Friday, January 2, 2009 Euro-fashion in our own backyard

A look from Bernhard Willhelm F/W 2008 Collection Lookbook

I am fairly obsessed with street fashion websites. Whenever I am in the fashion doldrums and need some inspiration, they manage to push me outside the safe style bubble of the Twin Cities. One of my favorites,, focuses on street fashion in the capital of Finland, Helsinki. So when I recently stumbled across, an online shop featuring fashions that would be right at home on the web pages of HelLooks, I had to look twice when I saw the shop's mailing address: W. Lake Street in Uptown Minneapolis.

The shop was founded in September 2007 by Lori Dockendorf, who runs the website solo out of a small Uptown Minneapolis office, as a way to bring the hard-to-find western European designers she fell in love with while living in New York to the States. "My whole idea was to incorporate designers that are hard to find," Dockendorf explains, "but had an eclectic, avante-garde look."

The site's offerings include clothing, accessories and shoes by obscure European designers with cultish followings, and includes quirky graphic knits by Bernhard Willhelm of Antwerp, plaid jumpers, hoodies and scarves by Dane Henrik Vibskov, geometric-print separates by C.neeon, and handbags made of recycled leather jackets by Ashley Watson. The look, popular in locales like Antwerp, Copehhagen and London, is dominated by unusual, androgynous silhouettes and bold patterns. "They're not pretty clothes," Dockendorf says. "They have a bit of an edge."

The carefully-curated shop has a quality-over-quantity focus, though Dockendorf says, "I really want to start carrying more designers." For spring, she's planning to bring in the funky, "kind-of-'90s goth"-esque line by Finnish designer Daniel Palillo, and she hopes to start carrying its lone American designer, Jeremy Scott, for Fall 2009. (The site currently carries Jeremy Loves Ksubi, a collaboration between Scott and Ksubi jeans, as well as a few sunglasses designed by Scott in collaboration with Linda Farrow.)

Despite being barely a year old, the online shop has already garnered national press - last fall it was featured on the popular national fashion blog The Daily Candy. But why have we not heard of ShopFatal in its own home state? "I haven't really put my name out there," Dockendorf explains. "My main audience is people who are searching for certain designers, so I'm just letting the names speak for themselves."

More images from the Bernhard Willhelm A/W 2008 Collection Lookbook:


  1. I love Jeremy Scott, designer and personally (although only have met him once).

    sarah ditty

  2. Nice to see that people in the States are interested in European fashion. I guess everyone likes something unusual, as you put it things which have a 'bit of an edge'. Last month I was searching online for fashion accessories (and I must say that I'm really picky). While most of the stuff I found was pretty average, there was one site Hang Tag Design which caught my attention. I brought some amazing bracelets and neck pieces from there. What I liked was the fact-that each jewelry article was in itself a fashion statement.