Sunday, May 31, 2009

In Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs at First Avenue 5.30.09

[Image from 5/30/09 show at First Avenue in Mpls by Lauren Gantner for METRO Magazine]

I managed to not only get into the sold-out Yeah Yeah Yeahs show last night at First Avenue, but to be practically front-row for the entire thing. All the better to see Karen O's amazing outfits! Despite the all ages nature of the show (you could only buy drinks upstairs, where it was overly packed, and the crowd of teenagers turned into a venerable mosh pit), it was a truly inspiring show that will go down in the annals of my memory. Karen O is truly a modern-day rock - and style - icon.

[Image from 5/30/09 show at First Avenue in Mpls by Lauren Gantner for METRO Magazine]

They kicked off the show with their latest, "Heads Will Roll." Karen came onstage wearing a scary-good mask that lit up in neon swirls, as well as a swirl-print, studded black one-armed leotard, a fringed fabric arm band, a studded fingerless glove, and hot pink tights.

[Images from the 5/30/09 show at First Avenue in Mpls by Lauren Gantner for METRO Magazine]

Later on she put on this amazing neckpiece made out of large silver palettes. Seems like it'd be easy to make. There aren't any photos up from the Mpls show but she debuted the piece at Coachella 2009:

[Image from Coachella 4/19/09 by Chris Tuite for Pitchfork]

For "Zero" at the close of the set, she donned the studded leather jacket she wears in the video for the song.

[Image from Polsslag in Belgium 02/05/09 by Jan Van den Bulck]

[Video still f. detail of the back of the jacket]

For the two-part encore, Karen O put on this kimono-like outfit. It had an interesting drape that went between the legs - a new silhouette that's been popping up lately.

[Image from the Paradiso in Amsterdam 4/29/09 by Guus Krol]

All the costumes were designed for the 2009 tour by Karen O's longtime designer, Christian Joy (an Iowa native and current NYC resident). 

Friday, May 29, 2009

Guide to a Stylish Summer

[Originally published in Secrets of the City, 6.14.09]

Yes, it's still only May, but now's the time to start planning your outfits for summer's most stylish soirees in Minneapolis. Here's a guide on what to put in your social planner and ideas on what to wear.

The Event:

"Cliche: 5ive Years of Fashion" summer fashion show

June 11 at Plaza Verde

Local boutique Cliche puts on a lot of fashion shows throughout the year, but its annual summer show is its biggest. Considering this year the shop is celebrating five years of business, it should be bigger than ever. The show will showcase spring and summer lines by Cliche's strong roster of local clothing designers, including Amanda Christine, kjurek couture, Maritza Ramirez, Emily Weich, Ivan Idland, Red Shoe Clothing Co., and Renate Adjei, to name my favorites. Also be sure to keep your eyes on the debut line from recent St. Kate's grad Amanda Chaffin, who's designing under the name Rose White. (9 p.m. $8. Plaza Verde, 1516 E. Lake St., Mpls. 612-870-0420.)

What to Wear: It's a sit-down show with an upraised runway, so dressing up is key. Also be sure to wear something from Cliche or one of its local designers. (I'll be wearing a dress from Chaffin's senior line.) 

Image: Silk dress by Amanda Chaffin/Image by Brian Garrity


The Event:

Valentino: The Last Emperor

June 12-25 at Oak Street Cinema

The documentary we've all been waiting for is finally getting its Minneapolis moment. Documenting the life and career of legendary Italian designer Valentino Garavani in the wake of his exit in 2008 from the company he founded in Rome more than 45 years ago. (7:15 p.m. & 9:15 p.m. $7. Oak Street Cinema, 309 Oak St. SE., Mpls. 612-378-7750.)

What to Wear: It's doubtful many of us have the budget for Valentino, but take inspiration from the flamenco frills, opulent details, and his signature color, red. 

Image: Valentino waving on runway of his final show / Jacques Brinon/AP Photo

The Event: Poolside Fashion Show

June 18 at Calhoun Beach Club

Full disclosure: I'm styling the clothing and accessories for this annual show held on the rooftop of the Calhoun Beach Club at dusk. It will include poolside-ready looks from Mall of America stores (think Burberry and Benetton), Bumbershute, Belle Reve, and local designers Max Lohrbach and Emily Weich. Expect a more stylized, sophisticated show this year - a jazz band will accompany the three-part runway show and you can upgrade to VIP reserved seating and a swag bag. (7 p.m. $15-25. Calhoun Beach Club, 2925 Dean Pkwy., Mpls. 612-673-4098.)

What to Wear: The crowd is always swanky, so try to look like you're a country club member and go sleek and sophisticated. Guys, think preppy with a fitted polo or seersucker suit with boat shoes; girls, wear a bright summer cocktail or patio dress with heeled sandals and a flower in your hair.

Poolside Promo image by Alex Uncather. Styling by Jahna, Charlie & Romeny

The Event:

Barbette's Fête Nationale (aka Bastille Day) Block Party

July 12 at Barbette

The annual celebration of French independence held at resident French cafe Barbette is the one block party that pretty much requires an outfit to match. (4-10 p.m., Barbette, Lake & Irving, Uptown Minneapolis, Free, 612-827-5710)

What to Wear: Think casual French Rivera. That can mean stripes and polka dots in red, white and blue or black, a head scarf or beret, and espadrilles or chic ballet flats.

French-inspired fashion illustration by Kathryn Elyse Rodgers of Paper Fashion

The Event:

Beyoncé and Solange

July 16 at Target Center

For her "I Am..." summer tour with little sis SolangeBeyoncé will perform nearly 30 songs from both her solo career and Destiny’s Child in six theatrical "acts" while wearing more than 60 elaborate costumes, all created for her by legendary French fashion designer Thierry Mugler. Basically, it has the makings of being an even bigger spectacle than Britney’s "Circus" tour and some of the most catchy songs of the past year. (7 p.m. $20. Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-673-0900.)

What to Wear: Think big shoulders, sequins, and tall shoes.

Images: Sketch of a Beyonce tour look by Thierry Mugler

The Event:

Attitude City Yacht Club 

July 24th at Boom Island Park

The Attitude City boys have been doing the Yacht Club boat party for three years, and even though other boat parties have been popping up, the original is still the most stylish one to see and be seen at. It's happening during the Aquacentennial, so expect a fireworks spectacle you can view from the patio of the boat. Suffice to say, it's magical. (July 24th. Look as details emerge.)

What to Wear: Think very chic boating or yachting-themed, but with an edge. And make sure it's something you can dance in!

Image: Yacht party photo from last year by Digital Crush Photography

The Event:

Macy’s Glamorama 2009: Fusion

August 14 at Orpheum Theater

The most highly-anticipated fashion event of the summer, Macy’s Glamorama boasts a line-up of famed musical headliners, a high-production fashion show featuring national and internationally-renowned designers, and the most over-the-top after party of the year. So far this year Macy’s has only confirmed the show’s designers – which include Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier, Sonia Rykiel, Just Cavalli, Sportmax, Maxmara and CNC Costume National. (8 p.m. $75-$500. Orpheum Theater 824 Hennepin Av., Mpls. 612-339-7007.)

What to Wear: It's attended by a fairly mainstream crowd, who are more likely to throw on a basic little black dress. It's a rare chance to really go all out, so I say try to stand out and wear anything but basic black.

Image: Marc Jacobs fall 2009 runway shot

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blind item: Who could it be?


[Image courtesy Lifetime]

Via Project Rungay, as originally reported by Entertainment Weekly's "Inside Project Runway Season 6"., l'etoile + St. Paul STAYcation for 5.28.09-6.3.09 for 5.28.09-6.3.09:

[Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Image: Jeff Gentner/Getty Images]

Crawl: Fashion face-off: Karen O vs. Fischerspooner
This weekend, First Avenue plays host to two of music's most outrageously attired acts: electroclash duo Fischerspooner on Friday and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Saturday.
Read more

[Alex & Chloe at Belle Reve. Image provided by Alex & Chloe]

Fashion: Alex & Chloe Jewelry at Belle Reve + The 3/50 Project attempts to save brick & mortar retail

‘Formidable Flat’ at 1st Amendment Gallery f. new work by Drew Peterson + Kristina Paabus

[New work from 'Formidable Flat' by Drew Peterson]

Performance: Rhythmic Circus' 'Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!' at Women's Club
Alexis Bailly Vineyard Open House


[Klever is performing at Scion Metro Minneapolis on Tuesday]

Jenny Gillespie at Barbette

St. Paul STAYcation for 5.28.09:

[Image: Viva Voce, one of the acts playing the Turf this weekend]

Drinking in the afternoonHigh tea and rose wine tasting in St. Paul

Finally, check out my contributions every week in l'etoile's Weekend What's What blog.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Local model of the moment: Kelly Streigel

Check out Minneapolis model of the moment Kelly Streigel in the newest product shots for ultra-hip online shopping site ShopFatal. Believe it or not, the shop - which carries such edgy, up-and-coming lines as Jeremy Scott, Bernhard Willhelm and C.neeon, is based out of Minneapolis.

Read an earlier profile I did of the shop here.

Kanye's new video starring Rihanna

Kanye's new video with Rihanna is so superhot. I love it almost as much as the song itself - so injected with '80s synths and '70s disco I can hardly stand it. I love how tongue-in-cheek it is, and the fact that Rihanna doesn't actually perform in the song, instead serving as muse.

In Review: RetroRama

I was lead stylist for the annual RetroRama fashion show at the Minnesota History Center on May 21, and it turned out marvelously. (I styled the vintage looks, while the designers styled their own looks.) The show was held under a tent on the grass as the sun was setting; it really couldn't have been any more magical. Here are some images from the show:

[Image: Emily Utne for City Pages. Modeled by Nikki/Ignite)

The show started off with a 1920s-era dress from Via's Vintage and a hat by Lula's Vintage Wear. I was inspired by the idea of sophisticated travel that became the norm in the '20s.

[Image: Patrick Dunn for Modeled by Sarah/Ignite]

[Image: Emily Utne for City Pages. Modeled by Sarah/Ignite)

It was followed by Max Lohrbach's brilliant take on the 1920s luggage and aviator style with a two-piece look and hat. A great detail was the leather luggage strap sewn to the back of the jacket. The hand-beaded hat with leather trim was also quite amazing.

[Image: Patrick Dunn for Modeled by Raina/Ignite]

A 1930s-era dress and hat from Lula's worn with gloves from Via's. I was inspired by Bonnie & Clyde for this look.
[Image: Emily Utne for City Pages. Modeled by Kelly/Ignite]

This amazing dress, handbag and headpiece were created by Ivan Idland. He was inspired by flour sack dresses, surrealism, and the upper-class look of the 1930s, and basically combined the styles of the poor and rich in this piece. The deep scoop back of the dress, not pictured, was probably the best part about it. The dress, coupled with the surrealist handbag and headpiece, made for the most impressive look of the night.

[Image: Emily Utne for City Pages. Modeled by Kelly/Ignite]

Detail of Ivan Idland's headpiece.

[Image: Patrick Dunn for Modeled by Greta/Ignite]

This 1940s-era gaberdine dress and hat are from Lula. I was inspired by the military "Bugle Boy" styling of the '40s. 

[Image: Emily Utne for City Pages. Modeled by Joy]

This gorgeous washed silk dress and hat were created by Abigail Caperton of Princess Warrior. She was inspired by women's uniforms of the 1940s.

[Image: Emily Utne for City Pages. Modeled by Maggie/Ignite]

This 1950s-era dress with matching jacket were a nod to the family-oriented, suburbia home look worn by many a housewife throughout the decade. 

[Image: Emily Utne for City Pages. Modeled by Lily/Ignite]

The all-over print dress and matching jacket, inspired by 1950s Davy Crockett illustrations and legends, were created by Calpurnia Peach. The amazing coonskin cap came from the Guthrie Theater's Costume Rentals shop.

[Image: Patrick Dunn for Modeled by Elmira/Ignite]

I chose this 1960s-era dress and pillbox hat (all from Via's) because it seemed so Jackie O. By a happy mistake, the model Elmira bore a striking resemblence to Jackie O.

[Image: Patrick Dunn for Modeled by Kara K/Ignite]

The 1960s-inspired look by Sarah Holm of Re-Evolution was an ingenius take on Jackie O, post JFK's assassination. She says it was inspired by the mix of red roses and blood on the car seat after JFK was shot. (There is a splatter-dyed bodice under the sheer overlay.)

All styling by Eclecticoiffeur:
Fashion styling (for vintage looks): Jahna Peloquin
Hair: Kelsy Osterman and Catlin Weston
Make-up: Romeny Chan

Now for some non-runway looks. 

[Image: Sean Smuda for MNHS]

This is me with the designer in Max Lohrbach's dress he made for the Ikea challenge at Voltage 2009. Not technically vintage, but Max's clothing always has a multitude of historical references with a punch of modernity. I felt so amazing in this dress (you can't see, but it had matching bloomers underneath!) My cuff is black painted wood with a studded bow by local accessories line Ferociter.

[Image: Emily Utne for City Pages]

Jennifer Mumm and Vanessa Messersmith are co-owners of Blacklist Vintage, and I can't get over Vanessa's 100-year-old dress. The straight-cut dress had so many beads on it apparently was quite heavy. Check out Blacklist if you haven't - these girls have amazing taste and great stuff.

[Image: Patrick Dunn for]

Emma Berg of always looks amazing, and RetroRama was no exception. Here she is in a Prada dress - again, not vintage, but definitely historically-influenced. Her beaded clutch is from Blacklist Vintage. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In Review: St. Kate's Katwalk

[Silk dress by Amanda Chaffin]

I attended the St. Kate's annual student show Katwalk last weekend, and true to my predictions, there were some promising moments and perhaps even some future local fashion stars. None of the collections were flawless, of course. Even some of the better designers sent down some looks down the runway that had fit and construction issues, or didn't try hard enough to push the envelope. But I'm going to focus on the good rather than the bad, because that's what student fashion shows are about.

Amanda Chaffin definitely showed the most cohesive line with the most commercially-viable appeal. The draped silk dress pictured above was gorgeous and interesting enough to inspire me to ask the designer to create a version for me in a different color, which I plan to wear at the upcoming Cliche summer fashion show where Chaffin will have her Cliche debut as Rose White. (The shop's owners Josh and Delayna Sundberg told me at the St. Kate's show that they just picked up the designer.) Another marker of future success: St. Kate's grad and one of my favorite local designers Amanda Christine told me Chaffin had interned for her.

[Silk racerback tank and pants by Amanda Chaffin]

I also loved this silk draped racerback top. It's hard to really tell in the photo, but it moved wonderfully on the runway. The subtle draping makes the top just innovative enough to be a step above basic. Not sure what's going on with those pants, though. 

[Cropped cowl-neck top and floral skirt by Amanda Chaffin]

Chaffin also picked up on one of my favorite spring trends, the crop top. I'm not sure I like the colors or the cowl neck, but I like the idea of wearing a cropped top with a high-waisted full skirt.

[Wood corset with sheet metal skirt by Renalie Bailey]

The most interesting designer of the night was probably Renalie Bailey. Her work with unusual materials like wood, sheet metal, and steel rods is not exactly wearable, but her mixture of unusual and classic shapes is laudable, and definitely felt like something new to the eyes. 

[Steel rods with leather corset and silk ribbon by Renalie Bailey]

[UPDATE: Just came across this lovely image of the same dress]

[Image: Provided by Renalie Bailey]

[Silk organza dress by Renalie Bailey]

On the other hand, Bailey seems able to translate her feminine, structured silhouettes into something wearable and commercially viable, as in the silk organza dress above. I only wish she would push it more aesthetically with looks like the silk organza dress; it's cute but nothing we haven't seen before.

[Top, jacket and shorts by Ashley Busch]

[Jumpsuit by Ashley Busch]

Another one to watch is Ashley Busch. Her '70s sportswear-inspired line was perhaps the most cohesive with the most specific look and feel of the collections. She best succeeded when she modernized a '70s style, like the mustard jumpsuit and the silk racer-striped tank (both pictured above). My only critique was that some of the silhouettes could use a bit more refinement and attention to fit. 

All images (except those of Ashley Busch) by Brian Garrity