Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Shopping Content!

Read my September column on Satara here!

Satara, 5621 Odana Rd. Ste A. 251-4905.

Cool Art Exhibit

Have you been to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis? I just visited the 30,000 square-foot center designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron this past weekend. The sleek and silver futuristic building was a destination for my friends and I as we stopped by to view the Picasso and American Art exhibition, running through September 9.
This incredible exhibition of Picasso’s career displays thirty of his works alongside nine American artists that were heavily influenced by his work: artists like Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Jackson Pollack were all inspired by Picasso.
Picasso’s works inspired whole artistic movements, which I found fascinating.

We also took advantage of the nice day to stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, where Claes Oldenberg and Coosje Van Bruggen’s famous “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture is located. You can’t see this in photos of the sculpture, but the cherry shoots water out of the stem. It reminded me of Paris’ Centre Pompidou’s (also a modern art museum) whimsical outdoor Stravinsky fountain with similar water-spurting sculptures, one of which is a big pair of red lips.

Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave. 612-375-7600.

Sweet Sale

It’s the dreaded back to school time, but at least we’ve got The Glitter Workshop and Studio Bloom’s back to school sale from August 31–September 2 to cheer us up. Take fifteen percent off storewide on their great selection of mostly locally made stuff, like T-shirts, jewelry, housewares, cards and more. Studio Bloom does beautiful floral arrangements; I would know, we used them in our May wedding guide!
Naomi Richardson wrote this to me in an email about shopping locally: “I am really trying to let people know that there are other alternatives to big box stores for clothing, jewelry, accessories, and gifts.” Right on, sister!

Back to school sale, Aug 31–Sept 2, 10a–6p daily.
The Glitter Workshop and Studio Bloom, 920 E. Johnson St. 255-2025.

Moxie is Foxy

Elizabeth Kremer’s Lady Moxie store is doing very well, and she’s just about to celebrate her year anniversary. Congrats, Elizabeth!
Kremer also arranges shopping parties at her high-end consignment store for small groups of six to ten people. She closes the store and ladies can shop to their heart’s content. The party host and guests receive a discount on their day of shopping. Contact her for more info.

Lady Moxie, 6706 Odana Rd. 826-4268.

The Golden Touch

I’m afraid I must include one non-local shopping tidbit: I want these shoes! Metallics are going to be hot, hot, hot this fall, and these gold-foil ballet flats from Banana Republic will most certainly quell my golden desires.

Banana Republic, 32 West Towne Mall. 608-833-3005.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hot Handbags

I’ll say it again: you don’t have to go to a large city to find some of the hottest brands out there. Case in point: JC Madison in Greenway Station, where you’ll find Lauren Merkin’s handbags. Similar to a Hermes scarf or a Burberry trench, both staples of the well-heeled woman’s wardrobe, Merkin’s fabulous clutches are well known in the fashion world as the go-to for a great clutch. This season she’s adding some punch with patent leather versions in vibrant colors like eggplant, indigo and shocking magenta. In terms of a fall trend, you can’t go wrong with a patent bag in a bright color—especially if you’re sporting a black dress or dark denim and a neutral top. It’ll add just the right amount of “oomph” to your look. JC Madison will be carrying the “Eve” version (top) in magenta (shown) and black patent, and silver and gold. Also look for the “Sadie” (bottom; indigo color not available through JC Madison) in the emerald textured lambskin.
JC Madison, 1650 Deming Way, Middleton. 824-9735.

Fashion Show News!

In a little over a month, HospiceCare will host its Butterfly Gala Fashion Show on September 27. This event is a fashion preview for their Ninth Annual Butterfly Gala on November 17. All proceeds from the fashion show will go to a good cause, and attendees will get to preview some of the hottest special-occasion wear from Woldenberg’s. Yours truly will cover the event from the front lines to get the lowdown on what the models— including high-profile Madisonians and HospiceCare employees—are wearing, and why these special people are involved in the show. More details to come!
HospiceCare Butterfly Gala Fashion Show, September 27, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Tickets: $50–$100.
If you’re interested in the event, call Sara Goetz, 327-7139 or register at

Grape Expectations

Wisconsin wineries received some national press via THIS travel article (article expires 9/15 online). Two notable mentions were Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac and Botham Vineyards in Barneveld. Personally, I think touring and buying wine from local wineries is a great way to support local business and buy local. I’ve toured Wollersheim and it’s great fun to see what types of grapes are grown in our, shall we say, temperamental climate. The article cites Wollersheim as Wisconsin’s largest winery, producing more than one million bottles per year. One of their most popular and award-winning wines is Prairie Fumé, an easy-drinking white that’s perfect for lighter dishes and warm summer afternoons.

I also have to mention Botham Vineyards because I know Sarah Botham, a former college instructor of mine who’s one half (the other half is husband Peter) of the wine-producing couple behind the winery. In CNN’s article, Peter discusses the vineyard’s Big Stuff Red, a slightly sweet blend of red wine that Peter says he developed for visitors who liked sweeter wines but wanted to drink red wine for the health benefits. In fact, their son Mills is the tot that’s featured on the adorable (and yummy) Big Stuff Red wine label.
Wollersheim Winery, PO Box 87, Prairie du Sac. 1-800-VIP-WINE.
Botham Vineyards, 8180 Langberry Dr., Barvneveld. 608-924-1412.

Local, Local, Local

I’m a big proponent of writing about local businesses (that’s the underlying theme of my Window Shopping column for Madison Magazine). I checked out the Dane County Buy Local website the other day and was so impressed with it—it’s easily navigable and has all kinds of information on each of their member businesses like the products they sell, their history and philosophy. And who are their members? Businesses as varied as B-Side Compact Discs, bad dog frida, A Room of One’s Own, Fork & Spoon Café and more. Similar to Madison Originals, the restaurant group that pools resources to promote each of their member businesses, the Dane County Buy Local Initiative is a coalition of local independents that obviously want to impact the Madison community in a positive way.
Here are some of Dane County Buy Local’s tips for how consumers can make difference in their shopping habits:
1. Bank and invest locally
2. Shop locally-owned and managed businesses (ie: read Window Shopping every month to find out where to go!)
3. Patronize member businesses displaying the DCBLI logo
4. Buy locally produced good and services

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Breaking News

I have found out that the new Anthropologie store will be at Hilldale. The west side shopping center is already host to cool places like The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co., Fair Indigo, Ananda Salon & Spa, Jan Byce, Macy's and more. More details on Anthropologie as I get them...

I Love This Shirt

Check out this HOT Michael Jackson shirt from drunknBUTTERFLY—hilarious! I think I might have to pick this up to sport on those days when I'm feeling casual … I'm not much of a T-shirt-wearer unless I'm working out, but this shirt makes the cut for me.
drunknBUTTERFLY, 845 E. Johnson St. 256-9119.

Style in the City

Since this is a blog about retail and style, I’m going to talk about my top five (in no particular order) picks for stylish bars and restaurants in this week’s post. For a city of our size, we are lucky to have the sheer selection of eateries and cool places to hang out. If you’ve been to these places, let me know what you think, and if you haven’t—well, go!

Paul’s Club
Although the décor isn’t much (dark paneling mostly), this hipster watering hole has an awesome tree smack-dab in the middle of the joint strung with Christmas lights. Love it! It certainly gets crowded on a Friday or Saturday night, which attests to its popularity with some college students and more typically, an older crowd that’s not as rowdy. You also can’t beat the music: I’ve heard Al Green, and on more than one occasion, Michael Jackson.
212 State St. 257-5250

Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace
I make no secret of the fact that I’m attracted to sparkly and/or metallic things. Silver or gold heels, necklaces, hoops—I’ve got ‘em all. That’s why I like Tex Tubb’s on Atwood Ave. It’s décor screams kitsch and good old-fashioned fun. Check out the futuristic light fixture with silver spokes above the bar, or perhaps the large plastic “gems” that are affixed to the light fixture in the bar area. The wallpaper in the women’s bathroom is delightfully tacky too: pink with cartoon cowgirls and cowboys and accented with rickrack. It seems the whole place implicitly encourages customers to let their hair down. Have a margarita and munch on a quesadilla, chips and salsa and of course, tacos galore.
2009 Atwood Ave. 242-1800.

Natt Spil
This über-trendy place is where the fashionable people go. The lights are low and the scene is jumping. When it’s warm, the windows swing open and people spill over on to the sidewalk to sit outside and talk. Inside, look up and check out the mod ceiling panels accented with Chinese symbols, and the bar’s cool lanterns. Venture to the very back of the small-ish bar/restaurant and sit in the intimate room where tree stumps serve as some of the stools and you can swing the curtain closed for those mysterious rendezvous.
211 King St. No phone.

If Cocoliquot was a woman, it would be a polished socialite with that impeccable outfit, handbag, cocktail ring and of course, the flawless manicure. The French restaurant’s atmosphere is one that just might prompt you to kiss a friend on both cheeks when you greet them for drinks, European-style. The sunny yellow and reddish-orange walls blend with blond wood and contrast with cool stainless steel appliances for a comfortably approachable, yet rich, look. What to order? The chocolates, made daily, and of course, a cocktail like the Bumblebee or Pink Sangria.
225 King St. 255-2626.

Eno Vino
This far west side restaurant injects big-city ambiance into a strip mall, believe it or not. Walk in and be instantly impressed with the beautiful décor: low lighting, warm walls, leather banquettes, the open kitchen and dark wood bar, beautifully stocked with a vast selection of wines and liquors, perfect for any cocktail you could imagine. I think Eno Vino’s attention to design is a concept that’s worth replicating as new establishments open in our fine city.
601 Junction Rd. 664-9565.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Street Style

I like people watching. That’s why I like NYLON magazine’s Street: The NYLON Book of Global Style. I received the book as a Christmas gift and I read it instantly. It’s 250 pages of photos of people off the street from seven influential fashion “capitals” (as the magazine dubs them) of the world: London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris, New York, Melbourne and Tokyo. NYLON’s editor-in-chief Marvin Scott Jarrett writes in the book: “Fashion doesn’t exist in a bubble. To us, it’s not only rich people, models, and they type of people who slavishly adhere to runway trends: we see it as a living, breathing reflection of cultural and social currents …”
I like this book because it illustrates the idea that fashion is accessible to all, and it means something different to everyone. Some people dress to stand out; some dress to fit in; some dress to communicate something about themselves. Whatever your concept of “fashion” is—Target, thrift store or Theory—this book shows how these style arbiters from across the globe show who they are.

Street: The NYLON Book of Global Style, $24.95.
Available through special order at University Book Store, 711 State St. 257-3784.

It Will Make an Impression

Drive on over the Milwaukee Art Museum before September 9 to see Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape. I plan on going to learn about the career of Camille Pissarro, the pioneering artist of Impressionism. I don’t profess to know a lot about art, but I do like Impressionist painters like Mary Cassatt, Claude Monet and Paul Cezanne. It is the MAM’s first major Impressionist exhibition.
Not only is the MAM beautiful (have you seen the Santiago Calatrava-designed pavilion yet? If not, go!), but it’s got the best view of Lake Michigan, especially gorgeous this time of year.
Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Dr. 414-224-3220.

Affordable? Vera Wang?

I have long lusted after Vera Wang’s dinnerware and serve ware when I stop by Macy’s home department. Never mind that I never host dinner parties or make anything fancy to eat … I just like it!
Wang is also arguably one of the most well known bridal designers with her dresses ranging in the thousands of dollars for that special day. In fact, Madison Magazine highlighted one of Wang’s “Maids” dresses from Premiere Couture in our May wedding guide. The floor-length crepe creation was a beautiful eggplant color with a deep V-neck and a satin inset at the waist. Certainly fit for a beautiful wedding!
Now Wang is navigating the ready-to-wear “mass market” (she has long designed high-end ready-to-wear fashions; her flagship store is in New York City and her fashions are sold through high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman) by introducing a line at Kohl’s! Now I admit, I’m not the biggest Kohl’s shopper, but I have been impressed lately here and there with some of their newer lines like Daisy Fuentes and Nine & Co. And I plan on going when Simply Vera launches.
Wang’s Simply Vera line, from what I read, is very moderately priced.
The fall campaign’s ads have a Wizard of Oz theme and models don mostly black and gray tops and skirts with jolts of bright purple and gold accents. The models wear pieces with ruffles, bubble skirts, and there’s lots of layering and pieces of different lengths, all hot trends this fall.
Kohl’s is even making an appearance at Times Square—on a billboard introducing Wang’s line. Her line will launch September 9 at the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer.
Also, read this article from last week’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the Simply Vera line.

Kohl’s, 7401 West Towne Way. 833-9293.
2501 W. Broadway. 221-7620.
2602 East Springs Dr. 246-3022.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

New Stores!

I like to think we have a good thing going here in terms of our shopping scene in Madison. But similar to my philosophy on shoes, I don’t think I can ever have enough.
Outdoor enthusiasts (and trendy UW–Madison students who don their fleeces) will be excited to hear that The North Face is opening at Hilldale on August 3rd. The new store is located across from the Macy’s entrance and boasts 4,500 square feet. They’ll carry performance apparel, equipment and footwear. The specialty store will no doubt fit right in with Hilldale’s upscale feel and target the city’s very active and fitness-focused population. The Hilldale location is the company’s fifteenth in the nation.
There aren’t a whole lot of locally owned specialty kitchen stores in Madison—I usually think of Orange Tree Imports and Tellus Mater, not to mention All Through The House in Stoughton. Now another store is adding some spice: The Kitchen Gallery at 1354 Williamson St. Owner Roz Anderson says shoppers will find a broad mixture of kitchenware, serve ware and gourmet foods in her space, which opened July 3rd.
IndoMalay Gallery in Fitchburg features “distinctive handcrafted products of Indonesia & Malaysia,” bath and body items, and artwork. Owner Matt Castagnet’s concept sounds somewhat similar to Indocara’s (located downtown) modern Asian furnishings angle, but IndoMalay appears to focus more on gallery aspect with decorative home items and artwork. Check out the store at their grand opening celebration on August 9th.
And finally, the news I’m most excited about: Anthropologie is opening a store in Madison this fall! Now, I don’t know where it’s going to be yet (I’ve spoken to a couple of people and they don’t know either), but the store’s website says they’re opening a location here and are hiring store managers, display coordinators and the like.
Anthropologie stores have a smart mix of clothing that appeal to laid-back types and trend-forward sisters who crave the latest and greatest in fashion, premium denim in current styles, lingerie and cool home décor items.
The Philadelphia-based retailer’s brands also include Free People and Urban Outfitters stores.

The North Face, 702 N. Midvale Blvd.
The Kitchen Gallery, 1354 Williamson St., 467-6544
IndoMalay, 2690 Research Park Dr., Fitchburg. 213-4521.

Sales and Events to Hit up This Weekend

Dog Daze of Summer tent sale at Bohemian Bauble. Everything is fifteen percent off at this adorable and artsy little enclave on Lakeside Street. August 4th, 10a–4p. 404 W. Lakeside St. 333-2646.

Johnson Creek Premium Outlets’ Back-to-School and Fall Preview Sidewalk Sale. Check out sixty designer and name brand outlet stores. August 3–5. 515 W. Linmar Ln., Johnson Creek. 920-699-4111.

Greenway Station’s Third Annual ArtFest. More than thirty-five of the area’s artists will participate in a juried art exhibition and sale. Live entertainment, kids’ activities and art available for viewing. August 4th, 10a–5p, August 5th, noon–4p. Greenway Station, 1620 Deming Way.

Madison Arts Crawl. Join other art enthusiasts on this “gallery night.” Participating gallery spaces include Absolutely Art, Escape Java Joint, Fanny Garver Gallery, Ma.Cha/Hue Art Gallery, and more.