To decorate Florodora—which is named after a musical comedy from 1899—Blossom sourced era-appropriate fixtures from antique shops. “The chorus girls of Florodora were famously sexy and beautiful,” Blossom says. “Millionaires would go to the show to find wives, so the turnover rate for chorus girls was really high.” With silk, tasseled lamps, a red-velvet chaise lounge, floors shellacked in floral paper and a display of sweet-smelling soaps perched in an antique sink, the shop feels like it could be the apartment of one of these turn-of-the-century temptresses. And the clothing selection—defined by silky, touchable fabrics, dainty bits of lace and velvet and fine tailoring—is perfect gear for a modern Florodora girl.
Of the current offerings, standout pieces include a lilac-hued, linen jacket from Twinkle by Wenlan, Yoana Baraschi’s cotton and silk Dreamland Flower Dress (very “Midsummer Night’s Dream”), Nara Camicie’s cap-sleeve, linen blouse with a gathered front and a pale green, empire dress with floral embroidery from Nougat London. Florodora has the Chicago exclusive on Sofada, a line of bright, whimsical pieces made of intricately textured fabrics—check out the pink microdot dress coat.
Local designers, artists and even confectioners make cameos throughout the shop. Michelle Tan’s lacy dresses dangle from the clothing racks. Later, Michael will carry stylish handbags from local designer Joelle Nadine. At the cash wrap (made of a set of drawers from an old English store) find made-in-Chicago Translucent Chocolates, caramels by Katherine Anne and note cards and candles by Snow & Graham.
The opening of Florodora serves to resurrect some of the neighborhood’s grand past: “In the early 1900s,” Blossom says, “everyone shopped in the Loop.” But his affection for the South Loop goes beyond a historical interest—in 1917, Blossom’s grandmother was an office girl on the seventh floor of the Monadnock Building. “And that didn’t hurt when it came to choosing a location,” he confesses. (Jennifer Berg)
Florodora, 330 South Dearborn, (312)212-8860