Shopping: A Fashion Story

Fashion is hard work. First, you have to search for all the right looks. Price point is always a consideration because many publications have a wide demographic. When shopping, I think about the target audience so I usually go high first and then low and then fill in between.

For this Star Tribune winter fashion story, I started at Grethen House in Edina. The collection there is always inspiring to me. I shop there when I can because it is curated with discerning taste and rivals top boutiques on both coasts. If you want to know what’s going on in fashion look there.

Then I usually hit one of my all time favorite vintage stores – Lula Vintage in St. Paul. Hayley, the shop owner, and I go way back so we speak the same style language. I can send her some of my inspiration and when I arrive, she’ll have an amazing selection of pieces set aside for me.

This time I threw Hayley a curve ball – I asked her to pull faux fur because I was trying to tell the story through as much fur as possible without using any real fur. I wasn’t completely successful in avoiding the real thing, but the amount of faux far outweighed the real fur featured in the story.

Because part of the feature was about restoring the Historic Hamm’s Brewery, an iconic piece of the city, we wanted to showcase some other rising fashion icons from the area. We went to the Showroom in Uptown to gather pieces from local designers.

After that, I visited a couple of stores to round out the affordable end of the price point without sacrificing style. First, we visited Urban Outfitters and then H&M. Both had special pieces that were textural and would layer with other pieces nicely.

We also visited Free People and Nordstrom for a couple of special pieces to complete the looks. In particular, I loved the teal velvet jacket at Free People and the faux fur neck wrap at Nordstrom. I went back and bought the neck wrap this week after our first winter storm because it is such a versatile piece for the longest season in the Midwest.

All in all, it took about four days to shop and style the collection. We also pulled some props from Omforme and a few other resources because our spectacular location didn’t have any furniture.

Then all the looks have to go back of course and that took a few days. Luckily, I had two amazing assistants for the project – Andrea Vingers and Morgan Orcholski. Thanks to them, we got it done on time, just a few days before publication. For more fashion looks from this story see the entire project here.

Barbara Schmidt