Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Food + Dining Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Shopping + Style Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Arts + Entertainment Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Travel + Visitors Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Homes Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Health Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Giving Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Weddings Parties + Nightlife
Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘twin cities fashion’

Pale Rider

Monday, September 27th, 2010

One of the most promising events to come out of fall MNfashion Week was Pale Rider – the first fashion show produced by the MNfashion organization at their space in Northeast Minneapolis. It featured the collections of two local designers, Danielle Everine and Raul Osorio. The raw concrete lobby space of the lofted building was transformed into a sexy-chic fashion venue with just some strategically placed sheer curtains, lighting and a long runway. But what really made the space and the show come to life was the crowd – more than 200 young fashion admirers, eclectically dressed to the nines. I was blown away by the size of the crowd and how fabulous everyone looked. I sat next to Anna Lee – the outgoing executive director of MNfashion. Yes, outgoing. The woman who gave birth to an organized Twin Cities fashion scene is ready to move on. She says seeing an event like Pale Rider come together with the help of hundreds of volunteers gives her confidence that the organization can be strong without her. It is the hope of Lee and MNfashion to turn the space at 79 13th Ave. N.E. into fashion week headquarters – our own little Bryant Park – where fashion shows would go on throughout the week. The infrastructure, the enthusiasm – it’s all there. Let’s hope there are enough designers who can live up to it – and grow beyond it.

Voltage Spring 2010 Preview

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Fresh from the Voltage Spring 2010 Preview fashion show tonight at the studios of Vision Management, it's exciting to see the local fashion scene growing up. This was an invite-only event geared towards getting retailers interested in selling the clothes that will appear in the Voltage: Fashion Amplified show on April 16. The objective being to take local designs from runway to retail. I'll share my perspective on that in my Savvy Shopper column in this Sunday's St. Paul Pioneer Press. But I won't keep you in suspense over the hip crowd that attended tonight's show: Project Runway's Christopher Straub and Fox 9's Robyne Robinson were there, having contributed accessories for the show. Macy's fashion expert Laura Schara and the owners of several local boutiques were there – as was my shopping buddy, Calvin Klein model Will Defiel, just back from walking in the Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabanna shows in Milan. Not bad. But about the fashion. PFT Couture was a definite highlight (shown with a Christopher Straub handbag): IMG_0404

Danielle Everine showed potential with a feminine take on tailored clothing: IMG_0398 And here's CK model Will Defiel, just because he looks so cute. IMG_0396

Take that, Anna Wintour

Monday, October 5th, 2009


Minneapolis-based fashion designer Joy Teiken delighted the hometown crowd with her spring 2010 Joynoelle ready-to-wear and bridal collections, shown Thursday at Gallery 13 in Minneapolis. Lots of fitted bodices and feminine details went into these utterly lovely, wearable dresses. She called it "Pretty Little Houses" in response to Vogue editor Anna Wintour's comment that Minnesotans look like little houses. Look at these pictures, Ms. Wintour! No really, look. So, a Minnesota fashion show isn't going to make a career like one in New York can do, but it does make a difference in terms of respect, buzz and sheer energy. "It's like a dance performance," Joy said of her fashions. "You just want to get it in front of an audience." She had a lot of local support, from individuals and companies. But for fashion to continue moving in the direction Joy is trying to take it locally, the big money sponsors are going to have to step up…and get us out of our little houses.

Photos courtesy of Sohail Akhavein for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. See more in the paper on Sunday, Oct.11.

Behind the fall fashion shoot

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Great idea, colleagues exclaimed when they saw that we mixed consignment and clearance clothing in with new arrivals for the St. Paul Pioneer Press fall fashion section. It did work out amazingly well and was the perfect way to balance our desire to update and wear designer pieces at a time when buying them full price still seems gratuitous. But here's a little secret: I didn't really set out to mix old with new. It happened when the new stylist I hired, Jane Belfry, indulged her penchant for vintage by pulling clothes from June and gh2 despite my sending her out with a shopping list of new fall trends. I'll be honest: at first I was freaked. I've got one day to get this mammoth shoot completed. The models, the hair and makeup team the photographer were all set to go, and I had a rack of not-so-new clothes. But forget about the red marks on the price tags – there were some amazing pieces – Lanvin; Jean Paul Gaultier – everything looked perfectly modern and now…even if it wasn't. So who cares what the tag says? I know we're lucky to have designer resale shops like June and gh2 in town, but seeing some of the amazing buys really told me I need to look beyond the new arrivals when shopping for fall – or any season. See for yourself.

On the scene at our spring fashion shoot

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Facebook allison
Woke up to a windchill…a perfect day to model spring fashions! Working on the March 8 spring fashion section for the St. Paul Pioneer Press with photographer Chris Polydoroff today. At this very moment, hair is being teased, lips are being glossed, poses are being struck and belts and shoes are being mismatched – purposely! Here's our beauty team from Root salon in St. Paul getting the models prepped (that's me off to the right thinking deep thoughts about a trench coat). Insider beauty tip: hot rollers work wonders – and fast.
Expect to see easy, breezy dresses, slouchy jeans and cropped pants, and lots of neutrals, which are so much fun to accessorize. But we're all drooling over a colorful, long Johnny Was slip dress from Karma. Helps to be 5-foot-11, add a 5-inch heel and not an ounce of fat. And the models are eating pizza! Hate them.

The clothes must go on

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Twin Cities boutiques are feeling understandably cautious, but as always, spring will bring new fashions and new reasons to shop. Be sure to read my Savvy Shopper column on Sunday, Jan. 11 to find out how small stores are coping with the downturn (tease: more shopping events and rewards programs to come!). Until then, here's a look at what local retailers tell me they're getting excited about:
Stephanie's: Loose, thin layering tops in pastels and neutrals paired with skinny jeans for a laid-back, untailored effect. Also, nicely-priced knit line, Smitten.
La Rue Marche: Updated '80s looks – less hippie, more pretty. Lots of yellow and teal. Continued interest in statement necklaces.
Eco-tique: Daytime dresses in bold colors and modern prints.
Goodthings: Late '60s revival with long halter dresses, skirts that graze the ground, peasant tops with lace, crocheted and embroidery detail, plus more gladiator sandals and scarves.
Elodie: Disco Big T jeans from True Religion, Sevens Crop Dojos and Dojo shorts, Hudson flares.
Sorrayah Studios: Prints, ruffled sexy tops and dresses, eco-friendly fabrics and lots of accessories.
Arafina: Vibrant colors in
everything from tees to gowns, fabulous prints and

Elan: New "green" lines, Know and EcoCentric, which plants a tree for every top, dress or jacket sold.

Oh, the models

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008


One of my favorite things about the Glamorama post-party, held in the auditorium of the Macy’s Minneapolis store and spilling outside onto the parking deck, is the models. They always show up, they always rock the dance floor and the rest of us just stand by and stare. You can’t help it – even in their own clothes (often picked up backstage at designer fashion shows), they look fantastic, their moves are sexy and the seem just so unattainably  cool.  And tall.


The real killer is, they’re super nice. This show is distinct in that the models get to show some personality on stage – dancing, smiling, riffing on the occasional air guitar.  So it tends to attract models capable of more than a pout. The cast spends a week in town leading up to the show and it’s rather like camp – although several models swore to me it was lights out
by 8:30 p.m. all week leading up to the show. Backstage, the guys were clowning around, the girls were mellow and everyone was eating actual food…Cheerios, eggs, sausage. It’s just not fair.

Glamorama ’08

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Macy’s pulled off another Glamorama on Friday, and it was a blast. The show had an ’80s theme and the crowd took it quite literally, showing up in hot pink leggings, some bad prom dresses and yes, I even saw a unitard. (Get a look at what the Glam crowd was wearing in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Tuesday, Aug. 18 or online at Thankfully, the runway fashions were decidedly more contemporary, with just a few ’80s hints, like plaid pants and biker jackets. I loved the flowy, slightly bohemian dresses from Tibi. SportMax had more tailored dresses that looked great as well. I was less keen on Ports 1961, a newer label with a lot of hype, but others around me seemed to like it. Designers featured in the show weren’t quite as exclusive as some recent years, but you know, that’s not all bad. It’s nice to see some fab looks on the runway that are almost attainable. And they did include Donna Karan, Celine and Marc Jacobs. Every year the question is asked: will this be the last Glamorama? And every year, the Minneapolis team works with fewer resources and stretches them farther than ever before. Who knows what next year will bring, but for now, Glamorama remains the most fashionable ticket of the year in this town – and its impact is felt even in the chicest circles of New York. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved