Saturday, December 1, 2012

And, Go!

The long-awaited Target+Neiman Marcus collaboration launch date has arrived.  I placed an online order at 1:30 AM and dragged my tired butt to the mothership store at 9:00 AM.  

How about you?  Are you partaking?  Online or in-person?  What was your experience?  Share your stories (and scores) here!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Coat That Ate The Girl Who Ate The Purse

Since I've been on a roll about collaborations lately, we might as well talk about another one that hit stores late last week.  That's right, the mash-up known as H&M and Maison Martin Margiela, the latter boasting fashions that seem to defy wearability sometimes.  In fact, this newest partnership resulted in a line of men and women's clothes and accessories which draw from past MMM collections.  This time around, though, the price points are much lower than the high-stylin' regular pieces.  And yet, one could argue, "Define lower price points."  Because, while the assembly of covetable items doesn't require a "K" after a numeral, I'm not sure you want to fork out $300+ for a huge coat that resembles bedding and looks like it might want to eat you.  

On the other hand, I like scary puffy coats.  Hell, I live in the Upper Midwest and winter is about to drop an arctic beat on us Northerners.

Here are a few other things I was drawn to or perplexed by:

Beautiful color, challenging draping.

They're pants!  They're a skirt!  They're skants!

I like the watch belt idea, but IRL, I couldn't find a clasp anywhere on the thing.  

This is a purse.  No, really.  My friends adore it.  I'm worried I might start gnawing on it when hunger strikes.

Speaking of devouring, here is the coat that may indeed consume me.  I'm OK with this.

I didn't even notice these flats til my friend posted a photo of them.  Me liked, so me bought.  It comes with "heels" that aren't intended for the shoes.  Uh-huh.  They're strung on a ribbon and meant to be worn as...  wait for it...  a necklace.  I can't wait to mess with my coworkers.

The guitar carryall for men.  I dunno.  I think the musicians are gonna pelt you with pennies.

So, I saw this shirt hanging out in the women's section.  It's a little boxy, but I liked the fit and slightly angular draping.  Turns out it's a dude's top.  I got my true size.  Not sure who should be more annoyed by the small fit - me or the guys.

These are awesome but they must've sold out at my store.

Again, the watch motif is cool on this oversized necklace.  But then all I could think of was this guy:

Yep.  Flava-Flav.  No can do.

So there are some highlights from the collection.  Oddly, Refinery29, which is where I grabbed these photos from, claims to include the entire inventory.  But I saw some other things, like a brown men's bag and a crazy glittery necklace for the chicks (see first pic below).  As I mentioned, I was able to pop into one of the H&M's and gaze upon things with my own peepers.  But not here in MN.  Sadly, I guess we don't make the cut for limited-edition must-have collabs like this (we got the shaft for the Marni stint, too, I think).  As luck would have it, I spent this past weekend back home in Chicago.  Where, you know, you can see this stuff for real (and pay real sales tax, unlike up here in MN...  note to retailers, people might buy more in locations where they don't have to shell out for taxes...  just an idea... ).

Here are a few photos from the IRL ("in real life") trip:

I got to keep the hangers.  Kinda arty, and if I'm gonna spend this kind of cash at H&M, I'll take 'em.

And here's my 3 picks on myself:

  Some pals love it, others asked me if I'm trying to look like this on purpose.  Granted, I don't plan to wear these all together "IRL."  But if my purchases give you pause, just wait til I get my hands on that duvet coat.  The Stay Puff'd Marshmallow man'll have nothing on me.  Nada.

What do you think?  Some good stuff from this joint venture, or does everything look like it might attack you?

All individual pieces from
Flava-Flav from Wikipedia
In-store pics and weird self-portrait are my own

Sunday, November 11, 2012

As Manic As Missoni?

Yesterday, it was 70 degrees and sunny here in the tundra.  People sported shorts and t-shirts and swarmed my neighborhood of Uptown like ants on a picnic basket.  I wasn't feeling the whole winter holiday vibe.  But, in true Midwestern fashion, it snowed this morning and tonight will be a hot cocoa-inducing 19 degrees Fahrenheit.  So the crazy-early Christmas displays in stores make, well, a little more sense again.  But still not much.  Warm spell aside, I can't deny holiday shopping is about to charge into full steam ahead.

Perfectly planned to sync with the retailing furor, Target is about to find out whether its hotly anticipated new collaboration with Neiman Marcus will create as much of a frenzy as that now infamous launch with Missoni.  Armed with 24 different high-end designers, this joint venture finds itself in fairly unprecedented territory, kicking the whole retail bar up a notch as well.  Not only has the mass retailer paired up with a society grande dame heretofore considered "out of its league," but the designer roster is quite an impressive who's who from the CFDA - aka the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Now that the lookbook is available online, I've done my window shopping and made my list.  I was surprised at the number of items that appealed to me, either as gifts or for yours truly.  Home decor and clothes are the main offerings, and while it weighs more towards the ladies, there are dude-friendly choices, too.

Here are some of the eagerly-awaited things just waiting to jump into your cart:

Already familiar to Target, Jason Wu is back, this time putting his fancy touches on ornaments.

Carolina Herrera, of the swooping formal gowns, sticks with smaller accessories for this launch.

A pretty darn cool cocktail set up from Altazurra.

Lela Rose's top is pretty, but it also looks complicated to pull on.  I envision getting everything from chunky rings to kids' curious fingers snagged in the delicate overlay.

These opera gloves by Brian Atwood look even better in person.

I predict madness as moms try to grab this Marchesa number for their little princesses.

I love this blazer from Thom Browne.  Too bad the chick's version has 3/4 sleeves.  Maybe I'll see if I can get away with the men's option shown here.  It does kinda smack of the Olympics' opening ceremony, but who cares.

Do I want a skateboard by Derek Lam?  Yes.

Aww...  Band of Outsiders is offering you and your BFF the chance to show your love.

I adore Diane von Furstenberg.  My adoration extends to her jewelry box.

A Rag + Bone flask?  Hellz yeah!

Should you feel inclined to share your secret stash of bourbon...

Tracy Reese's first foray into hardlines, I believe.  And these are also much prettier in person.  I passed up the online version, only to find myself coveting the real-life display.  (P.S.  I got to meet Tracy, and she is the sweetest gal ever, making my decision to buy her appetizer plates that much easier.)

The perfect holiday party dress, thanks to Robert Rodriguez.  Now I just need to find that party.

Wanna spoil your pup (or cat)?  Oscar de la Renta enables you.

Oscar also enables you to treat yourself with this chic printed purse.

It's sort of random, but I like Rodarte's moon wrapping paper.

Eddie Borgo's larger-than-I-expected letter opener.  Scary in a good, elegant way.  I'll keep this at my desk, for tearing through envelopes and warding off the engineers, haha.

Of course Marc Jacobs wasn't going to do any full-size satchels, but his pouches are cute and festive.

Oh, Proenza Schouler, I was really hoping for a bag of some sort.  Guess this sweatshirt will have to do, instead.

And finally, Tory Burch's colorful thermos, which you can pair with...

...her glam take on the lunch box.  I really love Tory's designs, and these are no exceptions.  Too fab for your egg salad sandwich and turkey wrap?  I'll stash my pile of sunglasses in here.

So...  what caught your eye?  Scribbling down a wish list now, too?  Let me know what made you do a happy dance.  Or, were you expecting/wishing for different things from certain designers?  What were those?  I'd be curious to see if we had some similar "why didn't ABC do 123 instead of XYZ?" moments.  There are many other pieces to salivate over, including a bike by Alice+Olivia (looked ginormous to me), a cape by Prabal Gurung, and so on.  Click here to see the entire lookbook (cue the crying and/or chiding of your checkbook).

The Target+Neiman Marcus collaboration unleashes the mayhem on Saturday, 12/1.  I'm still deciding whether to stick with online shopping (and risk website crashes circa September 2011) or drag my butt out of bed and hit one of the stores.  Oh, and both Target and Neiman Marcus will carry the entire assortment.  While the former is accustomed to the crush of shoppers, I have to wonder if Neiman's has planned for a possible onslaught.  Hmm.  That could be interesting.  

Finally, a plea to Target's co-collaborator...  Considering you've just engaged in this lovely partnership, don't you think it's kind of mean to close your Minneapolis outpost??  We've already suffered the loss of other upscale department stores...  bye-bye Bloomie's and Saks.  While I love Nordstrom bunches, I hate to see it become the lone wolf.  Please consider keeping our Neiman Marcus open.  Some may snort and call it Needless Mark-Up, but I think plenty of fashionistas here "need" you.  And you realize you'd be closing shop on Target's home turf...  isn't that like giving your partner and newfound BFF the finger?  I don't know...  just a thought...

Coming soon...  Uptown (in Minneapolis) continues to turn into a mall, without the roof...  But is this a bad thing?

All images:  A Bullseye View /

Sunday, November 4, 2012

And In Other News...

Kind of how I've been feeling this week.

Anyone interested in trying to caption this?  Lots of arsenal to choose from... Halloween, Daylight Savings Time, turkeys, bears, sazeracs, Tina Fey (sorry, super random stream of consciousness).  Just, please, nothing to do with the election.  The political frenzy has tempted me to follow my pal's lead...  twist off my head and replace it with something which simply blinks on and off, happy in its own weird, discombobulated, darkly humorous, and endearingly creepy campaign-free world.  Thankfully, all I need to do is glance at my desk mascot to keep me sane over the next few days.  He arrived just in time for last Wednesday's festivities, but now I realize he neatly sums up an entire week of events.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Shoes I Didn't Want to Love...

First off, I want to tell you East Coasters that I'm thinking of y'all and hope that you and your loved ones are OK.  I've been monitoring Sandy (the Superstorm) with a keen and nervous eye, as I have several friends up and down the seaboard.  In fact, it's hard and haunting to believe that just over 5 weeks ago, I was having a fabulous time in the Lower East Side and Brooklyn.  Most of the places I visited are now under water.  Not the Halloween scare any of us really wanted, was it?

So, I'm wishing a safe and speedy recovery for you guys!

Back here in the Midwest, we got our first snow (which fortunately didn't stick) and hard freeze.  Sweater weather is here to stay, and I've even seen some down coats riding the bus to work on a couple chilly mornings.

Seems like a dumb time to become obsessed with smoking slippers (not exactly made for trekking in 4 inches of slushy snow), but after spying and snagging my cat slippers in a Cobble Hill store, I'm weirdly loving this new trend.  I'd seen retailers trotting them out earlier this year, but I did the typical "Bah" shrug and kept browsing.  However, now that I'm the proud owner of a pair of these puppies, I want more.  

Here's where I can lay the blame:

After some decent web trawling, I think these would be nice additions:

Nice and simple.  And 'spensive.  Cuz it's Prada.

Lovin' the plaid.  That'll fix a drab outfit fast.

Aaaahhhh, more cats!  In red to boot.

And for Halloween...  

Also good for 10/31, but really suitable for any day of the year. 

There seems to be some odd balance of trying to keep your slippers from looking too loafer-y.  Or at least I mentally separate all the search results into different piles.  Some styles appear to veer towards "old lady" (which is cool, just not my style).  Others look like typical loafers (again, fine, but not what I'm looking for).  Still others, I don't even know what they want to be.

Perhaps the overall trend of the smoking slipper has some of you scratching your heads or giving it the big "Ick" stamp.  What's your take?  Do you love this style and already own a pair?  Need to try them on first (like I did) to be convinced and fall in love?  Or do they fall into your peripheral vision, your focus on totally other kinds of shoes?  Let me know, I'd love to hear!

Coming soon...  what I want from the hotly anticipated Target + Neiman Marcus collaboration.  If you don't think this is gonna be a BFD, I suspect you might be wrong...

And finally, speaking of scary, I'm cobbling together a decidedly sad semblance of a costume for tomorrow's festivities.  It involves random purchases from places as disparate as Macy's, Urban Outfitters, Ragstock, and a wig store.  Regardless of how scarily good (or pathetic) your outfit may be, I wish all of you stateside a very safe and happy Halloween full of good treats, be they candy for the kids or a cauldron filled with boozy delights!

Image credits:
Cat slippers - my own
Prada slippers - Neiman Marcus
Plaid slippers -
Red cat slippers - Charlotte Olympia
Skull slippers - Del Toro
Spiky slippers -

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Walking in L.A.

Although I only spent about 36 hours in Los Angeles, with a chunk of that time dedicated to work stuff, I have to say I accomplished quite a lot.  Between a stroll for lunch with coworkers (that’s right, I just equated walking with probably one of the least pedestrian-friendly cities in the US) and a couple hours of downtime, I have a pile of pictures to share with you.

Highlights included some return-worthy restaurants, the Grove – a combination of upscale shopping and fabulous farmer’s market, tons of unique stores, and Bill Clinton dining in the bottom of my hotel.  We spotted the secret service and paparazzi hanging out in front of the place, where the latter snapped a picture of me and my friend.  I’m about 99.999% sure it was  to test the lens or something.  Even so, I think that’s the first (and most likely last) celebrity shot of me, ever.

I spent most of my time in the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area, specifically on 3rd Street.  Nope, I had no interest in hitting the super high-end boutiques on Rodeo Drive.  Instead, I enjoyed wandering into random shops, whatever piqued my interest.  Whether they offered cute leather skirts, weirdly endearing Darth Vader cartoony books, or a heavy-duty metal owl bottle opener, each merchant had plenty of things that caught my eye.

With brief excursions to Westwood and downtown LA, I didn’t make it to the short list I’d drawn up in the previous entry.  So, just like with NYC, I have unfinished biz.  Adding in the fact that I have friends to visit out here, I’m absolutely coming back to the City of Angels.  I’m not really sure what I expected it to be, but I liked it more than I had imagined.

Herewith, my “drive-by” documentation:

I introduced my coworker to Surdyk's Flights at MSP - yay!

I love landing in a new place at night.  It seems so mysterious.

The not-so-mysterious morning view.

I know I'm in LA when I can get a hot chocolate with almond milk.

My constant compass - the hills in the haze.

 Makes gas prices back home seem fairly reasonable.

I like Kid Robot, so you know I like these critters.

Sadly, I didn't make it in here.

Love that dress.

Wall of shoes!  Hmm, I sense a home project brewing...

The siren's call...

I could've spent much longer in this food heaven.

Uptown Minneapolis people may see something kinda familiar here.

Yup, I got the fish tacos.  Very tasty.

I totally think kids should be deposited in here...

I saw interesting architecture during my stay.  

I wish we'd had time to peek down some of the side streets - I loved seeing the residential design and saw some downright cute (and presumably pricey) homes.

Stopped at the LA Westwood Target store.

Should be called The Roosting Blvd.

Can you hear the 90210 theme?

Again, need to come back to spend some time in K-town.

Part of my work trip included going to the opening of the City Target in downtown LA.  A great, complex project and a fun night.

My coworkers (minus the dudes) and me.

They had churros!

Ribbon-cutting with the mayor.

Naturally, Bullseye made an appearance.

The dessert case was nice...

...but it was the macaron trees that made my heart skip a cholesterol-clogged beat!

Pretending I'm back in Paris.

Interesting way to advertise your store.

And who's there to greet you but...

...bedazzled bears?

This deceptively simple storefront housed a fabulous boutique filled with great indie labels.

I want that clothing rack.  Industrial yet stylish.

This place also held a great surprise...

Out the back door, the friendly and funny shopkeeper led me through a gorgeous patio... their hidden shoe department, tucked away in what felt like the loveliest of guest homes.

I could have moved into this room and made it my own.

A home store with interior design services.  I did some Christmas shopping at this one.

Notice the guy in the back?  He's running empty plates through the merch.

First time I've seen a restaurant that operates through a clothing store.

A fun, quirky retailer recommended to me for its hip and giftable selections.

Those phones on the bottom shelf are making me feel ancient.

And last, but sooo not least.  I was thrilled to discover that a woman whose trunk show I stumbled upon back in Minnesota works out of a studio that was located literally across the street from my hotel.  How.  Convenient.  Elaine Kim designs beautiful, minimal clothes with clean lines and comfortable fabrics.  She also has some to-die-for leather goods.

A sheer and cozy top, matched with a killer grey leather mini.

Elaine and me.

An interesting vista back to LAX.  For a minute I thought I was back in Texas.

Flying back to the Midwest over the mountains.

So there you have it.  My first trip to LA, but mos def not my last.  Special thanks to my coworkers, especially Kelli, for tolerating my constant shuffling behind to snap photos of what they rightfully thought was everything and anything.  I'm sure there were thoughts of, "Really?  That, too?  Another storefront?"  Heh.

Considering I saw probably 5% of all the good stuff, there's still a ton I want to check out when I come back...  Sawtelle, Abbot-Kinney, Santa Monica...  my mind is playing twister as I think of everything I still want to see, eat, drink, and explore.

In my best Ahhhnold voice (and appropriate for California)...  "I'll be baahhhk."

Images:  my own