Wednesday, December 31, 2008 for 12.31.08-1.07.09 just launched its annual Best-of issue. It features the Best of 2008 user picks, a list of the 10 best new bars of 2008, the Twin Cities Critics Tally, and more. The below links include my write-ups:

'Threads From There to Here' Burning Artists Co-op group show at Umber Studios, 1.03.09

Spirits of Red City and Nona and Marshall at Bryant-Lake Bowl, 1.04.09
Switchblade Comb Record Party at Uptown Bar, 1.05.09/every Monday
Triple Double at Triple Rock Social Club, 1.06.09/every Tuesday

Check the print edition for write-ups on the newly reformed Mad Ripple Hootenanny, the latest jewelry designs from local duo SisBro, and the scoop on local band Solid Gold's collector t's, available on newstands through 1.07.09.

Cover illustration by Minneapolis illustrator
Chuck U, known for his poster and album art, "a mish-mash of '50s American graphical elements and lettering plus his obvious musical influences lay heavily into Chuck’s work.", on stands every Thursday and online at

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thakoon and Hayden-Harnett for Target

Even though the drop date isn't until tomorrow, Thakoon for Target is already available online. I had been pretty excited about Thakoon Panichgul's sophisicated-meets-playful, east-meets-west design aesthetic, so I have to say I'm somewhat disappointed with the rather generic offerings. That's not to say there aren't a few collector's items in the lot, though.

My top choice: The
tie-front skirt in Cyber Floral ($24.99). Thakoon is known for his prints, after all, so it's no surprise I'm in love with this print.

In fact, I own it already. (I'm clever that way.) I wore it back in September (worn at the waist instead of the hips) at a Walker After Hours party:

I might just have to get the matching bikini ($16.99 top and bottom each, sold separately): Another great piece is the Colorblock Shift Dress in Green/Blue ($29.99). I am really into simple, modern tank and colorblock styles as of late.

Also due to hit stores tomorrow: The new handbag designer line, Hayden-Harnett for Target. But the piece from the collection I love is this leaf print umbrella in purple/mustard ($22.99).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wish list 2.0: Designer body bags, wild baby onesies, and an ostrich table

I love the idea of ridiculous, outlandish gifts. Hey, a girl can always dream, right? If I could have whatever I wanted, regardless of price or availability, these are a few of the gifts I would put on my wish list.

"Still Remains" Body Bag by Swank Dollar

Swank Dollar designer Annie Larson recently was commissioned to design a designer "body bag" for an graduate art project for MCAD grad Sarah Kissell. She describes the project, which she spent three months making, as "a really fancy body bag, made out of hand-dyed Oscar De La Renta boucle, cyanotype silk, a beautiful RiRi zipper and all sorts of fake Chanel gear (Gocco prints and resin buttons)." She also created a corresponding skirt worn by Kissell for the opening. The bag unfortunately isn't available for purchase, but perhaps you could talk
Annie into making you one if the price is right and you ask real nice.

The finished product:

Still Remains at MCAD Gallery; skirt worn by Sarah Kissell

Still Remains at MCAD Gallery

Baby Parade screenprinted onesies

In other Swank Dollar news, Annie Larson and screenprinter Lindsay Noble put together a collection they've called Baby Parade made up of "mega-baby-genius" onesies as part of their line Collaboration Thursday. Annie says, "These creations are hand-dyed and enhanced with holiday magic, constructed by mini-smiths and wrapped up in baby genius screen-printed wrapping paper for the little one in your life." It's part of Irresistible, the SooVAC Art Sale going on now through December 24. (Soo Visual Arts Center, 2640 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. 612-871-2263.

Sketches of the onesies:

iBride ostrich table at ROBOTlove

If the statement necklace is the trend for fall, this laminate with wood core decorative table by iBride is this fall’s statement table. The organic shape combined with a sleek sheen makes the table perfectly modern yet quirkily charming. It’s only 29” tall and 9” wide, so it’s best utilized for a clean, simple display in a key focal point in the room. (In dark red. $425 at ROBOTlove, 2648 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. 612-871-9393.

Check out more unique gift ideas, including my write-up for iBride's painted trays,

Monday, December 22, 2008

New for spring: Dip-dyed tights by Calpurnia Peach

The always-busy duo behind Twin Cities fashion line Calpurnia Peach is known for its tights screen-printed with its original designs. Now, they're offering a new take on their best-seller: Dip-dyed tights. I received my first pair from the Peach girls, specially made in a magenta/plum colorway. My favorite part about the tights is how they get darker as they get closer to the bottom, working well with darker shoes and adding a great pop of color right where the skirt hem hits.

Image by Nic Marshall / Styling by Eclecticoiffeur / Jumper and Tights by Calpurnia Peach / Earrings by Buck Luck

Eclecticoiffeur used its mustard/brown tights, made for its Fall 2009 collection, for a promotional shoot for the collection on Friday. Above is an untouched preview of that shoot, photographed by Nic Marshall. Interested in some for yourself? Contact the designers at

Thursday, December 18, 2008 for 12.18.08-12.31.08 - New Year's Edition

Check out my writing in this weeks'

"Fashion: Local Designer Sample Sale + Thakoon for Target" Cliché's talented designers are unloading their studios and slashing prices while the designer favored by Michelle Obama makes his high-end designs available to the masses.

"NYE '09: (Not-so) Thrifty New Year" Aerialists! Open bars! Live human toys! Where to party if money is no object.

But where will I go for New Year's?'s party at the Loft, duh. Hercules and Love Affair are headlining, with Le Castle Vania, Klever, and my favorite local band, Solid Gold (get there by 9:30, you don't want to miss Solid Gold's set). It's the best line-up in town, and the perfect place to get your dance on.

Hercules and Love Affair

Solid Gold

As for what I'm wearing, I'm planning on hitting up Cliche's local designer sample sale this weekend. My requirements for my NYE dress: It has to be locally-made, one-of-a-kind, and A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. For more locally designed holiday party dresses, check out the Rare Affections dress collection featuring all local designers (curated by me and Emma Berg) at the MNfashion holiday shop.

Look for more of my writing every Thursday in - online and on newstands.

Cliché sample sale preview (and other last-minute holiday sales)

What, you say you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet? Here are a few sales going on today through Christmas that should help you finish off your list and save some dollas.

Cliché sample sale
From my write-up in this week's It’s a dream come true for local fashion buffs – the chance to shop the closets of its designers. Cliché’s talented collective of local designers are unloading their studios and slashing prices, and it’s a rare opportunity to snag a worn-on-the-runway dress or one-of-a-kind test garment. Participating designer lines include kjurek couture, Amanda Christine Designs, Emily Weich, Jenny Carle Designs, and Ivan Idland, plus accessories from Tea Tree Designs, Adrienne Grahn, and Niki English. Voltage 2009 designer Emily Weich will be selling a few party-ready sample dresses from her fall collection, while Amanda Christine will be bringing in some past seasons’ work and runway samples. Kimberly Jurek of kjurek couture will be featuring some show pieces from last Saturday’s Fembot Fatale show. Expect markdowns at around 50 percent off. (During store hours Fri. through Sat. Cliché, 2403 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. 612-870-0420.) -J.P.

Kimberly Jurek of kjurek couture told me, "I will be featuring some of the show pieces from this Saturday('s Fembot Fatale show at Barfly) - lots of silver, gold and white to go along with our fembot theme-in mod shapes. Also I will be doing a 'closet cleaning' and will be selling old samples and one-of-a-kind pieces that I have been hanging onto."

Some looks from kjurek couture's Fall 2008 collection that will be available:
Images by Miles Schuster
Designer Amanda Christine told me, "I'll be bringing in some past seasons' work including Spring '08 and some one-of-a-kind garments from previous fashion shows. I also plan on bringing in some garments from Voltage '08 and possibly some as-is garments for a really low price." Most pieces will be marked down about 50%, so you could take home one of her sophisticated, flattering pieces for as little as $60.

Some looks from her Spring 2008 collection that will be available:

If you have yet to hear of designer Emily Weich, you will soon - she will make her Voltage debut at the 2009 runway show. She has been selling at Cliche since late spring this past year, and her dresses are girly yet threaded with a definite tone of goth. She will be shortening a couple of her floor-length dresses (see below) to make them more wearable on the dance floor.

Image by Steve Rice for / Styling by Eclecticoiffeur / Modeled by Lily

The organic-inspired, repurposed jewelry by Tea Tree Designs should be a treat. Designer Erika Backberg will be featuring the runway line she designed for kjurek couture's Fall/Winter 2008 show at Clubhouse Jager. Bolder than her usually-delicate style, the one-of-a-kind items are sure to make a statement on NYE. Bonuls: Every piece of Tea Tree Designs in the store will be on sale during the sale. Some of the pieces to look for this weekend:

Handbag designer Adrienne Grahn also told me she will be featuring "lots of clutches and a few totes especially for the sale in black, purple, white, tan and brown crocodile and alligator."

Other shopping events worth checking out this weekend:

Northern Cap & Glove Company sample sale
The Minneapolis-based wholesale company had been supplying headwear, gloves and scarves to Dockers, GoreTex and Karen Neuburger until it was bought this past spring by a New York private equity firm that is integrating it into its Totes and Isotoner brands. The sale, which promises everything marked down to the fire sale price of $1 for everything, seems to be a result of the brand's corporate office closing. Today through Friday, noon to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. daily, 2633 Minnehaha Av., Mpls.

Nelle Handbags online sale
For one day only, local handbag line Nelle Handbags will be offering a 25 percent off discount on the line's website. Designer Laura Nelli's colorful fold-pleated clutches are perfect for a holiday party, or a unique gift. Regularly $194, these little terasures will be marked down to $145.50. Friday,

SOOVAC Annual Arts and Crafts Fair

From this week's print edition of Still haven’t started your Christmas shopping? Get it all done in one fell swoop with the eclectic, unique mix of gifts at the Soo Visual Arts Center’s annual arts and crafts fair. The art center’s mini gift store, Soo Too, is one of the best gift shops in the city, so seeing it expand for a week should be a treat. For sale will be artwork by Soo VAC regulars Jennifer Davis, Amy Rice, and other local artists. If you can, check it out on Saturday for the special sales event, featuring quirky accessories and wild dioramas by SisBro, handmade garments by Swank Dollar with fanciful hair-prints by Collaboration Thursday, and more for one day only - plus 10 percent off everything. Every gift you buy will be so one-of-a-kind, it will trick people into thinking you actually put thought into it. (Special sales event 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., Dec. 20. Show open through Wed., Dec. 24. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2640 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., -J.P.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Tis the season to shop locally

If you're like me, you've still got a few people on your list to cross off. I've decided to focus my gift-giving efforts this year by buying locally-made goods, so thought I'd share with you my top resources or gifts that are not only local, but beautifully made and one-of-a-kind.

Sisbro ceramic jewelry
Sisbro necklace

You may remember jewelry sister-brother design duo SisBro from the collection of WTF?/OMG! oversized plastic necklaces they created for Voltage 2008 (as worn by MC/VL). With its latest collection, available only at the MNfashion holiday shop in Gaviidae II, these one-of-a-kind origami-inspired designs show the line has grown more sophisticated while retaining a sense of irreverence. (About $48 each, available through Jan. 10.)

Catlin Weston feather headpieces

Image by Steve Rice for / Styling by Eclecticoiffeur / Dress by Carmichael Claith / Modeled by Lily

It's amazing to think Mezzanine salon hairstylist Catlin Weston just began creating her feather hair accessories this past summer in her South Minneapolis home. What makes her headpieces unique is that, rather than standing apart from the head, they seem to blend with it, making for a very modern take on the cocktail hat. They're not available in stores, but custom orders can be made by contacting

Hazel & Melvin recycled shirts

Long a member of the Minneapolis fashion community, Rebecca Yaker and her line Hazel and Melvin is best known for her myriad takes on the Sock Monkey - from infant onesies to a gown made completely out of the stuffed animal. However, she is far from a one-note. Her design talents include hand-knit mittens with messages like "Bitch Slap" woven into the fabric, and my personal favorite, her recycled shirts in which she repurposes sleeves as ruffles. Best of all, the shirt cuffs stay intact, hitting at the shoulders like quirky epaulets. Each is one-of-a-kind (mine is pictured above) and available only at the MNfashion holiday shop through Jan. 10. ($45 each.)

Solid Gold Limited-Edition T-shirts

Solid Gold T-shirt

First of all, you should buy this Minneapolis band's new CD, the critically-acclaimed Bodies of Water, if you haven't already. But what a lot of people don't know is that the DIY-to-the-core band hand-prints its own self-designed T-shirts (on American Apparel tees, natch). If you can wait, go to their New Year's Eve show at the Loft, where the band is hoping to have brand-new, gold-foiled-printed T-shirts for sale. Otherwise, you can buy one of the band's limited-edition T-shirts (they pick the color), as well as the band's critically acclaimed new album Bodies of Water and their EP, via the band's myspace. They're only $15, a steal especially considering they're sold in a Brooklyn shop for about eight times that price.

Ruby3 cold weather accessories

Image by Jayme Halbritter / Styling by Miyagi / Modeled by Aurora
Minneapolis likely doesn't have more of a multi-purposer than it has in Anna Lee. While most know her as Voltage Producer and MNfashion director, the talented Miss Lee still manages to find time to craft Ruby3, her line of feathered cocktail hats and cold-weather accessories made from recycled sweaters. A sort of pull-over scarf, her acrylic and wool neckwraps are available at the MNfashion pop-up boutique; for her arm warmers and special orders, contact her at

Rare Affections holiday dress collection

Image by Nic Marshall / Styling by Eclecticoiffeur / Dress by Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman / Modeled by Kate Fuller
This ten-piece collection of one-of-a-kind holiday party dresses promises that you won't get caught wearing the same dress as anyone else on New Year's Eve. From the sophisticated couture-with-an-edgy by Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman, to the anachronistic, hand-painted aesthetic of Max Lohrbach, there's something for everyone in this eclectic collection, co-curated by myself and Emma Berg. Available through Jan. 10 at the MNfashion shop in Gaviidae II.

Calpurnia Peach screenprinted tights

Calpurnia Peach legwear design from Spring 2008
Inspired by the trunk show they did with Ruby3 earlier this month at the Red Stag Supper Club, fashion design duo Calpurnia Peach’s newest screenprinted tights ($20 at the MNfashion holiday shop) display a graphic of, yes, a stag. While deer have become a trendy design element as of late, there’s something about deer that seem very winter – and very Minnesotan.

Other great local-focused gift guides to check out:
Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's Style Parlor Blog: Shop Local on Etsy

Monday, December 15, 2008

On the Style Circuit: Diet Coke gets stylish, Air Jordan gets sweet, and M.I.A. gets Caribbean

Diet Coke presents Style Series

Rihanna + Robin

Image courtesy GQ Magazine

Diet Coke is taking its association with stylish calorie counters with a sweet tooth to the bank with its latest advertising concept. Entitled Style Series, the live and online entertainment and lifestyle program hit the internet on Tuesday, showing up in banner ads on youtube and and on electronic billboards in Time Square. Last week’s special featured Rihanna, who gave a sneak peek at her E-film about her collaboration with Frida Giannini of Gucci, singer Robin Thicke who performed songs off his latest album, and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, who showcased her latest fashion collection. The special aired one-time-only, but you can check the Style Series website for weekly bite-sized nuggets of the special, plus behind-the-scenes footage, unaired interviews, and more. Two more specials are set to air in early ’09.

The Air Jordan I Valentine's edition

Guys, looking for a gift for your sweetheart this Valentine’s? Get a jump on your V-day shopping with the new Valentine’s Day-themed Air Jordan I Mid in a red/pink-white colorway. The sneakers features a pink out-sole with a white mid-sole, topped off by a very colorful upper. The retro-styled shoe features red and pink basketball-drawn hearts and are available in small sizes, perfect for the ladies. ($79.99 at

M.I.A.’s new clothing line

A jacket from M.I.A.'s line

If you’ve always loved M.I.A.’s style but need some help emulating it, the singer’s got your covered – literally. She’s recently launched her debut fashion line Okley, which is composed of bomber jackets, leggings and bodysuits, on global streetwear online store The “Afrika”-inspired line retails for $65-210, and currently is limited to eight pieces. The limited availability of the line is sure to keep it relatively exclusive, just how M.I.A. likes it. To promote the line, the singer put together a wild video (viewable on her website and entitled “Real Pirates of the Caribbean” that features a young blonde boy modeling her womenswear line. Check it out below:

Originally published on Go2 online. for 12.11.08-12.17.08

Check out my writing in the current issue of, on newstands Thursdays and online at

"Crawl: Girl Next Blaine"
Playmate Holly Madison plays party host in the Twin Cities.

"On Stage: A Klingon Christmas Carol"
In its second year running, "A Klingon Christmas Carol" merges Charles Dickens' morality tale with the language and culture of the "Star Trek" warrior race, the Klingons.

"Art: La Raccolta + Family Farm Nirvana"
Openings for Plateau Gallery's group show and Allen Brewer's first solo exhibition.

From Family Farm Nirvana by Allen Brewer

"Fashion: Who Made Who Sale + Finch's Boutique"
Holiday sales at the graphic design studio's anniversary party and the annual holiday in-home boutique sale.

"Events: Rolling with the derby + Origins Fashion Show"
Minnesota RollerGirls' debut game and new Hmong fashion show.

A look from Cicily Kong featured in the Origins Fashion Show

Welcome to Le Petit Connaisseur de la Mode

Welcome to my blog, Le Petit Connaisseur de la Mode (or, the small fashion connoisseur). Though many know me as a fashion stylist with Minneapolis stylist collective Eclecticoiffeur (the lead stylists of the annual Voltage: Fashion Amplified), I also spend my days writing about the local fashion scene, plus music, arts, and events, for and national mobile marketing company Go2.

I set up this blog to provide a more in-depth look at Minneapolis arts and events, particularly fashion, and to support the things I'm passionate about.

Enjoy! Comments are welcome.