Digital Democracy

It seems like only yesterday I got the call to help the editorial team at Bumble & Bumble Salon wrangle hair for a few shows at Bryant Park in September of 2004. I learned right then and there that this is where ideas, excitement and a true love affair with fashion begin. Seven years later I attend as a journalist, picking up tidbits of information to use as fodder for my weekly columns and speaking appearances. It has also become something of an “old home week” as I re-convene with some of the talented fashion people I’ve meet at the…

Walking the Walk

In 1990, The New York Times published an article called “AIDS and the Fashion World: Industry Fears for Its Health.” It was a scary look inside the fashion industry’s reluctance to say whether big name designers had died of AIDS or its complications. This reticence had more to do with privacy than anything else in my mind. The public at large didn’t need to know about it, and besides that, many in the business thought, and rightly so, it could ruin their businesses.  In 1994, in the course of 4 months, I lost three of my creative and professional mentors…

Parting Glances- Valentina

The first time I ever heard of Valentina Boutique was when a friend took me to the iconic Coffee Trader on Downer Avenue for Sunday brunch in the winter of 1981. Since I was planning a big move from Madison to Milwaukee in a few months, he wanted to point out all the hip and happening places to see and be seen. After a wonderful meal we meandered into the lobby for a cigarette (you could still smoke almost everywhere back then), when my gaze beheld beads, sequins, feathers, and all kinds of fabulous fashions for sale in this amazing…

Clothes Make the Man

Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.” I guess that sounds about right.  Last month, my personal trainer, Jason, asked me where guys like him could get “cool” clothes that weren’t too “trendy.” Being that he is what would be called a regular, heterosexual male, who cares just enough about his looks without going into “metrosexual” territory, I thought he had a valid point. What can someone recommend to guys like him who really don’t want to shop but do care enough to ask about clothes? Baby steps all the…

Forces of Fashion

    Photo courtesy of Kryg Photography. At this moment in Milwaukee there is a great groundswell of young, talented and remarkably hard-working people taking the lead when it comes to producing and organizing fashion-related events. I met one of them, Caitlin Larson, when she graciously asked me to be the emcee of her third fashion production in the past year, “A Date with Couture and Luxury,” at the Astor Hotel on July 21. An accomplished model herself and a noted organizational dynamo, she pulled off an incredible event, showcasing original designers in this classy runway show. I wanted to ask…

Re-Fashioned Gallery Night

In the interest of full disclosure, everything I do came to a full convergence on Gallery Night last Friday. I took part in a promotion with Beauty Salon and ReTique in the Third Ward. Our goal? To stage a live “fashion happening” on Broadway, with models Alexxus, Alisa, Rachel, Chrystal, Tony and Jake wearing clothing from the Goodwill Southeastern Wisconsin store with hair, makeup and photography done by the award-winning salon. If you don’t know, I work for both of those concerns at some point each week either behind the chair, or writing a weekly fashion column online. I also took some snap shots of…

Fashion Royalty McQueen

    Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. While in the midst of a lovely, laid back Memorial Day I rang up my best girlfriend (and former Milwaukeean) in New York City, Crystal. She told me excitedly that she had just come from the Metropolitan Museum of Art after viewing Scottish designer Alexander McQueen’s fashion retrospective there entitled, “Savage Beauty.” “You have to come to see this. We thought of you so many times as we were walking through. The music’s great too, so rock ’n‘ roll! It’s so inspiring!” I immediately booked a…

Sizing Up Fashion

    Photo by Tom Nardini. Calling a woman who is a size 10 “plus sized” tells me that there is something wrong with our society. Not only with sizing in clothing, but in our attitude about body types and the very concept of fashion. Is there a different fashion world that exists if you are over some specified magic size number? Something like a parallel universe? It seems like it, after all these years of people griping about the shockingly thin models on the runways, the twig look is finally coming to an end, or at least the skinnies…

Fashion Rocks the Boat

(Want more? Check out the video of the event.) *   Photo by Bjorn Nasett. You know the saying, “whatever floats your boat?” ART Milwaukee, a Milwaukee-based arts advocacy organization, certainly does. Last week I attended one of their ART Jamboree’s which is a traveling interactive art gallery, that also featured a fashion show from local boutiques and designers. The festivities were held aboard the Vista King, one of the tour vessels of the Milwaukee Boat Line, which is located on Water Street and Michigan Avenue. “Over the past seven months, we brought hundreds of people down to Bay View…

Specs Appeal

Everyone can appreciate the cliché of the librarian with her cat eyed glasses and severe bun, being liberated from her sexual repression by simply removing her specs and letting her hair down right?  It has been a theme for men too with the idea that a guy with glasses was somehow less manly than those who didn’t. In How to Marry A Millionaire, Marilyn Monroe played the myopic part perfectly, bumping into the furniture and causing comedic mix-ups because of her near sightedness. Glasses, plain and simple, were just not anyone’s idea of sexy.     Bjorn with his first…