Gallery Night

Designed by Miranda Levy

Just a quick post – I have to watch the Bears vs the Lions in Monday Night Football! Touchdown!

Friday was Gallery Night in Milwaukee. This event happens four times per year and as an art lover, I really enjoy it. Galleries stay open late and art is everywhere — from boutiques to restaurants, and even on the street. This time, I only made it to two events but they were both really good: A student/alumni art sale at the Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design, and MAM After Dark: British Invasion – a celebration of all things 60s and British at the Milwaukee Art Museum. This event was a tie in to the current exhibit of paintings on loan from the Kenwood House in London (which is wonderful, by the way. Don’t miss the Rembrandt).

We didn’t buy anything at the MIAD art sale, but several pieces were tempting. At MAM, we enjoyed a fashion show with designs by local woman Miranda Levy. I particularly admired Miranda’s oversized chunky knit scarves and a black and white leather jacket. My friend Alisa modeled a very cute cropped yellow top and a high-waisted pencil skirt.

It’s great to see Milwaukee designers getting attention and showing their work. I just wish this show had been publicized more. I only knew about it because my friend was modeling, and no announcement was made at the event when the show started. For fashion to make it in Milwaukee, we need to give it a little more help.

Lookbooks

I need these Margiela for H&M boots!
This Margiela for H&M sweater is another must-have for me.
I’ve been wanting a cape since Gwyneth’s Oscar moment.
I love this Tory Burch lunchbox, too.

Yesterday, I was almost overwhelmed with “cheap chic” fashion news. The lookbooks for the Narciso Rodriguez for Kohl’s line (in stores and online Nov. 7), Maison Martin Margiela for H&M line (Nov. 15, select stores) and Target/Neiman Marcus collaboration (in stores and online Dec. 1) all became available.

I am lucky, for once, to live in Wisconsin, because we have a Kohl’s practically on every corner. I plan to check out the Narciso Rodriguez collection, but I probably will not buy anything right away. At first glance, I like the sexy dresses and the patterned tuxedo pants but I’ll have to check out the fabrics. And I want to see if I can take advantage of a good sale or use coupons. Kohl’s frequently offers fantastic deals, even on special lines like Simply Vera Vera Wang. I’m really not worried about the collection selling out around here.

I was planning to bypass the Margiela line, because as usual the only location carrying it anywhere near me will be the Chicago/Michigan Avenue store. And it comes out on a Thursday. However, this was before I saw it. Now I’m obsessed. Even my husband is obsessed. From what I can tell so far, the clothes look freaking amazing, very similar to their current fall collection, AND they are practical! Um, hello, it gets really cold in Milwaukee. I might need that giant comforter coat! I haven’t mapped out my strategy yet, but I definitely want a few of these pieces for my trip to Paris.

By contrast, I felt a little bit disappointed in the Target/Neiman Marcus line. My heart broke a little when I realized the Marchesa and Jason Wu dresses are only for little girls. Well, I don’t have any children, so maybe I can get an Oscar de la Renta collar or water bowl for my fashionable kitty Leinie instead. And I think it would also be fun to snag the Tory Burch lunch box so I can brown bag it much more stylishly. Also worth considering are the Prabal Gurung cape, the Brian Atwood gloves, the Judith Leiber compact mirror and the Lela Rose cocktail dress. I’m sad that Altuzarra didn’t make any clothes for this, but the bar set looks really nice.

Forget Black Friday – I already have a lot of planning to do! What are you hoping to snag?

Runup to the Runway

My friend Alisa, center, modeled in the student show. Photo taken by the Milwaukee Business Journal.
20s guys and gals at Runup. Photo taken by Luci Boutique.

Runup to the Runway is the closest thing Milwaukee really has to a “fashion week” type event. Several local designers showcase their collections. This year’s most buzzed about designers were Ra’Mon Lawrence, a Milwaukee native and “Project Runway” finalist, and Timothy Westbrook, the Pfister Hotel artist in residence. It is a fun, glamorous event–I enjoy getting dressed up and a couple of my friends usually are modeling in the shows. I wore a dress from Zara this year to go with the Roaring ’20s theme.

My friend Alisa modeled in the Mount Mary College student fashion show. She looked great, and her student designer won the coveted people’s choice prize.

More than 600 people attended this year, which is evidence that Milwaukee will support fashion. I wish we had more events like this, with bigger name designers. Can we get Creatures of the Wind to visit from Chicago, pretty please?

Bag lady

Our Paris trip plans are starting to come together, and I’m getting more excited by the day. I confirmed with my Parisian friend that we will be in town during the pre-sales, which kick off a week before the city’s official semi-annual sales. I plan to look for deals on clothes, of course, but for my big purchase I really want to focus on getting a special bag. Preferably a classic style that I can carry for years — it’s not like I’m going to outgrow it! Sure, I’d love a Chanel 2.55 or anything Hermes, but those are way out of my budget. Fortunately there are plenty of chic bags in the sea! I really hope some of these are on sale in January.

Lanvin quilted Happy bag
Givenchy Antigona duffel
YSL Chyc shoulder bag
Balenciaga Tube S

Evening with Hank Aaron

An Evening with Hank Aaron
Bob Costas and Hank Aaron

On August 29, my husband and I attended “An Evening with Hank Aaron” at Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers’ stadium. It was a great event for sports fans. We were able to meet Hank and get our photo taken with him. He really is one of the greats in sports and an inspiring man.

Proceeds from the annual event benefit the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, created by Hank and his wife, Billye. The foundation’s goal is to help children with limited opportunities and financial barriers develop their special talents and pursue their dreams. The dress code was business/professional attire, so I wore my Narciso Rodriguez dress and Dirk wore his new made-to-measure suit.

Fashions Night Out

Fashion’s Night Out in Milwaukee
Lori and Leah
Color blocking
Sheer elegance
A glamorous gown
Big bad wolf
Timothy’s models

The first official Fashion’s Night Out event in Milwaukee was a success. More than 1,500 attendees enjoyed an evening dedicated to style. I dressed up in my new Jason Wu blouse, Celine pants and Lanvin heels. My husband and I attended a great fashion show at the Pfister Hotel featuring Timothy Westbrook‘s beautiful and innovative designs, created with repurposed materials such as plastic bags, umbrellas and cassette tapes. I wonder if I can get him to make me a custom dress…

Then I headed down to the trendy Third Ward neighborhood to meet up with friends, stopped by my favorite boutique, Lela, and checked out the Boston Store pop up shop. The department store did a wonderful job on this space, with a minimalist, modern look that highlighted a well-edited selection of their trendiest items and hottest brands.

It was a fabulous night, but I am very jealous of a good friend who lives in Paris — she spent FNO drinking bubbly at Chanel, and even spotted Karl Lagerfeld. Wow.

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