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Archive for April, 2009

Hamline and Grand exodus

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

First, Flirt announced plans to move from 1330 Grand Ave. in St. Paul to Selby and Snelling. Now Picky Girl, 1326 Grand, is relocating to 949 Grand Ave., next door to Wonderment. Both moves will happen in June. Elizabeth Varghese of Picky Girl told me she'd been looking for a while, and she finally found a bigger, prettier space with better parking. I called Siji Kids, figuring they must be next to go, but so far, they're staying put – some moves are being planned, the owners teased, but nothing physical. Stay tuned!

Clinton Kelly, what were you thinking?

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Just got of the phone with Clinton Kelly of "What Not to Wear" who is traveling like crazy, nursing a stuffy nose and wondering what he was thinking when he pitched to Macy's the idea of "Make Over America" -  15 women at a time, in 15 different cities (he hits Southdale Center in Edina at 2 p.m. on May 9). "Fifteen is ridiculous," he mused. "At one point it was supposed to be 12, which sounds more manageable. Whatever. I want it to be big." He'll spend the day before the free, live event running around with pre-selected candidates (you're too late, sorry) three at a time, getting them ready for their coming out on Saturday. Lest you think he can fit all of them off the rack in one day, he assured me there will be a tailor on hand. "People who have style find pretty things and have them tailored."

Make that 16: Clinton just "virtually" made over a woman who asked me for help. Get the scoop in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday, April 26. You're sure to pick up a tip or two.

North Face opens on Grand

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

What is it about the urban Grand Avenue in St. Paul that makes retailers think hiking, skiing, outdoorsy apparel? I'm still campaigning for Anthropologie in that sorry space between Pottery Barn and J. Crew. But this week, I'll settle for North Face, which opens Friday, April 24 at 799 Grand (where Smith & Hawken used to be) – effectively bookending the avenue with Patagonia at 1648 Grand. No buzz about it, but then, there's already a North Face in Uptown. The company stores feature more than outerwear – clothing for men and women, shoes and bags.

Clairol1Clairol2

And three hours later..my 10 minute color treatment is complete! Admittedly, having Clairol color administered by their national color expert, Jason Backe of New York's Ted Gibson Salon, isn't the most scientific of experiments. But he offered, and who am I to say no to the creative force behind Anne Hathaway's rich brunette (hidden highlights are the key). So now I'm 9A with some 8, and feeling a bit redder than expected. But Jason says it's killer, so I choose to believe him. You can read my color report in my Savvy Shopper column on May 3 and catch Jason (Minnesotans might remember him from Jon English…or his days waiting tables at Christos) on Shop Girls this Saturday, April 25.

Clairol3
(Here I am…hard at work)

Fashion happened here

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Fulkcrowd  
Unfinished hems aside, Laura Fulk's "Suffocate" fashion show tonight at The Lab raised the bar for MN Fashion Week. Original ideas. Decent models. Excellent production. Well-dressed crowd. We may be on to something here.
Fulkdress2 Fulk's 32-piece collection was artistic and playful, including this double dress (takes BFFs to a whole new level) held together by magnets. Lots of transforming pieces: hoods that turned into skirts, collars that could be released into a cascade of ruffles. Another interesting touch that should not be repeated at home: panty hose worn over ankle boots. Fulkshoes But there was a practical lesson to be taken from these sculptural, suffocating dresses: A collar that covers half your face eliminates the need for lipstick. Fulkdress1

Super shoppers wanted!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

It's that time again: the St. Paul Pioneer Press is accepting applications for Store Troopers, our popular panel of consumer volunteers who help us test products, services and provide smart shopping tips. If you love to shop and hate to pay full price, we want you. Apply now by clicking here.

No longer on the fringe

Monday, April 20th, 2009

The former Melly space at 50th & France won't sit vacant for long. Hopkins accessories store Fringe plans to open a second location there on May 21. The focus will be the same: trendy accessories at affordable prices, but whereas the high end in Hopkins is $65, at 50th, a broader assortment will range from $15 to $150. This is Edina, after all. (I'm hoping they step up the ambiance a bit as well.)

Loomstate for Target draws celebs

Monday, April 20th, 2009

JamieKing_Stefa_57187481_Max Cocktails, organic cotton and Hollywood notables like Adrian Grenier, Jamie King and Josie Maran (pictured), Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Anna Faris, Anna Pacquin, Jaime Pressley and Debbie Mazar. Sounds like your average visit to Target. Well, maybe not – even in L.A. – but celebs did turn out in full force for the Loomstate for Target launch party last week in Venice, Calif. You know, it's fashionable to be environmental - especially for $44.99 or less. The limited-edition organic cotton collection hits select Target stores today, just in time for Earth Day on Wednesday. The graphic print tees for women and men are nice.

This pricing is Bananas

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Bananaflat Maybe it's the straight pants, or maybe it's the running after children, but I'm liking my flats lately. Found some cute ones at Banana Republic last weekend: patent finish, pointy toe, bright, coral-y red. Best part: the price: $40.99 (marked down from $98). But they didn't have my size. The salesperson said I'd find them online, and I did – for $69.99! I complained to online customer service and received an email that said, in a nutshell, "sorry – we don't match store prices." Online, store – to me, and, I'm guessing, most consumers, it's all the same. There's no excuse for price differences – unless the online items are less, to compensate for shipping charges. Today's shopper jumps from online to stores and back again. She's extremely price sensitive and a $30 discrepancy serves only to make her suspicious of the company's prices across the board.
I found the shoes in my size at another store. Just checked Bananarepublic.com again, and it seems someone important must have read my email: the online price has been reduced to $49.99. Better, at least, but still offensive.
And they wonder why consumers abandon virtual shopping carts.

Lhuillier_470-1 Make me a bridesmaid! Monique Lhuillier is introducing bridesmaid dresses that could make any girl forget the hassles of planning a shower. Eight styles, available in a variety of colors, range in price from $275 to $340. Get the first look on Friday, April 15. The Lhuillier salon at 50th & France will be the only store in the country to carry the bridesmaid collection (also available online).


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