Thursday, July 30, 2009

Local fashion + shopping for 7.30.09-8.5.09

Local fashion + shopping for 7.30-8.5:
["Lord of the Flies" by Jesse Draxler]

Ignite Modeling launches FAME (Via
The modeling agency behind the Envision fashion shows (and just about every other fashion event in town) is kicking off a monthly fashion, art and music series called FAME during the grand opening of its new studio. The event will include a mini fashion show with Ignite models, a pop-up boutique featuring Cliché designers, an art exhibition and painting demo by Jesse Draxler and Garrett Perry, hair consultations by Nino Altobelli, DJs, drinks and eats.
Click for details.

[A look from Jenny Han, one of the lines available at il Vostro Boutique]

Ladies Night Out at 50th & France (Via
Want a cocktail to go with that handbag? Head to 50th & France for its Ladies' Night Out. Participating shops include Italian-style women's clothing boutique il Vostro, which will serve up deals of 30 percent off everything (excluding clearance items), including new fall clothing, jewelry and handbags. Other events include Bumbershute's preview of new fall looks on live models, 70 to 90 percent off at Grethen House, 25 percent off at Spalon Montage and 20 percent off at Bluebird Boutique.
Click for details.

The Ladies Night Out will give you one of your last chances to visit Italian-styled boutique il Vostro - owner Stacey Finnegan recently announced she will be closing the store after two and a half years of business on Aug. 14. On the closing, she says, "I have no regrets about the risks I took and the jobs I created. This is not a failure of the brand or the concept, but a sign of greater economic forces that are out of our control."

[Robyne Robinson modeling ROX; Image by Kate Iverson]

Treasured Chests Via
Founded by breast cancer survivor Kelly Moore in 2005, this annual breast cancer benefit has always drawn a big crowd, raising more than $20,000 a year. Highlights should include a nautical-themed fashion show with clothing from local boutiques Parq, VState, Stella Blu and Flirt; jewelry from Robyne Robinson's line ROX, worn by Ignite models and Vikings cheerleaders; live music by the Limns and opera singer Lauren Carter; body-painted models by Brant Kingman, plus a photo booth, DJs, art, silent auction and fire dancing.
Click for details.

[Shingai Shoniwa of Noisettes]

Noisettes at Varsity Theater
Hot off gigs at Glastonbury and the BBC in June and opening for Lady GaGa’s European tour leg, psychedelic soul band Noisettes are playing some just-announced North American dates.
Wild Young Hearts, the trio’s second album on Mercury Records, features a mix of retro 1960s soul and R&B alongside the powerful, silky voice of vocalist Shingai Shoniwa, punk-infused rock, moody post-punk, and pyschedelic inflections. Keep your eye out for Shoniwa – her onstage charmisma and wild sense of style could very well make her the soul version of Karen O. It’s a practically unheard-of free show. (8 p.m. Wed. Free. 1308 4th St. SE., Mpls. 612-604-0222.)

More fashion & shopping news: (Via

Two events this weekend celebrate the dog days of summer - literally. Northeast Minneapolis and Parc Boutique host the Northeast Dog Parade on Friday, with a post party hosted by Key North at Red Stag; an all-day doggie sidewalk sale will happen Friday through Saturday in Northeast. (Get more details at On Sunday, Grand Avenue hosts Paws on Grand, a dog-centric shopping event that will include sidewalk sales, pet services, a pet parade and talent show, photo booths, and more. Visit Grand Avenue Business Association's website for the full schedule.

[Rewind Vintage]

Northeast vintage shop Rewind is having its annual "Get Pretty Sale" this weekend. Friday through Sunday, take advantage of a storewide 25% off discount as well as 500 additional square feet of shopping space and newly-extended hours. (11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Johnson St. NE., Mpls. 612-788-9870.)

[Steve Aoki]

Be sure to RSVP for the and Amstel Light-sponsored event Amsterdam Live! featuring performances by Shiny Toy Guns, DJ Joe Maz, and celeb DJ/producer and regular Steve Aoki. The fashion connection: Aoki's clothing line Dim Mak Collection was launched in 2006, he's designed headphones for WESC, headwear with NEFF, bags with Burton, and sunglasses with KSUBI. Later this year he'll be launching a new line with the founders of Ksubi and his sister, model Devon Aoki. (8 p.m. Thu. Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. For details and how to RSVP, check the facebook invite.)

Liam Watkins is best-known as the well-dressed Thurston Moore look-alike fronting local psychedelic band First Communion Afterparty, but he also moonlights as a vintage clothing buyer and seller. He's hosting a two-day sale at the FCAP house in Southeast Minneapolis. (12 p.m. Sat. & Sun. 3034 39th Av. S., Mpls. View the facebook invite.)

Men's shop Atmosfere and its sister store Vstate are hosting an open house on Saturday. Music, food, drinks and of course 20 to 75% off storewide. All men's suits will be two for $398. (7-10 p.m. Sat. Vstate, 3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-823-4699.)


Participate in a Fall Fashion Week challenge at "Charmed Life" at International Market Square on September 23rd and win great prizes! Each stylist will draw a "surprise" fashion element at the event and have 30 minutes to create a look for their model using clothing and accessories from participating vendors at the event. Participants will need to provide their own model, hair, and makeup (which can be done before the challenge begins). One stylist, one model. Finished looks will be shot by a professional photographer on-site, and may be printed in Metro Magazine. Contact to sign up!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Local fashion roundup

Your local fashion round-up for the week:

[Image by Amanda Johnson]

Local folk singer Caroline Smith wore a Calpurnia Peach dress in last week’s edition of City Pages. She wore the same dress at her July 23 show at the Mill City Museum

[Image by Emily Utne for City Pages]

This stylish gal was spotted at last Thursday's MIA bike event wearing one of Anna Lee's flowered and feathered headpieces for her line Ruby3. Here's a shot of it from City Pages' street style blog Freestyle Fashion:

[Poster art by Aesthetic Apparatus]

The Midwasteland blog draws attention to local poster designer group Aesthetic Apparatus' screenprinted posters for the Dead Weather. Apparently, they are doing posters for the group not just in Minneapolis but all over the country for their U.S. tour.

U of M Apparel graduate student Monica Sklar posted a great
blog on 1990s club kids on her Worn Through blog. Also digging this one by one of her cohorts on Who Inspired Michael Jackson's Fashion.

June designer resale store has in new clothing, boots and bags. I'm dying over this Chloe bracelet handbag from when Phoebe Philo was still the line's designer.

Ex-Minneapolis hair stylist Ted Gibson recently joined the What Not to Wear TV show's staff. He apparently lived in Minneapolis from 1991 to 1997 while working for Aveda.

And all your
Project Runway news for the week:

[Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman; Image courtesy Lifetime]

Midwest fashion blog The Midwasteland highlights the series' Midwest designers. They call Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman's resume the "most impressive" of the group due to his design experience with Target and Kohl's, and his background as a pre-med student. I like this quote from him they pulled from a Star Tribune article on the show: "It's really indicative of what's going on in cities billed as under the radar. We haven't necessarily been considered cosmopolitan, but it's really changing."

Gratz Industries blog calls Ra'mon-Lawrence a "contender." They call on Ra'mon to get a nickname (he actually has many: Ray and Law, among others) and they call his closet stunning (Ra'mon-Lawrence owns more than 450 pairs of jeans, as well as a "mint condition" Members Only jacket from 1982.)

Hills Freak blog reports on the fact that Ra'mon is working with Lauren Conrad on her line for Kohl's (originally reported in my Le Petit blog here). It's reality TV heaven.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Q&A: Former Minneapoline blogger Tyler Stevermer

Anyone spot Tyler Stevermer, former Minneapoline street fashion blogger, in Mpls a couple of weeks back? I spotted him at both the "Intersections" opening at the Goldstein and the Lookbook show at 501 Club, wearing this fabulous ensemble:

[Image by Ellen Dahl via The Minneapoline]

Apparently he is doing quite well since he's been in San Francisco, with quite a few projects going. I did a mini-interview with him to catch us up on all he's been up to:

What are you doing in town?

It had been well over a year since I had left and hadn’t revisited. I suddenly decided I needed to reflect on my perception: View my new life through my old perspective and my old life through my new perspective. Basically, I just spent a week having an existential crisis and getting drunk with my best friends.

What have you been keeping busy with since you moved away from Minneapolis?

I left in May of 2008. I kind of just ran away after graduating... I loved Minneapolis but knew I needed an adventure. I didn’t have any idea where to go so I ended up in New York. I fluttered around for a while until I moved to San Francisco (where I’ve been for nearly a year now). Currently I have my fingers in a lot of different pies. I work full time as an interior designer and branding director. In my down time I help out with the
Harputs Own collection, have started doing a bit of writing for [Paris-based] Lurve magazine, and I volunteer with a fashion house that benefits the developmentally disabled called Helpers House of Couture. ...I’ve also been watching a lot of Golden Girls.

Tell me about your jacket. It's vintage, yes?

I found it at an AMAZING vintage boutique in San Francisco. There’s a guy there who knows exactly what I need. I went in one day and saw him dash directly into the back room, out he came with a cropped, quilted satin tuxedo jacket. He claimed Jeremy Scott had been in earlier and was studying it. I figured that was probably just his sales pitch but I loved the jacket anyway. From the same store I got a ridiculous pair of harem pants, they’re a single piece of fabric wrapped around to create each pant leg. Right after I had bought them, the designers at Givenchy had called up the store requesting the same pair to study for their next collection. The store owner said the designers would pay whatever I asked if they could have them. I decided to keep the pants for myself... I guess I’m a little bit of an asshole about my clothes.

I saw you earlier at the "Intersections" opening visiting with some past instructors. What did you think of the exhibition?

I used to work for the Goldstein during college and my former honors program advisor was the co-curator of the "Intersections" exhibit, so I was really happy to be in town for the opening. I think the Goldstein is an amazing resource for the Twin Cities. Their collection of mid-century fashion is unbelievable and you can actually make an appointment to see anything in their enormous archive (I recommend asking to see the Norman Norell and Pauline Trigere pieces).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lookbook video preview

I. Die.

This is technically a fashion/style/design blog, but I'm making an exception to post this raw clip from an as-yet-unreleased video of my fave local band of the moment, Lookbook, by local filmmaker Bo Hakula. Bo was kind enough to give me a preview of the video in its entirety, and it was a beautiful thing. Apparently it was shot last June, but never completed. Let's hope he finishes it and shares it with the world.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Trylon microcinema launches this weekend

When the Trylon microcinema first announced its establishment back in May, film geeks rejoiced. The 60-seat theater would be the first single-screen theater in Minnesota to open in 40 years, with an aim to showcase films obscure, predominantly older films on its two 35mm reels.

[The incomparable Buster Keaton]

I first had the chance to check out the Trylon when I was invited by Sound Unseen's Rick Hansen to see a one-night screening of Björk’s Voltaic: The Volta Tour Live in Paris film, comprising filmed highlights from her Volta tour recorded in Paris and Reykjavik. (Check out my preview of the screening here.)

You wouldn't know quite how intimate the theater is until you first walk in - it's more akin to a screening room than an actual theater, with a phenomenal sound system. (They've since installed a red carpet, vintage movie theater chairs, and a popcorn machine to give it more of an old-timey theater feel.)

This weekend, the Trylon kicks off its first full-fledged film series, "The Great Stone Face: Six From Buster Keaton." Though Sound Unseen is becoming a regular co-presenter at the Trylon, this series was put together by the Trylon's owner, Barry Kryshka - also the founder of archival film group Take Up Productions.

More info on the series:
"Sherlock Jr." (1924) + "The Electric House," 7 & 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; "The Navigator" (1924) + "The Balloonatic," 7 & 9 p.m. July 24-25; "Seven Chances" (1925) + "The Goat," 7 & 9 p.m. July 31-Aug. 1. With Music by Dreamland Faces.
The Trylon, 3258 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls.
$8, plus suggested donation of $2 for live music.

There is one more Sound Unseen viewing coming up at the Trylon: Cloud Cult documentary "No One Said It Would Be Easy" (7:30 p.m., Aug. 5). Visit" for more details.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Local fashion + shopping for 7.23.09-7.29.09

Here's your local fashion and shopping news for this week:

[Image by Ellen Dahl / The Minneapoline]

Minneapoline gets national exposure (via
When style shooter Ellen Dahl launched
The Minneapoline in November 2006, she never dreamed it would be seen by anyone other than stylish locals. But after getting a decent amount of attention in the international street fashion blog world over the past couple of years, the Twin Cities’ first-ever street fashion blog gained a new kind of legitimacy when it was picked up last week by’s blogroll, accompanied by an interview with Dahl, who gives her take on how the Midwest sets national fashion trends. online exclusive content:
So how did all this come about? Glamour's online senior fashion and beauty editor, Susan Cernek, contacted Ellen initially, writing her an email full of praise for the blog. Cernek had this to say: "The consistency of aesthetic, perspective and personal yet professionally artistic vibe is wholly unique online - both in and out of the street style photography realms. The style & personalities that you capture in your photos are a refreshing breath of fresh air from the black-on-black style of the many New Yorkers I see everyday!"

They've already started with the syndication; Here's a link to the
first post.

More stylish events happening this week:

[Image provided by Foat Design]

Saturday 7/25: No-Sew Project at Foat Design (Via
Like the idea of having something you made yourself without having to go through the tedious work of sewing? The sister duo behind local line Foat Design have you covered, literally. They’ll teach you how to craft a cute little shrug out of an old t-shirt, sans a needle and thread. You provide the shirt, they’ll provide the mimosas.

[Flyer design by Adam Turman]

Friday 7/24: Racktacular! (Via
What do you get when you combine sparkly bras, burlesque dancers, and rock and roll? The coolest breast cancer benefit in town, that’s what. Racktacular! boasts live music by alt-rockers Hojas Rojas, experimental act Maudlin, and indie-pop trio Aviette; an Art Bra contest; the ladies of Lili’s Bursleque Revue (who’ll don the winning Art Bras); and a silent auction. The event was put together by contributing writer Donette Ambrosy, who was inspired by her sister’s struggle with breast cancer to raise funds for her participation in the upcoming Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. The Art Bra contest will be judged by a panel of local “celebs” including Anna Lee (a close friend of Ambrosy’s) and Jill Riley of 89.3 The Current.

[Baby Parade "Bowdacious" onesie by Collaboration Thursday]

Sunday 7/26: Caffetto Craft Fair (Via
After the success of last year’s first-ever Caffetto Craft Fair, it’s back and bigger than before, expanding to over 30 artists and live music from six acts. This time around Caffetto is clearing out its back parking lot to house vendors that include Collaboration Thursday, whose quirky baby onesie line Baby Parade were a hit at last spring’s SooVAC Art Sale, as well as bold jewelry by Kula and vintage-inspired gems by Mod Margarette. Other goods include stationary, paintings, prints, soap, candies, books, knits, and more – all handmade by local artisans.

[Flyer design by Dan Souligny for Soul Design]

Friday 7/24: Jean Jam 2: A Denim Dance (Via
Now you have an excuse to wear your Texas Tuxedo in pride. To celebrate their first year at the VIP Room, party starters the Original Truth Squad are back with a sequel to last summer’s Jean Jam. Expect hip hop and dance jams from the ‘80s and early ‘90s with a side of funk and soul from Truth Squad DJs I Am Break, He Is the Beat; Rob Rob; and Sound Waav, plus live visuals by Time Squid. Up-and-coming local DJ It’s a Celebration opens.

[Max Glazer of Federation Soundsystem]

Wednesday 7/29: Scion Metro Minneapolis (Via
Free 7th St Entry 10 p.m. 18-plus
Every month, hipster car company Scion foots the bill for a showcase of some of the nation’s hottest DJ acts. This month’s lineup includes Max Glazer (Rihanna’s tour DJ) and Kenny Meez of NYC-based dancehall collective Federation Soundsystem, which just celebrated its tenth anniversary; Phoenix’s DJ Fashen, who describes his sound as “grungy disco, electro goth hip-hop smooth out on the R&B tip”; and DJ Eleven of hip-hop co-op The Rub, which Spin Magazine named the “Beast DJ Collective in New York.” It’s free, but you have to RSVP for entry to

More fashion & shopping events (originally posted on

[Blacklist Vintage hosts a digger sale for their one-year birthday]

Thursday, July 23:

IamMoody hosts a Paradise Soul Brazilian Party at Seven rooftop. It will kick off with a beachwear fashion show with designer swimwear from Nani Nalu and local designer Carol Bruns. Later on, the space will be transformed into a Blocos - a Brazilian street festival, with Brazilian-style drinks and music. Click for more info.

Friday, July 24:

Minneapolis' favorite party DJs Attitude City host the hugely popular fourth annual
Attitude City Yacht Club aboard a yacht on the Mississippi. It happens during the Aquatennial, which means a great view of the best fireworks show of the year. But if you don't have a ticket already, you're out of luck - they're completely sold out. Click for more info.

Saturday, July 25:

Come celebrate
Blacklist Vintage's first birthday with a genuine diggers sale. $1-$5 Digger Bins filled with fabrics, clothing and housewares will line the outside of Blacklist while Transmission DJ Jake Rudh spins vintage tunes. There will also be $1 veggie-friendly hot dogs and free cupcakes, as well as 10% off everything in store. ( 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 2 E. 27th St., Mpls. 612-872-8552.)

PBR's annual Blowout takes place this year at Grumpy’s downtown, and once again local t-shirt graphic designers du jour Anthem Heart will be doing live t-shirt screenprinting giveaways. There will also be live music from The Blind Shake, The Evening Rig, Gay Witch Abortion, and more. Click here for more info.

For more shopping news, check out online):

For St. Paul shopping, check out my
St. Paul STAYcation style & nightlife blog.

More local fashion news:

Check out the Project Runway Season 6 Preview if you haven't already:

ProjectRungay profiles Season 6 contestant Christopher Straub and have these glowing words to say: "That's some of the best pre-show work we've seen yet. This is a little mean, but quite often we look at these pre-show portfolios and they all look way too "fashion student" to us; overthought and underpolished, if you know what we mean. Not so here. This stuff could be hung right on a rack in a boutique, ready to go. Plus it's all cute and very, very feminine. Sort of like Christopher."

Check out Kara Nesvig's interview with Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman in
The Minnesota Daily.

Below is the just-released video by Token Media for the Poolside Fashion Show (which I styled):

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Local hairstylist takes home national hairstyling award

Local hairstylist Faatemah Ampey was just announced as a winner of a North American Hairstylist Award. The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) is the most prestigious hairstyling competition in North America. Ampey came out on top in the "Fashion Forward" category. See her winning shots, as photographed by Buck Holzemer with all corsets and skirts by Seamstrix by local designer Melanie Ree, below:

Photo credits:
Images by Buck Holzemer
Corsets and Skirts by Melanie Ree for Seamstrix
Fashion Styling by Sheila Anderson
Hair Styling by Faatemah Ampey

"The September Issue" Trailer

O.M.G. Can't wait for August 28.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Q&A with Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman

[Image by Vanessa Meade]

Check out my long-form interview with just-announced Project Runway Season Six contestant Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman, via Secrets of the City:

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've most likely heard the news: longtime l'étoile BFF and uber-talented fashion designer Ra'mon Lawrence Coleman is a contestant on the upcoming season of wildly popular reality show, Project Runway, and we couldn't be more happy for him! Ra'mon has been an inspiring force in the Twin Cities fashion scene for the past few years, participating in such high profile events as Voltage: Fashion Amplified, and producing his own solo show, Eluded Love, last year during MN Fashion Week. Since auditioning for the show, rumors swirled in the local scene; his unexpected departure as a designer for Target, followed a long absence from Minneapolis left people wondering. Despite speculations, the creative dynamo sat on this privileged information for almost a year, while competing networksBravo! and Lifetime battled it out for rights to air the show. When the dust settled, Lifetime came out on top and will be broadcasting Season Six beginning August 20th.

Keep your eyes peeled for info on l'étoile sponsored Project Runway viewing parties at downtown Minneapolis' Hell's Kitchen -- which not-so-coincidentally enough is owned byProject Runway Season 4 vet, Katherine Gerdes' family!

l'étoile chatted with Ra'mon Lawrence Coleman this week about Project Runway, fashion, and the Minneapolis scene...

l'étoile: So it’s been quite a year for you. You first auditioned for Project Runwayback in, what was it, August?

Ra'mon: It was actually July when I did the initial audition.

l'étoile: What was the audition process like?

Ra'mon: The process was very fast but with a lot of steps to it. We started with an audition tape and application and then submitted that. Then there was a group interview and a one-on-one interview where I had a chance to present previous collections and talk to about my portfolio, and also for them to have a perspective of who I am as a person and a designer.

l'étoile: How has your life changed since last year? A lot has happened!

Ra'mon: There was a moment where I literally said to some of the other castmates – there’s a quantifiable date when life will never be the same. Now that it has become public knowledge, there’s a whole wave of attention that’s happening. It’s really flattering and anyone who would say otherwise would be lying. This door has opened where my voice as a designer has a national if not international voice to it, I’m just awe-inspired to be blessed not just by the program but the opportunity. There’s a lot of emotions, it’s exciting but there’s also, oh my gosh, some panic to it. I’m just humbled by it.

l'étoile: It sounds like your perspective has changed more than anything.

Ra'mon: There’s two sides to it. One, will I be coined as a reality TV star – yeah, there’s that. It’s insane and crazy and I never thought it’d be something that’d be associated with me as a designer. But on the other side of it I’m a designer and everything I’ve done has lead up to this. It might not sound like it but I’m super-elated. My perspective on life is not the same because there’s much more on the horizon for me than I would have imagined.

l'étoile: How does it feel to finally be able to talk about the fact that you’re on the show? I’m sure it was painful trying to hold it all in!

Ra'mon: It’s interesting because I’m really good at keeping secrets from people but to not be able to talk about something that’s so exciting, I mean…wow. I’m happy things happened the way they did. It’s a long time coming for this but there’s also this renewed excitement for the show and the fans of the show are still out there, and now there are new fans and a chance to expand on our representation to America. I couldn’t have hoped for something better and I’m glad I can talk about it, and the fact that so many people know…(he talks to his publicist, who’s on the line) Megan, can you put Jahna on mute for a second?

Megan: I’m sorry, I don’t know how to do that. I would say err on the side of caution.

l'étoile: You can’t talk about it.

Ra'mon: No, but it’s great to see the excitement in people’s eyes.

l'étoile: What have you been keeping busy with all this time?

Ra'mon: Oh my god. What haven’t I been? You know me, I’m a guy who likes to juggle many things. So after the experience I really have been keeping my hands busy in different projects, one of which has been now coming to Kohl’s and collaborating with Lauren Conrad on her upcoming line in addition to helping update some of the other lines, including the relaunch of Mudd, which just hit stores. I think it looks phenomenal. The old school Mudd fans will be very pleased and the new guard fashionistas will be excited. And cultivating my brand for ra’mon-lawrence to be really what I want to it be, which is bringing really unique, eclectic designs to every tier of the market because I think there’s a fashionista everywhere.

l'étoile: How do you balance your job with Kohl’s and all the things you have to do for Project Runway? Are they cool with you jetting off to the coasts constantly?

Ra'mon: I think the company as a whole are very supportive of cultivating designers. They heard the same thing everything else
in the country heard, and they’ve been extremely supportive and I think they’ll continue to be. I’m used to balancing so many different things because I’m interested in so many different things – different avenues of art, fashion and design and I like to see myself as a perpetual student. Designing for Kohl’s and Target before has given me a perspective of the average American in general and design integrity and design innovative, so those things work hand in hand. And I like to be busy.

l'étoile: Regardless of the outcome of Project Runway, what’s next for Ra’mon-Lawrence Coleman?

Ra'mon: World domination? (laughs) Oh no. The future is looking bright. I don’t want to be cheesy by saying that but there’s so may opportunities that will come about. I don’t know, I’m optimistic. If anything, I want to focus on the projects I have, and I want to introduce ramon-lawrence as a brand to the national public.

l'étoile: How has Minneapolis shaped your career?

Ra'mon: Oh my gosh. Minneapolis as a city has probably been the most influential place that I’ve lived as far as my career as a designer. The great thing about Minneapolis is that it epitomizes what’s happening in our nation. Some people think the most important hubs are New York and L.A. But if you look at cities like Chicago and Minneapolis that have amazing arts community but are considered second tier, there’s actually stronger support for independent artists. That’s the fantastic thing about MNfashion. It was the driving force as far as me getting out there as a designer and in a stronger sense the energy is so fresh. I’m a Chicagoan but I like to consider myself a Minneapolitan. I will always love Minneapolis.

l'étoile: We will always love you!

For more information on Project Runway click HERE.

Visit Ra'mon Lawrence Coleman's site HERE.

Photo credits:

1. Vanessa Meade
2. Robb Long for the Downtown Journal
3. Gene Pittman for the Walker Un-Prom
4. Vanessa Meade
5. Robb Long for the Downtown Journal
6. Vanessa Meade

Charmed Life call for designers

Check this out, via letoile:


l'étoile and Metro Magazine are teaming up for a Fall Fashion Week event on September 23rd at International Market Square! The event is a sort of fashion market that showcases local designers and boutiques, as well as interior design from the IMS showrooms. We have limited booth space for fashion designers and boutiques to sell their wares. E-mail for more info on how you can be involved or
click here to pre-order your tickets!

More info on the show:

An evening of fashion, art, design and shopping. Enjoy cocktails, appetizers, tunes from the hottest DJs in town, swag bags, a live fashion styling challenge and more. Check back for weekly fashion dares for a chance to win tickets to the event!

Featuring fashion designers Max Lohrbach, Anthem Heart, Ruby3, Laura Fulk, Ferociter and more.

Charmed Life
Wednesday, September 23
6-9 p.m.
Tickets: $25

Friday, July 17, 2009

In review: Beyoncé wows Minneapolis with glitter and glam

[Review originally posted on]

[Image by Steve Cohen for City Pages]

I was lucky enough to be in the audience for the Beyoncé show on Thursday night at the Target Center. I had been hotly anticipating the event for some time now, especially when I heard all her tour costumes were being designed by the legendary Thierry Mugler. Mugler's trademark strong shoulders, exaggerated hourglass silhouettes, and robotic futurism were ever-present. He said he designed the looks based around the concept of "The duality between being a woman and a warrior" (i.e., Sasha Fierce vs. Beyoncé). It didn't hurt that the show was easily the most entertaining, crowd-pleasing, girl-power-provoking show I've ever seen, and yet it managed avoided veering into bloated overkill or self-indulgence.

But this is a fashion blog, so let's talk fashion.

Beyoncé emerged in silhouette, all the better to show off the sculpted, exaggerated hips of her first costume of the night: A gold, glittering bodysuit with an oversized bow on the rear. (Song list for outfit: "Crazy in Love," "Naughty Girl," "Freakum Dress," "Get Me Bodied.")

[Image by Steve Cohen for City Pages]

This shot really shows off the scuptural quality of the hips:

And LOVED the bow butt bustle.

[Image courtesy New York Post]

For a point of comparison, here are the original sketches done by Thierry Mugler of this first outfit as well as the Grace Jones-esque outfits of her dancers:

We were eagerly awaiting the next outfit change, but the next proved to be the biggest disappointment of the night. It was neither fugly nor stylish - it was just a plain, boring white bodysuit with a white hooded robe. She apparently needed something boring to get the ballads out of the way (i.e., "Smash Into You"):

With the help of her back-up dancers, she was changed onstage into this monstrosity of a wedding gown for an "Ave Maria"/"Angel" (by Sarah McLachlan) medley and "Broken Hearted Girl":

Fortunately that look didn't last too long; her next look was possibly the best of the night, a leather look with softly sculpted shoulders and an abbreviated cone-shaped bust. I couldn't seem to find a good shot of her in her Minneapolis show wearing this look - so I included a shot from a different show of her with George Michael that shows the bust pretty well. (Song list for outfit: "If I Were a Boy"/"You Oughta Know" [Alanis Morissette] medley, "Diva.")

Yes, another outfit change! This was a kind of strange but wonderfully ridiculous Cheetara-esque (of the Thundercats) look. To me, it was a mix of cheetah and motorcycle parts, and though I found the washboard abs of the cheetah bodysuit a bit disconcerting, I dug the metal hips and patterned tights. (Songs performed: "Radio," "Me, Myself and I.")

[No local photos were found of this look; this shot's from a show in Sweden earlier this year.]

It was previewed a few months ago in Marie Claire:

She then took off the metal pieces (the only really interesting part of the look) and added a boring black vest for some unknown reason. (Song list for outfit: "Ego," "Hello.")

[Another non-local shot because it's all I could find]

When she left the stage, her amazingly cool bassist did a bass solo of Michael Jackson songs, highlighted with a behind-the-head trick. She had long blonde dreads and an amazing one-shouldered jacket that was very Tina Turner in Mad Max Thunderdome. I can't seem to find any photos of her, unfortunately.

Then came the visual highlight of the show: Beyoncé rising out from a trapdoor in the stage in a sparkly gold minidress, partially obscured by a ten-foot-long chiffon skirt. When she was suspended nearly to the ceiling of the stadium, she let the skirt drop, and I couldn't hold back a gasp of excitement. She then was transported, Moulin Rouge-style, across the audience, doing flips all the while, wearing amazing seven-inch-high sparkly gold Christian Louboutin "bondage" heels:

Of course, her handlers changed her into a more wearable five-inch heel when she arrived at a small stage in the center of the stadium. She then went on to perform an explosive set of "Baby Boy," "Irreplaceable," "Check On It," "Videophone," and an "Independent Women"/"Survivor"/"Say My Name" medley.

Then she put on a silver beaded gown for "At Last" (accompanied with video of civil rights historical footage and Obama's inauguration) and "Listen" (from Dreamgirls). It was very modern-day Marilyn Monroe. (Again, no great photos of this look.)

Her final outfit of the night, for "Single Ladies" and "Halo" (which included a Michael Jackson tribute) was another favorite. The black and white look seemed inspired by a deck of cards.

[A shot from a Vancouver show]

It's another look that was previewed earlier in Marie Claire with a slightly different bust:

She ended the show with a "Happy Birthday" song for everyone in the audience who was celebrating a birthday...and it so happened mine was in just a couple of hours. Happy birthday to me! Now if only I could get my hands on those gold Louboutins...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

La Nouvelle Femme 2009 Promotional Images

[Image by Nicholas Marshall]

The ladies of the second annual La Nouvelle Femme show just released these gorgeous promotional images taken by the incomparable Nicholas Marshall. The music, art and fashion show will feature music by Bella Koshka and Hildur Victoria (f. Margaret Lane), fashions by Calpurnia Peach and Frances Zerr, photography by Hillary Anne Berg, and fine art by Torey Bonar and Ema C. Cook.

The images feature the ladies of the show, which will showcase their individual talents in art, fashion, or music at the event, slated for September 18 at Varsity Theater. The event will help kick off Fall 2009 MNfashion Week. Find more info and images at their
facebook page. Here's a selection of some of my favorite shots:
The ladies of La Nouvelle Femme: Frances Zerr, Luci Kandler of Calpurnia Peach, Tori Bonar, Margaret Lane of Hildur Victoria, Ashley Wokasch of Calpurnia Peach, Hillary Berg, and Laura Boland.

Luci Kandler of Calpurnia Peach

Ashley Wokasch of Calpurnia Peach

Margaret Lane of Hildur Victoria
Ashley Wokasch and Luci Kandler of Calpurnia Peach and Frances Zerr

Laura Boland of Bella Koshka

[All images by Nicholas Marshall]