Fierce Fashion at ‘The Oscars of Fashion’

Yesterday was the CFDA awards ceremony, honoring excellence in fashion design. If you are not familiar, it stands for Council of Fashion Designers of America. This non-profit trade association consists of more than 300 designers and artists. They work to promote fashion and accessory designers, bring more awareness to the art, and raise the professional standards, codes and ethical practices.

This annual ceremony consists of awards for Lifetime Achievement, Best Womenswear and Menswear Designer, and Emerging Ready-to-Wear Talent. This year, Tommy Hilfiger was awarded with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, but the biggest winners were the Olsen twins, who won as Best Womenswear Designer for their line The Row.

So who stood out at the fashion awards?

Julianne Hough – I adore this dress on her. The pleats are in all the right places, and the length of the dress is ideal. Metallic is the next trend, and this silver belt goes perfectly. Mainly, I love a plunging neckline on a small busted woman. She looks so sexy and sophisticated!

Dakota Fanning – Looks striking in this brocade look. It’s more of a statement than I think she’s used to, but the entire look is fantastic, the shoes and bag are great compliments. I love the trim around and within the whole garment. Notice the metallic!

Lily Collins – Proves that metallic is coming back strong! This cute little dress is so unique with the mixing of gold and silver, the dropped waist, and large bird; such a unique combination. She looks very sweet, as opposed to edgy, and I like that.

Solange Knowles – She has been ‘one to watch’ in the fashion world for quite a few years now. I love the yellow on her skin tone, and the cage-like blocks on her dress, they are working wonders for her figure. I’m usually not a fan of clear shoes, but these look great with the metallic ankle strap.

Karolina Kurkova – I usually see her in full hair and makeup, so it’s great to see a simpler look. The cut of this dress is perfectly uncomplicated and the print is well placed, I like that the red is at the top. I love these shoes for this dress.

There were many more well-dressed folks who walked the carpet of this event, but I wanted to show the newer trends specifically and show different ways to make them work. For more Photos.

Oscars 2012: Best and Worst Dressed by Adrienne Yancy

There were some very funny and entertaining moments this year, including the orchestral presentation by Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell, and Sacha Cohen dumping ashes on Ryan Secrest, but eight-time host Billy Crystal fell flat the whole evening. Angelina Jolie looked extremely thin, and the models who escorted the actors on and off the stage had better dresses than many of the actresses who walked the carpet!  Overall, the 84th annual Oscars were a chic, star-studded event, and my favorite part was when Cirque du Soleil performed!

Now onto the Red Carpet!! Overall there were a lot of pulled back hair styles, and simple styling to accompany most of the detailed gowns. My two picks for best dressed:

Giuliana Rancic – This dress fits impeccably and the styling is simple and elegant. The perfect show stopper for the Oscars!

Michelle Williams – I love the coral color, peplum, and brooch addition. A perfect spring inspired look. I think she would have looked even more amazing with a different clutch, but she looks great!

Now onto a few other great looking gals:

Ellie Kemper – The all-over sequin and sculpted bodice take this dress over the top for me. I love how the bronze and gold go so well with her hair. It’s a wonderfully styled, complete look.

Emma Stone – This jewel toned dress looks great, and it doesn’t make her look old. The fabric moved wonderfully on the red carpet and I love the large bow and keyhole slit down the bust.

Glen Close – The blazer over this dress makes the look a winner for me. Last week someone mentioned the growing popularity of the blazer and gown pairing, and seeing it makes me a believer! Glen Close looks wonderful and age-appropriate; her body is on fire!

Gwyneth Paltrow – Her cape and the wonderful eggshell color make this look a best dressed. On the stage, when presenting she came out sans cape, and it was definitely incomplete without it.

Kelly Osbourne – Wonderful dress, great curvy shape, but WTH is going on with her hair??? Last time I saw her she looked completely gray, now she’s got a purple tint to her graying mane… I’m completely distracted by the hair.

Natalie Portman – Last year at this time she looked great pregnant, in the purple Rodarte dress, but this year she falls to the bottom of my list, which lands her at one of the worst dressed of the evening. The dress looks regular, which means boring. On a side note: her neck was draped in stunning diamonds, I wonder how many carats she’s rocking!

Rooney Mara – I was hoping to see something totally different from this actress. The sculpting that is directly on the bust doesn’t look right, and it’s distracting from her gorgeous face. I’m hoping this is the first of many times that I’ll see her walk a red carpet, because I’d like to get a sense of her style.

 Sherri Shephard – This is not how you make an oversized bust look smaller, and the exposed black bra? What was she thinking?? To balance the oversized bust she should have done a fuller skirt with a cinched waist.

My best dressed male for the evening:

Pharell Williams – The velvet bowtie makes this look best dressed along with the beautiful satin trim on his slim tux. Great job Pharell!

{Photo Source}

by Adrienne Yancy


Review of MSPFW by Adrienne Yancy

Fortunately for us, with the new Fashion Week Calendar, we were able to go to many different events with hardly any overlap– thanks to the new and improved MSPFW. We (the Minnesota fashion community)  are now showing around the same time as larger fashion capitals (eg. New York and London), Minnesota Fashion seems a bit more relevant.  And by keeping the amount of shows down,  it was easier to attend more events and not feel like we were missing out on what our peers were presenting.

Here’s a quick review of what we saw this week, but keep in mind that there are two more events tomorrow also! The calendar of events can be viewed online.

Styles for Smiles

{Photo Source: Ruby Girl}

This was a very chill event at venue that was impossible to find. For some reason the directions were not correctly listed on any web source, which may have given every attendee a bad mood coming into the fundraising event! The runway portion of the event left much to be desired, and was understyled. At a fashion event, I love to see things that are new and never-been-seen. However, this show presented run-of-the-mill looks– some of which can be purchased at Heartbreaker and/or would never be considered high fashion. Other than that, the space was amazing! There were treats (who doesn’t love a cupcake or two!?), wine, and shopping which make for one happy girl!

The Red Dress Collection

These and more photos can be found on our Facebook Page!

This show was a great combination of local Minnesota designers who all dressed a ‘local celeb’ in a red dress to raise money and awareness for Heart Disease and women’s heart health programs. Sandy Simmons was our model (above in the ruffle back dress) and she looks amazing in her ArielSimone design. Seven Sushi was a great location, and the place was set up very well. My favorite thing about this show was seeing how different each designers look was, even though we all were required to use red fabric! The least favorite thing about this show was how the venue was only half full. Even though tickets were sold out a week before the show, an entire section of the venue was empty. We heard and witnessed excited supportors being turned away from the event due to ‘capacity’ restraints, which is rather unfortunate. This could have easily been used as an opportunity to raise more money and awareness for the charity in support. Overall, it was well received. We are also extremely thrilled to see this show grow for future MSPFW seasons. We look forward to next year (and hopefully a bigger space to accomodate more people)!

Emerging Designer Showcase

{Photo Source: Rhea Pappas}

Held at the CO Exhibition space, this show was produced by MNFashion and L’etoile. The concept was to show a ‘taste’ of a few emerging designers’ collections. One of my great friends Marissa Bridges showed at this show, her looks are above, and Marissa the designer is on the right. The other standout at this show was Caroline Hayden’s mini collection. Her black evening gown is above also. I did get to see this garment up close and the design was great! I would have like to have seen a greater turnout,  but I’m not sure the small space couldn’t have handled too much more anyway. Overall a great evening, but let me not forget to mention the music! Live music is always fun.

{Photo Source: Corey Tenold}

Oso performed a selection of songs with Mayda Miller. The duo played a couple sets– their sound varying from soulful and happy to electronic and dancy. Oso has an amazing stage presence (she should add hosting to her resume!) and Mayda has such a big, beautiful, soulful voice despite her meek appearance.

The Shows


Emma Berg

Amanda Christine

Set up like a truly traditional NY style show, this show went off without a hitch, and also without most of its viewers! A large portion of the crowd didn’t show until the second presentation.  The Shows designers were: Kjurek, Emma Berg, and Amanda Christine.  Each designer got their own separate presentation and models.  I liked a good number of looks overall, and there was a great crowd. Each designer has a very different aesthetic and mood, and it was really fun to see! At shows like these, I wish we had buyers and real industry professionals to help take designers to the next level in their careers.


{Photo Source: Corey Tenold}Resurgent was held at The Amsterdam bar in St. Paul, which I’d never been to before. They did a great job making it a runway space.  The runway show was slated to start at 7:30, but unfortunately didn’t begin until after 8:30. The post-apocalyptic, indigenous theme was a bit confusing, and I think the styling was over-the-top theatrical. I saw a lot of unfinished hems, puckering, and loose threads here and there, which may or may not have been on purpose because of the theme. I’m just not sure. The standout of the show was the upbeat DJ (D.J. Encounter) that kept us entertained throughout the show with her amazing personal and improvised choreography.  Also, there were a few menswear pieces that were really great!  Overall, I think they may have tried to push out too many looks, and should have instead focused on the tailoring and finishing.

 by Adrienne Yancy

Kanye West, the Fashion Designer? by Adrienne Yancy

So many may not have heard, but Kanye West is now a womenswear designer! He just showed his first collection for Spring/Summer 2012 a few months ago.  Kanye is not only known for his musical success but also his politics, outspoken-ness and not to mention award show antics…so would his collection include any of that spice? After all of his musical successes over the years, I wanted to see his parlay into women’s fashion and see if he was successful in bringing ‘Kanye’ to a new industry.

I think his collection was a bit heavy for the first run. I feel like he tried to do too much since this was his first go, and many critics are in agreement, but he did have a red carpet front row, including the Olson twins, Fendi and her daughter, Dean and Dan Caten, Olivier Theyskens, and Jeremy Scott among many others.


His hip hop influence is definitely there, but I was also seeing a Spanish influence and also video vixen inspired looks. He included many trends that could have been taken into their own separate collections altogether. He featured cutouts, leather, metalwork, sheers, and some sculptural looks that meshed into an incohesive collection as a whole. I really liked his use of white, and the layering, but the shoes for many of the looks were really throwing me off. Kanye did have some help with his first show including Kim Jones, Louise Goldin, Katie Eary, and Louise Wilson on the short list. I think he may have been pulled into too many directions with guidance, and maybe this is a reason for the lack of cohesion in his show.

I definitely am looking forward to seeing more from this fashion icon– I’m just hoping that he finds his voice. I also suggest you all go to and take a look at his complete collection for yourself!

{Photo source 1 & 2}

by Adrienne Yancy

The Lion King is in Minneapolis! by Adrienne Yancy

Last week I FINALLY got the opportunity to see The Lion King at the Orpheum Theatre here in Minneapolis. Like most of my generation, I was raised on Disney movies. This was way before Dora and SpongeBob, so I knew what to expect with the great 1994 story line and funny characters! The musical debuted July 8, 1997, here in Minneapolis. It was an instant success before premiering on Broadway, so I was so excited to see it in its original home!

We started off the evening with dinner and drinks at American Burger Bar, and then headed across the street to the theatre. Walking into the theatre was the most diverse crowd I’ve ever seen in a Minnesota Theatre, and it definitely put a smile on my face! I knew that we’d be seeing an almost all-black cast, so I definitely felt proud seeing so much support from the black community. Such a dramatic difference from when I saw Cinderella last week.

Once the lights dropped, we were taken to the jungle! They did a fabulous job using the entire theatre. The costumes, ornate puppetry and design elements didn’t hide the actors. The first scene of the musical was The Circle of Life, and definitely one I will never forget! We got to see a dozen different jungle animals, and the way they created these huge elephants, moving stages, and sky-scraping giraffes was unbelievable! The singing and dancing were impeccable throughout the entire play, and the makeup was dazzling. The child actors did such a great job with the singing and dancing– they really played the characters well.

They played all my favorite Elton John songs from the movie, but they were all formed around the play and actors. There was a welcome and very noticeable change, Rafiki, the Mandrill monkey was played by a female which created a leading female role. There was also a surprising added scene where King Scar tries to take Nala as his mate…and as a result, she flees the pack.

There honestly isn’t enough that I can say about the costumes the characters operated. Julie Taymor and Michael Curry are the amazing costume designer and puppeteer. The giraffe actors were walking carefully on stilts, Pumbaa and Timon had life sized puppets built around their bodies. The main lions Mufasa and Scar had mechanical headpieces. The hyenas had to shift back and forth moving four limbs and mouths along with the mechanical heads. It was also great seeing the chorus onstage during the songs, because normally they’re usually left offstage.

Overall, this musical deserved its Tony Award, and I can’t believe I waited this long to see it! I’ll definitely see it again every time I have the chance, and I suggest you see it if you haven’t already!

by Adrienne Yancy

Red Carpet Review: The 2012 Golden Globes

We warned you it was coming! The Golden Globes have come and gone, and here we remain to give you a glimpse of the red carpet looks! From those that we covet to those that we despise, we’ll go through a select few for you! Besides Helen Mirren looking 50 years younger, and Kelly Osbourne looking 50 years older, I didn’t see too many shockingly amazing dresses.

We definitely have a winner in Charlize! I love the new silhouette; it’s something I haven’t seen! Combines this season’s high slit with last season’s billows to create something new and fresh! Love it. The rose hue, deep V, and cinched waist definitely accent her straight figure which is the goal! I can do without the 12 year old’s headband, and I would do a different shoe that elongated, not shortened her legs.

OOOH, love this silhouette! She looks like a ballerina marionette. The sheer midsection of the bodice is great too!

I actually love the cut and silhouette of this dress on Angelina, and it’s great to see her with her hair back! She looks young and fresh and very pale, like she’s just been turned (definitely a True Blood reference, lol ) I really like the color-blocked, asymmetrical neckline, and also the midsection seam with pleats. I hope that’s a side slit up the side. On the bad side, the purse looks too bridesmaid-y.

Kate Winslet looks very sexy with the keyhole! I’m all for a glimpse of the girls! The simple long skirt in white brings out the sleekness of her body, while still making this dress a powerful statement! If you didn’t know, white is the color for spring!

I love this dress. It looks amazingly time consuming and perfectly fitting to her body. BUT… Sophia always wears the same silhouette, and that I’m not a fan of.  It would be great to see her step out of the box once in a while.

The only think I love about this dress is the fabric and pleats of the skirt. I’d have taken the V-Neck down lower, and removed all the bangles and just done a big, gaudy ring instead. Maybe switch out the purse for a jeweled tone something and let it ROCK!


This dress turned my smile upside down. It looks like a poor knock-off to Angelina’s dress. She looks like a bridesmaid here. The pink and red were never my favorite color combo, and I know she’s trying to color-block, but this isn’t the way to go. I also don’t like being able to see that seam straight down the front.

She looks like a mummy that crawled out of her casket. Not the best silhouette for her shape since she’s got more broad shoulders, and the black is definitely too strong against her pale skin.

Honestly, this look just confuses me. It looks kind of like a checkerboard. To me, the color of the bodice and skirt don’t match. And it surely doesn’t help that the bodice is encrusted, but the skirt is left plainly patchwork/woven…. Not sure how to feel about this…

Honestly, this is just too plain! With all of the past Project Runway Alumni to pull from, and to see that Heidi choose this, it’s just sad.

Haha… gross. She looks young and vibrant and amazing, but she’s dressed horribly. This silhouette does NOTHING for her, and the color is hideous. Who did this to her?!?

I’m sorry; I just had to include this. This is an old prom dress trick! This is to show what the industry does when they dress a tall or normal sized person. This dress is too short for her, so they added a single layer of tulle to give the ‘illusion’ that this dress is long enough for her. They aren’t fooling anyone, especially not me… it looks pretty bad.

by Adrienne Yancy

Some Days I am a Teacher

Last Thursday we spent the day holding classes at Dunwoody for a high school Career Informational. There were High School kids of all grades and from all around Minnesota that took over Dunwoody for the day to learn about hundreds of different jobs/ careers. Each student got to sign up for 6 different jobs that they were interested in and instead of being taught by teachers, professionals from each field were brought in. I was lucky enough to be one of the professionals teaching about Fashion Design.


There are obviously many aspects to being a clothing designer, but I never imagined that I would one day get comfortable in front of a classroom.

I don’t remember how it all started, but about a year and a half ago, I started teaching at schools around the metro area. I’m not sure how people heard of me, or if maybe they’d just seen me in a few press spots, but I started getting calls and emails to teach on fashion.

I’ve taught at over 6 different schools in the area, including my own, Wayzata High School (Go Trojans!!). My teaching engagements have been both curriculum based and informational for students trying to decide their careers.

It’s been a very rewarding experience overall. At first I started doing it as a way to give back, but now I feel like I’m gaining the motivation and inspiration that I had when I was their age, because it wasn’t long after that, that I started ArielSimone. It’s also been a ripe time to grab prom clients, since prom plans start for females shortly after Christmas break is over!

A few days ago, I got another email from Patrick Henry High, so it looks like that’s where I’ll be teaching next on Feb 24th!

by Adrienne Yancy