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Archive for April, 2011

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Up Six Outfits 30Rock

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Up Six Vintage in St. Paul outfitted Elizabeth Banks’ Avery character for a scene on last night’s 30Rock – and she looked perfectly ridiculous. “The dress was so outrageous,” Up Six owner Megan McGuire says. “I had it in the store for a while and it didn’t sell.” Even at $20. McGuire posted the shoulder padded salmon/green/black color blocked ’80s dress on with a “Working Girl inspired” description, and there, it caught the eye of a 30Rock stylist. McGuire didn’t know if it would actually be on until she spotted it last night: The current plot line has Avery kidnapped by North Korea. She delivered a newscast in the frumpy dress. “It was either a commentary on how people are oppressed in North Korea and have no sense of high fashion, or an ode to anchor women at the super peak of the ’80s.” Either way, McGuire has a dress or two she’d like to put on Tina Fey for the next Liz Lemon flashback.

In the mean time, she’ll settle for an Alexis Bittar ad. The jewelry designer’s team recently purchased a gold and pink brocade ’60s dress from Up Six on for a photo shoot. It was $70. “They offered to trade jewelry, but it happened so fast,” McGuire says. Bittar’s semi-precious necklaces typically sell for $200 and up at better department stores and boutiques. “In hindsight, I should have taken the jewelry.”

Royal Sugar High

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Woullet bakery had wedding fever today – the new downtown Minneapolis location had sold four of these chocolate Will & Kate cakes by lunchtime. Other treats they’re churning out for the royal nuptials include blueberry and lemon scones crowned with frosting and cupcakes featuring a likeness of soon-to-be Princess Catherine’s engagement ring:

When your viewing party ends, take the celebrate to Pumpz & Company at the Galleria, which will be serving tea and cake from 10 to 4 p.m. Friday – and highlighting Mulberry bags from London.

Ini’s Capsule

Monday, April 25th, 2011

He’s baaaack. We knew it wouldn’t be long before former Ivy owner Ini Iyamba was stirring up Twin Cities style again. Join him Friday evening at June designer resale boutique for the launch of Capsule, a curated accessories collection with many one-of-a-kind pieces Iyamba commissioned from local designers including Stephanie Lake Design (above), SBG Designs (below), and Heidi Comfort. Iyamba challenged them to stay true to their look, with a liberal dose of Ini edge, and a price point of $100 or less.

“It’s indicative of the market right now,” says Iyamba, who has been carefully plotting next moves since closing his Uptown boutique last year. Although he’s one of the smoothest salesmen around, Iyamba says he doesn’t miss retail hours or being tied to the sales floor every day. What inspires him is the process of identifying new vendors and creating a cohesive story through product and merchandising. He came up with the idea for an accessories “capsule” while consulting for a local clothing store (all will be revealed soon). “There are so many talented artisans here,” Iyamba says. “I didn’t want to just get their goods; I wanted to challenge them to do something different.”

The Capsule launch party is 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. The collection will be available for 30 days exclusively at June, 3406 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. But this is just the beginning. A second, more masculine Capsule is planned for the month of June at Elsworth, the downtown Minneapolis men’s store. By fall, Iyamba hopes finally to debut l a more permanent Capsule space featuring a broader group of accessories and gift designers from the Twin Cities and beyond.

Calypso St. Barth for Target

Monday, April 25th, 2011

I’ve learned to temper my excitement about Target’s fashion designer partnerships – the clothes rarely live up to the fantastic advertising photos, and even if they do look great for the price in person, the sizes are generally geared toward 12 year olds. Nevertheless, I can’t help but be anxious to shop Calypso St. Barth for Target, launching this Sunday, May 1. Of course, the sundresses look adorable in pictures. But I’m even more optimistic about the swim coverups, the summery fashion accessories, the clothes for little girls, and the decorative pillows, tableware and other home goods – all in Calypso’s signature turquoise and coral prints. Perfectly timed. I think this is going to be a good one. Even Target insiders, who often get jaded about their own designer collaborations sound really pleased about the limited edition collection, in stores through June 11.

Hindsight is 20/20

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

If only I still had those red Sally Jesse Rapahel frames that took up half my face. InVision wants to see your biggest four-eyed faux pas. Upload a picture of yourself in the offending frames today through May 23 and you could win a new pair of professionally chosen (emphasis on professionally) prescription designer frames – up to a $600 value. As one who lusts after many chic frames at InVision, I know that won’t be hard to spend. Pictured above: Invision owner Anthony Bosca in what he considers bad frames. You can do worse.
InVision has stores at the Galleria in Edina, in Minnetonka and on Grand Avenue in St. Paul

Happy Earth Day

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

In honor of Earth Day, Twin Cities eco-retailer Moss Envy is offering 20 percent off storewide Friday and Saturday. Use coupon code EARTHDAY2011 for online orders.

Some other local retailers and resources worthy of Earth Day shopping:

CounterCouture – Fresh off an impressive MNfashion Week runway show, this brand sells “upcycled” fashion – dresses reinvented entirely from bits and pieces of old garments

Olive & Myrtle – Sustainable (and attainable) home accessories from a St. Paul-based e-tailer

Oscar & Belle – Organic luxury infant and toddler apparel from a Minneapolis-based company

Butters & Beans – Organic baby basics, blankets and more from a Woodbury-based company

Sail La Vie – Bags and vests made of recycled sails on the shores of White Bear Lake

Nature of Beauty – Mendota Heights is home to the Twin Cities’ most comprehensive organic beauty store and eco-spa

Natural Built Home – A smart Minneapolis resource for sustainable building materials

The Purple Tree – A Hudson, Wis. shop selling environmentally friendly gifts and practical goods like canvas totes

Designer Animal Crackers

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

I love a store that feeds my kid. Regular nosh stops include Len Druskin, StyledLife and Hot Mama. No pressure to those already so generous, but Melly at the Galleria has truly upped the ante with a treat perfectly fitting its Palm Beach aesthetic. Behold: Lilly Pulitzer animal crackers. Currently a gift with purchase.

You and Me

Monday, April 18th, 2011

I popped in on Tim + Thom Friday at their new South Minneapolis retail space You and Me, shared with Katy Schmaty jewelry. The boys were slaving over a sewing machine and steamer, finishing designs for the evening’s Voltage: Fashion Amplified, but they couldn’t have been more polite about my bad timing. The self-taught designers and tailors are making fashion accessible beyond runway shows: Come into their funky little shop, and buy a reinvented jacket off the rack (they describe their look as inspired by Twin Cities bicycle culture), or get something custom made. Heck, they’ll even fix the hem on your jeans. Not necessarily for the Ann Taylor crowd, but then, everybody needs to mix it up now and then. 2114B Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-823-8200

Scrubbed Into Fashion

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Grey’s Anatomy met Project Runway and I attempted to channel Nina Garcia as a judge at Saturday’s Scrubbed into Fashion, a collaboration between the University of Minnesota Medical School Student Council and FAB: Fashion and Business group to benefit Smile Network International. Six student designers were challenged to create two looks, one ready to wear, one couture, out of medical scrubs. The master of repurposing, Project Runway alum Christopher Straub hosted, and created four of his own looks for the event (pictured above). I had the difficult task of judging, along with Juut founder/owner David Wagner and another Minnesota Project Runway alum, Katherine Gerdes, now the manager of Hell’s Kitchen. I sort of thought I’d go all Simon (David announced upfront he was a hopeless Randy), but turns out I’m a little more Paula – though all I drank was Vitamin Water, swear. The designers showed real talent and creativity – and the models, all medical students, looked amazing. Maybe Grey’s Anatomy is more realistic than I gave it credit for. After much deliberation, we gave it to Jen Voth, a full time student and jewelry designer, who took inspiration for this challenge from the human heart – color, contrast, and even chamber-like cutouts. The two very wearable dresses were constructed entirely of medical scrubs. Check it out (she made her own dress out of scrubs as well). Congrats to all on a clever, well executed charitable event!

Photos by Kristen Holte, FAB creative director

Fashion Ball

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Where you see nautical stripes and American heritage, Grant Whittaker imagines red sequined marching band jackets with white tights and combat boots. Grant is a true original, and we’re so lucky to have him in the Twin Cities – styling, producing, shaking his booty, and encouraging everyone to embrace the inner diva. When you look good, you feel good – whether that’s a simple, fitted dress with sexy heels…or, perhaps gold sequined bikini bottoms over lace tights and a fishnet top. The second annual Fashion Ball at the Ritz Theater was an entertaining romp through spring trends with superfly dance segments by Ballet of the Dolls. So amusing to see Grethen House and BluePeg designer threads taken downtown. Joynoelle closed the show with a sharp new collection of bridal fashions.

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