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Ali Shops Blog

Archive for February, 2012

Anne Cramer Spring/Wedding 2012

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Stylist Ann Prentice, on set at Anne Cramer's Spring 2012 photo shoot. (First time they've given their girl a guy!)

Photo shoot on Friday; collection launch on Tuesday. That’s a crunch, even by harried fashion industry standards, but Anne Cramer, intends to debut her new wedding collection and spring line on Valentine’s Day. And Cramer’s timing is always impeccable. Last spring’s endearing striped Flynn skirt gave way to the full length Flynn, which has become a favorite for bridesmaids–and has had Cramer working overtime to fill orders around the country. Now, the Minneapolis-based designer is gearing up for another wave of national exposure, with pieces from her latest collection due to appear in spring issues of top bridal magazines, including Cramer’s dream come true: Martha Stewart Weddings.

Spring Ready to Wear will launch along with the latest pastel striped full length Flynns. “I’ll always have a stripe,” says Cramer, who–per usual– is feeling at once elegant and irreverent. This season, she’s headed to the country club, but prefers ping pong to tennis. With a bedazzled paddle.

She let me peek in on the photo shoot at her South Minneapolis studio today for a preview. For the first time, Cramer has created her own fabrics, printed with her unique mix of preppy crests and quirky ping pong paddles. There’s a sunny dress and a light sweater with elbow length sleeves (“the most flattering length,” Cramer says, “especially over 40.”). These are pieces that will work with Tretorns by the pool or with heels for dinner.

Order online starting Feb. 14. Look for the latest from Anne Cramer in stores, including Melly at the Galleria, next month.

Meet Maria Rivolta

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I had the pleasure to meet Argentinian jewelry designer Maria Rivolta at her namesake store at Mall of America today. She’s engaging and chic—in a gray and black, Calvin Klein-inspired, understated way you might not expect from someone whose jewelry is known for color. But Rivolta loves a pop of color or shine. And she likes her jewelry to be fun, fashionable, and delightfully affordable. Meet her at the store (first level, outside Bloomingdale’s) from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, and save on two of her favorite enamel designs.

BlackBlue Dresses Bon Iver for Grammys

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Justin Vernon, lead singer of hot indie band Bon Iver, told New York Magazine he plans to wear “a suit from some really cool guys in St. Paul at a store called BlackBlue” to the Grammys on Sunday. (Yep, he’s going–even after making headlines by declining an invitation to perform at the show. Bon Iver is nominated for four Grammy Awards.)

For the record, the suit is a brown tweed from Dunderdon–one of BlackBlue’s more moderately priced labels. And he didn’t originally buy it for the Grammys. Vernon, who lives in Eau Claire, dropped by BlackBlue one day, straight from hunting deer in Northern Wisconsin. His clothes were blood splattered, and he needed something clean to meet his girlfriend. He picked the brown suit, pictured above. The jacket sells for $255; pants $105. A couple people who work with the band bought the same pants. “They just fit really well,” says BlackBlue owner Steve Kang. The store has one pair left. Grab ‘em before the Grammys.

Shopping, From the Heart

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Just a few Valentine’s Gift ideas that have caught my eye at local boutiques:

Twin Cities designer Lisa Nelson brings her handmade stamped charm jewelry to The Bee Cottage on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Choose from ready made designs created specially for this event, or place a custom order to be shipped for Valentine’s Day.  441 Second St., Excelsior, 612-787-2233

The Hanky Heart: A heart shaped box filled with three pair of the essential Hanky Panky lace panties. $50, at Stella, 308 Chestnut St. E., Stillwater, 651-439-7935

If you do make it to Stillwater, be sure to stop by Mara Mi’s flagship store+studio+cafe. This locally-based stationery company has some of the freshest card designs–plus the notepads, totes and red velvet cupcakes to complete the thought. 201 Main St. S., Stillwater, 651-689-1730

Ruby and silver necklace: Gemstone jewelry doesn’t have to break the bank. Max’s has a nice selection of pieces for $150 or less, like this one from Adel Chefridi. Shops at Excelsior & Grand, 3826 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-922-8364

Of course, Max’s is also known for its gourmet chocolates that taste as good as they look. I’m partial to the salted caramels (available in a heart-shaped box). Max’s owner Ellen Hertz has fallen for this hearts and arrows box from Recchiti Chocolates ($25). Try them both–and others–this Saturday Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I’ll be there, too, for a live broadcast of Shop Girls on myTalk107.1.

For gifts high on creativity and sentimentality, step out of the card aisle at the big box store, and try some place unique like The Guild, a collective of stylists, designers and dealers. Sandy Stewart, one of the original founders of the Guild, is a vintage jewelry collector. From vintage silver to Victorian frames, her unique pieces make romantic gifts. And that’s just for starters. 4414 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-378-1815

doo-ri for Macy’s

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Here’s a sneak peek at doo.ri for Macy’s Impulse Collection, the next in a series of fashion forward designer partnerships for the department store. It launches Feb. 15 at select Macy’s stores nationwide, including downtown Minneapolis, Ridgedale, Southdale, Rosedale and Mall of America.

Doo-Ri Chung worked with Geoffrey Beene for five years before launching her own label in 2003. Her Macy’s collection includes bold prints, detailed knitwear, jersey mixed with leather and doo-ri’s signature draping. Prices range from $39 to $159.

Meanwhile, Macy’s is already looking ahead to its next partnership: Alberta Ferretti will launch April 17 with a bohemian influenced collection of affordably priced feminine  dresses, lightweight pants, peasant style blouses and knits in the season’s essential oranges, pinks and teals…

Cheers to Askov

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, The Bachelor Farmer’s signature red heart wine glasses are now available at the Dayton brothers’ store connected to the restaurant, Askov Finlayson. $10 each. 200 N. First St., Mpls., 612-206-3925

Click here for more Valentine’s Day gift ideas from local boutiques

Diana Exhibit @ MOA

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Tonight, I got to preview Diana, A Celebration, the exhibit opening Saturday, Feb. 4 at Mall of America. I was totally impressed. So much of the advance talk has been about Princess Diana’s 1981 royal wedding dress, with its 25-foot train–that I had no idea how much more the exhibit had to offer: a look at Princess Diana’s childhood, her charity work around the world and a collection of 28 dresses she wore through her years in the public eye. Fascinating to see how the fashions changed and her sophistication evolved. Sad to recall how abruptly it all ended.

Mall of America campaigned hard to get the exhibit, which travels to just a couple of cities each year, and always returns to Diana’s family estate, Althorp, in England for a summer display. (William walked Kate through these very artifacts before their own wedding.) Tune in to myTalk107.1 at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, when exhibit handler Nick Grossmark will talk about Diana’s impact on fashion and share more behind-the-scenes tidbits with me on Shop Girls.

The exhibit is on the fourth floor (across from Hooters). Once inside, you’ll forget where you are, and remember where you were for a couple of the most-watched events in modern history. Tickets start at $23.50 for adults and $13.50 for children. Purchase them at guest service desks throughout the mall and the exhibition box office. Diana: A Celebration will be at MOA through June 10. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved