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Ali Shops Blog

Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

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.”

And this guy is…

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Roberthoffman Really tall. And cute. He's Robert Hoffman and he graciously played second fiddle to Ashley Tisdale at Mall of America on Thursday. They star together in the not-yet-released-but-probably-quick-to-be-forgotten "Aliens in the Attic." Hoffman's big screen claim to fame is "Step Up 2: The Streets." But that could soon change: He told me cryptically (his agent was nearby) that music is in his near future. "In the comedy realm. It's a big thing I'm producing with MTV." If it's major, you heard it here first. If not, forget this ever happened.
Either way, Hoffman seems like a gentleman and I hope his handlers let him shop a little at MOA – he really wanted some new skater shoes.

Ashley Tisdale works it

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

IMG_3656 Never would Sharpay be seen in public sans makeup, but "High School Musical" actress Ashley Tisdale didn't seem to mind that fans were already lined up when she sauntered in to Mall of America at 8:30 a.m. Thursday for a sound check with nothing on her face but shades. Getting her glammed up (Janelle from Juut at Southdale helped) for her 11 a.m. concert, followed by a screening of her new movie "Aliens in the Attic" apparently took long enough that la Tisdale had NOTIME to hit even one store with me. (Too bad, I might have suggested a top that would have revealed a bit less of her black bra. You can try to go rock – but the 5-year-old fans bring you back to pop. The mismatched bracelets and biker boots were cool.) If she had walked the corridors rather than the secret hallways of MOA, she likes Urban Outfitters.

Here come the knock-offs

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Just days after the Academy Awards, copies of some of the stars' dresses are already in production and scheduled to hit stores before the prom rush. You can actually order now at The choices might surprise you: eDressme is doing a version of the dresses worn by Kate Winslet and Amy Adams. eDressme CEO Joanne Stoner tells me she zeroed in on Kate Winslet's dark fitted gown because it was formal, unusual and modern with the one shoulder neckline. The Amy Adams dress, which was overshadowed on the red carpet by her mammoth necklace, "has universal appeal," Stoner says. The fitted bodice and fuller skirt is a flattering shape for most women, the chiffon draped in front gave the dress a feminine touch and red is a great choice for for formal affairs (just ask Heidi Klum). The dresses will sell for $375 and $325 respectively. Meanwhile, copies of the dresses worn by Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Sarah Jessica Parker and Viola Davis are available for pre-order at

Confessions of would-be shopaholics

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Overheard exiting tonight's preview of "Confessions of a Shopaholic": "I want to go shopping!"
Ladies, have we learned nothing?
I'll leave the movie reviewing to Chris Hewitt, but at a time when we're hearing near daily news reports about how Americans are changing their ways, it's interesting to note that even after the stocks have dropped, we're happy to escape by watching other characters shop.

Harry Connick Jr. looking suave at MOA

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I should be angry with Harry Connick Jr. for not making time to shop with me at Mall of America this evening, and not only because he has daughters and a gorgeous wife who undoubtedly would have appreciated a few pretty things purchased with no sales tax. Harry arrived at the mall an hour before I did! By the time Siobhan Fallon – who did shop with me – got there for their joint appearance to promote the new movie "New in Town," Harry was so bored, sequestered in the windowless mall management office, that Siobhan was summonsed to say hello. What about me?, I asked politely, standing, as I was, next to Siobhan. "Oh, there's no time," I was told by a gaggle of publicists. "Harry is about to go on stage!" Honestly. Even so, I can't stay angry at the handsome devil. Wow, does he look good in a suit!

Zellweger’s co-star defends that dress

Monday, January 26th, 2009

When the fashion police lambasted Renee Zellweger’s odd see-through dress over corset at the Golden Globes, her co-star Siobhan Fallon from “New in Town” (out on Friday) called and said “The cream rises to the top.” Zellweger’s reply: “I love you.”
“It’s got to hurt her feelings,” said Fallon, who plays a New Ulm, Minn. secretary in the upcoming release. Fallon, who remains fairly anonymous despite her long list of film and TV credits, was able to shop with me at Mall of America this evening. Aliandsiobhanfallon
She’s a great reminder that not everyone in Hollywood is consumed by designer fashions ("I've got this black dress that I wear to a lot of things," she says). She caught just a few moments of the SAG awards in her Minneapolis hotel room Sunday night and says she thought they all looked good – especially her friend Tina Fey, who is not exactly a fashion critic's favorite for her safe, dark dress choices. “She’s a New Yorker,” Fallon says. “Black is what we wear.”
Find out what Fallon wears, and where she shops in my “Shopping With…” column Sunday, Feb. 1 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Are you kidding me, Kevin James?

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Ali and valerie harper A friend emailed me over the weekend with concern: "Did you have to go shopping with Perez Hilton?" she asked.
Have to. Ha. Shopping with celebrities is one of my favorite columns to write for the St. Paul Pioneer Press (here I am with Valerie Harper shopping on Grand Avenue in 2006), which is the only reason I put up with all the aggravation that goes along with setting up each and every interview. There was Nick Lachey, who couldn't be distracted from rehearsals when he was in town to perform (guess it wasn't enough); Kathy Griffin, who had no time for local media, despite her D-list roots, when she was here for four nights (and four long, open days) of shows; Ashley Tisdale, who didn't dare leave the green room when she visited the Mall of America, for fear of being mobbed by fans…and the list goes on. I've been rejected by the best – and worst – of 'em. Perez just "didn't have an extra moment" in his schedule when he rolled through town over the weekend. And "King of Queens" star Kevin James, who is in town today to promote a movie I will not name declined to hit even one store with me while he's at the MOA, which is especially insulting considering the film he's here to hype is about a mall cop!
I don't blame you, Kevin, I don't. I know that if the publicity game was such that I could simply call you directly and say: Hey, aren't you tired of answering the same five reporter questions over and over? Couldn't you come up with some funny bits as we strolled the mall? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to pick up a shirt at the Gap and get your publicity at the same time? – I know you're the kind of guy who'd do it. But, you've got that team of pr agents surrounding you and they have to make themselves feel useful and they think it makes you seem more important if they tell local reporters like me that you are very, very, very, very busy…even though I've been around enough celebs and publicity tours to know you'll end up sitting in a back room for an hour while waiting to do your three minute spiel.
But I've got broad shoulders and the dumb drive to keep at it. Some celebs are savvy enough (or desperate enough – no difference to me) to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself. You guys need fans between the coasts – we go to movies too. And we watch you on Letterman and the "Today" show and "The View" and we get tired of hearing the same bits and seeing the same clips over and over. We'd be much more interested in a story that told us something new, even if just your favorite brand of socks. Besides, I could have shown you where they're on sale and saved you the sales tax.
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