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Archive for the ‘Special Occasion’ Category

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The New Nelle Showroom

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

It’s exciting to watch an independent designer live out her dreams. For Laura Nelli–who in just a few years has gone from a publicist stitching bags on her own late at night to an accomplished designing being commissioned to create bridal pieces for Anthropologie–the opening of her Nelle Handbags showroom today in Minneapolis is yet another milestone to check off her ambitious list.  The chic new showroom within l’atelier couture showcases the entire Nelle collection–with more than 100 options for color and customization (the perks of shopping in the designer’s home town).

The 2012 Nelle line is on the shelves. Nelli’s structured evening clutches are dressed up in silk taffeta with opulent crystal appliques and exuberant bows (her adjective, I just love it). Prices range from $85 to $180; custom additions are $70. Allow four to six weeks for delivery.

Nelli’s everyday tote collection, Harold, will also be available through the showroom. And showroom shoppers will be first to see bows, sashes and other accessories Nelli is testing out. 219 N. Second St., Suite 404, Mpls., 651-602-9492

Nelle Nirvana

Monday, October 17th, 2011

It’s a match made in handbag heaven: Nelle Handbags will open an accessories showroom within L’atelier Couture’s gorgeous new North Loop bridal salon. Minneapolis designer Laura Nelli has earned raves for her pretty clutches and bows. Her accessories are sold at bridal salons nationwide and she was even asked to do an exclusive collection for Anthropologie’s But she’s never had a space of her own at home to share her latest designs. For L’atelier owner Amanda Kautt, the partnership is a chance to bring customers one of their favorites. And she has the space in her expansive loft to dedicate a generous corner to Nelle without taking away from her growing assortment of designer gowns. The Nelle showroom will feature more than 100 accessories available in nearly 300 fabrics. Nelle opens at L’atelier on Nov. 2 with the debut of the Nelle 2012 Wedding Collection. 219 N. Second St., Suite 404, Mpls., 651-602-9492

Photo by Liz Banfield

Out of the Allee

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Charm only gets you so far. And apparently, it doesn’t get you down the European-inspired alley at Selby & Snelling in St. Paul to shop Allee Metro Chic. The boutique is planning to move to the former L’atelier Couture space at 493 Selby Ave. That’s closer to co-owner June Berkowitz’s coffee house, Nina’s Cafe. But mostly, it’s out of the alley and visible from the street. Allee hopes to reopen in its new space by Oct. 1.

Oh yes, you caught that part about L’atelier Couture? Here’s a peek at the bridal salon’s fantastic new North Loop space:

Photo by Liz Banfield

Doesn’t it just make you want to be a bride?

L’atelier Couture, 219 N. Second St., Suite 404, Mpls

What Do MOBs Want?

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Top question on Shop Girls – now five years running: Where to buy a mother of the bride dress. It’s amazing how this one purchase can be so daunting. And it’s a drag how few places there are to suggest. I find myself listing the same handful of Twin Cities boutiques so often (dugo, Arafina, Monique Lhuillier…), it seems impossible the listeners don’t know them by heart. Late last year, when Mall of America prom dress retailer Glitz! opened Get Social, with mid-range to upscale special occasion apparel especially for MOBs, it seemed a slam dunk.

Get Social has closed. “It did pretty well, but not enough for a 3,000-square-foot store,” owner MaryAnne London says. A selection of bridesmaid and mother’s lines can now be found at Glitz! (makes sense, although I wonder how many MOBS will want to try on gowns next to packs of squealing high school seniors).

Prom comes around once a year, but weddings happen all the time. So why is Glitz! a success and Get Social didn’t measure up? Moms are probably pickier, tougher to fit, and less likely to browse beyond the department stores. But clearly, they get dressed up for their kids’ weddings, and they care very much about the end result. So mothers, what do you want? Speak up!

Uniquely Yours

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Linden Hills has a new fine jewelry store called Uniquely Yours, but it isn’t as new as you might think. Master jeweler Gregory Brassil and business partner Soren Priede have had a studio above the stores on Upton for 17 years. When a storefront in the heart of the neighborhood became available, they decided it was a gem of an opportunity (their pun, not mine – I swear) to show their stuff. Brassil is an expert platinumsmith; Priede, a master in metalworking and precious stones. Together, they create one-of-a-kind jewelry with semi-precious and precious stones, platinum and other metals. They pride themselves on custom work, and one-on-one service. Their studio is small, but hardwood floors, simple glass cases and better lighting have made it feel modern. Gregory is extremely welcoming – he had a lollipop and questions for my son, and tons of enthusiasm for his craft – without the pretense (or markups) of some larger jewelry stores. “When you hire me to do a custom piece,” he said, “You know that as soon as you leave here, I’m going to start working on it.” Watch repair, cleaning, polishing and appraisals are also offered. A grand opening is planned for April 7.

Nelle for Anthropologie

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Minneapolis accessories designer Laura Nelli of Nelle is as giddy as a bride on her wedding day. Anthropologie proposed – and they pursued her! The retailer wants Nelle’s Just Bowtiful belt collection for its new wedding label BHLDN (short for beholden). The belts, $60, in shades of navy, blush and soft white, will debut on Friday, March 26.

This could be the beginning of a long and fruitful union: Nelli has been asked to submit designs for exclusives to BHLDN.

All about the brides

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Time to get married. Or at least start realizing your dream wedding. Mpls.St.Paul Weddings presents the Bridal Party this  Sunday, Jan. 9 at The Depot (details here) and in anticipation, we highlighted some trends bright and early on Fox 9 Morning News with M.A. Rosko. Some of my favorite details:

Time to move beyond cupcakes. Miniature desserts are gaining popularity - like these individual wedding cakes by Grandma's Bakery in White Bear Lake

And speaking of mini, these cake lollipops by Cocoa & Fig are always a hit, either as a bite-sized dessert table treat or individually wrapped to take home.

Did you notice how I went straight to the sweets? Backing up a bit:

A loose up-do by Sarah Sponberg of MN Bridal Makeup (she did the airbrushing too). The hair looks soft, lovely and natural (no one has to know it took hours and is rock hard with hairspray)

Gowns from Priscilla of Boston

Oh yes, the dresses! We wanted to cover a variety of looks and trends with just three dresses and arrived at these from Priscilla of Boston.
Left: Vera Wang strapless silk mermaid gown with swirling tissue organza flanges on skirt. Note the jeweled grosgrain sash at the waist, a way to add a pop of color or embellishment, without committing for the whole night – take it off after the ceremony, or put it on for the reception. Available in lavender and blush tones for a more subtle look. ($4,650)

Middle: Platinum for Priscilla of Boston textured organza and tulle ball gown with a classic art deco styled belt and full, draped skirt. Fulfills the princess fantasies, while looking contemporary. ($4,975)

Right: Melissa Sweet strapless silk chiffon short dress with ostrich feather skirt. Yes, you can wear a short dress for a fancy wedding. Tea-length and even above the knee gowns are gaining popularity. Perfect for the bride who wants to show off her legs…or just have a little more fun. ($2,975).

P.S.: Another bridal event kicks off in Minneapolis this weekend: the first Bridal Expo at Macy’s, downtown Minneapolis. Every week through Feb. 13, take advantage of bridal trunk shows and advice from industry experts like The Wedding Guys, Sheree Bocheneck, creative director for Apres Party and Tent Rental and others. The festivities culminate with a bridal sample sale Feb. 10 to 13. (Event details here, and call 612-375-2162 for appointments and more.) This Saturday, Jan. 8, join me and my mom Harmony Kaplan as we broadcast Shop Girls from the first floor of the downtown Macy’s. That’s 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on myTalk107.1.

Aren’t they lovely?

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

It’s not that I write about wedding industry designers because they send such pretty pictures, but it sure is a nice bonus:

Apiary Design

Penny Larson

Nelle Handbags

The sharp images are enough to make a girl want to get married…or at least shop like a bride. The designers pictured, and four others are putting on a Meet & Greet today – much more intimate, and so much cooler than the usual bridal fair. And no coast to mingle with this stylish group and soak up their chicness. Click here for event details.

Affording Monique Lhuillier

Friday, August 27th, 2010

For those of us whose level of style doesn’t always (ever?) match our level of income, good news from celebrity-favorite designer Monique Lhuillier: she inked a deal to design a bridge collection of separates starting at $295, cocktail dresses starting at $395 and evening gowns starting at $595. There are plans for two bridesmaid collections too, starting at $200. The first bridesmaid line, ML Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids will be available next month at Nordstrom; the second collection, Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids will debut at bridal salons worldwide in January and watch for the bridge collection in stores for Spring 2011. You won’t see all of the affordable pieces at the Monique Lhuillier salon in Edina, which will remain primarily a collection store, but some of the favorite pieces will likely make their way into the mix.

Bridal by Urban Outfitters

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Anthropologie is so skilled at delivering that feminine, whimsical, vintage-yet-modern aesthetic, a bridal collection almost seems inevitable. Parent company Urban Outfitters Inc. - yes, the chain also home to bathroom humor books and vast amounts of flannel – announced today that it will jump into the bridal business with a website launching Spring 2011, and plans to open dedicated stores eventually.  Anthropologie's design team will create the yet-unnamed collection, including
heirloom wedding gowns,
bridesmaid and occasion dresses, shoes and bags, jewelry and accessories,
intimate apparel, invitations and decorations, as well as gifts.
Wedding gowns will range from $750 to $5000, with occasion
dresses starting at $200.

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