Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Local designers Max Lohrbach & Maritza Ramirez dip their toes into costume design

Two local designers are turning their eye from fashion to theatrical design for the upcoming Alan Berks & Company theater joint production, How to Cheat. Maritza Ramirez and Max Lohrbach have shared some preview images of their costumes for the show, which runs December 1 through 10 at Gremlin Theatre, 2400 University Avenue West in St. Paul.

[All photos by Aaron Fenster]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Check out l'étoile's Guide to Holiday Shopping

L'étoile's weekly shopping guide, which I edit, is now online, and it's chock full of holiday shopping events. Check it out now.

Christopher Straub gets national press for his maurices line

The national press barrage for Christopher Straub's line for maurices has officially begun. Here is his "Waterfall" sequin clutch featured in December's issue of Seventeen:

I've gotta say, it would make a great addition to a holiday party ensemble.

Hot off the presses: Coco & Breezy in French Glamour

Check out Minnesota-born eyewear designers Coco & Breezy in the December issue of French Glamour:

Editorial: "All Tied Up in Knots"

Local photographer Eliesa Johnson's new hair-centric editorial showcases some of the prettiest-with-an-edge hair of the season, on Ignite models Caroline and Alexandria.

All photos: Eliesa Johnson/Photogen Inc.
Hair/Makeup – Amber Brenke
Talent – Caroline and Alexandria from Ignite Models Inc.

Just announced: "The Wardrobe of Wonder," a fashionable Art Shanty

One of the Twin Cities' great winter traditions is the annual Art Shanty Projects, a series of themed ice houses for the artistically inclined taking place during the months of January and February. After a one year hiatus, it's back and bigger than ever. One new addition will be a fashion-themed shanty helmed by local designers Danielle Everine, Rachel Blomgren, Lela Horst Baumann and others. Everine tells me that shanty guests will have the chance to try on hardy knits and coats by the designers and take a photo in a photobooth. It will all culminate at the end of the run of the shanties with a full runway show with real models. The Art Shanty Project runs January 14 through February 5, 2012. Designers interested in participating can enter via an open call until December 20. Get a submission form via; more info is posted below. Visit for more information on Art Shanty Projects.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Editorial: "Minnesota Style in a New York Fashion"

We all know that many of the Twin Cities' brightest head to the bright lights of New York City to make their mark. But we say once a Minnesotan, always a Minnesotan. Minneapolis-via-New York style blog went out and spotlighted the most stylish of this group of photographers, art directors, stylists, and magazine editors for this editorial, "Minnesota Style in a New York Fashion," and you're sure to recognize some names, like former local fashion designers Ashley Wokasch (Calpurnia Peach), Niki English, and Coco and Breezy, and photographers Benjamin Fredrickson and Brad Ogbonna (regulars in my muses and lenses feature).

Photography by Drew Krason
Interviews by John-Mark

A NELLE Holiday Launch, Holiday Event & Cyber Monday Sale

Lots of big news in from local handbag designer Laura Nelli this weekend. The designer of NELLE handbags has announced a just-launched collaboration line of silk, screen-printed holiday skirts and clutches with textile designer Luci Kandler (who you may remember from Calpurnia Peach), called NELLE + OGGE. The print collection was inspired by the designers' shared appreciation for Frida Kahlo’s irreverent personal style. Priced from $150 to $190, the limited-edition collection can be found online at,, or in-store at l’atelier couture (l’atelier couture, 219 N Second Street, Suite 404, Minneapolis, 651-602-9492 (appointments required), & Details Style Lab (Details Style Lab: 346 St. Peter Street, St. Paul, 651-251-8700,

[A NELLE + OGGE clutch]

What's more: on Monday, November 28, NELLE will host a Cyber Monday Sale at, offering 20% off plus free shipping on the entire NELLE Collection. And finally, December 1 marks the kick off of the NELLE & HAROLD Holiday Event at l'atelier couture. The month-long cash-and-carry event features NELLE's holiday assortment of handmade clutches and accessories.

Line review: Christopher Straub for maurices

Christopher Straub's line for maurices hit stores and over the weekend. Let's take a look at the results, shall we? (And while you're at it, check out my updated review of his namesake collection that he debuted on the runway a couple of weeks ago with photos of each look.)

From the looks of it, maurices and Straub seem like a perfect match. The designer has, unsurpringly, taken his more commercial, mass-friendly silhouettes into the collection and capitalized on his girly-rocker aesthetic - snakeskin prints, baroque chain jewelry, ruffles and his trademark petals. The fabrics on the red, one-shoulder dress and top are a bit cheap-looking (typical for cheap-chic collaboration lines), but the petal print dress and black ruffle dress are pretty cute. As for the accessories, the petal scarves are pretty unique and fun, and though much of the jewelry is fairly generic-looking, the beaded bracelet with the tassel is pretty great. And his bags have been one of his biggest sellers for his namesake line, and these are pretty good interpretations of those. And the waterfall sequin case clutches are pretty cute. But does the world really need another pair of jeggings?

It must be said that this collaboration is a pretty big deal for any designer, let alone a Project Runway alum. The opportunity to get your name, face and designs in 800 stores of a major retail chain is a rarity for an emerging designer. (Only 80 locations are carrying the full line, while the other 720 stores will carry his accessories and fragrance, with prices ranging from $12 to $89.) Come to think of it, the only past Project Runway designer to achieve this level of partnership is season four winner Christian Siriano, who has had collaborations with Payless, Victoria's Secret, and Bluefly. If Straub wasn't already a household name, he's about to be.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Local gift ideas from

Last Thursday, published its annual gift guide, put together by Christy DeSmith. It features all kinds of local gift ideas from Twin Cities denizens like event producer Vilay Dethluxay (who spotlights jewelry line Stephanie Lake Design, pictured below), ROX Jewelry designer Robyne Robinson, musician and writer Dessa, artist Amy Rice, and more. Check it out.

[Photo: Tom Sweeney]

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Local inspiration: muses and lenses

Another round of local fashion muses and fashion photography via Facebook uploads and the blogroll - a little taste of local inspiration.

Graphic designer Eric Timothy Carlson snaps an arty pic of girlfriend and collaborator, fashion designer Annie Larson.

Photographer Benjamin Fredrickson lounges for a self portrait.

Photographer Amy Gee shows off a thrift find and her new creepers. (Click here for more photos.

Photographer Stephanie Hynes does the lookbook for local designer Gina Marie Vintage's Fall 2011 line with Vision model Elle Williams. (Hair & makeup: Bethany Brihn. Styling: Jane Belfry. Click here for the full lookbook.)

Wardrobe stylist Hollie Mae Schultz goes abstract in a scene shot by photographer Serah Sauser. (Hair & makeup: Kate Erickson)

Wardrobe stylist Hollie Mae Schultz goes face up. (Photo: Serah Sauser. Hair & makeup: Kate Erickson)

Interactive producer/ co-director Kristoffer Knutson has a quiet moment.

Ignite model Kara looks like she just stepped out of an '80s music video. (Photo: Billy Rood.)

Style blogger Chloe Ahlf gets her '90s grunge on.

It's all in the details for style blogger Shannon Licari Walling.

Style blogger Shannon Licari Walling dresses up her friend Whitney.

Photographer Sara Kiesling shoots some comp card shots for Ignite model Berit Birkeland.

Photographer Brandon Werth does a whimsical wedding test shoot featuring an Emma Berg dress and Stephanie Lake Jewelry. (Production & Styling by Chelsea Paul. Click here for the full photo set.)

Photographer Sohail Akhavein gets ritualistic.

Serene Enloe gets her goth girl on.

Eyewear designers Coco & Breezy go for a ride.

Ellen Moodie gets animated in the Playatta photobooth at the RECESS dance night.