Fashion Provocateur

Game On

Jordan Dechambre on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 10:45:00 am 
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The basics of supporting your team — in style

It’s never been easier to take one for the team. The trend of athletic clothing and accessories — and sports-inspired pieces — is taking the leap from 2012 to 2013, continuing a game-time fashion fix. But you can play (and win!) the fall fashion challenge at your next Packers, Bucks or Badgers game by cleverly using color and on-trend athletic pieces to your advantage.


Game Face Fashion
Do you remember when athletic-inspired fashion was a loose pair of pants, T-shirt and baseball cap? What about a pair of yoga pants and a tank? Those days have come and gone. In 2012, we saw a full-court press from fashion designers adding athletic influences into both their men’s and women’s collections. Now, in fall 2013, those sporty fashion upgrades are finding an even sleeker home in boutiques near you. Varsity and bomber jackets — perfect for layering — as well as side-stripe track-inspired pants’ boxy sweatshirts; pleated wool and leather skirts; and moto jackets and zip-detailed pants all give a nod to our athletic roots. And what’s fall without the perfect accessory? Men and women alike are turning to plaid baseball caps, colorful sneakers and rubber watches for the perfect sporty mix. For women, Lucite jewelry adds an athletic edge without losing femininity.


Show Your Colors
It’s not always easy to look fabulous when attending a sporting event. But it is absolutely possible. Using team colors to your advantage allows you to both support your favorite team and look great. Oh, the Packers: They just had to go and choose green and gold. And the Bucks? Green and red (no one wants to dress like a Christmas tree!) At least the Badgers are kind with red and white — an easy, everyday combo. If you have your heart set on head-to-toe team colors, the best way to rock them is to use a neutral to break them up. Toss on a white T-shirt with a pair of Army green or camo pants and a neutral varsity jacket with gold piping to “go Pack go.” Or, a green button-up with jeans and red kicks can show your Bucks pride without the holiday jeer.


Fit to Win
Whether you choose to wear a trendy athletic piece or team color combo, always pay close attention to fit. Sportswear does not translate into a sloppy, two sizes too big, “I may have slept in these clothes” outfit. Your clothing should accentuate your shape and build, not hang from it like loose bedding. At the end of the day, if you master the fit, you are well on your way to mastering the fashion game.

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Dream Dresses

Fashion Editor Jordan Dechambre on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 
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The Sweet 16

Fashion Editor Jordan Dechambre on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 1:00:00 am 
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Head of the Class

Fashion Editor Jordan Dechambre on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 
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Fall Closet Makeover

Jordan Dechambre on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 8:00:00 am 
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What to keep, what to toss — and the key pieces to add now

It’s that time of year again. The month where you look at your summer clothing and wonder what you can possibly still wear into fall — and open your dreaded spare closet to see what trends you can reintroduce from the year before. But the task of organizing your closet for fall doesn’t have to be daunting. The key is to identify which pieces to keep, which to donate and what you need to purchase to create the perfect, well-rounded fall 2013 wardrobe. And we’ve done the work for you!

What’s In


 Bright Blue, Winter White and Gray
While 2012 saw a return to rich tones like oxblood, burgundy and fiery red, this season it’s all about the cool tones of blue, gray and winter white. Vibrant blues are found on a variety of statement-making pieces this season, with gray and white acting as the new neutrals. Men can go bold with a blue velvet jacket or subtle with pops of the color in accessories. And the gray suit will be a staple of fall and winter menswear. The great news? All three colors are wonderful on all skin tones.

Embellishment and Fur
Many of you probably have a closet full of “bells and whistles” garments after last year began an ushering in of opulence. This season continues the glamorous statement with embellishments everywhere — especially on accessories like footwear and statement necklaces. And you can’t go wrong with fur in all of its luxe forms, from coats and neckwear to details on dresses and shoes.

Color Blocking and Bold Pattern
These trends have only gained momentum the past few years and will not be going anywhere soon. Color blocking, with its form-flattering optical illusion, is a favorite of women of all shapes and sizes. Bold patterns are hot this season for men and women, with ethnic inspirations leading the way.

Everything Leather
It’s beyond sexy — and it was all over the runways for Fall 2013. Leather is the ultimate fabric for both men and women this season, from dresses to jackets, skirts, pants and everything in between. If real leather is out of your price range, consider vegan, which mimics the supple nature without the expense. For a fresh take, try leather for day in black, winter white or taupe.

High Boots and Patterned Tights
Over-the-knee and knee-height boots just might edge the akle boot for the “it” footwear of the season. (But don’t fret ankle book fans, the hipster faze isn’t moving to the “out list” anytime soon.) Pair high boots with patterned tights for shorter hemlines, or even a knee-high knit legging for a funky edge. Patterned tights are replacing opaque black for special occasion and daywear — and are a great way to add flare to a little black (or gray) dress this season.

What’s Out


Burgundy: The hottest color of 2012, this year red hues are replaced by vibrant blues.
Military: Influences will still be popping up here and there, but overall a return to glamour is on the horizon.
Jumpsuits: Still strong in the summer months, but fading out for fall.
Platform Heels: Replaced by pointy-toe and stacked heels this season.
Contrasting or Adorned Collars: Being phased out like secondhand news.
Red Tartan: The “cabin” casual of 2012 is now fresh in rich neutrals and ethnic-inspired prints.

 

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Dress for Success

Jordan Dechambre on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 9:00:00 am 
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Curating the perfect work wardrobe

Company dress codes are a never-ending battle for women.

We often misinterpret the dress code, or don’t abide by it. This is especially confusing when companies have a code in place but don’t enforce it.
I often hear objections, such as: “Why do I have to look nice at work if I don’t see anybody?” It’s a compelling argument. For instance, if you’re a marketing director who meets with clients every day, it makes sense to dress professionally. But for the computer programmer who sits in her cube all day, does it really matter what she’s wearing?
If you want to be promoted, it does. In a new CareerBuilder.com survey, 41 percent of employers said individuals who dress better or more professionally tend to be promoted more often than others in their organization.

MAKE IT YOUR OWN
Many of us resist embracing our work wardrobes because we don’t fully understand how to interject our personal style into a work-appropriate look. This notion could not be further from the truth. No matter what the dress code at your job (certain extreme cases excluded) there is always an outlet for your inner fashionista.
Generally, well-placed accessories are the easiest way to add a little flair to workwear. From a little sparkle on the ear to a statement necklace or colorful scarf, accessories are a simple yet satisfying way to elevate your wardrobe.
Work wardrobe essentials like suits can be tailored for a more fashion-forward edge, while skirts may be done in a fun peplum for a bit of flair. Try a pop of color or pattern in a traditional button-up, or trade in your wide-leg pants for a more tailored, slim fit. Pointy-toe heels and patterned hosiery can also make a subtle feminine statement.

BASICS, NOT BORING!
Dressing work-appropriate doesn’t have to be boring. First, stock your closet! Start with the versatile basics, such as a pair of tailored black pants, a well-cut suit, a classic white shirt and sophisticated pumps. Once you have the staples, you can continue to build your wardrobe to give you plenty of professional options.
Here’s a look at the essential of a well-heeled work wardrobe:

A black blazer
Trousers (black, gray and tan)
A black pencil skirt
Black pumps
Fashionable flats
Sweaters (a crewneck and a cardigan)
A trench coat
A classic work tote
A patterned blouse
A white button-down shirt
An oversized watch
A day dress

GOLDEN RULES
Whether your place of work is strict or relaxed, there is a certain level of refinement that should always be maintained — and things you should simply never do.

• Obey the workplace dress code … whether you like it or not.
• Avoid revealing too much cleavage.
• Keep your straps under wraps. Never let your bra show.
• Keep your hemlines in check. A few inches above the knee is the shortest you should go.
• Save slinkier styles, like lacy camisoles and strapless dresses, for the evening.
• Don’t get too wacky. It’s fine to express your personal style, but keep it refined.
When in doubt, just remember this famous quote from Coco Chanel: “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Live that advice, and you’ll always make the right choice!

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The Dapper Man

Jordan Dechambre on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 7:00:00 am 
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Sophisticated style with a colorful, raw edge exemplifies today’s fashionable guy

Men of style. Women love them. Guys want to be them.

And guess what? It’s easier than you think.

While men tend to be risk-takers in many areas of their lives, fashion is usually not one of them ­­­— which, as a woman, can be disappointing. There’s nothing ladies love more than a confident man rocking his own, carefully cultivated personal style.
A strong fashion sense not only shows that a man cares about his appearance, but that he is courageous enough to wear what makes him feel sexy and strong.
Luckily, this summer’s hottest looks are a fabulous collection of sophisticated pieces that can be mixed and matched with bold colors, fun patterns and edgy extras.

Here’s a look at a few of the season’s must-try trends.

PATTERN PERFECTION
Prints won’t bite. I promise. Instead of the usual and expected solids and simple plaids, try a bold print in a colorful stripe (from preppy nautical to pinstripes and rugby), street chic camouflage — THE print of the season — and even polka dots and black-and-white graphics. Look for bold patterns on accessories as well, which are perfect for those who only want to dip their toes into the print pool.

ATHLETIC APPEAL
Athletic influences have been all over the runways the past few seasons, and Spring 2013 was no exception. The leader of the pack? Baseball jackets — made new in a variety of bold colors — scored on the runways from Burberry to Gucci. The look is best when paired with sophisticated separates to avoid looking like an actual baseball player. As with most things in life, sporting a trend without striking out is a delicate balancing act.

IN LIVING COLOR
This season is all about neon. But forget the ’80s images of Hypercolor and multicolor nylon bomber jackets, summer 2013 finds tasteful uses of the vivid tones as a pop of color on soles of shoes and eye-catching watches, accent color on scarves and ties, and even as a subtle peek-a-boo on a pair of socks. For those willing to take a risk, try a bold orange or yellow on casual shorts or cotton pants.

SUIT UP
Ladies, is there anything sexier than a man in a well-cut suit? (Well, besides boxer briefs, of course!) Guys, this summer, ditch the usual black or gray staple, and instead try a blue suit in a rich or neutral tone or channel vintage chic with a light brown alternative. For a fashion-forward statement, try a cranberry color, which brightens and flatters all skin tones. No matter the color you choose, make sure your suit is fit to perfection (and don’t be afraid to visit a tailor for alterations).

DENIM: A DO!
Perfect pair of jeans? Check! But what about a classic denim shirt to pair with summer khakis and shorts, or a street chic jean jacket or vest? All are back with a bang for summer, and are easy pieces to integrate into any wardrobe. Denim is a rare fabrication that, like leather, can achieve sophistication and edge all at once. Much like the men who wear it, it’s a truly dynamic choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get Fresh

Jordan Dechambre on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 6:00:00 am 
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Shake up your wardrobe with the season’s essential looks

From world beats to American classics, spring 2013 is highlighted by a range of looks for every style, shape and budget. Mixing and matching patterns, colors and fabrics instantly expands every wardrobe, while keeping it monochromatic is stunning in its simplicity. No matter your personal style you are guaranteed to find that perfect piece to ensure you put your best, most fashionable foot forward this season. Here are five key trends to incorporate into your wardrobe now.


THE SHIRT DRESS
Is there a more classic piece for your wardrobe than the fabulous and oh-so versatile shirt dress? A universally flattering closet staple, the shirt dress continues to be a style star for spring/summer 2013. The look is fresh in novelty patterns like stripes, polka dots and florals or bold, bright colors. Pair it with a large satchel and sandals for an easy go-to luxe look.


PRINT MIXING
Don’t be afraid to shake things up this season. In an era of celebrated self-expression and individualism, it’s vital to know your fashion voice — and have the confidence to express it. So why not say it loud and clear with fun prints and patterns? Kaleidoscope prints, florals, dots, stripes, chevrons, tribals and more are popular this season in both attire and accessories. Just follow this rule of thumb for a flawless combo look: Always mix large prints with small prints. As with anything in life, it’s all about the balance!


LAYER IT ON
Layers aren’t just for fall and winter anymore. Especially prevalent in men’s collections this season, layered looks are across-the-board hot for spring. Stick to light fabrics like cotton, linen and sheer styles to avoid overheating. Plus, try the look in monochromatic tones or in various shades (and patterns) of one color to pull off the ultimate in sleek and sophisticated spring style.


HARD AND SOFT
Fashion is dynamic, not static, so why be afraid to combine two trends into one? Unleash your inner vixen — and coquettish sweetness — in one hot look by mixing and matching hard and soft. Try a flowy dress with a statement necklace and accessories rough with grommets and leather. Or, choose a structured look with soft, colorful extras, like a chiffon scarf or pink handbag. Either way, it’s the perfect way to celebrate the wonderful bi-polarity of fashion!


BLACK OUT
Love the simplicity and sophistication of black, but are afraid to wear it in the warmer months? Banish those thoughts and make basic black a chic addition to your spring and summer wardrobe. From little black dresses to pencil skirts, cropped summer leather jackets, ankle skinny jeans and sheer blouses, black is always a “choice” choice. It’s also the perfect neutral tone to pop your favorite neon, juicy and pastel colors in statement accessories and hot heels. This summer, fierce style is back — in black.

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Express Yourself

Jordan Dechambre on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:00:00 pm 
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5 ways to flaunt your personal style

You never get a second chance to make a first impression — and that holds true for your fashion choices, as well. The clothing and accessories you choose to wear on a daily basis not only express your style, but your personality and artistic point of view. However, the question is often asked: How do I make sure my style conveys my personality in a fashionable — and respectable — way? Here are five ways to ensure you are not only rocking your personal style to the max, but also keeping it appropriate for both work and play.


1. Realize — and embrace — your multiple personalities. It’s OK to be a little erratic when it comes to your personal style. Some days you may feel like a vintage vixen; others like a boho chic Olsen twin. No matter what your mood, your self-expression should follow suit. There’s also no shame in combining a few different personalities into one look: Pairing a business appropriate sheath dress with a statement necklace and colorful heels is a great way to look the part — and feel like yourself.

2. Don’t be afraid to evolve. When I look at my style over the years, there’s no question it’s been an evolution. Can you relate? Your personal style isn’t stagnant; it’s in constant motion. Don’t fight it. However, a well-heeled closet is also one where pieces work together to form a fabulous wardrobe. While styling pieces in unique ways to create your style for the day — funky, sophisticated, cool, whatever it may be — is the perfect way to reinvent yourself, buying individual “hero” pieces that stand out like a sore thumb is a waste of time and money. Your wardrobe should be a collection. Make it work!

3. Highlight your point of view. Maybe the latest and greatest trend is a little bit country … but you’re a little bit rock ’n’ roll. It’s OK to be different. Embrace your point of view. Remember: Fashion is fleeting, but style is eternal. Pay attention to trends but don’t be a slave to them. (No one wants to end up as fashion road kill!) Find your perfect look, and embrace it no matter what hits the runway that season. In the end, it’s all about staying true to yourself and your style.

4. Dress for the body you have — not the body you wish you had. Americans are programmed to always strive for something better: A bigger house, nicer car, better job and — naturally — a perfect body. But the truth of the matter is although it’s incredibly important to be healthy and fit, not all of us will or can be a size 0. And — spoiler alert — that’s OK! Wouldn’t it be ridiculously boring if we were all alike? To that end, I say: Live the life you have instead of longing for something else. Celebrate your body, your curves — all the things that make you unique. Your body is constantly changing, and your wardrobe can roll with those changes. Live for the now.

5. Remember confidence is key. Whether you are rocking a $1,500 Chanel handbag or a $20 Target dress, the success of your look always depends on one major factor: Confidence. The ultimate accessory isn’t a Cartier bracelet, Christian Louboutin stilettos or an Alexander McQueen scarf, but rather a knowing smile and confident stride. At the end of the day, the most perfectly curated wardrobe will not punctuate your style if you are unhappy with yourself. Remember, style comes from within you, not what you put on your body — and only you can let your inner fashionista shine through!

 

 

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The Spring Spectrum

Jordan Dechambre on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 10:00:00 am 
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Spring 2013 is all about color, from true blue to pretty in pink. Which haute hue will be your signature color this season?

I dream in color. And my wardrobe reflects that.

From vivid citrus hues to rich reds and moody blues, my closet encompasses the full spectrum of the color wheel.

Over the years, however, I’ve noticed an unfortunate trend of Milwaukeeans opting for shy neutrals instead of bold and beautiful colors.

There is no question that neutral tones of black, grays, browns and white have their place in the well-heeled closet. But in-the-know style-setters also realize vivid colors are key to the perfect wardrobe, and developing your ideal personal style.

Each year, spring ushers in a gorgeous array of mood-lifting tones, which brighten the windows of local boutiques and department stores from downtown Milwaukee to Mequon, Brookfield and beyond. The best and brightest pieces are on display, so why not skip the basic black and go for a pop of pigment?

Here’s a look at some of the most on-trend color choices for spring 2013. Choose your favorite, and get ready to illuminate your spring style.

 

clientuploads/Blog_Fashion/Spring Spectrum_March13/Vera Wang.jpgTrue Blues
Perhaps one of the most wearable colors, blue is an all-complexion showstopper. For spring, cobalt blue reigns supreme, and can be paired with anything from the brightest whites to black. On the other side of the spectrum, deep navy found its way into several spring collections — and looks especially sharp with citron hues of yellow, orange and tangerine, as well as Kelly greens and lighter blue tones. If you are a neutral-lover, wearing navy is the perfect way to dip your toe into the color pool without feeling overwhelmed by a bright hue.

 

 

 


 

clientuploads/Blog_Fashion/Spring Spectrum_March13/Supima.jpgEasy Greens
No matter your favorite hue of the color green, chances are it’s “in” this spring. Deep-tones of forest green, vivid Kelly green, and light and airy seafoam and spearmint are making this often-ignored color a must-wear for the season. From flowy tops and dresses to structured pants and skirts, the lustrous color has invaded top designer collections. For a fresh take, try a seafoam handbag or pump to add a chic pastel to your everyday look.

 

 

 

 


 

clientuploads/Blog_Fashion/Spring Spectrum_March13/DKNY.jpgHello, Yellow
If there is one color that sings spring, it’s stunning yellow. Whether it’s chic canary or a pale sorbet tone, the color is always bright and ethereal. Another great choice for a variety of skin tones, the color can go bold or sweet depending on the tone. The color was popular on the runways this season, both in romantic lace and chiffon, as well as structured shift dresses and coats. How will you wear it?

 

 

 

 


 

clientuploads/Blog_Fashion/Spring Spectrum_March13/CZAR by Cesar Galindo.jpgA Punch of Pink and Orange
Less pastel, more punch is the name of the game for pink and orange this season. Instead of pretty, ladylike hues, think electric, juicy and bold. Vibrant fushia and tangerine are fashion-forward choices that will run the gamut from street chic skinny jeans to office-appropriate pencil skirts. Pair the tones with a bright lip for maximum impact.

 

 

 

 


 

clientuploads/Blog_Fashion/Spring Spectrum_March13/Elle Fashion Next.jpgLavender Love
While purple has long been known for giving a bold punch to your wardrobe, this season the gorgeous color is keeping it light and airy with sweet lavender “the” romantic color of the season. Look for it in party and day dresses alike, as well as angelic gowns and accessories.

 

 

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Bridal Style Redux

Jordan Dechambre on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 
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2013 calls for a luxe twist on traditional wedding day fashion

Weddings are, in and of themselves, richly steeped in tradition.

But modern ceremonies and receptions are a vivid reflection of the unique
individuals who are joining as one, whether those personalities are
traditional or contemporary. This move toward personalization is evident in
every moment of a wedding ‹ and especially prevalent in wedding day fashion.

Brides must wear white: History!

The groom must don a rent-a-tux: Over!

Wear-once-and-Goodwill bridesmaids gowns: In this economy?

Today¹s bridal fashion is taking cues from vintage glamour with modern
appeal. From feminine lace and ruffles to convenient pockets and convertible
dresses, bridal parties are stepping out in high style.

So why go conventional when you can create a look as eclectic as you?

Here¹s a look at 2013¹s top bridal trends:

GO BOLD
Modern brides are no shrinking violets ‹ but some of them are rocking the
hue for bridal gowns and accessories alike. Colorful bridal gowns have risen
in popularity over the past few years, and the trend continues to gain
momentum. From pretty in pink pastels to bold reds and neutral grays and
black, colored gowns are both sophisticated and fierce. For the newest look,
go metallic in a gold or silver tone. Not ready to make the all-over color
commitment? Opt for one or more colorful accessories for a hint of hue.

MODERN LACE
While lace gowns have long been considered traditional, today¹s designers
are whipping up lace confections with a modern edge. Body-hugging, all-over
lace gowns are sleek and sophisticated, while short A-line dresses are
stylish and sweet. For 2013, lace is fashion-forward in an illusion neckline
or sleeves with lace appliques. It¹s the ultimate in femininity ‹ with a
³now² twist.

VINTAGE REVIVAL
History repeats in 2013, with bridal gown styles from the ¹20s and ¹60s on
the fashion forefront. Jazz Age beading, sequins and drop-waists are
reviving the Roaring ¹20s, while the sophisticated and ladylike structure of
the 1960s adds an architectural edge. Looking for vintage inspiration? Baz
Luhrmann¹s glamorous interpretation of ³The Great Gatsby,² which hits
theaters this summer, is a glorious ode to 1920s fashion ‹ and photo stills
highlighting the movie¹s costumes are all over the Internet. For a ¹60s
punch, simply flip on AMC to go mod with ³Mad Men.²

EASY DOES IT
Planning a wedding is hard enough ‹ so why not have a little convenience in
your wedding-day style? Bridal gowns with pockets are a chic and simple
alternative that add an air of relaxed glamour to a bride¹s look. Two
dresses ‹ one for the ceremony and another for the reception ‹ is another
hot trend. Try a convertible dress, which offers a detachable voluminous
skirt that leaves a chic mini dress to dance the night away. Simplicity has
never looked so luxurious!

GET PERSONAL
Found the perfect dress but want to make it uniquely you? While
accessorizing is always the key to great style, personalizing the wedding
gown itself is a fresh, modern approach. A talented seamstress or designer
can add that extra ³oomph² with anything from extra ruffles to a peplum
skirt or sexy, sheer overlay. Or, integrate a family heirloom for a truly
bespoke creation. Come prepared with ideas and inspiration photos to make
sure your dream dress is fully realized.

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Get Out

Jordan Dechambre on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 12:00:00 pm 
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Don’t let the icy chill spoil your winter wonderland. Instead, opt for a warm — and stylish — winter coat with personality.

I’ve been struggling with looking good during the Wisconsin winter since I was a mini fashionista.

Halfway to school, I would strip off my winter coat, hat and gloves, and freeze my way into the cold brick building.

A hat? Are you kidding? After I spent all that time teasing my hair?

Luckily, in 2013 we have an amazing selection of warm and fabulous winter wardrobe essentials to keep out the chill while remaining fashionably cool. And it all starts with the perfect winter coat.

For my seasonal mix, I rotate three cold-weather styles: a gray herringbone wool cape for “warmer” days (i.e., more than 40 degrees), a military-inspired black wool coat with leather accents for day-to-night versatility; and a long, belted puffer for below-zero wind chills. Of course, a wide selection of various scarves, hats and gloves help create a new, personalized look for every day.

No matter your coat arsenal, here are some of my favorite options for on-trend seasonal style.

BOLD PRINTS There is no shortage of print interest this season, with everything from traditional plaids and stripes to unexpected Aztec, florals, paisley, graphics, animal prints, colored tweeds popping up at retailers around the world. The key to making this bold trend work? Moderation. If your outerwear is making the statement, your clothing and accessories should provide a neutral base to avoid becoming fashion roadkill.

CHIC ACCENTS Leather trim is the look of the season. Be it piping; a collar, shoulder or cuff detail; or even lapels, the look is fabulous and fierce. Or, pair a leather belt with your coat for a removable option. To bling up a classic coat, add a fur scarf, studded gloves, a colorful wool hat or bold boots to amp up your look (just not all at once).

MENSWEAR INFLUENCES In addition to a host of traditional menswear prints — herringbone, houndstooth, Glen plaid and stripes — boxy “boyfriend” cuts for women’s coats are a fashion-forward trend for 2013. The bonus? The extra room allows for lots of layers!

MODERN MILITARY “In the Navy” peacoats are a timeless winter coat staple. For a 2013 update, try the look in a vivid color, like true red, and look for tailored cuts, unexpected prints, asymmetrical zippers, and fur and sweater accents.

COLOR BLOCKING Whether it’s basic color blocking — or strategically placed colors to highlight your form (my personal fave) — designers are adding a double-punch of color this season. If you’re not ready to jump into a bold block style, dip you toe in the color pool with a contrast hue interior.

COLLAR INTEREST A fashionable collar is an easy way to add panache to a basic coat. Oversize collars make a chic statement, while fur, ruching, shawl styles, contrast colors and ruffles prove style is all in the accents. To create a “faux” collar on your fave coat, simply add a rotation of infinity scarves for a new, interchangeable look each day.

POSH PUFFER These aren’t your grandma’s puffy coats. For the ultimate in warmth — and a sporty chic vibe — invest in a well-made, long puffer coat that will take you through several winters. For the most flattering cut, look for tailored, belted varieties with a slimming stitch pattern. If you’re tired of basic black, opt for luxe colors like icy gray, burgundy, Army green and shiny metallics (stay away from lighter tones to keep your jacket looking clean and fresh all season long).

FOR THE BOYS This season, the best men’s coats are a tribute to the classics. Timeless peacoats, military influences, traditional prints and top-coat styles pay homage to the past, while sleek, modern tailoring gives a nod to the now.

 

 

 

 

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The New Formal

By Jordan Dechambre on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:00:00 am 
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clientuploads/Blog_designer/Jordan_blog_11.27.jpgFashion Editor Jordan Dechambre hosting RunUp 2012: The Roaring ’20s in a beaded drop-waist cocktail dress and custom repurposed vintage handpiece.


 

Late fall and early winter in Wisconsin usher in more than chilly temps and holiday cheer. This time of year also marks the beginning of gala season, with charity events and holiday affairs filling up our social calendars from October through March.
For many women, the thought of donning our most stunning looks is exciting. But it can also cause party-dressing anxiety. With all of us vying to be the belle of the ball, how can you step outside the box with confidence and style?
My suggestion? Show a little leg. The right cocktail dress can make a chic statement in lieu of the traditional gown. Here are 10 ways to put your best stiletto-clad foot forward at your next event.

1. Look for a high, draped neckline. Elegance is a balancing act. If you are showing a whole lotta leg, staying covered on top with a simple yet luxurious neckline is essential. Sleeves are also back with a vengeance for winter 2013, so don’t shy away from the classically chic arm coverings, even in just a sheer or lace fabric. Ladylike is luxe this season.

2. Go red (or pale gray). There’s a hue of red for every skin tone — the key is finding yours. In general, orange-based reds add warmth to alabaster skin, while cooler reds and burgundies are striking on darker tones. Not ready to rock bold red? Try the other “it” tone, pale gray. Flattering to all, pale gray is elegant and sophisticated, and a great neutral color choice as a base to frocks with bells and whistles.

3. Try black and white. Winter white dresses with skinny black belts were a runway mainstay this season, and have already found their way into many local boutiques. Black and white prints are also strong, and a great way to make an artistic statement without looking too bohemian for evening. Looking to skip a dress all together? Try a Tilda Swinton-esque black or white tuxedo, slim fit for just the right amount of sex appeal.

4. Pick peplum. There’s no denying peplum is THE look of the season, in skirts, blouses, jackets and blouses alike. To find the perfect peplum for a formal affair, hit an opulent note with a posh brocade or metallic fabrication.

5. Embellishment is key. To take your cocktail dress to the next level, look for embellishments that give it that extra “oomph.” Hottest for this season? Feathered skirts, all-over beading, intricate lace and neutral sequins. Add rear interest with an open or illusion back or Tom Ford-inspired cape back. One-shoulder silhouettes, strategic waist bows and draping, and fabric or embellished overlays also add that something special.

6. Choose a new era. The remake of “The Great Gatsby” has fashion designers thinking Jazz Age this season, with drop-waist dresses, all-over beadwork, pearls a plenty and fur accents. Or, go ’60s with “Mad Men” inspired full skirts, printed silks, lace dresses (with or without sleeves), jacquard, and fit and flare shapes.

7. Show your curves. Confidence is the key to true style, so why not flaunt your enviable curves of any shape or size in a body-hugging sheath dress? Keep it sophisticated in a neutral color with little embellishment (let your accessories do the talking), and make sure it at least touches just above the knee — so you leave something to the imagination.
No matter your style, if you love your body, your confidence will shine brighter than any jewel.

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Small Business Saturday, November 24

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 12:00:00 am 
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clientuploads/Blog_Fashion/small business.jpgBetween Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide.

clientuploads/Blog_Fashion/small business2.jpg

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Mad About Madden

Jordan Dechambre on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 12:40:00 pm 
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Trendy and purposeful is the essence of Steve Madden. From funky flats to sky-high boots and sexy heels, the brand’s on-trend footwear keeps customers coming back for more each season. This Saturday, Sept. 15, the brains behind the iconic footwear — Steve Madden himself — will be making a special stop at Brookfield Square Mall’s Boston Store from 2-3 p.m. Hosted by TV personality Julissa Bermudez of the Style Network’s hit series “Empire Girls,” Madden will be holding a meet-and-greet for fans and offer special gifts with the purchase of any Steve Madden merchandise. Is there a better time to give our tootsies a special treat as we venture into the fall season?

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Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Edition

Jordan Dechambre on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 10:00:00 am 
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Dapper David Beckham and daughter, Harper, at Victoria Beckham’s Spring 2013 runway show.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week brings out the celebs in full force. While some rock their runway-side seats, others are a decidedly unfabulous flop. Here’s a look at five of the best looks from this week — and one of the biggest bombs.

THE BEST

KATIE HOLMES: Katie Holmes and design partner Jeanne Yang showed off their chic Spring 2013 Holmes & Yang collection during a presentation at Lincoln Center. Holmes, looking downtown luxe in a sleek leather jacket and slim black pants, says, “We as women spend a lot of money on clothes, they better make us look skinny and hot.” Amen to that!

RACHEL ZOE: After her Spring 2013 runway presentation, stylist-to-the-stars turned fashion designer Rachel Zoe thanked the cheering crowd — including designers Prabal Gurung and Brian Atwood — in a stunning black maxi dress, perfectly styled (natch) with a waist-cinching belt, gold lariat necklace and heavy-duty black wedges. Zoe is often criticized for her “slight” frame, but no one can question her impeccable sense of style.

NAOMI CAMPBELL & COCO ROCHA: It’s easy to look great when you are walking the runway for one of fashion’s most coveted names. But there aren’t many people who can truly bring the beauty of Posen’s designs to life like top model Coco Rocha and legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell. Rocha was ready for a society ball in her frock, thank to Posen’s collection inspiration: “I was interested in Truman Capote’s American Swans,” Posen told InStyle.com, referring to the author’s legendary group of socialite friends. An unusually humble Campbell, who was the first model down the runway, even rehearsed her walk — a rare move for a runway veteran. I guess those anger management classes paid off.

VICTORIA BECKHAM: Victoria Beckham was all smiles following her Spring 2013 runway show. In fact, the best-dressed star even tweeted “Relieved!!! Can’t believe it’s over. Thank you #vbteam!!!” directly after taking her bow. Perfectly paired in a form-fitting black cocktail dress and bondage-inspired black stilettos, Beckham’s collection was a Fashion Week hit, lauded by critics and her dapper husband, David, alike.

THE “PROJECT RUNWAY” JUDGES: “Project Runway” stars Michael Kors, Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia — along with guest judge Jennifer Hudson — stole the show in their tres chic wardrobes for the show’s finale. Klum, clad in a daring sequined gold gown (complete with strategically placed cutouts), Kors in head-to-to black, Hudson in a fierce turquoise jumpsuit and matching blazer, and Garcia in an embellished LBD, prove that while the Lifetime’s show’s designers don’t always “make it work,” the judges’ ever-present impeccable fashion sense and valuable advice will keep fans coming back for more.

 


THE WORST

 

PARIS HILTON: Of course Paris Hilton would hit up a show from a designing team called The Blonds. And when the fallen society princess stepped out this week, it was apparent the starlet — who has been keeping a low profile in 2012 — has not improved her questionable fashion sense. Clad in a skin-tight nude mini dress with multicolored sequins (and her trademark hair extensions) Hilton, unlike a fine wine, is not improving with age. Money can’t buy taste — or, in the case of Hilton, a decent stylist.

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Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Edition

Jordan Dechambre on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 10:00:00 am 
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Fishtail braids and glowing skin at Tory Burch.

On day six of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, runway hair and makeup looks took center stage. A range of trends rocked the runway, all perfectly accenting the pristine collections. Here is a look at some of the day’s beauty bests.

Tory Burch

Tory Burch’s upper crust style went a bit boho for spring 2013, which was perfectly translated into the show’s hair and makeup. Models sported fresh skin with a hint of lip gloss, creating a luminous effect. Fishtail braids — slightly messy and askew — were actually constructed to look like wheat. Talk about a field of dreams.

J. Crew

The iconic preppy brand showed a celebration of prints and pastels — from pretty in pink florals to sequins and lace — in both clothing and scene-stealing accessories. The models were perfectly coiffed, with hair pulled back in sleek and shiny school-girl chic ponytails. But lips were the standout, with a bright, juicy pop of orange.

Badgley Mischka

Feminine and romantic, the spring 2013 collection of Badgley Mischka was a colorful and angelic feast for the eyes. And the hair and makeup was no exception. The fairytale-inspired updos that mirrored of a nest of braids were a work of art in themselves, accented with soft, pale flowers (“Midsummer Night’s Dream,” anyone?). The nearly translucent makeup was accented by yellow eye shadow, and rosy cheeks and lips.

Vera Wang

Vera Wang’s stunning spring 2013 collection played with color, texture and proportion — and was one of her most innovative collections in recent seasons. The turban-inspired updos continued an emerging trend from the week — a messy approach to hair glamour. The nude makeup allowed the focus to be exactly where it should be — on the clothing.

Jenny Packham

A ladylike collection with a nod to the 1960s, Jenny Packham’s spring 2013 runway show featured ultra feminine silhouettes, and just the right amount of glitz and glam. A twisted side ponytail was sexy yet sophisticated, while teal eyeliner added a punch of color to the models’ dewy skin and peach lips.



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Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Edition

Jordan Dechambre on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 8:00:00 am 
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Paula Abdul, Vanessa Williams and Daisy Fuentes at Carlos Miele.

As Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week rolls on, the crowds get funkier (a bearded man in a prom dress ... why not?), and the designers continue to showcase their most fashion-forward wares on the sleek runways. On Monday, I checked out the collections of designers Carlos Miele, Norisol Ferrari, Farah Angsana, Reem Acra, Chris Benz and Joanna Mastroianni, and also the Strut: The Fashionable Mom Show. Each collection was distinctive — some better than others — but one thing held true: no matter what your personal style, watching another’s artistic vision come to life at Lincoln Center is a very special moment. And I feel very lucky to be able to witness those moments each season. With that in mind, here are my top five looks from day five in New York City.

Laser cutting at Reem Acra. It’s not always easy to pull off “good girl gone bad” in one look (unless you are Rihanna, of course). But designer-to-the-stars Reem Acra did exactly this with her Spring 2013 collection. The most lust-worthy look? Laser-cut dresses and gowns that were both elegant and edgy. It’s a fine line to walk, and Acra’s collection stayed in perfect step.

Reimagined menswear at Norisol Ferrari. The double-breasted jacket took a modern spin at Norisol Ferrari, where a peplum vest with a chic contrasting collar was a shining example of the best way to borrow from the boys. Paired with skinny ankle pants, this is a statement look that is both wearable and effortlessly stylish.

Shape enhancing at Strut: The Fashionable Mom Show. Leave it to Lisa Rinna to rock one of the best looks of the day. The actress and L.A. boutique owner rocked the runway Monday night in this form-fitting frock with strategic color blocking and waist darting to show off her enviable shape.

A boho best at Chris Benz. While Chris Benz toasted his successful Spring 2013 presentation with pal Kelly Osborne, his models donned a funky kaleidoscope of layered looks and colors. It was all about layering for Benz — and this sheer floral dress paired with matching skinny ankle pants is a ’70s-inspired bohemian delight. Benz isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to respect his creativity, imagination — and willingness to go his own way.

The ethereal gown and “it” accessory at Carlos Miele. While much of Miele’s collection is a little too “Cache” for my taste, this nude silk chiffon and charmeuse gown was a show-stopper. Graceful and light, the confection also shows off a strategic center cutout — one of the biggest trends carrying over into Spring 2013. Despite this gown’s beauty, the one show detail I cannot forget is this luxe fringed clutch, which added a tough edge to the otherwise tropical-inspired looks.

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Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Edition

Jordan Dechambre on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 7:00:00 am 
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I love New York. The architecture, the culture, the vibe, even the noise — but, most of all, the fashion.

That’s why each September and February I make the trek to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for a sneak peek at next season’s hottest looks.

Now, as I prepare to venture out for my third day of shows (I missed days one and two so I could hang back in Brew City to organize Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee!), a few trends are emerging — and I’m already longing for spring 2013.

Days 3-4

The Shows: Mara Hoffman, Hervé Léger, VLOV, Monique Lhuillier, Christopher Esber and Ellery, Venexiana, Lela Rose, Erickson Beamon, Kara Laricks, Zang Toi, Chado Ralph Rucci

Photos courtesy of image.net

Mara Hoffmann

Celeb Spotting: Late arrival Lil Kim took in the tropical punch at Mara Hoffman; Hervé Léger drew a stunning front row of Cheryl Tiegs, Petra Nemcova and Daisy Fuentes (in town to promote her fashion line for Kohl’s); Padma Lakshmi added beauty at Monique Lhuillier; Mandy Moore, Mariska Hargitay and Lauren Conrad held court at Lela Rose; “Dancing” stars Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley, and a fit Ivana Trump brought star power to Zang Toi; Paula Abdul and Martha Stewart drew photo-attention at Chado Ralph Rucci.

Monique Lhuillier

Beauty Report: Juicy lips, tropical flowers and wavy locks conjured a tropical vaca vibe at Mara Hoffman; Hervé Léger’s girls’ shined with glowing skin and strong brows; it was “the life aquatic” for Monique Lhuillier, with models sporting wet-look locks and aqua eyes; golden eyes and nude lips — along with a school-girl ponytail — made sure the clothing was the focus at Lela Rose; “Fashion Star” winner Kara Laricks featured her signature androgynous beauty; Malaysian fashion icon Zang Toi — where every look is a show-stopper — chose regal ’60s updos for his girls, with a natural glow; smoky eyes and slicked-back hair were fierce at Chado Ralph Rucci.

Hervé Léger

Trend Watch: While 1920s inspirations may be leading the way for Fall 2012, Spring 2013 is all about the ’60s — with an edge. Hemlines are getting longer (think knee-length) but dominatrix inspirations (let’s call it the “Fifty Shades” effect) have been prevalent in many shows. From harnesses at Hervé Léger to a berry-sculpted leather dress at Monique Lhuillier, the fashionable women of spring 2013 are no shrinking violets. Bold geometric shapes, cutouts, the sheath dress, sheer overlays, peplum, bralettes and crop tops will all continue into spring 2013. Plus, look for “creamsicle” orange as a hot color — even for men, as seen in the finale look at VLOV. Monochromatic looks, ink blot prints, bold draping, dramatic pleating and artistic wedge sandal round out the early trends.

Zang Toi

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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 2:15:00 pm 
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Stephanie Horne Boutique
244 N. Broadway, Milwaukee
(414) 223-1695
www.stephaniehorne.com


For FNO Milwaukee, Stephanie Horne Boutique will be featuring a trunk show with the designer present, mini makeup tips and demos, along with cupcakes and a drawing for a $100 gift card to the boutique. They look forward to helping customers pick out something they may not have chosen for themselves, and absolutely loving it.

M: What type of clothes, accessories, and shoes will customers find at Stephanie Horne?
SH: At Stephanie Horne Boutique, customers will find both classic styles, like wrap dresses and LBDs, to more trendy items, like colored denim and standout sweaters. We also feature locally made jewelry by Tammy Spice, which combines edgy and flirty aesthetics.

M: What are some of your best-selling items?
SH: One of our best-selling items is our dresses, as we have customers covered on everything from work to cocktail. Denim is another item we do well with, and we carry brands such as Hudson, Sanctuary and Henry & Belle. Also, a customer and employee favorite is our Nikibiki line, which is a brand of one-sized base layers like tanks, leggings, tees, etc.
 
M: What do you think is most appealing about boutique shopping?
SH: For customers, boutique shopping can be an excellent way to receive one-on-one service and discover new favorites. We make it a goal to understand our customers likes and dislikes and introduce them to pieces they wouldn’t have picked on their own. We are a time-saver for so many busy women.
 
M: What special things can customers look forward to when they visit Stephanie Horne during Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
SH: On FNO, we will be holding a Tammy Spice trunk show with the designer herself present. Makeup demos and touch-ups will be preformed by Anne. There will be a drawing for a $100 SHB gift card. Also, customers can enjoy complimentary cupcakes by Milwaukee Cupcake Co. and beverages throughout the evening.

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee.
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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 2:00:00 pm 
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Planet Bead
710 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee
(414) 273-2323
www.planetbead.com

Sometimes that perfect accessory we envision — whether it be from a different time period or not — can be nearly impossible to locate. That’s why Planet Bead in Milwaukee is the perfect place to make that dream piece come true. With a wide selection of beads and materials, it is every artistic entrepreneur’s and ambitious crafter’s playground. Keith of Planet Bead shares with us the wide selection of bead types he carries, along with the one-of-a-kind experience customers will have when they stop in.

M: Why did you decide to be a participant in Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
PB: At Planet Bead we are all about unique expression, and Fashion’s Night Out is the ultimate celebration of “unique expression.”

M: In your opinion, what is the best part about fashion, and why do we need to celebrate it?
PB: Historically when clothing moved from merely functional to an expression of ones personality, “fashion” was born. Through fashion one can celebrate personal expression in the most individual way.

M: What makes your store unique for the Milwaukee area?
PB: Planet Bead offers a one-of-a-kind experience. The store is a museum of every type of jewelry component. We recently opened the Planet Bead Gallery for special events, and our jewelry components can be used in unlimited combinations to replicate a historical clothing style, or allow customers to create a look in their own interpretation of a style. From antique to contemporary, we carry every type of jewelry component. We sell all of the usual items a bead store would carry including, glass, stone, wooden beads and stringing materials. We also sell unusual items like real snake vertebrae, beetle wings, teeth, horn and many difficult-to-find antique and contemporary items.

M: What are some of your best-selling items?
PB: Swarovski Crystals and natural semi-precious stones have always been a staple. But more recently, leather cord, chains and Miyuki beads have been combined to make some amazing contemporary designs.

M: Why is it important to celebrate fashion through beads and custom jewelry?
PB: Anyone can create an individual look by using the components from Planet Bead and express themselves in their own unique way. To help our customers we offer a complete selection of classes and design services to learn both traditional or “trendy” jewelry techniques.

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee.

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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 1:00:00 pm 
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Linda Marcus Design
Pop-Up Shop at Cranston, 250 N. Water St.
www.lindamarcusdesign.com

 

 

Let’s face it: Talented designers are the main component of why we get to celebrate the amazing fashion industry on Sept. 6. Linda Marcus is one of those spectacular designers. The incredibly talented and passionate Marcus has shared her savvy design talents with us through her beautifully crafted handbags, made of the finest leathers and materials. During Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee, Linda Marcus Designs will be featured at a pop-up shop at Cranston in the Third Ward. Each one of Marcus’ bags is unique, handmade and built with the everyday woman in mind as they transition easily from day to night.

M: Why did Linda Marcus Design decide to be a participant in the inaugural Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
LM: Most people don’t know that there is a thriving fashion design world right here in Milwaukee. There are clothing designers, accessory designers and artists that all contribute to our style. And, yes, we do have our own unique style here in Milwaukee. It’s sleek, sophisticated and edgy. I wanted to participate in FNO to get the word out that you don’t need to go to New York or Chicago or L.A. to get great fashion, we have it right here, and the inaugural Fashion’s Night Out sparks the celebration of what we have.

M: In your opinion, what is the best part about fashion, and why does it need to be celebrated?
LM: The best part about fashion is that it is a vehicle by which we can express who we are. As women, sisters, mothers, co-workers and friends, women wear so many hats that fashion allows us to express our individuality.

M: What makes Linda Marcus Design unique to the Milwaukee area?
LM: LMD is unique because there are very few accessory designers in Milwaukee. All of my handbags are handmade, and no two are alike. Just like women, we may all look similar on the outside, but if you look inside we are all very different. Most of my handbags also have my signature rouching on the outside. It’s a design I came up with early on, and you’ll find it on almost all of my bags.

M: How long has Linda Marcus Design been in Milwaukee?
LM: I started LMD about four years ago with the idea that there wasn’t a handbag out there that truly celebrated individuality. I have been sewing all my life, and I finally decided to make my own.

M: Are you hosting any special deals for Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
LM: I’m am going to be offering a percentage off of my designs as a celebration for Fashion’s Night Out.

M: What are some of LMD’s best-selling items? And what do you think is the best part about boutique-like, specialty shopping?
LM: The best-selling items are my clutches. They seem to work in the day and into night. They are very versatile. The reason why I love boutique shopping is because they have edited what is out there and offered only what is current. If you look closely at a boutique, you can see what is going on in fashion pretty quickly and modify it to your body and taste.

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee.

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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 12:45:00 pm 
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HoodiePet
Pop-Up Shop at The Institute of Beauty and Wellness,
327 E. St. Paul Ave.
Hoodiepet.com or amazon.com/hoodiepet

 

Milwaukee-based online store, HoodiePet, recognizes that it is important to remember to listen to children, and appreciate and nurture their innovative ideas — even their personal style. Thus, the idea for HoodiePet came from children in Milwaukee’s own ideas — and has been a great success so far. Kids can remain cool and cuddly as they venture off to school and play with their special pet. Here, HoodiePet shares the great deal they will be hosting for FNO Milwaukee at its Pop-Up Shop at The Institute of Beauty and Wellness.

M: Why did HoodiePet decide to be a participant in Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
HP: This will be a great event for Milwaukee. We decided to participate in Fashion’s Night Out to include the child demographic. HoodiePet is great fashion that children feel cool in. HoodiePet also allows children to bring their favorite pet with them wherever they go! We’re also excited to give children the ability to bring fashion and expression into their everyday life, starting when they wake up in the morning and go to school.

M: What makes HoodiePet unique to the Milwaukee area?
HP: It’s a product that was invented by children living in Milwaukee and demonstrates the ability of children to innovate. We should take more care listening to our children, who may help us to imagine and innovate in ways we never have.

M: What are some of your best selling items at HoodiePet?
HP: Turquoise with Arkie the Polar Bear and Blue with Screamie the Ape. We carry sizes 1-10.

M: Are you having any special deals for Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee? If so, what are they?
HP: If you buy one HoodiePet at FNO, you will get an extra favorite pet for free. Children, parents and grandparents can come and see all the HoodiePet colors, and the 11 different pets they can choose from. You can also let your children personalize their HoodiePet with their favorite pet and color.

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee.

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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 12:30:00 pm 
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Flirt boutique
317 N. Broadway, Milwaukee
(414) 220-9046
www.shopflirt.com

Fun, fashionable and flirty clothes for a moderate price? Yes, please! Flirt has been successfully providing Milwaukee boutique-seekers a price-conscious and fashionable experience with contemporary clothing and accessories. Jenny Gehl, owner, shares with us the great deal and special perks she will be providing to customers during Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee.

M: Why did Flirt decide to be participant in Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
JG: Flirt decided to participate in FNO the minute it was announced. What a great way to get Milwaukee on the Fashion map. With being a fairly new store to Milwaukee, I saw an opportunity to get the Flirt name out there.

M: In your opinion, what is the best part about fashion, and why should it be celebrated?
JG: The best part about fashion is that it is the easiest way for one to express themselves and, therefore, it should be celebrated.

M: What makes Flirt unique to the Milwaukee area?
JG: We work hard at having something for everyone. We have a wide variety of price ranges, and we work very hard at providing the best customer service possible. Flirt has contemporary clothing, a large selection of dresses and affordable accessories. For FNO, everything will be 20 percent off, except for the clearance racks.

M: What are some of Flirt’s best-selling items?
JG: Dresses are one of Flirt’s top sellers as well as unique tops. And we have these gorgeous lace camis that fit almost everyone.

M: How long has Flirt been in Milwaukee? What made you decide to open Flirt?
JG: Flirt has been in Milwaukee for two years. I opened Flirt to let women know that they can have the boutique shopping experience without the typical boutique prices. Boutique shopping is a lot of fun! I feel that when you walk into a boutique there should be an atmosphere of being special; there are items you don’t see in a department store, and that there is personal service provided.

M: What other things can customers look forward to at your boutique on FNO?
JG: Besides great fashion, we have Roots Salon doing make up and belabela clothing doing a trunk show, along with some goodies to munch on while browsing and shopping.

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee. 

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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 12:00:00 pm 
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Blush Beauty Boutique
249 N. Water St.
(414) 272-1718
www.blushmilwaukee.com

 

Our sense of style provides the outside world a sneak peak into our personality, and our cosmetics enhance the inner beauty that shines out. It’s important to always put your “best face forward” from day-to-day. That’s why Blush Beauty Boutique provides its exemplary service. From spa services to fab makeup, perfume, lotions and more, Blush Beauty’s staff not only sells, but teaches women how to apply that extra sparkle of makeup and skin care techniques in order to ensure women are always feeling their best. Jhousy Leon, owner and makeup guru, tells us why her staff is what makes Blush Beauty special, along with their outstanding range of cosmetic brands.

M: Why did you decide to be a participant in Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
JL: A few years back my dear friend, Gina, of Valentina, was very involved with Fashion’s Night Out. She was one of the only stores in Milwaukee that had the signature FNO T-shirts made, and she was the one responsible for getting me hooked on the importance of creating an event to involve the community with fashion. Then, when Jordan Dechambre, fashion and managing editor at M: Milwaukee’s Lifestyle Magazine, approached us about Milwaukee’s premier FNO, it was a no-brainer to us.

M: In your opinion, what is the best part about fashion, and why do we need to celebrate it?
JL: Fashion. It’s described as a popular trend, in styles of dresses, accessories and behavior. However, fashion is the expression of one’s self. As Alexander McQueen once said, “I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see beauty in it.” Fashion to me is expressing yourself through the outfits you wear, how you style your hair what colors you choose for makeup. You wear what you like for the day, and the next day can be completely different. It’s not about liking a specific trend or item just because others like it. Fashion is all about showcasing what catches your eye, and the trends you love. At the end of the day, the world is your runway, and you are the one who gets to play dress up and show your personality/mood from your own personal style.
 
M: What makes Blush Beauty unique for the Milwaukee area? And what services does Blush Beauty provide customers?
JL: What makes Blush special and unique is our staff. We are proud to have such an extremely knowledgeable and professional group. Besides our staff, we specializes in all things beauty and makeup. We provide makeup applications and lessons, airbrush makeup, ladies’ night’s out parties, bridal makeup, spray tanning services, body waxing, eyelash extensions, makeup and skin-care consultations, men’s grooming, master classes and many more. Our best-selling items are Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer and Odin, a New York fragrance line.
 
M: What cosmetic brands will customers find at Blush Beauty?
JL: We are a sanctuary of the best in beauty. We carry Hollywood’s favorite cosmetic lines like Laura Mercier, Kevin Aucoin, Truefitt & Hill, Kinara, Duchess Marden, OSEA, BLISS and Smashbox. We also have lines that you can only find at a Barney’s New York, like Odin, Bond No. 9 and Ellis Faas.

M: Are you having any special deals for the Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
JL: We are hosting mini makeup touches.

M: How long has Blush been in Milwaukee? And what do you find most appealing about boutique beauty shopping?
JL: Blush opened its doors eight years ago in the Historic Third Ward. We recently opened our Mequon location in December 2011. Boutique shopping is where you’ll find one-of-a-kind products or items. A common misconception is that it’s expensive. But in actuality, you’ll be able to purchase hard-to-find products at one-third of the price.  

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee. 

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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 2:30:00 pm 
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Goldi
4114 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood
(414) 961-9200
http://goldishoes.com/

There is always a delightful convenience in one-stop-shopping: finding one-on-one attention, the perfect outfit and shoes to go with it, a gift for the night, personal care products and a new nail polish color, to boot. This is the red carpet treatment. Kehri Stowers of Goldi believes in just this chic convenience. She carries an outstanding array of name-brand collections, and truly believes that fashion is the perfect outlet to express our individuality. Here, Stowers tells us what she’s excitedly looking forward to on Sept. 6.

M: Why did you decide to be a participant in Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
KS: Goldi is participating in FNO because it is a great opportunity to celebrate fashion and our Goldi Fashionistas. We like to celebrate fashion as much as we can each day with our customers who walk in the store with a fashion question, dilemma or are in search of a different look and fashion advice. Our personal shoppers strive to help our customers with all of their fashion inquiries.

M: In your opinion, what is the best part about fashion, and why do we need to celebrate it?
KS: To me the best part of fashion is the opportunity for someone to express their individuality. For example, take three separate garments or accessories with three different people, and each one would wear it in their own special way, with their own “spin” on the look. That’s what makes fashion wonderful and unique to everyone, because you can “rock it” in your own special way. Be you, do you! Goldi helps everyone achieve just that.

M: What type of clothes, accessories and shoes will customers find at your store?
KS: Goldi has so much to offer to so many people. We have an incredible selection of footwear, from Dansko, Toms, Fly London, Keen, Merrell, Alegria, Franco Sarto, Vince Kamuto, Pikolinos, Sergio Tomani, Berne Mev, Nicole, Madeline, EMU, Sperry and Sorel, just to name a few. Now for accessories, should be talk jewelry? OTAZU, Sorelli, Ann Koplik, Ella E, Fire Fly, Marianna, Origins ... should I go on? Oh, and then there are the handbags from HOBO, Desigual, Ivanka Trump, Latico, Big Buddha, Baggallini and more. Our clothing lines transcend age, and there is something for everyone in all sizes. From sassy and cute, to bold and beautiful, our customers tend to always leave happy. We are your one-stop shop to be outfitted from head-to-toe in a fabulous outfit at great prices. Along with this, you can still pick out a great gift or personal care product, or that hot nail color from Butter London.

M: How long has your store been in Shorewood?
KS: Funny you should ask that question, because this year Goldi is celebrating our 40th anniversary. We are planning a huge celebration Oct. 11-14. What a party! You don’t want to miss this one. There’s going to be so much happening that we will probably have to sell tickets! (Just to give you an idea, we will have gifts with purchases, drawings for some great prizes, musicians and special pricing.)

M: What do you think is most appealing about boutique shopping?
KS: I feel that boutique shopping at Goldi is much more of a personal experience. It is convenient, comfortable and much more pleasant, stress-free shopping. There is so much one-on-one attention that we provide to every person who walks through the door. We want to make each customer’s experience a special one, which is why they keep coming back.

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee.

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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 2:00:00 pm 
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Boutique B’lou
The Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave.
(414) 226-0112
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boutique-Blu/272721456179



With three unique locations in the Milwaukee area and a large range of designers and apparel, Boutique B’lou is a special place to stop. In its 15th fabulous year, and carrying sizes 2-16, Boutique B’lou provides its customers with great care and a variety of options. Hosting a fashion show starting at 6:45 p.m., Boutique B’lou is looking forward to Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee on Sept. 6.

M: Why did you decide to be a participant in Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
BB: If you love fashion, being a part of anything fashion in Milwaukee is important. Each boutique has its own special focus geared for its customer, and nothing is duplicated. You can find something fabulous for any event at any age in Milwaukee. For all of these special boutiques and salons to come together for one night of great fashion is pretty spectacular for our city.

M: What special things can customers most look forward to during FNO Milwaukee?
BB: Milwaukee isn’t a big town, it’s a special town and should be very easy for anyone and everyone on Fashion’s Night Out to get from one place to the next, and see everything that all of the stores and salons are offering. Our fashion show starts at  6:45 p.m. on the square on the west side of The Pfister Hotel on Wisconsin Avenue. Sign up and win several gift certificates that are being offered from Boutique B’lou and Planet Bead.

M: What types of apparel can customers find at Boutique B’lou?
BB: Boutique B’lou’s appeal is offering the best in American-made clothing. We love classic, timeless clothing and offer very flattering lines. To add a twist, we offer lounge wear all the way to evening wear. Boutique B’lou also carries things that have been familiar to our customers for years because of style, fit and price. Our customer service is first and foremost, and we have been in business for 15 years in Milwaukee and are the only boutique in Milwaukee with three store locations. Our targeted demographic is from 35 years of age and up, and our sizes range from XS to XL, sizes 2-16.

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee.
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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 1:45:00 pm 
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Zita Bridal Salon
761 N. Jefferson St., Milwaukee
(414) 332-9482
www.zitabridal.com


From season to season, brides are celebrating their special day — and want to be on-trend while still incorporating their own sense of style. Zita Bridal Salon provides brides with a wide range of gowns and accessories that do exactly that. Marina Kuhn, co-owner, stays on top of the current trends while still incorporating each bride’s visions. With  jewelry designer David Liska and HollenWolff cufflinks also available at Zita Bridal Salon, there is truly something unique for each wedding. Here, Kuhn gives us a peek of why she’s looking forward to seeing all of the customers out at Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee.

M: Why did you decide to be a participant for FNO Milwaukee?
MK: It’s exciting for the city of Milwaukee to be an official designated host of FNO. Participating is a great opportunity for Zita, as a new business in downtown Milwaukee, to form partnerships with other businesses in our community.  

M: Why do you think it’s important to celebrate fashion?
MK: Everyone has their own unique style. Fashion allows us to be creative with our look and find different elements that highlight our personality. Every season we see the creative thought of our designers come to life on the runway. It’s exciting to see new collections that inspire us to step out of our comfort zone and try a different look.  

M: What makes Zita Bridal Salon unique to the Milwaukee area?
MK: We have created a destination for brides in downtown Milwaukee that is unique in our industry. All of our gowns are beautifully displayed in our salon for brides to see. During our appointments, we take time to get to know our bride and ask about their venue and what they envision for their day. Our focus is to work with each bride to find the look and style that truly reflects her personality. Our interest is to bring unique pieces into our salon that you will not find anywhere else. That only enhances the “Zita Experience.” Our location is also a unique destination. It is quintessential Milwaukee. Located on street level in the historic George Watts Building, our brides have many services at their fingertips. Enjoy the experience of shopping for your gown, register for your wedding and enjoy lunch at Watts Tea Room on the second level.   

M: What special things can customers look forward to when they visit Zita Bridal Salon’s pop-up shop at Cranston on Fashion’s Night Out?
MK: During FNO we have partnered with David Liska Jewelers and brought in a masculine touch with HollenWolff. We love to accessorize. David’s “Wedding Day Collection” is sold exclusively at Zita Bridal Salon. We will be showcasing the new collection of gorgeous earrings, necklaces and bracelets that will complement your look. We met the gentlemen at HollenWolff and were very impressed with the craftsmanship and quality of their custom cuff links — a treasured gift for a bride to give the groom that could be used proudly and then passed on to the next generation. We want to encourage consumers to support local businesses and come celebrate with Zita at FNO.  Experience for yourself what unique shops, boutiques and services are offered in the heart of downtown Milwaukee — not to mention all the fabulous fashion.  

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee.

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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 1:30:00 pm 
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Lela Boutique
321 N. Broadway, Milwaukee
(414) 727-4855
www.lelaboutique.com

One of the most rewarding aspects of shopping is finding those perfect items that become staples of your wardrobe. Lela Boutique carries everyday essentials and so much more at 321 N. Broadway. With in-style designer clothing (as well as gently used clothing), one-of-a-kind bags and vintage-inspired accessories, the one-on-one service and comfy ambiance at Lela makes you feel like you are searching through someone else’s amazing closet. Here, owner Carrie Arrouet shares why she is thrilled to be part of Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee.

M: Why did Lela decide to be a participant for this year’s Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
CA: It’s a great way to celebrate an industry that is so much bigger in scope than just the pages of a magazine or what we see on “Project Runway.”

M: In your opinion, what is the best part about fashion, and why does it need to be celebrated?
CA: The scope of the industry makes it really a fascinating one to be part of.  I always think about that scene in “The Devil Wears Prada” when Miranda digs into Anne Hathaway’s character about her snickering about the blue belt. Designers, photographers, writers, hair and make-up artists, bloggers, event planners, stylists, sewers, agents, set designers, buyers, retailers, consumers — it’s just kind of crazy the amount of money and energy is spent in the fashion industry. I like to celebrate the vast variety of skills it takes to keep this industry relevant and interesting.

M: What makes Lela unique to the Milwaukee area?
CA: We are the premier women’s clothing store in Milwaukee. Our mission is to make every person that walks into our store feel great. We think of ourselves as your best friend’s house — no matter what kind of day you are having, we want you to feel like a visit to Lela will make your day better. Whether it’s to celebrate a big win at work or home, you need to vent about a bad day or you want to feel extra special at that dinner party by wearing something new, we want to be the place you feel most comfortable visiting. The Lela team works tirelessly to provide you with the most gracious, genuine and enjoyable experience every time you stop in.

M: What kind of items will customers find at Lela?
CA: We offer one-of-a-kind finds from emerging artists. Through our consignment program, you can find affordable, unique looks that our stylists will help put together in creative, fashionable and comfortable ways that make you feel great.

M: What special things will Lela be hosting during FNO?
CA: Look forward to some fun sidewalk chalk art being created live under the awning, some yummy cocktails, chair massages by Stan the Man (our upstairs neighbor/yoga instructor/massage therapist) and a free gift with any purchase more than $100.

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee.

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FASHION’S NIGHT OUT RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

By Jordan Dechambre and Emily Shippee on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 2:00:00 pm 
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I See London
333 W. Brown Deer Road., Fox Point
(414) 351-6132
www.facebook.com/pages/I-See-London/166241120177

This one-time lingerie boutique has grown to become the go-to place for chic apparel and accessories in Fox Point. With a welcoming atmosphere, the boutique offers a wide range of designer brands apparel, while continuously introducing unique lines. Look for the I See London Pop-Up Shop featuring Impressions Day Spa at The Marshall Building, 207 E. Buffalo St. in the Third Ward, from 5-9 p.m. Sept. 6 for Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee. Here, mother-and-daughter owners Judy Bockl and Andria De Toro tell us about the boutique’s sought-after lines and outstanding customer service.
M: Why did you decide to be a participant in Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee?
ISL: We think it is fabulous that Fashion’s Night Out is coming to Milwaukee, so it is very exciting to be a part of this event. Fashion is an important part of our culture. It is not defined by the amount you spend, it is defined by dressing for the person you are. We look forward to showing the people who participate there are boutiques who showcase fun, interesting, exciting and amazing fashion — even in the Midwest!

M: What makes I See London unique to the Milwaukee area?
ISL: The things that make I See London unique are the fashions and services we provide. First, though we love to provide the brand name fashions that are tried and true (Michael Stars, Three Dots, Autumn Cashmere, Vince, etc.), we also LOVE bringing in lines unique to the area that are highly styled and can either be worn together to make a statement, or as items to add something special to one’s wardrobe.

M: How long has I See London been in the Milwaukee area? What made you decide to open a boutique?
ISL: I See London began as a lingerie boutique in 1979. We moved to Audubon Court in Fox Point in 1983 realizing that we could better serve our clients by bringing new fashions into the area, and focusing on bringing more unique fashion here to give our consumers a spectacular choice.

M: What are some of your best-selling items and brands?
ISL: Our best selling brands are Vince, Michael Stars, Three Dots, Ecru (GREAT fitting pants), Autumn Cashmere, Bailey 44, Splendid and many, many more.

M: What do you think is most appealing about boutique shopping?
ISL: Without a doubt, one of the most appealing aspects of I See London is that we are absolutely service oriented and less about “the sell.” We are interested in working with clients to help them find their own personal style, and we want our clients to know and trust that we will be honest. We are delighted when a sale item works for a client. I See London aims to please, and we enjoy the fact that our clients come in, upon occasion, just to see what is new and to chat. 

Fashion’s Night Out Milwaukee is an official event of the global fashion celebration, which locally finds boutiques and salons throughout the Historic Third Ward, on Milwaukee Street and at The Pfister Hotel transforming Milwaukee into a fashion playground, offering events, music, food, live models, appearances from local celebrities, stylish surprises and, of course, lots of shopping — thanks to extended hours and in-store VIP treatments. For more information, visit www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com, “like” us at www.facebook.com/FNOmilwaukee or follow us on twitter @FNOmilwaukee.
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