and beer funk come rolling up to meet you at the door -- And a few minute after entering they were playing my jam- ‘Tear You Apart' by She Wants Revenge. Ran into Al Shaw again, he introduced me to DJ TRAXXX, who was actually Mysterio right that second as part of the Dirty Criminals, who performed live round about 12. I also met DJ Superboy (aka Steve- it was a pleasure -- ), Matt Nee of Kompute (again), Agga B. from Promoda, Johnand M. Cecilia Wong from ‘Time Out Chicago', and Mark Gertz of Darkwave Disco -- Don't miss their June 15th blowout featuring Trancid, Greg Corner, and Mark at Sonotheque. Get friendly with them at wwww.myspace.com/ darkwavedisco. I know that it's the same night as CDN's rumpshaker rock show at the Double Door? But you have lots of energy and you like being out late.I had meant to go do some more stuff, like see Forbidden unveil her new denim line at Visons on the May 19, or go see Hatuey and Keith sell zines at the MCA on May 20, but I crashed. I had no more energy and I wanted to do my laundry. I did end up attending a taping of the NPR newsquiz show, 'Wait, Wait -- Don't Tell me!' but that's another story, so stay tuned. Also coming up this month? The ‘Wrap It Up Fashion Roundup'! It's a surprise gift to you for my 6 month anniversary -- It should be up in Mid-June. I'm really excited about it! -- What else? A ‘Wrap It Up' party is in the planning stages, I hope some of you guys come by! It's just talk right now, but after going to everyone else's party, I'm just itching to have one all my own. Last but not least- I just fell in love with www.tokionfm.com -- .try ‘audio' and then scroll to the Fever mix. The Annie mix is super hot, too. You guys probably know all about this- but I just found it and I'm tickled pink.

JUNE EVENTS!!!!*MOD CHICAGO is on the loose with the ‘My Way Of Thinking' Mod festival. You have to go to this- it's gonna be sweet. June 1st to 3rd at Delilah's, Sonotheque, and the Note, 9pm to 2am, no cover. www.myspace.com/modchicago -- ..

*GOSPEL FEST is happening in Millenium park June 1st to 4th, for more info call 312.744.3370 or swing by the Cultural center on the Randolph street side.

*FIRST FRIDAYS at the MCA 6-10pm, $14.00, members $7.00 check out www.mcachicago.org . Also go hang out there every Tuesday- there's always something going on. AND dodn't miss the Wolfgang Tillmans and Patty Chang shows, Andy Warhol ends June 18th.

*Blondie and the New Cars at Ravinia, www.ravinia.org

*PRINTER'S ROW book fair June 3rd and 4th . From 10am to 6pm on S. Dearborn Between Congress and polk, call 312.222.3986 if you need more info

* LAVALIFE and Absolut try to fix your sex life at Ghostbar Wednesday June 7th from 7-10pm. Ghostbar is at 440 W. Randolph Street, check out www.lavalifeevents.com to RSVP.

*EMPTY BOTTLE hosts noodle rock band Our Brother the Native at 9pm on June 10th . Check out www.fatcat.co.uk for more cool bands.

*DARKWAVE DISCO @ Sonotheque June 15th , no cover 9pm-10pm 1444 W. Chicago Ave, www.myspace.com/darkwavedisco

* Evil Kitty Fashion Show and Model Search happens at FOUR June 17th 9pm -12am, cover is $10.00. If you're looking to enetr the model competition email them at evilkittyfashionshow@gmail.com.

*INTONATION FEST is happening in Union Park June 24-25th. Full l lineup and details at www.intonationmusicfest.com

*AFRICAN CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL Of LIFE July 1st to July 4th 10am to 10.30pm, take the Green Line to 51st St.

Coming Soon:*Wait wait- I know this! In which I go to the taping of NPR's newsquiz...*Wrap It Up's first fashion story....