Black Friday Shopping by Lucie Jane

Thanksgiving has come and gone and with it, Black Friday.  I have never been a crazy Black Friday shopper, the 5am sales and hours waiting in line never appealed to me.  But I do love shopping, and most of the deals last all day Friday so I didn’t miss out!  My family goes to Chicago every Thanksgiving so I took advantage of some retail therapy on Michigan Avenue Friday afternoon.  Check out what I found!

First stop: Top Shop!  Looooove this store; their “underground glam” and “new mod” styles really appeal to me.  Plus, Kate Moss has designed lines for Top Shop, and who doesn’t love her!? Definitely one of my model inspirations.

I didn’t buy anything at Top Shop but here are some of the things that tickled my fancy!

Love the pleating and lace detail on the skirt, as well as the collar and color of the jumper.

Next stop was Zara, where I actually bought something–this!

The color is to die for, and the style is my absolute favorite.  And, you know, sailor stripes are a Jean Paul Gaultier favorite.  Favorite designer, favorite style: match made in heaven!

While out in Chicago, I also discovered a new AMAZING store, AllSaints Spitalfields.  It is a British High Street retail store that focuses on a fashion forward progressive aesthetic.  You know how Abercrombie has shirtless men outside some of their stores?  Well, AllSaints has a beautiful European male model (who looks like a grown up paper boy) in their entry way, decked out in a pea coat and leather boots.  Just my type 😉

Check out their store front!

Be sure to check out my blog later this week/weekend for a post about the work I’ve been doing lately modeling for ArielSimone!

by Lucie Jane


Ok, we are SO kidding with the title!!! We love ANTM as much as the next girl, but we really wanted to feature someone we think already IS a top model here in Minneapolis.  But wouldn’t that be amazing if there was a Minnesota-based reality model TV show? Who would play Tyra?

We have an introduction for you here. If you’ve ever attended a MN fashion show (or even just read our blog and clicked on hyperlinks), we are positive you have seen this striking MN talent. We got the details on Kuoth and digged a little deeper to understand her world a bit more.

The Deets

Name: Kuothkel

Age: (Is but a number) 21

Birth place: Gambella, Ethiopia

Ethnicity: Sudanese

Years Modeling: 3

Agency: Vision Model Management

Day Job: Sales Associate at American Apparel

{Effortlessly wearing American Apparel}

The Diggs

AS: Who would you say is your favorite designer?

K: Local? Emma Berg, ArielSimone, Kevin Kramp…the list goes on– I cant really just chose one due to the diversity that each designer has. International? Alexander McQueen is by far my favorite designer. His love for creativity will speak to many generations to come. R.I.P. I also love Coco Chanel. Her story is very inspiring and I also named my cat after her.

AS: Tell us an interesting fact.

K: I have never fallen during a show, and hopefully I never will!

{Wearing ArielSimone, Styled by Aron Lamaar, Phototography: Kevin C. Walker}

AS: Best and/or worst part of modeling in Minnesota?

K: The best part of modeling in Minnesota, for me, would be getting to build a relationship with designers, models, and other people in the fashion industry. Everyone here is striving to go somewhere with their talent and for that, I feel, we have a common bond. The worst part about modeling in Minnesota is that there are not a lot of clients willing to book models. I also have a more editorial look and there are not a lot of opportunities for me to get work here in Minnesota.

{Wearing ArielSimone, Styled by Aron Lamaar, Phototography: Kevin C. Walker}

AS: Can you tell a bit about your thoughts on Minnesota Fashion & Culture?

K: MN fashion culture is rapidly growing. With new events and fashion shows added every year, I think Minnesota will soon have a rich fashion scene. There are a lot of talented people out here.

AS: What would you say your biggest accomplishment or important moment in your modeling career is thus far?

K: Honestly I feel like every show and job I get booked for is an accomplishment. In order for someone to be willing to book me, I have to prove to the client that I am responsible and can deliver what they’re looking for and I’m glad I can do that.

AS: Tell us your future goals– either modeling or not.

K: Graduate from Augsburg College, move to NY for modeling, travel the world. I also want to get into acting in the near future.

AS: Who is your Fashion/ Style Icon?

K: GRACE JONES: I love, love, love her!!!I love the fact that she is talented all around.. singing, modeling, and acting. My style is definitely inspired by her.

{Wearing ArielSimone, Styled by Aron Lamaar, Phototography: Kevin C. Walker}

AS: What would you say your source of inspiration is?

K: I don’t really have one source of inspiration….I like to learn from my environment and make the best of life.

AS: Any advice for aspiring models?

K: Well, I’m not going to lie and say that modeling is easy because its not. What I want to tell others is that make sure to surround yourself with positive people who love and support you. You will be challenged both mentally and physically, but you have to put what’s important first. Because of modeling, I have met some wonderful people who I will always cherish. If you truly love it, don’t give up on it no matter what.

(Don’t you just love her jacket and sheer gold top!? We do!)

{Wearing ArielSimone, Styled by Aron Lamaar, Phototography: Kevin C. Walker}

ArielSimone Holiday Soiree

If you haven’t heard yet ArielSimone will be having a Holiday Soiree this year, hosted by Keith Dorsett. We are so thrilled, we can hardly sit still! The event will be held at his space Elsworth Menswear in the LaSalle Plaza downtown Minneapolis on the skyway level (second floor).

RSVP on Facebook, if you haven’t already!

We will be grooving and mingling from 5-8pm this Friday, the 2nd of December. DJ Ander Other (Doomtree) will be dropping amazing beats– so get ready to have some fun! We will also be having an exciting mini fashion show at 6:30pm (Hair & Makeup by Taj Salon). We will be  presenting both men and women Holiday looks. Additionally, we will  preview some spring/summer looks!! So ladies, don’t forget to bring your beau. Complimentary drinks and delicious desserts will be provided. Best of all?! This event is free! So join us after work or Happy Hour!

We hope you come and support our first event and the wonderful vendors that we will have present, including our favorite jewelry designer Jen Scheffler from Realia by Jen. Additionally, Irely Intimates will be selling some wonderful products that make great gifts! You’re definitely in for a treat! See you there!

Elements of Style

Black Friday is officially upon us!  With our bellies still full of turkey and all the fixings, we venture out to get the best price on gifts to impress our loved ones and dear friends.  Last year, Americans spent approximately $10.7 billion dollars at various retail locations!  With numbers like this, my mind begins to inquire about how many of those gifts are actually the right “fit” for the person intended.  Buying items like gift cards, electronics, books, and games are some of the easier choices to make.  It’s when we take a step into the clothing territory, where things start to get dangerous!

National Retail Federation

This holiday season, it’s important to know the elements of a person’s style before heading to the check out counter.  Elements of style, you ask?  I’m not talking about the literary tool you read in high school but the characteristics of personal style.  I believe we all have reoccurring elements in our wardrobe that affect our buying habits and our personal styling of those purchased items.  For this week’s post I have complied a couple elements that factor into my daily style.  I actually enjoyed going through photos and through my closet analyzing my own style characteristics (the joys of being a woman!).  It’s a quick and fun activity that can help the one you love provide you with a piece of fashion this holiday season that is a perfect fit for you… talk about killing two birds with one stone!


I enjoy style that I can “feel”.  Mixing silks and leathers, feathers and tweed, sequence and suede, metals and chiffon, the list goes on!

Collegate Chic

Cardigans, and stripes, and mascots, oh my!
by Lace Asia

Thanksgiving Looks and Black Friday Wishlist

Happy Thanksgiving! We wanted to do something special today for the holiday before introducing our Thursday guest blogger’s post. Thanksgiving is such a fun time to get together with (extended) family and friends and loved ones. Perhaps you are visiting home and will be able to see old high school friends as well as family. Or maybe you are venturing off to new territory to meet the significant others’ family and friends. Either way, its an occasion where planning your outfit can cause a bit of stress– especially if you are traveling, if you are meeting new people, or have multiple plans for the day. We have picked 2 looks for the day that are equally comfortable (for eating) but still stylish and sophisticated (for making good impressions).

Whimsically Casual
Whimsically Casual… effortless tshirt dress belted with Oxford pumps (or flats) to match. (Doubtful anyone will notice if you need to remove the belt after feasting on tofu-rkey and pumpkin pie).

BDG short sweater dress
$20 –

Steve madden heels
40 CAD –

Rodarte for Opening Ceremony lace up boots
£695 –

Olivia Harris bowler handbag
$455 –

Louis vuitton shoulder bag
$4,650 –

Movado crystal jewelry
$350 –

Gucci shades
$320 –
Adrienne's Thanksgiving Picks
Perfect cozy striped sweater to either tuck in or casually hang loosely over a flowy pleated skirt (or you can partial tuck in the front as another option!). Pair that with some ankle lace-up booties and you’re certainly dressed to impress the future in-laws!

Stripe sweater
€43 –
D G brown leather coat
€1.198 –

Preen cotton a line skirt
£260 –

Proenza Schouler square toe boots
$635 –

Louis Vuitton travel bag
$800 –

Brown Matte Leather Watch Online Exclusive
$180 –

And what do we do after we stuff our faces!?!? If we are lucky to get out of our food comas, we clearly will be headed to the department stores for late-night shopping! Need ideas for gifts?! For her last post of the month, Annie has shared her seasonal wish list. And at such great timing, since Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Holiday Shopping: NOT on a budget by Annie Zhang

Season’s greetings! The holidays are fast approaching, this means one thing… GIFTS! I thought for my last guest blog I’d go out with a BANG and present 10 beautiful presents that will sure to add a spring to your steps as you brave the cold!

  1. Your going to need some bubbly while opening your fabulous gifts…
  2.  A PINK Christmas anyone?
  3. Well I certainly DO now…
  4. Every girl needs a little Chloe in her life…
  5. Peacock me pretty!
  6.  Naughty or nice? BOTH obviously!
  7.  Chanel is a must
  8.  Star Bright
  9.  How festive!
  10. Needing these for New Year’s Eve!

Don’t make me say it. Ok I will. You are going to need a fabulous dress by ArielSimone to jazz up all the pretty gifts above. So what are you waiting for? The holidays await!

Its been a real pleasure to have been a guest blogger for ArielSimone. I like to thank my dear friends Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales for always surprising me with endless ways of delighting myself. And of course, the fabulous Ms. Adrienne Yancy. I will see you all at the ArielSimone Soiree on Dec. 2!

Spotlight: LA-based Choreographer & Dancer

We honestly can’t say that we’ve met too many people who have  danced for Rihanna, been in a Beyonce video or appeared on the hit television show Glee. But we do want to introduce you to a woman who has! Equally beautiful as she is talented, we have a spot light feature on LA based Choreographer and dancer: Shara Smallwood.
AS: Tell us about yourself….

SS: My name is Shara Smallwood… born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and now calling Los Angeles my home away from home. I moved here to pursue a professional dance career in choreography, performance, and creative directing.  I have been dancing and entertaining every sense I could walk!

AS: Did you study dance?

SS: Yes. I have trained formally at the Summit Dance Shoppe of Plymouth Minnesota, Zenon Dance Company of Minneapolis, and the University of Minnesota collegiate dance program. Now, my training is professional dance companies such as Lula Washington Dance Theater, the Edge Performing Arts, and Debbie Reynolds.

AS: What do you do when you are not dancing?

SS: When I’m not performing or choreographing, I love to spend time with my family and friends. They keep me grounded. I also love to relax at the beach, take yoga regularly, travel, and hit the red box. I am known to be a movie hoarder.

AS: How do you know Adrienne?

SS: I met Adrienne in highschool!

AS: What are some of the things you are currently working on?

SS: I have currently just finished working on Glee, as a dancer as well as choreographing the “Just dance” Hip-Hop production in West Hollywood. I am currently working on choreographing the show “The Groove of James Brown,”a new dance project focusing on African American music. I have recently landed a spot at “In-Shape Personal Fitness”, a personal training facility, as a dance fitness trainer. Classes include hip-hop aerobics and salsa training.

AS: What keeps you motivated?

SS: I stay motivated by prayer, my family, and friends. And of course… from myself!

AS: Any wise words of wisdom for aspiring artists out there?

SS: To all of the inspiring artists out there– it sounds cliché, but do not give up on your goals and aspirations. Good things come to those who play hard, pray, and have the passion. Continue to keep yourself self-motivated while working on your craft, and never be afraid to work towards the life of your dreams.

If you are in LA or just want to check out Shara’s classes and updates, she’s on Facebook. She also has some incredible footage of past performances and current projects on her Vimeo.

AMAs: The Good and the Bad

There were some hits, but many more misses this year at the AMA’s. I don’t know what half of these stylists were thinking! Clearly, they are in need of some inspiration. I was very disappointed to say the least, but there were some winners! Here’s what I thought…

I love the way this dress fits Jennifer’s body. The accessories and styling were kept to a minimum, and this dress is the right length. I would have gone with a different shoe. The two grays clash… maybe they were thrown in because they’re Loub’s?

The hair, makeup, and dress are winners for Jenny McCarthy. Although, I would have styled this with thigh-high tights and a grey, calf length, lace-up, peep toe boot! But that’s just ME…

I can’t believe they let this woman into the AMA’s looking like this. First, her stylist needs a new job. Exactly, what were they thinking with this dress? Hello!?!?! Bridesmaids gone wrong. And look at the shoes! CLASHING! I don’t even have ideas on how to fix this one. Just burn the dress!

Audrina has clearly styled herself tonight! Her hair/makeup is overdone and makes her look like a hooker…Who am I kidding? This whole outfit makes her look like a hooker.  I understand that she’s petite, but these platforms are too high for a dress this short. She’s showing the legs and the girls– too much. She probably skipped the AMA’s and went straight to the after parties.

HAHAHA… there are better ways to attract attention to yourself. This silhouette would be great if this was in all black. The mix of brights and the animal print makes this look like she went to the wrong party. But don’t get me wrong, if you know anything about me, you know I LOVE a great costume party!!

This look is perfectly put together and styled! Simple silhouette with a trendy hem! Longer sleeves (it was probably around 50 degrees), and great hair and makeup. Minimal, but statement jewelry is KEY!

Mary is a MISS here…

But a HIT here… where did the lines get crossed?

I know you may think I’m crazy, but this is actually best dressed for me. There is something about this look that draws me to it, and I can’t look away. The lines on the dress create an amazing hourglass illusion to this boyish figure. White is an obvious ‘yes’ for the seasons coming. Also, the fur and styling is spot on! Call me crazy, but I’m in love.

Now for the men…

Mario’s first CD was the first CD I’d ever owned! My old-time crush doesn’t disappoint. I love the slate grey tuxedo style wool suit! Love this look on him.

Count on Luda to bring it home! OK, these sweaters were huge last season (Ralph Lauren, winter Olympics), but I still love them. Luda looks very casual, but very good. Clean cut, simple– great!

Well, where do I begin? There are so many elements about this look that I love! KIDDING!! WORST. DRESSED. Seriously, Soulja Boy.

OOOh! Love the hue of this turquoise with the black and white accents! The plain white t-shirt makes this look perfect! Best dressed male!

by Adrienne Yancy

First Bridal Fashion Show!

When I first heard of local bridal designer Joy Teiken, I was definitely intrigued by her story… Her very first design EVER was a beret constructed from vintage dresses. It was custom-made for her mother, who was dying of breast cancer in 1989. Just from reading Joy’s bio, it is obvious that she is an extraordinary woman. Before creating her signature line Joynoelle in 2003, Joy received her MA in Arts Education, taught and was a former Peace Corps volunteer (served 1993-1996 in Botswana). With such a diverse and interesting background, it is no surprise that her hand-made/hand-finished, Ready-to-Wear and Bridal Collections are as successful as they are. Joy has gained national and international attention with her work (um, she was just recently interviewed for O Magazine!!), which is why I was so excited to be invited to attend her exclusive-invite-only viewing of her 2012 collection a week ago.

Inspired by the Caged Bird, on Monday November 14th the Grand Café was recreated to look like a turn-of-the-century parlor, with the interior stylings of Lime Canary Vintage and Flora Bella. The decor and mood were intimate and romantic– fashioned perfectly with these amazing feathery, floral, vintage birdcage installations. The salon-style show was a 28-look journey from the caged bird (linear, crisscross cage-like fabric applications) to the free bird (hand-made feathers, whimsical and airy). Vision Model Management Group provided the gorgeous models; hair and makeup by Extrados.

There were several gorgeous designs– feminine both in shape and in fabric. I loved everything that was black, white and/or feathered. Creams, blacks, whites, chocolate browns, and wine reds were the obvious color focus of this collection– very seasonal.  Lots of great wedding gowns as well as bridesmaid choices! And of course, rehearsal dinner/ reception options for those who want a wardrobe change.

Above are my two favorite looks from the evening, thanks to fashion blog Art of Wore photography. Love the feathery skirts in both garments and would LOVE to see that second dress as a full length gown. Flash Revolutions also had some great photos too.

First Bridal Fashion Show was super fun! Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with the designer in a future post as well as photos from her adorable studio and shop.

by Nkechi Njaka

You can check out more wedding-related posts that I have written on Charcoal&Lace, a wedding and lifestyle blog that I co-author.

The Fashionable Side of Law

Join me on a quick jog down memory lane, back to 2005.  For me, summer of 2005 started out with a bang!  I kicked off the summer with a 19th birthday, commencing the beginning of my final year as a teen.  That summer also brought on the my first fashion internship in New York City at Sean John‘s corporate office.  This opportunity gave me my first glimpse into the multi-faceted fashion industry.  It was also during this time that I had the pleasure of meeting Andrena Andrews, Sean John’s Legal Director.  Andrena has agreed to provide us all with a glimpse through her shades, as a fashion lawyer for a leading apparel brand.

An Insight Into Fashion Law 
The type of law that Andrena practices is Intellectual Property, an expansive area of law that includes issues prevalent in the fashion industry.  However, in her line of work, Andrena specifically works with trademark issues that include registering new trademarks for Sean John.  Her work often consists of policing trademarks that are already registered and reviewing contracts for specific information, regarding issues like royalty payment dates and renewal terms.

Advice for Designers
Always do a trademark search when using graphics, words or art on clothing.  This is the easiest way to avoid lawsuits from artists or brands with established marks (i.e. stay away from 3 stripes – Adidas!).”

Advice for Aspiring Fashion Lawyers
“I started out with an externship at Nautica while in law school.  This helped me put my classroom knowledge to the test and gave me great insight on how brands use and monitor their marks.”

On Style

Andrena likes to keep her style classic and simple.  The Gap, J Crew, and H&M are among her favorites.

As for her accessories (particularly bags and shoes), she enjoys bolder styles from high fashion brands like Gucci, Balenciaga, and Giuseppe Zanotti.

a. H&M – Necklace
b. J. Crew – Library Blazer
c. Gap- Seamed True Straight Pants
d.Gucci- Betty High Heel Platform
e.Balenciaga – City Dots Handbag
f. Chanel- Oversized Square Acetate Frame

by Lace Asia

The Joy of Custom Made Garments

As a follow up to the last entry on 100 unforgettable dresses, this entry is all about finding that unforgettable dress for your unforgettable evening… you know, the dress for a girls’ night out; or date night with your beau; or a dress even your grandmother will approve of at the next family gathering! But we all run into the issue of finding something just perfect. That’s why for me when in a pinch, I know I can count on the fabulous designer of ArielSimone, the wonderful Miss Adrienne Yancy.

How many times have you gone to that favorite boutique or the good ol’ reliable department store thinking “I’ll just pick up something”? only to be disappointed and return empty handed because, really, you already know exactly what you want?

Case in point, this past Halloween, I was invited to the Calhoun Beach Club’s Masquerade Ball, and of course, nothing in my closet was right for the occasion. Thankfully, I phoned Adrienne and we got together and dreamt up my perfect ball gown! The best part? It was custom made! The whole experience was fabulous, from coming up with the design idea, to the color and fit, down to the fabric! The end result? Well, see for yourselves!

When working with a designer, it’s important to know what you want, what looks on your body, but more importantly, be open about suggestions! I mean, after all, they are the experts! So, never fear! Let your imagination run wild as you are anticipating the next unforgettable night. Just make sure you have Adrienne’s number on speed dial!

by Annie Zhang