Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Empire State of Shopping


I've just returned from an extended vacay in NYC, so it's been all quiet on the Midwestern front since my "milestone" post.  Hard to believe that just 24 hours ago, I was standing on the outside deck of the Empire State Building, taking in the incredible vista and trying not to let my iPhone slip out of my hands 86 stories up in the air.

Like last year, my husband and I had a (bleeping) fabulous time visiting friends and checking out new places to eat, drink, and - of course - shop.  This visit included Brooklyn and Greenwich Village, which was great.  We spent plenty of time in the usual LES/SoHo haunts, too.

I still need to upload pictures and fully download all we did.  My NYC post will not repeat the 5-entry extravaganza that put some of you (and even me) in a word coma.  Instead, it'll be a nice summary of photos and maybe some text.  After all, pictures do speak a thousand words, and sometimes it's hard to verbalize the feelings of being in a different place, especially when it's as massive (in size, experience, and offerings) as NYC.

More to come soon.  Til then, enjoy this snap from yesterday's tourist stop, and if you have a favorite shop, restaurant, or bar in the Big Apple, do share!  Maybe we ended up at the same place :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Milestone Post

Today’s post is kind of a BFD.  At least for me.  It touches on three pretty important things.

B = Birthday of Missoni for Target madness (aka, anniversary, but that doesn't start with "B")
F = Fashion’s Night Out recap (aka, the event I survived but my skirt did not)
D = ¡Dos años de mi blog! (aka, two years of my blog!)

That’s a lot of stuff, right?  Yep.  Which also means this will be a pretty long post.  But, I promise lots of pictures of all sorts of lovely things.  So grab your caffeinated drink and read on...

It's hard to believe it's been a full 365 days since Target unleashed what would become the mother of all collaborations, along with the hype, fury, and completely ridiculous behavior which ensued when supply could not keep up with demand.  I won't rehash in this post, but you can read my musings from last year here.  You'd think that all these months later, I and my Missoni-crazy friends would have forgotten about that event.  But let me tell you, we so have not let it go.  Recently, a few pals re-posted pics of the very first days, including photos of staged Target displays.  We drooled.  We sighed.  And we smiled at the friendships formed in a group whose sole existence was supposed to be trading Missoni items found at each other's stores.  I totally am guilty of going into MfT overkill, but there is still one item that eludes me.  This:

Big sigh.  And a couple utterings of "Curses!"  Ah well.  Maybe one day...  If you happen to know of one for sale, for the love of all things chevron-patterned, tell me!

Naturally, I’m celebrating this anniversary by ordering yet another load of Target offerings.  This time, instead of a massive zigzag campaign, they’ve released a smaller animal known as the Shops at Target 2.  They’ve joined with four designers, including a first-time men’s only collection, for apparel and home.  Like with every collab, I ordered a few things during the first go-round, telling myself it wasn't as good as Missoni and “meh”-ing most of the selections.  However, after seeing friends posting pics and praising certain finds, I ended up returning to the scene and committing more retail crime.  Hey, it’s legal, so it can’t be that bad. 

Patch NYC got the most love from my wallet, although I would like to point out that most of it will be Christmas presents (yeah, right, this is what I said with Missoni).  Here are a few things I got:

Most of the Kirna Zabete clothes and accessories did not appeal to me, but I did gravitate towards this tuxedo blazer: 

Since it’s still in the mail somewhere, I can’t report on fit or general approval.

Odin, catering to the dudes, didn’t exactly have much for the gals.  As for the men in my life?  My dad, brother, and husband are still digging out of all the Missoni I heaped on them last December.  But I ended up buying this candle and scarf:

Lastly, the Curiosity Shoppe… well, it didn’t pique my curiosity very much.  But, like the nutcase I am who felt I had to get something from each group, I found this cutting board kinda fun:

I’m sure you’re thinking, “You bought all of that after imbibing in Fashion’s Night Out?”  Guess what?  I made it out of the fashionista evening with a pair of $15 vanity glasses (I’m hoping I can get my prescriptive lenses fitted inside), a cashmere sweater on sale for $45 in the loveliest burnt orange color, and a couple lipsticks that are richly hued and cruelty-free.  And that’s it.  I swear!  While I didn’t splurge on purchases, I thoroughly enjoyed my night out.  The Twin Cities offered a number of participating retailers, but in the interest of time, sanity, and kindness to my feet (even sporting fairly comfy heels), I pared my visit to 3 stores.  I chose carefully:  Neiman Marcus because it’s pretty and posh, and also ‘cuz it’s closing soon; LD Blues, which is the newest branch of the Len Druskin empire, mostly due to the fact that my favorite denim guru, Nick, would be there; and June, a resale shop that specializes in luxury goods.  With my friend Amy in tow, we headed to Neiman’s first.

My general impression of the very upscale department store’s shindig was this: fairly empty (like the photo above) except for the floor where the fashion show was underway:

Since we were late, a well-dressed crowd had already congregated around the show, preventing us from seeing whatever was being paraded down a small catwalk.  Amy and I gave up and went back downstairs to admire fancy shoes and a few other things before leaving.  One plus was the presence of talented local designer Amanda Christine, whose lovely clothes I’ve seen at a couple local fashion shows before.  She was wearing a great dress that I’m still thinking about.  I hope she got some well-deserved interest from event-goers.  Here she is, looking gorgeous in her own label:

LD Blues was just a short walk from Neiman’s.  As I mentioned, it’s the newest off-shoot from Len Druskin, who has a small army of specialty boutiques around town (including four within a few blocks of each other, each carrying different things).  This particular location stocks denim and casual wear, as well as accessories.  I decided this was not a great night for trying on pants, but I wanted to check out the new spot and see Nick, who typically works at the Edina Galleria location.  OK, Nick rocks, by the way.  He will tell you, honestly, if those bootcuts look good.  He also won’t hesitate to inform you that those orange jeggings are a no-go.  I appreciate that he doesn’t push, and he’s just so nice.  My other fashion pals swear by him as well.  Here’s a few pics of stop number two:

Me and Nick

After LD, my friend bailed thanks to a killer migraine (she gets major points for sticking it out this far).  I headed south to the Lyn-Lake/Uptown ‘hood to make my final stop at June.  This, my friends, is where I scored those amazing Louboutins that I blogged about here.  If you want to browse racks of discounted Prada and Chanel, and ogle neatly lined rows of Jimmy Choos, Cole Haans, and other fabulous footwear, this is THE place.  Man, I kind of hate even sharing my secret, but it’s one worth shining a little chandelier’s light upon.  Owned by Daune Stinson, this boutique accepts previously-owned covetables, which are carefully inspected and approved before making it to the racks.  Most everything is very gently worn or even brand new (the latter being my dear pumps).

Upon my arrival, the party was going strong.  I stepped into a crowded room full of shoppers and merchants, as Daune was hosting two other small businesses.  One of which was the Elixery, a cosmetics company founded on old-school craft, who was selling the lipsticks I mentioned above.  While I browsed all the goodies and tried on various colors, I ran into Ini, whom I've previously declared to be the most fashionable guy I know and the owner of the late (and much beloved) Ivy boutique.  Situated so close to my home it was a little evil, I couldn’t help but walk out of Ivy with something gorgeous whenever I just dropped in (seriously, his boutique was between the bus and my house).  Ini carried many emerging, cutting-edge brands which I’d read about, oh, five months later in style mags.  He's also a sweet guy, and I can’t wait to see what his next endeavor will be.  Some photos from June:

Wall of shoes!  Oh, how I want a wall of shoes, too...

The Elixery ladies

I love all the warm colors in this photo (head included for Elly, she'll understand my cryptic addition).

Ini and Daune.  Lovin' their style.

By the time I left June, they were ready to call it a night.  I switched into my Skechers and enjoyed a 2-mile walk back home through Uptown and felt extremely lucky to live in a neighborhood that teems with all sorts of businesses.  I am also grateful to have gotten to know a few of the taste-makers around the cities.  As a fashion-addict, it’s grand to find places to buy great things, but it’s even more valuable to build relationships with the shop owners and salespeople.  Makes for a good community, right?

Still with me?  I hope so!  Need a refill on that Diet Coke (or sidecar)?  I'll wait...

Last, but not least, this is my 100th blog post!  Crazy!  Not only that, but I’m pretty close to my second anniversary of having started this little creation.  I still find it immensely enjoyable to write, and I hope you come away from reading it with a smile or laugh.  Even better, maybe I’ve turned you on to a new designer, store, or trend.  I know I always ask for comments, whether it’s sharing what you love about fashion and shopping, or maybe adding your 2 cents to topics I bring up.  Please don’t be shy – I really love the feedback and it feels more like a conversation than me just blathering to you all.  As I head into my third year of Mir Gefaellt Es, feel free to suggest a theme or two that you’d like me to cover – color trends?  More bad fashion choices?  More of my "retro" collection, including those J. Crew catalogs from 1993?  (Note:  the Crewster itself has started pulling from its own archives).  Perhaps you remember these:

So, a big Muchas Gracias/Vielen Dank/Merci Beaucoup for not just sticking with me through my long (but picturesque) post, but I also want to extend great thanks for following my blog.  Sure, it's a great way to document all the things I see/like/have gotta tell someone about; and it's a nice vehicle for developing my writing skills (a good change from the dorky stories I wrote as an eighth-grader, and it definitely beats 20-page papers on architectural theory by many red heels).  But my biggest hope is for my ramblings to help you discover something new, perhaps resulting in an item you'll want to have for your very own self.  Because, as my friends can attest, besides being a huge shopper, I make an excellent enabler.  So I hope I've been able to, er, persuade you to add to your collection, whether it be a few edited pieces or a whole mountain of Missoni :)


Missoni for Target / Shops at Target merchandise -
Fashion's Night Out images - my own

Thanks to Neiman Marcus, Amanda Christine, LD Blues, Nick, June, Daune, Ini, and all the other retailers and designers for contributing to the fashion scene here in the TC!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

If Only...

There are a number of occasions when I wish like hell that I lived in New York City.  That feeling will significantly intensify tomorrow.  Why?  Because it's Fashion's Night Out!  What's that, you ask?  Click here and be enlightened.

While many cities in various countries will be participating, it just feels like if you're gonna do it right, you've gotta be in the NYC.  The fact that my favorite stores like Theory and Trina Turk have been mailing me invites to stop by their Manhattan flagship celebrations only makes me grit my teeth all the more and conduct an impulsive online search for Lower East Side residential shoeboxes.  Here are a couple of the Facebook announcements that incited said gnashing of chompers:


To console myself with not partaking in the East Coast shindigs, I'll be hitting the events back here in Minneapolis.  I'm definitely stopping by the Neiman Marcus party, considering it will be shuttered by this time next year.  There are other places both downtown and in nearby areas to check out as well, including part of the Len Druskin empire, the Galleria in Edina, and some local boutiques like martinpatrick3 and June.  Here's the NM e-flyer:

All the fab fashion I can handle?  Sounds like a challenge I'm willing to take on.  Additionally, I'll be toting my camera, so you can look forward to snaps from FNO:  The Minnesota Version, next week.

Will you be joining in this annual night of style?  Somewhere here in the USA or abroad (I'm already super jealous of Radley London's Spot the Scottie promo going on across the pond)?  Got an awesome outfit you're ready to rock, regardless of any local FNO events? Would love to hear it - hey, you don't need an organized soirée to break out a Fashion Week-worthy ensemble.  And you've gotta tell me if you plan to hit the stores.  Especially if you'll be in the Mini-Apple.  Or the big one!

#1 - my own
#2 - Theory via Facebook
#3 - Vince via Facbook
#4 - Neiman Marcus via Facebook

To check out my nutso day of shopping in NYC last summer, amble over here.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I R Famus! AKA, the LOLCats Take Over MPLS

August turned out to be quite a busy month.  Between birthdays, fall fashion bonanzas, and the typical stuff we all try to cram in as Autumn approaches, there's not a lot of downtime to be had.  And I'm not even counting the Minnesota State Fair this year, because I'm about 99% sure I won't make it to that annual ritual of fried food on a stick, insane people-watching, and livestock displays.

However, I was purrfectly happy to close out the summer months with quite a different event.  As in the first (but probably not last) Internet Cat Video Film Fest.  After all, what’s better than watching the plethora of cat videos you've already peeped a hundred times from the secrecy of your laptop?  Why, LOL-ing at them on the big screen.  With 10,000 of your closest feline-lovin’ friends.  Yes, we can haz film fest!  Cheezburger, no, is not importanz.

What started as a seemingly hairballed idea quickly grew to become an international sensation, with media coverage from bigwigs like the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and even the BBC.  Hosted by the Walker Art Center and its Open Field program, a massive sea of cat video adorers filled the hillside next to the art museum to witness epic-sized mewling, jumping, barking, and self-reflection.  Sometimes cute and cuddly, sometimes cat-astrophic, and almost always funny, we enjoyed the big screen antics with a lovely Minneapolis twilight serving as our backdrop.

Here are some photos I snapped from the evening:

After a quick dinner and drink, we crossed the bridge that spans I-94 to get to the Walker, which you can see popping up to the right of the traffic.

The event planners expected about 5,000 people to show up and got closer to double that number.  It made for a very cozy night.  And yes, there were cats (and dogs) in attendance.

Waiting for the LOL-ing to begin...

 A glance back at the museum, rising up from the crowds.

Introducing the fest...

Sorry I don't have better images...

We laughed.  We cried.  And I can tell you it was better than Cats (the musical).  Who needs Mr. Mistoffelees when you can watch Maru propel himself through box after empty box.  I need to watch these videos again.  Right meow.  

Are you a fan of those LOL Cats?  What do you think of the whole phenomena?  Were you one of my fellow festival attendees?  If so, what was your favorite clip from the parade of kitties?  I liked 4-5 of them especially, including the random Boots & Cats, the creepy yet awesome Kitty City, and of course, Maru.  I'll close out today's post with another new fave - Cat vs. Metronome.  As someone who all too well remembers practicing my Mozart or études with one of those contraptions snapping at me, I enjoyed the outcome as much as that cat.  Go ahead and click on the Walker Art Center's image below and it'll take you to the vid.  

Still want to know more about this ridiculously successful event?  Click on the screenshot of the Walker's homepage (taken the day of the fest and apparently taken over by kittehz):

OK.  I R tiredz.  Too maneh laffs.  Needz nap.  And mehbeh drink.

Images: my own, except the last two (credited above)