Thursday, December 10, 2009

Local fashion + shopping for 12.10.09-12.16.09

Check out my writing in this week's issue of

[Curster's Dollmighty / Image by Stephanie Colgan]

Saturday: Curster's Dollmighty Fashion Show (originally posted at
Unless you're a regular at ROBOTlove or Soo Visual Art Center, chances are you don't know about the Twin Cities designer toy scene. But over the past few years, Minneapolis artist and designer Erin Currie has been creating plush, hand-painted, creepy-yet-cute creatures known as Curster, and they've since become one of the top-selling plushies on Now, Currie is taking her Curster aesthetic to the world of fashion. Her debut fashion line, Curster's Dollmighty, hits the runway this weekend, and looks to be inspired by Victorian embroidery, Eskimo outerwear and military uniforms. The hand-embroidered, one-of-a-kind dresses, tees, hoodies, handknit sweaters, hats and ornate mukluks will be available for sale following the show.

Holiday shopping events (via

[Design by Chris Larson / Photo by Stephen Stephens / Agency: l'etoile]

Blacklist Vintage hosts a shopping party to help get your outfit ready for next week's '50s-themed "Jubilee" holiday party they're hosting with l'etoile Magazine. With "Mad Men" fever still upon us, mid-century style is likely to be the theme of many holiday parties. (6-9 p.m. Fri. 2 E. 27th St., Mpls. 612-872-8552.)

[Amy Jo of Who Made Who's print for the Donnas]

Screen-printing collective Who Made Who celebrates its second anniversary with a special two-for-one sale. Posters, art prints, test prints and calendars by designers Amy Jo, Dale "Tooth" Flattum and Lonny Unitus will be included. Also on tap: dart throwing for prizes, mini cupcakes, Peace Coffee and hot cocoa. (Noon-8 p.m. Sat. 158 13th Av. NE., Mpls.)

[Burlesque's ABC print]

For more limited-edition poster prints, head over to First Amendment Gallery. The guys at Burlesque of North America are filling the gallery walls with their posters, new and old. What better gift is there for a poster collector? While you're there, snag brand-new Burlesque-designed holiday cards, T-shirts, and other gifts. (7-10 p.m. Sat. 1101 NE. Stinson Blvd., Mpls. 612-379-4151.)

[Vintage City Classics / Image provided]

Local jewelry line Vintage City Classics is holding a one-day sale of its vintage-inspired local line, which incorporates vintage pieces into fresh designs. Select items will be marked 20 percent off. (11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 2631 Emerson Av. S., Mpls.)

It seems like the guys always get the shaft when it comes to holiday shopping. If you're clueless as to what to get your mother, sister or girlfriend for Christmas, head to art and gift shop The Grand Hand Gallery for Guys Shopping Night. They not only have an eclectic mix of locally made gifts you can peruse (while swigging complimentary beer), but they'll gift wrap everything for you, free of charge. (5-8 p.m. Thu. & next Thu. 619 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-312-1122.)

Neil Diamond fan on your list? Head to Electric Fetus for its monthly MinnEconomy event, where scribe Jon Bream will be hawking his book, "Neil Diamond Is Forever: An Illustrated History of the Man and his Music." The Fetus will also have a selection of Diamond memorabilia for sale. (6:30 p.m. Thu. 2000 4th Av. S., Mpls. 612-870-9300.)

Find your New Year's Eve dress and cross a few names off your shopping list at the Uptown Holiday Boutique Crawl. Boutiques Atmosfere, Covered, Ivy, VState and Drama join forces, offering complimentary cocktails, a 20 percent discount, designer trunk shows and meet-and-greets, and a swag bag if you visit all five boutiques (while they last). (5-9 p.m. Thu. Covered: 1201 Lagoon Av., Mpls. Ivy: 1440 W. Lake St., Mpls. Atmosfere: 1426 W. Lake St., Mpls. VState: 3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. Drama: 1203 Lagoon Av., Mpls.)

Visit for more holiday shopping events.

Other events this weekend:

Friday: Snowball (originally posted at
For many of us, roller rinks are a thing of childhood memories -- first kisses, clique feuds and our favorite music. Whether you're up for a trip down memory lane or aren't old enough to have experienced it firsthand,'s holiday bash at the Roller Garden will serve up old-fashioned fun via a simple equation: roller skates set to an old-school funk soundtrack. Our very own Alexis McKinnis doubles up with the North Star Roller Girls as host, with trick skaters from around the Twin Cities performing.

[Stephanie Karr as Marie in 'Nutcracker' / Image provided]

Opening: 'The Nutcracker (Not So) Suite' (via
A quirky take on a classic, the annual holiday show by Ballet of the Dolls is in its 20th year and shows no signs of slowing. The basic premise: Life-sized, stiff-limbed living dolls Barbie and Ken stand in for young Marie and the Nutcracker, and rats dance to hip-hop. But what keeps fans coming back year after year is how choreographer Myron Johnson changes it up. This year, they're riffing on the economy, via Marie's bawdy mother Flo in the form of a Jewish lady from the Bronx in drag, while Barbie celebrates her 50th birthday. It's alternately risqué, campy and sometimes touching, with gorgeous costumes, choreography and dancing. You'll never view "The Nutcracker" the same way again.

Opening: 'La Natividad' (via
If you like your Nativity story less on the traditional side, the ever-inventive Heart of the Beast's annual production is the most eclectic out there. The show, a partnership with St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church and Mercado Central in Minneapolis, combines HOTB's trademark life-sized puppets with elements of street theater and a procession based on the Mexican tradition of Las Posadas. The audience gets into the act, following Maria and José from the theater through the streets as they look for refuge. The torch-lit procession winds through several blocks and ends with a fiesta, music and food.

Crawl: SXSW bands announced (via
On Tuesday, Twin Cities acts Solid Gold, Jeremy Messersmith, Romantica, Gay Witch Abortion and Peter Wolf Crier were among the 200 bands announced that will be playing at South by Southwest in March. It’s a big step up from this year, when only one Minnesota act (P.O.S.) was part of the official lineup. Expect a slew of other local acts to descend upon Austin, Texas, during the music conference, for unofficial gigs and sponsored parties.

More holiday shopping events this weekend:


Thursday: Rock 'N Roll Rummage Sale at duplex restaurant
Adorable Uptown eatery duplex clears their upper level for what they're calling "not your grandma's rummage sale" - it will be filled with everything from clothes to vintage jewelry to knick knacks. Upping the hip factor, DJ Espada of Wants vs. Needs DJ collective will be spinning the tunes while you sip on $2 Surly tap pours and browse the sale. Plus, there's nothing easier on the pocketbook - or the environment - than buying secondhand gifts. (8:30 p.m.-midnight. 2516 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. 612-381-0700.)

[Russell Bourrienne Fall/Winter 2009 / Stokes Foto]

Friday: Russell Bourrienne Holiday Party at Russell Bourrienne Showroom
Prolific menswear designer Russell Bourrienne hosts a holiday party doubling as an opening for his newly expanded showroom. See his latest steampunk-inspired collection and winter accessories boasting his rugged yet sophisticated sensibility. (6-10 p.m. 711 W. Lake St., Ste. 508, Mpls. 612-709-7327.)

[Ms. Stitch scarves / Design by will work for clothes]

Saturday: Holiday Trunk Show at i like you
Adorable local boutique i like you gears you up for holiday shopping with a trunk show featuring new product from many of their vendors, including FS Jewelry, Bodylish body products, crocheted chain-link scarfs by Ms. Stitch, handmade textiles from Fennel Studio, screen-printed textiles and stationery by Michelle Brusegaard, and Bethany Lorelle hair accessories. (2-5 p.m. 501 1st Ave. NE., Mpls. 612-208-0249.)

[ROX jewelry / Image courtesy Niiamar Felder]

Saturday: "Goda del meglio!" with Rox at Il Vostro Boutique
Round out your 2009 with some Rox on ice. Ice-cold champagne, that is! Peruse Robyne Robinson's latest designs, featuring metals and stones fresh from her recent Santa Fe excursion. It's one of the last Rox shows of the year, so if you've been meaning to buy a piece for your mother, friend, or sister, now's the time! (Noon-4 p.m. 5045 France Ave. S., Edina. 612-920-3167.)

Read more at l'étoile's Guide to Holiday Shopping Events.

Meanwhile, over in St. Paul...

[Holiday chocolates from Chocolat Celeste]

Friday: Beer, Bonbons & Boyfriends at Chocolat Celeste
Tired of making your manfriend feel drug along to suit your shopping whims? No so with this event. Distract him with beer and chocolate pairings while you checks a few names off your shopping list. Jewelry from Silpada will be up for grabs, as will a can't-fail holiday gift for anyone: homemade, delectible chocolates from Chocolat Celeste. Bonus: all chocolate will be 15 percent for one night only! (4-7 p.m. 2506 University Ave. W., St. Paul. 651-644-3823.)

Read more at Holiday Shopping in the 651: 12.9-12.13.

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