Ribbons, Buttons and Fashion… Oh MY!



I love a good craft shop — I enjoy Michael’s and Joann, but I don’t LOVE them. I honestly seek out those stores that inspire me and leave me awe-struck and amazed, full of tactile, beautiful pieces that make me want to CREATE.

I’m thinking and hoping that I’ve found one such place in Stillwater, MN — look at this photo and tell me that this very image doesn’t inspire you!

I am so, so, SO excited to visit Rose Mille. Here’s the backstory: The store opened in San Jose, CA (one of my 5 favorite U.S. cities!) as a millinery and fine craft shop (along with other fineries). The Calif. shop closed, to be reopened in Stillwater, Minn. in 2002.

The shop is broken down into creative(!!!), gifts, style and decor.

I am so excited to get in there and play with the ribbons, buttons and other millinery pieces. I may have to splurge on some beautiful vintage items (perhaps a brooch?!) and I’m hoping against hope that there are so many lovely items that I actually have to CHOOSE between some gorgeous pieces.

I recently took a sewing class in St. Paul on Saturday and wow… I need to dash out to Rose Mille for some creative brainstorming and beauty-gathering.

Love This Dress

You’ve got to expect something heavenly from a lingirie designer turned wedding dress designer. Claire Pettibone consistently satisfies my sweet tooth and sets me into dream-mode with her gorgeous, flowy dresses.

Check out this Seraphina design from her spring 2007 collection. I know it’s not the “newest” style of hers, but I just adore the lace, the way it highlights the back (um, this is totally a “must workout” dress) and the flow of the skirt.

How could anyone wear this down the aisle and NOT look like a vision of angelic beauty.

Claire Pettibone Seraphina

Want to see more Claire Pettibone beauties? Click here.

Oooh, Vintage Beauty

Whirling Turban

Originally uploaded by KikiLaRae

I’ve seen Whirling Turban online before but realized that I’d never posted about it.

I heart this site SOOO much. The cute, retro-style dresses, the fun fabrics, the Betty Page look-a-likes, what’s not to love?

Seriously, these dresses harken back to a day where ladies would wear curlers in their hair (even to the grocery store), and heels while vaccuming. You can go back to those days — without the mysogynistic undertones — with one of these sweet beauties.

Oooh, I can totally picture one of these cuties with some up-to-there peep toes, bright red lipstick and eyeliner.

Just like you’d want Dita Von Teese to wear.
Or maybe what you’d envision your dear grandmother (or mom, depending on your age) wearing as she welcomed the kids home from school. Sigh.

Love This Dress

reem-acra-runway-2008.jpg This Reem Acra dress is a thing of beauty. Clean lines, classic silhouette (love the scooped neckline, thin straps and flowy skirt).

The color is stark white, but on the brightside, aside from uber-pale redheads, this dress would warm up nearly ever complexion.

If I didn’t have my heart (and pocketbook) set on a specific dress, I would HAVE to try this baby on.

Hair I Am

naugi-sweet-maria-hair-comb.jpgOh, lovely hair. Wedding hairstyling is a major decision. Up? Down? Curled? Straight? Teased? Bangs?

The hair you choose for your wedding can make or break your photos. It can accentuate your dress and face or make a double chin very noticeable.

I’m going with a hairclip/comb by one of two lines. Here’s option two. I dig Naugi. They have a ton of different patterns of hairpins in pearl and rhinestone/crystal.

The coolest thing is that you can alter colors to match your wedding. Choose between gold and silver, eleven different crystals (sapphire, emerald, peridot among others) and can even choose if you want white or cream pearls (or a mix of the two). Cool customization!

Check out this “Sweet Maria” comb (available in 3 different sizes). Simply lovely!

Obsessed With Alencon Lace

Lately, I have been obsessed with Alencon lace. Monique Lhuillier really brought it back into vogue with some her dresses — Scarlet, Gardenia and other styles.

Part of me wants a simple, heavy silk dress with little embellishment. Another part of me dreams of a sleek alencon lace top over silk skirt, or a beautiful alencon overlay that gives the dress an incredible vintage look and feel.

The dress that I am loving right now is a simple ivory column dress — I’m thinking an alencon lace bolero (ML makes one that sells for around $1,200). My HTB would probably not thrill over that pricetag — and I’d prefer a longer honeymoon than a ML bolero, so perhaps custom is the way to go.

Maybe I’ll get over my love for alencon — but I doubt it.

UPDATE: Priscilla’s of Boston looks to have some cute lace boleros from Melissa Sweet, and Winnie Couture makes a great bolero called Zurii.

I still think I’ll go custom. You can buy the lace yourself at House of Fabric — the Alencon and Chantilly lace varies from about $49.95 – $120/yard, and most any seamstress could create a bolero with about 1.25 yard. It sure beats the $600+ price tag of some boleros.

Consider Yourself Warned

oleg-cassini.jpgI’ve been officially warned, by more than one person, to avoid David’s Bridal.

That comes as a shock to me… there must be hundreds of thousands of brides buying their dresses there, each year.

With the warning working more as a “dare,” I decided to give it a shot.

Here’s my impression:

Upon entering, I was greeted by a girl sitting at a table. I asked if I could try on a slip — she paged someone. This “someone” had no idea what I was talking about. Hmmm, a bridal shop employee who knows neither what a “slip” nor “crinoline” was? I actually tried to explain — “Its the thing that goes under your dress, that give the dress body…” — to no avail.

Finally, someone else walked by, as my helper silently stared at me with a confused look on my face. They were able to tell her where to find bridal slips. She brought me one. I asked if they had other styles, she wasn’t sure (and left it at that).

I decided to swing through their dress displays, just for funsies and surprisingly discovered two dresses were (gasp) actually cute.

Alas, I wasn’t allowed to find out if they were cute on my body, as I apparently need to make an appointment, just to re-enter the fitting room I had used a mere 2 minutes previous, since the item I was trying had changed.

So… David’s Bridal has officially been crossed off the list of potentials.

Looking Back: Bitchy Bridal Shop

With all this wedding talk swirling about in my conversations and head, I was suddenly, vividly reminded of a bridal shop experience while shopping for bridesmaid dresses with my friend Lisa.

We went to The Wedding Shoppe in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The neighborhood is just lovely, little shops and cafes, cute brownstones, and generally friendly people.

Well, we tried on some dresses, and the employees were of little to no help. It was clear that we were cutting into their riveting conversation about dinner the night previous (when asking bout a manufacturer/sizes, etc), and they were not happy about it.

After about 20 minutes of being clearly avoided, we decided that we’d look at a few more dresses on our way out the door.

Lisa (the bride)’s mom was telling a hilarious story, and was a bit animated in her telling. That is when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of the sales people mimicking Lisa’s mom. Like, lipsyncing what she was saying, while grossly exagerating her motions.

We were horrified.

Of course the manager on site was nearly impossibe to speak to, and was on the edge of condescension. She offered us 10% off dresses, or something like that as recourse.

Right, like we would EVER shop in a “shoppe” like that. I’d rather pay 2x the price and get quality service and non-rude salespeople.

Engagement Ring Shopping: Tiffany & Co.

For some reason, I crave the little blue box a.k.a. any gift from Tiffany & Co.

Did the company do exhastive research on colors that can make women crave and salivate over the contents of the box? How does that little teal-blue color (pantone 1837 for the dorks in the group) make eyes light up like it does?

I always imagined my ring would be from Tiffany & Co., so that was naturally one of the first places we went to look at rings.

And boy, was I disappointed!