With the fashion week runway shows and hoopla past, it’s down to dollars for MNfashion, the organization dedicated to providing resources and professional development to local designers. The group wants to establish a sewing cooperative that would provide training, workspace and help designers manufacture their creations at a reasonable cost for retail sale – often one of the major stumbling blocks for budding artists. Time to give them a vote of confidence. MNfashion was one of 1,000 organizations accepted into the May Pepsi Refresh Challenge. The 10 with the most votes on May 31 will be given $50,000 to fulfill their mission. If you appreciate our growing local fashion scene, vote (as often as once a day).

A trio of casually dressed women were waiting for the new Louis Vuitton store to open today at the Galleria in Edina. Being nosy by nature and a reporter by trade, I sidled up and asked the ladies, who looked stylish in a Banana Republic sort of way, if they were excited about the big opening. Curious, more like. The trio were sales associates from Coach. Feeling a bit pedestrian, no doubt.

The store is stunning.  A huge point of pride for the Galleria, which had been courting LV for two years. Minnesotans are modest. We shy away from logos. We spend cautiously. But we love us some Louis. It’s classic, it’s quality and it’s easily identifiable as luxurious, which, let’s be honest, makes a $1,200 bag a little bit easier to justify.

Within 30 minutes, the first $1,200 bag had been bought. By the quite guarded “Kate” from the “north suburbs,” who came in carrying a worn white Coach bag. She was with a friend who owns four LV bags. She knew exactly what she wanted. She had been waiting for the store to open.

An alarm beeped as she exited, but Kate was so blissed out, it couldn’t kill her moment.

White, Black but feeling Blue

White House/Black Market has the blues. The women’s clothing chain, which has always stayed true to its black and white palette, is dipping into ocean hues with a new Summer Blue Collection that includes dresses, tops, shoes, belts and jewelry. It’s only natural they’d want to mix it up a bit – black and white are classic and always sharp, but scream for the occasional color shot. Still, it would be a shame to lose the focus that has defined and distinguished them. It’s a slippery slope to coral, and then it’s all over.

Dig the junk

Junk collectors have to know they are but one cable show away from becoming hoarders. Collector, author and celebrated re-purposer Sue Whitney can’t stop gathering junk, but she does know when it’s time to sell. This week, she returns to retail (her former store in Long Lake used to draw from miles around) at Art + Architecture. Here’s but a small taste of the redone goods for sale. Click here for more details on the event. Whitney is already planning a return to Art + Architecture most likely in October.