Star Spangled Style

    Patriotic fashion options. According to the official Flag Resolution of June 14, 1777 which decreed: “Resolved: that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” During my research for this piece I wondered why we, as a new country, would adopt the same colors as the flag of the country we were rebelling against? Was it a tweak to the British Monarchy or was it because of the wonderful graphic quality these complementary tones invoke? Or…

Hat Trick

    Bjorn and his vintage hat, now perfectly fitted. When did men stop wearing hats on a daily basis? Understanding the history of men’s hat styles is what local lid experts Kate and John McLaughlin, owners of the recently opened Brass Rooster in Bay View, encourage all you non-hat wearers to appreciate. I’m not talking about knit caps, baseball caps, or any other useful, pedestrian piece of clothing. I mean the hats that were once the definition of a man’s style, with cool names like fedoras, bowlers, buckets, poor boys, boaters, and porkpies. For a long time the simple…

The Hawaiian Eyeful; Ironic or Iconic?

  Hawaii beach. Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Has anyone seen the new “Hawaii Five-O?” I haven’t, but I will admit to nostalgically watching a couple of Magnum P.I. reruns. If by chance you have as well, you might notice that in each episode, actor Tom Selleck wears the ’80s version of the indefatigable Hawaiian shirt. Style and fashion trends come and go, but somehow this vibrant and sometimes tasteless garment always survives. To me it signals the brief scorching summer we have here in the Midwest, and our longing for that relaxing and languorous…

Fake it don’t bake it!

In Milwaukee (or the Midwestern Riviera, as I call it) crabby moods lift around mid-May, and the thoughts of a lazy summer, time spent at the lake and a nice tan, begin to seduce our fair city. As a Norwegian person who never achieved “bronzed god” status, but like many of us here where the sun doesn’t shine much, I can still hope. I sought out the expert recommendations of Sarah Brucker, owner of Blush Beauty in the Third Ward, on how to get the sun kissed look of the season without the skin damage caused by the real thing.…

Wedding Day DO’s!

  Bjorn consulting a bridal client. Now that it is June, Wedding season is going into high gear. As a hairdresser for more years than I care to remember, let’s just say I’ve worked on a lot of weddings. I thought I might share some of my expert tips for getting the best possible result for your wedding day hair and makeup. I’ll never forget the Saturday a decade ago when I got a frantic call from one of my regular salon clients: “We just got our hair done for my friend’s wedding, and it’s hideous! Can you help us?”…

Taking Summer Fashion to the Maxi

  Hale Bob maxi dress. If there is one dress style that has taken the fashion world by storm again this season, it is indeed the maxi dress. The name comes from literally being the opposite of the mini, and the maxi is any ankle length or longer gown with an empire waist. With a history in fashion going back to the late-’60s, top designers such as Oscar De La Renta, YSL, Dior, Pierre Cardin and Halston trumpeted this newfangled look. In the blink of an eye, the maxi dress began to overtake the mini in popularity, particularly in London…

En Route

Taking a detour after four decades of presenting their annual student designer fashion show on campus, Mount Mary’s Fashion Department made a triumphant debut at the Bradley Pavilion in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, May 13. Before the 6 p.m. show began, I was able to corner Sandy Keiser, Fashion Department Chairperson and associate professor, to ask her a few questions about the production. How has the move to the Marcus Center affected the show? It was a big change, but it’s really very exciting. The venue causes us to approach the presentation in a different way;…

If the Shoe Fits …

The typical guy probably has around three pairs of shoes. Black or brown dress shoes, athletic workout shoes, boots, and I guess I could throw in as a bonus, flip-flops. I’m not criticizing here, just saying that most guys do not look at shoes and shoe design in the same way that women do. I know, I know, there are exceptions to every rule you say. There are guys with athletic shoe collections like my personal trainer friends at the Y, and people like me who are quite eclectic in their footwear tastes. We hear stories of rappers and rock…

Under the Influence

  Christmas 1963 Christmas 1963. With our new house not quite finished, the holiday was celebrated in the large, partially exposed basement family room area. I remember wishing that Santa would bring me a doll, and he (my mother, Audrey) did not disappoint. I received a Ken doll with a brunette buzz cut, wearing two-piece cotton pajamas and slippers. I was the happiest little boy in the world. My grin in the picture says it all!   Halloween 1968 Halloween 1968. I wanted to dress in drag, to look like a character my favorite comedian Ruth Buzzi played on “Laugh-In”…

Halters and tube tops and tanks oh my!

Summer. Here in Milwaukee, that means the Fahrenheit cracking a balmy 40 degrees. People inexplicably wear shorts, flip-flops and beach gear the moment the snow melts. It’s a sign of flimsier things to come in a month or so. It doesn’t fail. Every year when citizens start shedding their clothes, inhibitions, and dignity, we are inadvertently forced to see and learn a lot more than we ever wanted to about the bodies of our neighbors and total strangers alike. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking bodies of all shapes and sizes. I’m just saying that being aware of how…