If I hear one more person say that Milwaukee isn’t fashionable, I just may have to hit him over the head with my Coach briefcase. Such blanket statements, in my opinion, show how disconnected the people that make those remarks are from all the passion and energy our denizens have about the style they sport.
For example, Gallery Night has developed over the years into not only a place to discover your love of art and design, but also an evening to strut your creative stuff sartorially, whatever it may be. The absolute fusion of art, design and fashion could not possibly be more complimentary or evident than at this tri-monthly event.
I was out and about that evening snapping away with my Nikon, and I will prove to you doubters that through my lens, great style sense doesn’t know what zip code it’s in or what store it’s from. Like all great art, it amuses the viewer, and provokes response. I had so many pictures to of folks strutting their stuff, that it was hard to edit them down to around 20. I will comment on my four or five favorite images, and then let you be the judge as to whether Milwaukee is fashion challenged or not.
Make sure to check out all the pictures of my fashion favorites from that evening here.
Shades of Gray
Top Milwaukee editorial hairdressers, B.J. Rademann, and Scott Yance of Erik of Norway salons, looked great in shades of gray. After spending the evening styling the coiffures of the enormous number of models for the “RunUp” show at MAM, they were all smiles. At once both relaxed and chic, gray holds sophistication unlike its darker counterpoint in the neutral corner. Gray, in my book, is one of the best neutrals, as it mixes with cooler tones, warmer tones and everything in between. I love knit caps as well!
Holey Fashion Inspiration
This lovely lady at the MAM knows that wearing black is all about finding the unique in this most common of non-colors. The design here is absolutely new, and when her arm was down you didn’t notice the porthole like detail. She pumps up the volume with a bright suede “lunchbox” handbag, and also sets off all the black with her vibrant lips and cheeks. Note the approving look from her friend Gail Schulz Ostermann (co-publisher of lifestyle magazine M) posing behind her.
Stripe It Up
This lovely young couple toes the line fashion-wise. One of my absolute wardrobe favorites are interesting striped pieces. His sweater has a great mix of traditional on top and graphic black and white on the bottom. He uses the gray shirt to ground all that verticality and dark pants to serve as the background. His lady friend mixes a texturally distressed gray tank with a black and white striped cardigan in a fluently casual way with her black jeans. Simple and effective, stripes make YOU stand out if done in this manner.
Lady in Red
This gorgeous young woman, Miss Tyla Sleight, somewhere in her teens, gets her style just right. Sassy, yet demure, she is an example of coordinating a bright piece, like her dress, with other items that only add to the impact of the crimson. The skinny belt, the winsome clutch bag, the patterned tights, dark pumps, cuff bracelet and hair ornament all say youthful and confident. I think her mother, local model Sabrina Crystal, has influenced her. The dress isn’t too low cut for her age, and the length is completely appropriate as well. Kudos to this rising Milwaukee fashion star. I’ll be looking for you in the pages of fashion magazines next!
The one thing about wearing vintage fashion from a specific era is that you must own it. You don’t want to look as though you’re wearing a costume. This MAM reveler does it well. She’s young enough to have missed the era of the dress she’s wearing, which I would place as somewhere in the latter ‘60s, but hip enough to know that it looks charming on her. With a cute cropped haircut and little to no accessories, she lets the shape of the beaded knit dress convey her sense of modern style.
To those who share these sentiments, “I can’t find anything to wear here, I have to go to Chicago!” I take umbrage and implore you to really go out and see the fashion sights right here in our town, and garner some needed inspiration from those who take the lead in the fashion parade of Gallery Night, or any of the stylish events held here throughout the year. As that rocket scientist Paris Hilton once mused, “The only rule is don’t be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in.” Wise words indeed to the Milwaukee naysayer!
Special note: This will be Bjorn’s last post under “Fashion Seen.” But don’t despair. Starting next week you can find him writing as a Community Blogger under his new blog, “Fashion Farm Boy.”