Monday, August 31, 2009

Lucky magazine coming to Charlotte

Lucky Magazine and I.N.C are teaming up for a special event at Macy's SouthPark on Sept. 26.

Wow. A girl takes 2+ weeks off, come back to work and suddenly fall fashion season in the Carolinas is in full swing! My Outlook was packed (no lie -- it was shut down at least once for being too full, and another time there were 450-ish emails waiting on me) with notice of events.

Here are a handful of stylish happenings:

NINA MCLEMORE TRUNK: Paul Simon for Women will host the Nina McLemore Fall trunk Show, 9:30a-6p today, Sept. l and Wednesday Sept. 2 at its Myers Park store. Nina McLemore is known for her classic, colorful jackets for daytime and special events. Each style
is specially designed to flatter a variety of shapes and sizes.

LINDA CUNNINGHAM TRUNK: Coplon's at Phillips Place will host a Linda Cunningham trunk show on Thursday, Sept. 3 and Friday, Sept. 4. The designer, who specializes in custom cocktail and special occasion dresses, will be on hand.

CNCFW: Charlotte Fashion Week returns for a second time with an international designer lineup and a new venue: The Mint Museum. Sept. 10-12, general admission tickets are $35-$50; VIP are $50-$180.

LOOK AT HER POWER: The annual fundraiser for Dress for Success Charlotte and sneak peek of the Southern Women's Show will be Thursday, Sept. 17 at The Park (formerly the Charlotte Merchandise Mart). Among the highlights will be fashion shows and empowering talk from honorary chair Andie MacDowell and keynote speaker Cynthia Marshall. Don't forget the networking, drinks and freebies, too, to benefit a great cause. $40.

FASHION'S NIGHT OUT! Scout & Molly's and are teaming up for a night of wine, food, fashion, music and deals. 6-9p Thursday, Sept. 17 at the store in the Morrison development. There will be a DJ, freebies and goodie bags.

BELK GIRL'S NIGHT OUT: Fall fashion is the focus of the festivities planned for the semi-annual event at the SouthPark on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Rafaella’s creative director Richard Metzger will also be on hand. More details to come.

LUCKY (FALL) GIRL! Lucky and INC experts will be on hand for the INC Fall fashion preview at Macy's Southpark, 2-4p Saturday, Sept. 26. A professional photographer will photograph customers for feature placement on Also, customers will receive a Lucky necklace with any INC purchase of $75 or more the day of the event (while supplies last).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Project Runway: LiLo? Really?

I'm a sucker for a hard work ethic and non-traditional path to success. Christopher from Shakopee, you might just be my favorite!
Oh wait ... it's too soon to call it!

My excitement about the return of Project Runway hit the skids when I saw the guest judge, Lindsay Lohan. Really? That's the best you can do, PR folk?

But my LiLo hateration receded quickly when she became a source for unintentional comedy. Like when she couldn't hide her disdain for Qristyl's suggestion that the designer's flamenco Grimace dress would be a great red carpet look for LiLo.

Or when the stretch-pants enthusiast started lecturing designers on the runway about appropriateness. Hello kettle? It's pot.

Anyway, the designers did fairly well in the first challenge of Season Six. The show took advantage of it's left coast setting, having the designers create red carpet-worthy looks. There were a lot of design missteps, but when the herd is this big, it's to be expected.

Along with watching Project Runway for the first time in almost a year, I was also explaining the show to three newbies - my husband, brother and sister-in-law. Early on, my non-fashiony brother picked the short, sassy look Christopher from Shakopee.

I was pulling for the fab, flowy, old Hollywood look put together by Irina.

And I was a little startled that smocking was utilities so heavily by Mitchell. But, then again, he is from Savannah, and smocking is very beloved by Southerners, but pretty much only on bishops and jon jons.

Perhaps my brother is a fashion savant -- Christopher's "cute" and "edgy" dress won the first challenge. And Miss "I don't sketch" Ari got the boot. Or was she dismissed because she looked freakishly similar to LiLo's on-again-off-again girlfriend Samantha Ronson?

So what did y'all think? Who is a contender? What about Ra'mon? He's showing his line at New York Fashion Week in September. What do you think that means, if anything, given that the time table for this season was so skewed?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I die. She's back.

Oh Rachel Zoe, catch-phrase-happy stylist to the stars, I was wrong. So very wrong.

I couldn't get into the first season of "The Rachel Zoe Project" on Bravo. Why? I dunno.

Distracted by other trash-tastic fashiony reality shows (yes, "Stylista" I'm talking to you)?

Burned out on wee female stylists with big hair and giant Starbucks cups? Perhaps.

Whatever the reason, I am here to confess my RZ sins and proclaim myself a bananas convert.

After watching a screener of the first two episodes of the new season, which debuts at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, I am programming the DVR. How's that for commitment?

Of course there's drama. Assistant drama with Taylor and Brad, spending drama when hubs Rodger Berman attempts to put RZ on a shopping strike, dress drama when gowns are hard to find for red carpet season. There's also plenty of cattiness and the emergence of Brad as a fierce fashionista.

Oh forgive me! I have misjudged someone who has the stones to ask Uncle Karl to recut a couture Chanel gown to her liking. I die.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Free Friday: Organix products

This week's prize is a selection of Organix hair products, including Revitalizing Pomegranate Green Tea Styling Whip, Shampoo and Conditioner.

  • To enter, send an e-mail to Entries sent/posted elsewhere will not be considered.
  • Your e-mail must contain ORGANIX in the subject field of the e-mail. Include your name, phone number and mailing address in the text of the email.
  • Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Friday. Entries sent after the deadline will not be considered.
  • E-mails that meet the stated criteria will be entered into a random drawing. One entry per e-mail address, please.
  • Only the winner will be contacted. Please do not post your answers and contact information in the comments section on the blog.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rodarte at Target

I was a giddy little Twitterer when I read that the fab Mulleavy sisters (above), designers of the of-the-moment Rodarte line, would be doing a Go International line at Target, due to hit stores in December.

On one hand, I'm geeked thinking about the possibilities (and the prices). Their work manages to be futuristic, chic and relatable to modern women. But I've been trying to temper my expectations and enthusiasm. Not because Rodarte isn't incredible, but because it's hard to make high fashion translate well to a low price point.

I was beside myself to check out the Alexander McQueen Target collection at a warehouse preview party during New York Fashion Week in February. The party was great -- there was a band, lots of champagne -- but the clothing? Not so much.

I so badly wanted to buy something, but couldn't find anything that rocked my world in quality, style or fit. Really? This coming from a man who has never created a pair of shoes or a handbag for which I haven't lusted.

What's been your experience with diffusion lines?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dreaming of boots

Those killer Hayden-Harnett Madeline riding boots are calling to me from the closet. So are the Frye Ava pumps I picked up at a killer discount. Or that batwing sweater I snatched up recently. Or the black dress that makes me think I'm channelling Vivienne Westwood.

So come on all ready fall! I need some dramatically cooler temps before I can trot out my end-of-season finds.

The thing is, we've got a ways to go. It's hot in Charlotte, so hot that a forecast for 83 seems like a cold front is moving in.

Besides repeatedly trying on your new boots and sweaters in the air-conditioned comfort of your home, what do you do to fight the impatient urge for summer to end and fall to begin?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Free Friday: Jovoy Poudre set

This week's prize is a
Jovoy Poudre set, which includes a 1.7 oz eau de parfum and a 2.7 oz perfumed body milk. Poudre is a floral woody fragrance with hints of mimosa, almond and violet. Jovoy Paris, a perfume house originally founded in 1923, was resurrected in 2006. The set has a retail value of approximately $130.

  • To enter, send an e-mail to Entries sent/posted elsewhere will not be considered.
  • Your e-mail must contain JOVOY in the subject field of the e-mail. Include your name, phone number and mailing address in the text of the email.
  • Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Friday. Entries sent after the deadline will not be considered.
  • E-mails that meet the stated criteria will be entered into a random drawing. One entry per e-mail address, please.
  • Only the winner will be contacted. Please do not post your answers and contact information in the comments section on the blog.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Local makeup artist is a smash

Charlotte makeup artist Heather Hawkins was recently named one of the winners of the Face of Smashbox cosmetics competition. One model, makeup artist and photographer received an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to work on a Smashbox photo shoot directed by Smashbox chief creative officer Davis Factor. In addition, each walked with $1,000 in Smashbox products and a one-year subscription to Dripbook, a worldwide community of professional visual artists.

Makeup artist Heather Hawkins touches up Conan O'Brien during his visit to Charlotte in February. (TODD SUMLIN -

THAT'S TASTEE: The national profile of Jami Svay, a Charlotte makeup artist and owner of cosmetics line Tastee, continues to rise. Her organic lipbalms were recently featured on QVC again after making their debut on the shopping network earlier this summer.

ANNIVERSARY SALE: Dot's Women's Wear in Hickory is celebrating 45 years in business with a sale 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7 and Saturday, Aug. 8. Fifty-70 percent off all summer merchandise, 25 percent off fall merchandise. 2105 Catawba Valley Blvd. Hickory. (828) 324-6490

VINTAGE DIY SALE: I am so wishing I didn't already have a full weekend, or you'd certainly find me making the trip to Roulette Vintage in Carrboro. The store is kicking off its second annual DIY Sale with a preview 7-9p Friday, Aug. 7 (sale runs through Sunday, Aug. 9). If you like to craft, can sew on a button, or just have a great seamstress, you'll find clothing, accessories, fabric, patterns, do-dads and buttons on sale. 118 1/2 E. Main St., Carrboro (919)933-8836.

SIDEWALK SALE: Donald Haack Diamonds & Fine Gems will hold its third annual Super Sidewalk Sale on Friday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Aug. 15 at its showroom SouthPark store. The family-friendly event will feature savings on fine jewelry, giveaways, and free homemade ice-cream from PW’s of Rock Hill (noon-4 p.m. both days). 704-365-4400.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back to school already?

Girls knit headband, $10.50 (for two); long-sleeve ribbed T-shirt, $12.50; knit skort, $16.50; Mary Janes, $34.50 and tight-fit leggings, $12.50; Lands’ End,

A timeless favorite takes center stage this year for back to school fashion. It matches everything and is always a good investment. It’s a budget.

We’re not talking bargain basement cheap type of budget, but the kind that means examining your finances, taking stock of what your children have in their closet and shopping smart.

Once you set the number, make sure you stay committed to meeting it. "Bring your child into the conversation and they’ll really learn," says Michele Casper, director of public relations for Lands' End. "It’s not the sky is the limit this season. … The idea is that kids need to prioritize and parents need to prioritize."

Identify big ticket needs first. Shoes can backpacks can have the highest price tags, Casper says. Are those new sneakers absolutely necessary if it means there will only be enough left for a few shirts?

Involve your children in planning before you get to the store. "Really working together with your children will give them a great understanding," Casper says. "Children will know the value of money, and it helps parents avoid temper tantrums while shopping. When you’ve got a pre-established agreement, children comprehend it."

Pick a color scheme and stick to it. You don’t want your child to end up with a closet full of items that don’t match anything, Casper says. If your daughter likes pink, look for complementary colors in the same family, add in a few prints or stripes, and you’re building an interchangeable wardrobe.

Buy better, buy less. Pay attention to construction and mate-rials and buy the highest quality your budget will allow, says Carole French, owner of children’s boutique Magic Windows. The clothing will wear better longer. Classic silhouettes in natural fibers such as cotton stand the test of time in wear-and-tear and fashion, she says.

Think outside the box. Adding layers over or under clothing is the key to giving a ward-robe legs, Casper says. For early fall, when the weather is still warm in the Carolinas, you could pair a short-sleeve graphic T-shirt with jeans for your son. As the weather cools, put a long-sleeve T-shirt under, a printed woven shirt on top or add a hoodie sweatshirt.

Don’t discount used. Not everything needs to be replaced every year. If you’re looking to eek out a few years wear out of backpacks and lunch boxes, go for solid colors. Sew on character patches or embellishments to personalize. Consignment sales (usually held in the spring and fall) are excellent sources of gently used children's clothing at a fraction of the retail price.

What are your tips for back to school shopping?

Read more about tax-free shopping in the Carolinas in Thursday's Style section.