Sunday, October 30, 2011

Local inspiration: Happy Halloween!

Here's a little Halloween creepiness for you. Local accessories line Artist Built just shared images of a new photo shoot they did with local designer Laura Whitney and photographer Sasha Landskov. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This week in Theyskens' Theory, SWAG52, "Project Accessory"

This week in, I recap last weekend's Walker After Hours party and write about Minnesota native Nicolina Royale, a contestant on Project Runway spinoff Project Accessory (premiering tonight on Lifetime after the finale episode of Project Runway season nine).

I also spotlight the new Theyskens' Theory collection at Grethen House and the new local shopping club SWAG52: is available at and on newstands.

Weekend local shopping guide

This week in local shopping, St. Paul store picky girl closes, Giambattistas Valli for Macy's launches, and Grethen House, Electric Fetus and Drama hold fall sales. Head over to l'etoile's weekly shopping guide for all the details. Here's a sampling:

Beginning Wednesday: Giambattista Valli for Impulse Only at Macy’s
Hot off collaborations with Matthew Williamson, Kinder Aggugini and most recently Karl Lagerfeld, Macy's launches what looks to be its more promising capsule collection thusfar - Italian fashion designer Giambattista Valli. His eye-popping, 35-piece collection will include frilly ruffles, colorblock dresses, delicate blouses and the very-on-trend animal prints all priced between $50 to $150. It's a far cry from his namesake offerings, which go for $1200 to $6000.
When: Beginning Wednesday, October 26 through
Where: Select Macy's stores nationwide include 700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-375-2200, and

Pierrepont Hicks Tie Co. in this month's GQ

Local neckwear line Pierrepont Hicks Tie Co. got a nice little bit of publicity in November's issue of GQ. Here is their "Walker Tie" as modeled by Glee's Harry Shum Jr.:

The tie, crafted out of 100% English wool, is available on their website for $120.

Coco and Breezy make cameo in Beyonce's new video


Eyewear-designing twins Coco and Breezy have been blowing up since they made the move from Minnesota to NYC. The duo have been featured in everything from Essence to Elle, and count Ashanti, Nicki Minaj, Kelly Osbourne and Kelly Rowland as fans. Apparently, their personal style got them noticed by the casting agent for Beyonce's new video for the early '90s R&B throwback jam "Party" (which also features a cameo by Rowland). Here are screenshots from the video featuring Coco and/or Breezy, wearing shades from their new "Rainy Days" collection (available now at Watch the video in full below.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Minnesota Monthly, METRO announce best-of style and beauty winners

Two Twin Cities glossy magazines have just published their best-of-the-year lists, and some top local designers, retailers and salons have gotten shout-outs.

Topping Minnesota Monthly's list: STYLEDLIFE (best accessories); martinpatrick3 (best men's store), Pierrepont Hicks (best neckwear); Stephanie Lake Design (best jewelry), I Like You (best place to buy local), gh2 (best sale), and HAUS Salon (best new salon). Local designers Joynoelle and Anne M. Cramer also made the list. Best Women's Shop went to Picky Girl, which just announced it will be closing at the end of the week.

[Detail from METRO]

As for METRO's Top 100 list, Anne Kristine Lingerie, Hackwith Design House, Ina Grau, Gina Marie Vintage and a. anthony designs came away with nods for top emerging designers of the year. Other local style best-of winners include Duluth Pack bags, Selby and Snelling's shopping district (which includes A. Michele, Allee Metro Chic, The Drawbridge, Flirt, Patina, Lula Vintage Wear, Up Six Vintage and Go Vintage).

For full lists, be sure to pick up a copy of both magazines, now on newsstands.

Local inspiration: muses and lenses

In the latest installment of weekly photo feature muses and lenses, fall has fallen and rich color is everywhere.

Style blogger Lindsey Herzog celebrates her birthday the best way possible with a colorful batch of balloons.

Fashion editor Mary O'Regan dons one of fall's trends, colored jeans.

Style blogger Shannon Licari Walling enjoys the fall colors.

Tangerine-maned model Ulorin Vex showcases jewelry by local line Bionic Unicorn. (Photography by Allan Amato. Hair/makeup/styling by Ulorin Vex)

Style blogger Kitty Cotten hits the rooftop in bold colors.

Style blogger Julia mixes prints in a vintage floral dress paired with a plaid coat.

Style blogger Corey Tenold snaps his squeeze, Vision model Ashlee Walker, in a pumpkin patch.

Photographer Amy Gee dons a sequin sweater in the leaves.

Style blogger Chloe Ahlf has the varsity blues.

Andrea Adams stands in for a shoot by local photographer David Mendolia.

Jewelry designer Stephanie Lake wears retro sequins and her own jewelry at l'etoile's MNfashion Week event "Bright Society" earlier this month at the Alexander Ramsey House. (Photo: Ellen Dahl Lawson, The Minneapoline)

Joshua models the plaid trend, courtesy of BlackBlue, for local men's style blog

Vision model Brittany McKee models fall looks from Parc Boutique.

Corey Tenold styles and shoots a neckwear-centric shoot featuring ties by local line Pierrepont Hicks Tie Co. and eyewear from Eyemusement. (Model: Blake with Vision Management Group, INC. Additional styling by Ashlee Walker)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In review: Fashion goes around the world in "A Holiday Bazaar"

Though it took place in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis, Saturday night's "A Holiday Bazaar" fashion show took the audience on a trip around the world. The brainchild of fashion producer and stylist Grant Whittaker and choreographer Myron Johnson (both of Glamorama and Ballet of the Dolls fame), the five-segment, briskly-paced show took inspiration from some of the world's top fashion cities: Paris, Berlin, New York, Tokyo and Beverly Hills. The show offered production values (including video interludes and a stellar roster of Vision models) and an attention to detail not found in most local fashion shows. But in the end, it was all about the clothes, culled from the racks of designer resale stores gh2, June, Rags From Riches, Second Debut, Fashion Avenue and Rodeo Drive, all of which gave guests the chance to shop the looks via mini popup shops following the show. And with Whittaker's statement-making styling, wearable designer pieces were transformed into theatrical moments of high fashion, boldly making the case for affordable style in the Twin Cities.

[Photos by Ed Neaton for City Pages]

Click here for more photos by Ed Neaton for City Pages.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Copyright Infringement: Annie Larson vs. Urban Outfitters

Another day, another major retailer knocking off an independent designer's work. The latest culprit: hipster haven Urban Outfitters, who've apparently copied a knit hat design by Minnesota native Annie Larson. According to a post on Annie's blog entitled "F.U., U.A," the pattern was developed for a collection of her ALL Knitwear line that was released in April 2010, and was used in two different pieces as well as multiple times in alternate colorways. Ironically, the company has featured Annie Larson's work on their blog before, but she says they've never solicited her work.

[Left: Annie Larson's hat, 2010. Right: Urban Outfitters' version, 2011]

As Annie states on her blog, "Even though neither of these styles are available on my site any longer, I am pretty dismayed with this situation. However, I am not surprised and nobody I have mentioned it to has been surprised either. Why is this? It's because Urban Outfitters and many other mass market retailers blatantly copy the work of other people without permission and attempt to pass it off as their own."

What can you do as a consumer? For one, you can support Annie by purchasing the original version or visiting her e-shop, and look for her forthcoming collection for Madewell.

Curious about what other local designs have been copied? Click here for more Copyright Infringement.

St. Paul boutique Picky Girl to close

St. Paul shopping took a hit today when picky girl owner Elizabeth Varghese announced that she would be closing her five-year-old store this week. The Grand Avenue shop carried a youthful yet sophisticated selection of women's contemporary clothing and accessories by national brands like Kensie and local names such as Calpurnia Peach, Post- and NELLE. There is a silver lining - Varghese has taken the job of women's buyer at Details Style Lab, a salon, spa and boutique located in the Lowry Building in downtown St. Paul beginning November 21. She'll bring with her some picky girl favorites (as well as the "picky party" shopping events) as well as some new offerings.

In the meantime, check out picky girl's closing sale beginning tomorrow and running through 8 p.m. Thursday, October 27, with everything marked 30 percent off. (949 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-698-4107.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend wrap-up: Local fashion links

  • Knitwear designer Annie Larson (who just moved to NYC after starting her career in Minneapolis) was mentioned in a Forbes Magazine article about limited-edition e-commerce websites like Of a Kind, where she sells her knitwear. Her fall collection has also just become available on her ALL e-shop, including 12 new hat designs, a new selection of sweaters, and new basics in black and cream.
  • Modern Salon Magazine recently selected local hairstylist Faatemah Ampey (who appeared as a contestant on Bravo reality show Shear Genius) as one of its "Women of Style" in its October 2011 issue, and profile her on her big break, her mentors, and her latest project.
  • Mary O'Regan picks her favorite looks from Zara's Fall 2011 lookbook, noting that the collection is finally available to us Minnesotans now that the Spanish brand's e-store ships to the entire U.S.
  • Allison Kaplan reports on local line Nelle Handbags' new showroom at L'atlier Bridal in downtown Minneapols for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kevin Kramp's Vogue Italy feature, plus a new video featuring his work

I realize this blog tends to focus a lot on Kevin Kramp, but it's hard not to get excited about all the impressive press coverage the Minnesota-based knitwear designer been getting lately, spurred on in part by his recent showing at the emerging designer showcase WHITE at Milan Fashion Week. Kramp's most noteworthy bit of press so far: a feature in the November 2011 print edition of Vogue Italia, regarded by some as the ultimate fashion publication.

A new fashion film featuring Kramp and the other five emerging design talents from WHITE was also featured in a new short film "Leanne," which was filmed during the WHITE Show in Milan:


Direction/Photography: Arash Radpour
Soundtrack: Alessandro Angiolillo
Clothing by: Kevin Kramp, Altewai Saome, Natacha Talay, CO l TE, Augustin Teboul, Mirit Weinstock

Tearra Rosario's music video features local fashion

Tearra Rosario, whom I've long known primarily as a model, has just shot her debut music video for her music project Oso. Turns out miss Rosario is quite the triple threat - model, singer and Bomba (traditional Puerto Rican) dancer. The video for "Stir It Up" is yet to come out, but in the meantime check out these behind-the-scenes stills by photographer Sara Kiesling. Tearra ingeniously cast some of her favorite collaborators - recent Project Runway aufee Danielle Everine (wearing her own design from the recent "Little Black Dress" fashion show), local musician Mayda and MC Longshot as gorgeously styled extras - many of which are in designs by local designers like Everine, Jenny Carle and Arwyn Birch - in addition to model pals Monica Ulrich and Alex Brouhard.

Click here to view more behind-the-scenes photos by Sara Kiesling.

Photography: Sara Kiesling
Talent: Tearra Rosario, Monica Ulrich, Jessica Driscoll, Danielle Everine, Alex Brouhard, Shani Phelan, Amber Brenke, Niki Molinar, Alice Sydow, Mayda Miller, MC Longshot, Elliott Graber, Daniel Handeen
Hair Stylists: Mark Dolan, Lola Teeny, Amber Brenke, Niki Molinar
Makeup Artists: Romeny Chan, Amber Brenke, Niki Molinar
Designers/Stylists: Jenny Carle, Danielle Everine, Arwyn Birch, Alice Sydow (I’ve Got Your Style), Costume the Cities
Location: Mancini’s Char House & Lounge, St. Paul, MN

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Opening Thursday: Goldstein's ode to black & white in design

Black and white. Used separately, the two evoke totally different moods and feelings. While black is typically associated with authority, power, and evil, white is associated with purity and innocence. When used together in design, these polar opposites can create contrast and balance, and can be seen as bold, minimalist, elegant, classic, or mysterious. The Goldstein Museum of Design offers its ode to black and white in design with its latest exhibition, "Polarities: Black and White in Design." Opening this Thursday, the show explores cultural and social interpretations of black, white, and black and white in objects throughout GMD's extensive collection.

The opening reception includes a curator-led tour of the exhibition, refreshments, and the chance to purchase a masquerade mask made by the Design Graduate Student Association for November 4's Goldstein anniversary bash.

Event details:
Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Thursday, October 20. Exhibition runs October 14-December 30 at the Goldstein Museum of Design, 364 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, 612-624-7434, Tickets start at $125 and are now available for "The Black & White Ball: 35 Years of Celebrating Design," November 4 at International Market Square. For tickets and more information, contact or 612-624-7434.

Weekend shopping: STYLEDLIFE 5 Year Anniversary, Stephanie Lake Trunk Show & more

l'étoile's weekly shopping guide is packed with tons of weekend shopping events and local retail news. Here's a sampling:

Thursday-Saturday: STYLEDLIFE 5 year anniversary
What: Twin Cities preeminent accessories haven STYLEDLIFE is celebrating five years of style with an anniversary weekend of events. New York-based fashion designer Zang Toi will be in store for the third straight year on Thursday and Friday, showcasing his A/W 2011 designer collection and meeting fans. The store will also be hosting the country’s first OrYANY handbag trunk show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with OrYANY Sales Director Michelle Flaherty on hand Friday and Saturday. All weekend, enjoy giveaways, style consultations, cocktails and sweets, and get you photo taken in a vintage photobooth. (Pictured: Zang Toi A/W 2011)
When: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, Thursday-Saturday, October 20-22.
Where: STYLEDLIFE, 3410 Galleria, Edina, 952-928-8888,

Friday-Sunday: Stephanie Lake Design Trunk Show & Cedric's Furs Sample Sale
What: Local jewelry designer Stephanie Lake joins forces this weekend with a suitably luxe partner: Cedric's Luxe Collection furs. Snag some rare deals on thousands of Cedric's fine and faux furs at sample, closeout prices throughout the weekend, and on Friday only, peruse hundreds of Lake's jewelry designs made from decades of reclaimed vintage pieces. Select jewelry will be 50% off during the event only.
When: 3-8 p.m. Friday, October 21. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Cedric's sale continues Saturday, October 22 & Sunday, October 23
Where: The Westin Edina, 3201 Galleria, 952-567-5000, &

Friday: Becca Cosmetics Launch at Roe Wolfe
What: Celebrate the official launch of Becca Cosmetics - and try out a new fall look - with the styling experts of new designer boutique Roe Wolfe. Reserve your spot with Becca Cosmetics' National Makeup Artist Jo Levy, get a hair consultation from Evolution Salon stylists, enjoy wine and food from The Wine Market and The Olive Grove, and take 20% off all apparel and accessories. Makeup appointments are $70, with the money including product and a gift bag.
When: 3-9 p.m. Friday, October 21.
Where: Roe Wolfe, 750 Main Street, Mendota Heights, 651-330-4434,

Saturday: HandmadeMN Fall Market
The Minnesota chapter of Etsy sellers is hosting a market featuring everything and anything handmade. Find glossy acrylic jewelry from Jennifer Merchant, jewelry crafted from reclaimed vintage pieces by Lefthand Originals, richly-hued silk scarves by BaronessColor, knit fingerless gloves by Margaret Mousley, lavender-filled eye compresses from Dawn of ShantiDesigns, and much more from over 45 vendors. Bonus: two lucky visitors will take home gift baskets filled with $150 worth of handmade products donated by HandmadeMN members. Bonus #2: The first 25 visitors to the market will receive swag bags filled with even more handmade product. Get there early - shoppers tend to line up for the chance to take home a bag. (Pictured: Jennifer Merchant Design)
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, October 22.
Where: Balletine VFW, 2916 Lyndale Avenue S, Minneapolis,

Click HERE for more shopping events from l'étoile.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Editorial: HAUS Salon debuts Fall/Winter Collection

In its relatively short lifespan, Twin Cities salon HAUS has shown itself to not only be the go-to destination for the chic Minneapolitan's hair care needs; it's also proven itself to be an establishment well versed in the art of hair. In addition to its runway work (namely for the Emma Berg/Kevin Kramp runway shows last spring at MNfashion Week), the salon has promised two seasonal hair inspiration collections each year. Under the direction of salon co-owner and creative director Charlie Brackney (a former creative director at Juut SalonSpa), the Fall/Winter 2011-12 editorial "Spectre" collection (styled with clothing by local designer Emma Berg on Vision models) is described by the press release as "a romantic ghost story with hair and makeup looks that are billowing, ethereal, and smoky, with deep shadows, taking inspiration from the spirit of fashionicon Alexander McQueen."
As the press release explains, "HAUS Salon’s Spectre Collection is a couture collection, with looks not typically seen walking down the streets of Minneapolis. 'We want HAUS's legacy to be about our incredible team, a team capable of creating dream-worthy hair on set and behind the chair,' said Charlie Brackney, HAUS Co-Founder and Creative Director. 'By staying inspired as a team and stretching our creative talents, we stay inspired for our clients and again and again give them the best hair that they possibly can have.'"

In other HAUS news, Minnesota Monthly has named it Best New Salon and HAUS' Mark DeBolt one of the Best Colorists. You can now follow HAUS on Twitter at @HAUSsalonHAUS Salon is located at 4240 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, 612-827-4287,

Clothing by Emma Berg
Models provided by Vision Management Group