Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mpls Inst of Art, just keeps going

 This is going to be the post in which I cut off everyone's heads. It'll be fun. Anyhoo, the relevant part above is the graphic circle skirt with crinoline underneath so it moved very well. The fabric is the same as that used by a Project Runway contestant named Mondo. Now if you are a track person, you know that a Mondo track is that red rubber that smells pretty bad when it gets hot. I'm pretty sure it's toxic. But that has nothing to do with this skirt.

 Here are 10 of the twelve models. They're working.

She's so cute I had to leave her half-head in. She was working with Laura Fulk, local designer and legend whose designs were on show here. Laura holds a dear place in my heart because I once thought it would be a good idea to put on a fashion show for my previous employer, and Laura was extremely instrumental in the event actually happening. Which is to say, she did everything-- designed clothes, taught me about runways and music and how you have to walk like the top half of your body is catching up with your toes and look real mean/bored. Actually I guess the models learned that at modeling school. Anyway, Laura positively did everything and was apparently not permanently scarred by it. Thanks Laura! The woman above is wearing Hue tights.

Mpls Inst of Art, starting to abbreviate

 Relax PETA friends, that's a faux animal around her neck. But the over-the-knee boots are 100% genuinely real take-no-prisoners. And the dress is thrifted. From a thrift store. You know how using thrift as a verb gives me hives, but if you honestly did the act of thrifting, you would not buy anything. Right?

The night of a 1000 white boots. Actually two, but they loomed large in my fragile psyche. These are by somebody-or-other Morain. Heart. She's a MCAD student. Now did I manipulate this photo in some way that made her hair look green tipped or was that one of the reasons I stalked her in the first place? Surprisingly, this is not a case for booze cluez as I was substance-free and workin it.

Mpls Institute of Art, more of it

 This is Emma Berg, one of the four designers whose work was being shown. What gave it away? The red lipstick, right? Hahaha, I'm being facetious cuz that's just the way I am. No foo', it's the triple awesome comprehensively tiered and draped and zipped up the side LANVIN dress. Note the all caps because it's not Tallulah Lanvin of Albany, NY -- this dress is the design expression of the house of LANVIN, Pareeee. She got it on super clearance at the MOA and believes it may be three sizes too big, but I for one, think she did the right thing. You may get distracted by her big old honking platforms or her tights or her super arty black karate chop haircut, but don't. Focus only on the dress.

True, they've got an undeniably cute French schoolgirl thing going on here, but I liked their body language-- kind of shyly sitting on this bench while a band whose speakers went up to 11 abused their instruments about 10 feet away.

Mpls Institute of Art, night o' fashion

 Mmmmm, my favorite. I know you're not supposed to say that but seriously... drum majorette boots?!!! She scored them this very day at Goodwill.  Also why do her pants (knee pants really) look stripey? They patently were not. But lookit the cowboy coat the doublebreasted jacket -- it's like George Washington, Bill Hickock and Dale Evans going to town as one person.

Wow huh? My sentiments exactly. Long cool drink o' disco.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Columbia Heights Savers

Oooo gosh I've been a stranger to this here blog - I've had paying work and you know how that gets in the way.  I did take the time to patronize Savers' Veteran's Day 50% off sale (very cognizant of the cost of such freedom) when a person with a full set of teeth went by and man I pounced. Luckily my camera batteries had one more picture in them so we made it count. She cut the arms off of the vintage Betsey Johnson fit-and-flare dress and now wears them as optional arm warmers. Fab vintage Vivienne Westwood jacket -- see the little orbs on the buttons? Well click on the photo and stretch your imagination silly. Did I mention, she scored this swag at Savers? See the atomic silver Le Sport Sac strap? It was a special edition signed by a French designer whose name I can't remember. It's kind of validating to find another one of my people, but we were both in hunting mode, so we didn't get all emo about it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weinstein Gallery

Ok, Weinstein Gallery does not seem the place to be looking downward, and indeed, I enjoyed the opening of the Elliott Erwitt exhibit full on (fabulous and highly recommended).  The Weinstein also draws an arty, well-dressed crowd, so of course I had ulterior motives.  To be honest though I was intimidated-- creative people standing around in knots talking with other creative people. I mean, sartorial expression is a birthright, it's assumed in this demographic, right?  And fawning over one or two individuals -- euuuuw gauche. And that's not even taking into account that I was at a photography exhibit in the company of a bunch of photographers with my Canon A570 with 4X optical zoom and -10X skillz.  Shit. Well I took one for the project and for you dear reader. How could I not? Look at those rich rich boots on top there. Like butta. And it was sort of nifty that the authors of this boots-n-jeans story were walking around together.
Pants, I mean woman below, had this somehow Tyrolean feeling. I guess it's the tabs on the hem. She got them in New York last year. The gorgeous shoes are old old.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Minneapolis Inst. of Art

So much to love -- feather hair clip, octopus necklace, musical note tats (she's played violin for 16 years),  soft soft cuddly coat (Electric Fetus), marvelously graphic skirt, mustard yellow tights and plaid-lined foldover boots. She works at the Institute, and is a work of art and an inspiration.

Minneapolis Inst. of Art

This is Zach and Krystal (sorry, didn't check spelling) who just finished a hoop dancing demonstration. Zach's drum is made of deerskin. I also like Krystal's face decor.

Minneapolis Institute of Art

I don't generally stalk from afar but this woman wandered on into the ticketed Native American exhibit for which I didn't have a ticket, so.... the long sweep, the swaying volume and the strong color. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

13th Street NE, Mpls II

Looks kind of dangerous, doesn't she? No holds barred, full throttle?  Damn straight. Moments earlier, she was climbing out of the sidecar of an orange motorcycle with her similarly attired-for-action friend and, well,  the whole thing knocked me out.  That's right my pantywaist friends, the jacket is a one-of-a-kind from the Evil Knievel women's collection. You didn't know there was an Evil Knievel women's collection, did you? She demonstrated the many zippered vents that keep you cool when you're jumping your bike over 27 cars, or whatnot. Scored at My Sister's Closet on Grand in St. Paul -- my personal home-away-from-home. The super tough boots are her boy friend's, dug out of storage after five years and obviously still kicking.  The dress she found at a vintage store in Toronto which she says is like a hundred Corner Stores put together. Maybe even better than that.  What makes this whole biker thing work is a goofy-to-the-bone attitude. I look for that in a biker chick.

13th Street NE, Mpls

Guess what everyone? Anchor Fish & Chips is closed on Mondays. But NE Social Club was open and got our business, and by our, I mean myself and Quyen (left) and Barb. Quyen is rocking a harf/scat she got at I Like You and some wonderfully red clogs. The clogs look Dutch which made me think of Rembrandt and see how the red specks on the hat and the red pompoms on the scarf and the red shoes make this electric path? Rembrandt-esque composition. I cannot explain Barb -- it's best to just wonder and enjoy her.  Maybe an anecdote will shed a little light.  In 1987, Barb and her husband Bob and her mother visited Hawaii, and specifically Pearl Harbor.  Somehow, Barb's mother ran into a Japanese tourist and took a tumble as a result (also breaking her wrist in the fall but she didn't discover that for a couple days). Her mother still tells people she was wounded at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. This would seem to be a story about Barb's mother, but the apple did not fall far from the tree.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Commodore, St. Paul

Meet Linnae and Karen, the women behind Embraceable You Vintage Clothing and Accessories. They are part of the excuse to go out on a Monday evening -- the vintage/craft/flea market, music (Willie Murphy at the ivories) and snacks at the Commodore in St. Paul. They introduced me to the Goldworm label, the insanely rich patterned wool frock on the left. It just has this 70s arty Bonnie Cashin-esque vibe. As you would if you were a freak, I went right home and searched the information superhighway for Goldworm (the name is a marketing nightmare and possibly the sole reason the brand is not as well-known as Cashin).  It was started by Mr. and Mrs. Goldworm in the 1920s in NYC as a sportswear line. Later they moved the production to Italy to take advantage of the superior wools, dyeing and construction going on there. Goldworm garments were produced using many of the same materials and artisans as Pucci.  Fantastic prints were the hallmark of the brand (aha), which reached a peak of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. I don't think they are produced any more, but they're fetching a pretty price on eBay. I forgot to ask her how she scored this bloom of loveliness.
Holy cow, unsolicited. I do go on. Of course so much to love about our friend on the right -- vintage velvet hat, tie-dyed dress from Anthropologie and bespoke belt whose clasp had a former life as a hat topper. But naturally I was down on my knees getting up-close with those shoes.  Rhinestone buttons on the front and, brilliantly and functionally, at the ankle. Sculpted heel? That's what I'm talking about. They're Onex, recently purchased at Nordstrom Rack.  Surprised? I was. I have an impression of Nordstrom's as being middle-of-the-road, nowhere near this edgy.  This impression is based 100% on my imagination as, full disclosure, I've never been to Nordstrom's Rack!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Walker Art Center

OK, this beheading was at the victim's request (I'm all defensive about my photography).  Nonetheless, I managed to be inappropriate by single-mindedly keying in on this marvelous skirt (is that a happy day print or what) and I was halfway into my introductory spiel/trying not to sound too too creepy when I actually looked at the woman wearing the skirt and realized I knew her.  Gechhh, busted again.  Anyhoo, she's a wordy person, as handy with an adjective as a style statement, here demonstrating American Woman From a European Perspective. Aforementioned skirt she scored at a clothing swap. The boots are Icelandic. And the jean jacket is French label APC's embodiment of "hysterically normal."  I think that's because of the tacked down pleats on the front, so if you ever see this treatment again, think "hysterically normal."  Try it. It's fun.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

seconds later at the U of M

I had to run from the last shot to catch up with yet another really confident dresser, fluent in menswear. She makes it look so easy. Here's what made me (once again) look the total tool to get this shot: the take-no-prisoners whoop-ass boots with a narrow buckle over the forefoot, the soft and girly butter yellow skirt and loose hair.  Big Red, the bag, makes the scene -- soft, worn in and effortless. How did she do that?  When I try for nonchalance,  passersby press a dollar in my hand with a pitying expression.

again with the U of M

Wow, I saw this woman striding along and just every little thing was right -- the sassy t-shirt with faux tie, baggy man-pants not so big they overwhelm her small frame, the high-heeled lace-ups. Love the shoes. Everything she's wearing winks at menswear but of course it's anything but. Also love her tiny skull-emblazoned bag. Real macabre. Design student, you guess? Dead wrong my friends. Easily the most styling statistics scholar in the class.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

University of Minnesota

Sneakasins?  Mockers?  Wait, there's a bit of saddle shoe in there too.  Whatever you want to call them, these canvas and buckskin softshoes did it for me. And they're easy to come by -- Urban Outfitters.

University of Minnesota

She's a freshman, thinking of a film/psychology course of study, but one thing for sure, she's got an eye for color.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


So I mistakenly had the camera on night mode or some such but the incredibleness of these boots shines through. They're Moschino, and she got them as a gift (!) when she worked in LA. I once got a junior Swiss army knife (so maybe a German army knife) for working five years at the U.  It now resides with airport security at Terminal #1.

Kokoon again

Meet Shoes, I mean, Sarah. I'm a sucker for extremes so naturally her super-wide ankle wrap shoes worn with shorts and an expanse of leg drew my attention like free cheese. The tonal black/gray quietness kept it on the good side of the tracks. She made her own necklace out of a quarter, which may or may not be illegal (tampering with federal stuff?), and she applied the lavender color to what is hands-down the best haircut I've seen in a long time -- right on Aveda stylist, whoever you are.  Sarah is a PR Journalism student at the U of M and hopes to combine that with fashion resulting in a tasty career styling runway shows.

Kokoon show, Mpls

Surprise! This blog is not about photography!  (Those of you who are now disillusioned may quietly leave, though I'm taking names). Yes, I'm all about self-improvement, and there's little discussion that my camera skills need a total overhaul, but what I really want is to share what I see and am inspired by with regard to attire. Example A above: Lovely lurvely textures. Nevermind that I made one of the ladies blink and was too impatient to take another photo. What's relevant is the vintage sheer blouse (left) with rich rich raw silk raw-edged skirt and patina'd Steve Madden boots.  There's this great progression from airy and sheer to woven and bumpy to earthy worn leather -- jump around, little rods and cones.  They're both thrift store masters. She took a "school teacher" skirt and cut it off. The edge ravels a bit more with each wearing. Her friend on the right was rocking the most sumptuous scarf, pierced belt and delish cognac-colored slouchy boots. Again with the deft use of textures, all the more apparent against the simple black dress. Thanks ladies, and sorry about the blink and subsequent beheading.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

University of Minnesota

Mmmmm, pattern. Plaid + lace. The dust on her shoe is from a recent pottery class.

Nieman Marcus Fashion Night Out, Mpls

I went down to Niemans Friday night for the Fashion Night Out goings on, and absolutely not for the free and cheap pink wine.  I was pretty sure they'd bust me as a card-carrying rag picker, knowing full well I've never bought so much as a compliment from that Prada parking lot. But they let me in along with a bunch of people whose looks screamed of effort, and who apparently hadn't eaten in three weeks -- the full-on assault on snacks was disconcerting. Three of my raisons d'etre, above. On the left, she wore Phillip Lim and significant attitude, making up some fabulish words. Manning it up, he's got on some kind of shirt (i get cheap wine, the shirt gets no credits) and True Religion (maybe) jeans and wingtips. The hot tot on the right is doing justice to a bespoke dressette by Kerry Riley.

Summit Ave., St. Paul

I'm partial to people biking in a skirt because I'm usually one of them. Of course she took the precaution of wearing tights which was strictly a thermal consideration. When she passed me on her awesome white-is-right-tired bike I had about a nanosecond to take in and assess her look and decide if and how I could get this shot.  Shame and looking like a foo' or a stalker are not even considerations for me anymore,  which made it a lot easier to simply zoom after her on my wicked witch of the west bike hollering out, "Hey you biker up there."  Well this is Minnesota -- instead of flipping me off, she stopped and chatted and was just so nice. Guess what is my favorite thing about her ensemble? Trick question, because it's a toss-up between the plaid hoodie vest with waistcoat hem that she got at a church rummage sale because she happened to be freezing that day, and the new Durango boots she got for a mere $100 in Wisconsin, where they presumably don't know you can get a lot more for those bad boys. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MNFashion preview

When you are taking part of a pair of pants from behind, it's time to go home. But here's the surreal part -- I insisted on documenting these pants because they were wonderfully 70s gold brocade. Where did the pink come from? I'm perplexed, and not in a good way. Is this the sort of thing that happens when you go out on a Tuesday night? No matter what color they appear, I like the textures of the coat she's holding and the pants.  And now I'm going to close my eyes, and when I open them tomorrow I hope gold looks gold and not pink.

MNFashion preview

The people of MNFashion were merely whetting our appetites for MNFashionWeek which is Sept. 20 - 26, so they trotted out a few of the locally made designs you'll see more of during that storied week. It was dark and somewhat crowded in the underground atelier that is Honey but I applied myself to the situation and managed to miss most of the models completely and at the same time creep out some guests across the way who thought I was stalking them. As if.  By some accident I mostly captured this look. The thing I liked about it was the vintage platter hat with tattered veil and vintage-inspired boots.

MNFashion preview at Honey

Nice and graphic and sparkly, this dress put me in a Mondrian state of mind, also 1920s Art Deco. So that was good.

Monday, September 6, 2010

trader joe's hippy chick

When I first saw her searching for bread on the lower shelf, her tie-dyed wrap skirt was puddled on the floor in the coolest way.  I tried to recreate it and the skirt didn't cooperate but I still like and appreciate the time-intensive double dye process, and the way she looks right at home next to the colorful produce. The skirt is rayon which holds color better than often-used cotton. She got it years ago at a shop in Grand Marais.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

we are the world, Grand Ave., St. Paul

She's from Belarus and he's from Mexico City but the international flavor doesn't end there. These two well-traveled people bring color from all over the world: He's wearing pieces from Canada, Spain, Italy and a truly want-it Ben Sherman bag from London.  She said the fedora attracts a lot of attention but my feeling is it's not just the fedora. Look how awesomely she's styled jeans and a t-shirt. Her scarf is Versace, borrowed from her mom. And of course her long locks are really head-turning.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Trader Joe's dairy princess

Really nice contrast of colors and textures and the cutest ankle strap Tevas I've ever seen. She has two pairs. Love the tweed + lace skirt, although it hurts a little that it's Forever 21. I'm uppity about clothes but I'm working on that. Can't hate on Forever 21 -- cute stuff cheap is a winner every time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


As poor in quality as this photo is, I'm reposting it because it says so much about why I do this blog. I was talking to my daughter about how beautiful this woman is, how perfect the dress is and the way it just nails a sort of Palm Springs elegance. And oh by the way, this woman is not 26. I look at Vogue (note: do not often read) and am a dedicated follower of many street style blogs, and it's tough to find even one image of a woman over the age of 40. That hits close to the bone. The daughter proffered the excuse that of course everyone wants to look at attractive people who make the clothes look good. As hard as this is to swallow, it's a completely legitimate philosophy for advertisers, and almost acceptable for editorial purposes in a fashion magazine, but showing only young, thin, attractive women in a style blog is an unacceptable failing. Style is about how people use clothing to express themselves. Trust me, this gets trickier past 40, but there are plenty of women who have taken on the extra challenges and exhibit style sense that's every bit as fit and toned as a 27-year-old's legs. Which seems to be the requirement for many style bloggers -- The Sartorialist, Facehunter, Garance Dore (who should know better), Jak & Jil, Wayne Tippetts. Older men, yes, you see them on The Sartorialist frequently. Older women display that same richness and history in the way they dress, the same ease with themselves, and often significantly more grace and humor in the way they dress than young women.
This woman doesn't look good for her age, she looks good. Period. And style? Pitch perfect, adroit, fluent. There, got that off my chest.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


From about a block away, I called this guy's suit -- Etro from London. Actually this whole party is about as chic as it got. The woman on the left made cargo pants absolutely urbane with some beautiful jeweled stiletto sandals that you'll have to take my word on, as I handily cut them off. Sorry. The woman on the right is playing the ruffled blouse/shorts dichotomy expertly. Which reminds me -- shorts, mostly tiny shorts, walked tall at Glamorama. Saw 'em left and right. I'm a huge fan.

On the left, we have the Office Max dress -- it's not just for ink cartridges any more! Office Max partially sponsored Glamorama, so local designer Joynoelle taught Project Runway a lesson by painstakingly, skillfully, mitering rubberbands (the green stripes) and some kind of black ribbony office product (tape?). I would never have thought of cutting rubberbands on the bias. Belt, rosette and neckline frill are all paperclips. The woman on the right is not wearing any office products that I know of, but looks pretty in pleats nonetheless.


Yes it's Pucci-inspired and she's wearing it perfectly -- big smile, light heart and a good-natured guy.

Can you tell that's faux mink on these fabulous tapestry court booties? The very soul of couture, taking a single idea -- Louis XIV for example-- and running way over the top with it. You know, it doesn't take a LVHM budget to pull off the look, as these shoes of modest provenance prove.


Here's an example of indie designer Amanda Christine. She got this off-the-rack at Cliche but it looks like it was made for her, it fits so well. Love the cut in shoulders and draped skirt. Putting it together with the vivid bag and vintage-y looking gold shoes, well, it makes me happy, that's all.

These two know how to have fun, sassy and stupendous! The gray dress is Max Mara (I think) and her organic necklace is a bespoke piece from Israel. The black backless on blond -- mercy.


One of the first persons I intercepted outside the Orpheum was another street style blogger, the Minneapoline. Natch she would never publish a blink photo, but I would because I want you to notice her nice vintage trousers and wonderful lace-up boots. We agreed that opportunities, while not strictly street style in that attendees put a whole lot more thought into their statement than the average outing, came thick and fast. Another consensus was that the level of awareness of fashion, history, trends and workmanship has jumped even since last year at this event. I saw a lot more indie designers represented, vintage put together with current fearlessly and seamlessly, and experimentation with shape and fabric. Overall tight and short ruled the day with vertiginous heels almost universal.
Even more egregious than publishing a blink photo, I am here going to verbally describe my hands-down favorite dress that I missed due to camera failure (I could weep). It was a bit of fairy fancy worn by a tinkerbell who had just returned from an internship with Armani in Florence. Italy. She found the frock in a boutique in that city. The low-backed mini shift had a tulle overlay adorned with 18" ribbons and crystals. the neck and tracing the U-back were encrusted with crystals. The effect was sea nymph-mermaid (without the fins)-fairy of the deep, ethereal and sublime.


Again with the iPhone, ugh. Did you think Rodarte when you saw her legs? I did, and loved it. They're actually tights from Wolford. But she didn't leave it at that-- substantial sandals, a quietly wonderful LBD and chunky gold baubles that just frame her beautiful mind. Clever, off-beat, integrated, this woman has style chops in no uncertain terms. As a PS, take a look through the blur at her friend's (in the white skirt) 24K heels.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I'm going to apologize right up front that I didn't think to change my camera batteries before this event-of-the-year. Result: I borrowed my husband's iPhone because I could not let this beautiful woman and her stunning gown go unrecorded. How well do I know the difficulty women who are, blessedly, not Forever 21 have in looking stylish and, to borrow from our favorite academe Paris Hilton, hot. This woman turned to vintage Lily Pulitzer. It worked.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

uptown Minneapolis

Glamorama is here every day my friends. Middle of the day and these two were sauntering down the avenue. Heels are a marvelous thing.