STYLE GIRL "FASHION FIX" – 1 Holiday Look + 3 Parties = Creative ReStyle
sara gannon in sapphire dressQ: “I bought this really cute sapphire blue dress. I spent more than I normally would because I was attending a high-end, big-time Jersey wedding. I justified it thinking I’d be able to wear it again for the holidays. The trouble is, there are photos of me wearing it all over Facebook. How can I reinvent and repost?”

– Sara Gannon / Gannon Graphics
(left in sapphire dress)

A: “Ah, the Book has not only invaded your personal space (and your personal time), but it’s also presenting new style challenges. The more your photos are tagged and the more “face time” you and your fabulous look receive, the trickier it becomes to wear and re-wear your go-to favorites. Due to both technological advances and recession-related financial woes, now more than ever is the time to get creative with your holiday dressing.”

STYLE DARE: Take your smashing sapphire dress and wear it to 3 different holiday parties! The trick is all in the styling.

PARTY #1: [Hallelu Holiday Fashion Show]

rhinestone bow from etsyFor a more edgy look, layer a black fitted turtleneck under your strapless dress to change up the silhouette. Attach a rhinestone brooch (Vintagegreatgets deco rhinestone bow brooch $30 from etsy) to the sweetheart neckline. Wear black lace tights with black lace-up booties for an Edwardian edge (Below: Side Vine fishnet tights $14 from Urban Outfitters).

PARTY #2: [Historic Wilmington Holiday Party]

uo lace fishnetsFor a little more coverage, add a cropped black blazer or bolero. Adorn your neck with a chunky rhinestone choker intermixed with a few longer chain necklaces (try David Yurman at REEDS, Jane Pope’s Balboa Jewelry or J.Crew) to elongate your torso while drawing attention to your face. Or, for a conversation starter, go for an all-out statement necklace with a pop of color (below: Smoky gray and magenta rhinestone necklace $250 from aMuse) Slip on a pair of black opaque tights and a pair of bow-adorned metallic heels.

PARTY #3: [New Year’s Eve]

jan's pink stunner necklaceRing in the New Year with bells-and-whistles bravado. Upon your arrival at the party, slip out of your faux fur capelet and show off your shoulders. Keep your neck bare and go for glittering chandelier earrings. Add a Judith Leiber glitzy cinch belt, possibly a pair of sheer ruffled gloves for a touch of ladylike panache and the ultimate accessory – a head-turning headpiece! (see Milliner Jan Wutkowski for a custom creation)


Here’s an example of taking one transitional piece (recent addition to James + Dunne’s Collection) and wearing it three different ways with strategic styling and creative accessorizing.

wear it 3 ways collage

LEFT: [Art Opening] black velvet blazer, infinity belt from A Second Time Around, cubed hair tie, vintage short black booties, black leggings, gold statement ring.

MIDDLE: [Disco Dance Party] black vintage snakeskin belt from Bargain Box, black fishnets, black pumps, studded bracelet gift from Steve Ward.

RIGHT: [Holiday Party] Add one more touch of shimmer with a sequin hat and dangle gold bracelet from Banana Republic and a pop of color with a velvet cranberry belt with gold clasp and over-the-knee boots from Bargain Box.

To see a “Creative Holiday Restyle” LIVE,

check out James + Dunne’s pre-show presentation
at Hallelu’s Fashion Show…

hallelu fashion show poster - dec 09

REEDS DY event - dec 09


southern gothic intro

Pick up the December issue of Focus on the Coast today!

As we move into the holiday season, we’re seeing more tough love than sugar-coated
cheer. Explore the finer side of a slightly darker, sensual season with leather, lace
and enough texture to trim the tree twice over…

Styled by: Fashion Editor “Style Girl” Jess James
Photos by: Laurence Maultsby and Emily Caspe of Accidental Photography
Hair: Jessica Corbett and Amber Miller Conatser of Harbour Club Salon and Spa
Makeup: Kayla Purkey of MAC Cosmetics
Location: Poplar Grove Plantation

agyness deynNever thought you were a hat person? It’s time to visit Wilmington’s very own Milliner Jan Wutkowski to see what you’ve been missing….

December 4th 5-8pm

35% off Winter Hats * Giveaways * Bubbly * Hattitude

Jazz Age headpieceshannon in jan's hatmichael kors mad men

Millinery . Bridal . Vintage Accessories
4405 Wrightsville Avenue


VIDEO: Watch as Jess shops with Melissa Bachman at Lumina Station
to find the perfect “Lumina look” for her holiday party.

lumina video - dec 09 screenshot

Mention the December “Love It @ Lumina” video to Beanie + Cecil,
Sole Searching, Harbour Club and Lumina Fitness and receive 15% off!

To take advantage of these holiday savings, click HERE.

sambuca logo

December 10 / 5-7pm

Are you ready to get your glow on for the holidays?
Join Sambuca owner Kristen Myers and
Dr. Hauschka skincare specialists

for a fun night filled with: Organic Wine,
Store Discounts, Product Giveaways

+ Free Samples!

sambuca cranberry facial
Sambuca,downtown’s favorite organic apothecary, is giving away a FREE organic Cranberry Martini Facial.


facebook logo

Winner will be announced
Friday, December 11th

A winner will be drawn from Sambuca’s Facebook this weekend. To join Sambuca on Facebook today, click HERE.

Sambuca Organic Lifestyle Boutique & Spa

style swap logo

Calling all STYLE SWAP Guests in Wilmington, Charleston and Raleigh:
Please email me a photo of yourself wearing your favorite score
from Style Swap!

kmarquis in style swap dress

Kelly Marquis (left) in dress she scored at Style Swap Lumina Station with Abi Blackerby
at a wine pairing at the Cape Fear Museum

You’ve Invested in Your Website.
Now, It’s Time to Get NOTICED.

How do you get your website listed in the coveted “Golden Triangle?” Ranking and dominating the local, and now mobile search results are ever more critical. Join local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultant Ty Downing as he reveals tips, tricks and secrets on how to keep ahead of your competition here in Wilmington.

At this Meetup you’ll learn:

* How to submit and set-up Google Local
* Bing Local + Yahoo Local
* Submission to local directories
* How your site can appear in SmartPhone applications such as “Flixster,”
“Urban Spoon,”etc.

WHO: Ty Downing of Perspective Internet Marketing
WHAT: SEO training with a local-centric focus
WHERE: Howe Creek Landing Office (2nd Floor) – 700 Military Cutoff Rd.
WHEN: TODAY! December 4 / 9am-noon
WANNA COME?: $49 – for tickets, click HERE.

Perspective Internet Marketing


joel's cocktail book - cover

Favorite local Caffe Phoenix bartender (full disclosure: and Jess James’s husband)
Joel Finsel recently published a book,
Cocktails & Conversations.

This collection of 36 short stories is based on his three years spent tending bar at one of Philadelphia’s treasured and most eccentric restaurants, the Astral Plane. For the DIY
bartenders, this book also includes Spirited Essays and Award-winning Cocktail Recipes
as well as a glimpse of life behind the bar. Recognized as one of
Playboy’s Top 10 Mixologists in 2009, Philadelphia’s “Rising Star” Mixologist and winner
of the Philadelphia Cocktail Classic, Joel’s original cocktail recipes have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Style Magazine. Joel has been
published locally in the Wilmington Star-News, Focus on the Coast and Wilmington

Pick up the book locally for $16.95 at Old Books on Front, Pomegranate Books
and Two Sisters Bookery.

Looking for a holiday gift for someone that has it all?

PURCHASE Joel’s book online
by clicking HERE


hayden harnett bag - lucky contest

Turns out my favorite deco slash rocker mini handbag from Hayden-Harnett’s
latest collection is being given away by Lucky Magazine this month.
One of five bags, valued at $198 could be YOURS. To enter, click HERE.


December 4

aMuse Holiday Open House
aMuse Artisanal Finery

deb pyeatt earrings
WHAT: aMuse is hosting their annual
Holiday Open House featuring bead artist
Debra Pyeatt

WHERE: 4405 Wrightsville Avenue
(corner of Kerr & Wrightsville)

WHEN: December 4th / 5-8pm
WHY: One-night only specials, yummy bites
by Chef Lori Eaton, one-of-a-kind hats
handmade by Milliner Jan Wutkowski, jewelry
and finery for that special someone
(or to add to your Christmas Wish List!)

December 4
“Let Heaven & Nature Sing” Art Opening
Caffe Phoenix

mio painting - triple

WHAT: “Let Heaven & Nature Sing” is a collaborative artistic exhibition of paintings, sculpture and music featuring the works
of Karen Crouch, Mio Reynolds, and the live
violin performance of 10 year old
Jessica Goei.

WHERE: Caffe Phoenix – 9 South Front

WHEN: December 4 / 6-9pm
WHY: If you have yet to meet 70+ year old
Japanese artist Mio Reynolds, that’s reason enough to come! Her paintings and her
personality are sure to dazzle and delight.

December 5
6th annual Shopping with Friends
Charleston Place Hotel

lowcountry aids - charleston
WHAT: Full brunch complete with Mimosas and Bloody Marys and
guilt-free shopping for a great cause! Check out the Vintage Village
hosted by Charleston Magazine’s Style Editor Ayoka Lucas, who
has personally selected wonderful treasures from the following
vintage vendors: Library Archives, Lori Wyatt Vintage Collection,
Cavortress, Love Me Again, and Candy Shop Vintage.

WHERE: Charleston Place Hotel
WHEN: 10am – noon
WHY: Grab your friends and shop till you drop to show your support
for over 100 caring Red Ribbon Retailers who will give 10% of every
dollar you spend to Lowcountry AIDS Services. Every Fashionista will
walk away with a Swag Bag provided by Trish McEvoy.

WANNA GO?: Tickets to this VIP event are $45.
(LATER): Join us at Saks Fifth Avenue on King Street Friday evening from 6pm to 8pm.
Guests will also have the opportunity to participate in a fashion photo shoot complete with
makeup and wardrobe styling. Tickets are $15. 100% of all tickets sold will be donated to Lowcountry AIDS Services. If you would like to participate in the photo shoot
(additional $20) , please contact Saks Fifth Avenue Club Consultant Marie Arnaud at

December 6
Coloring Stories for Conscious Children Reception / Book Signing
Old Books on Front Street

coloring book - cover coloring book - polar bear

WHAT: Coloring Stories for Conscious Children is a collaborative artistic project resulting
in two soft-cover story coloring books written by Joel Finsel and including the artwork of
Sullivan Dunn, Wendy Kowalski, Michal & Nikki Wisniowski, Michael Webster,
Brian Sillman. “A children’s book for adults” and an “adult book for children”, CSfCC is
designed as a vehicle to foster dialogue between children and adults on topics like our
hurried lives, pollution and fear.

WHERE: Old Books on Front Street / 22 North Front Street
WHEN: December 6 at 2pm
WHY: CSfCC began as an element of the Rated G exhibition at ERA Gallery in 2008. The
artists hand-glued and silk-screened a sold out limited edition of 50 hand-constructed
coloring books. This edition sold out, and due to the project’s initial success, a second,
soft-cover edition was planned and has evolved into two new volumes with the addition
of a 6th story Sally’s Not Scared. The new editions are both published by Nexus Press.

December 10
David Yurman “Cable for a Cause”
REEDS Jewelers / Mayfaire

david yurman image

WHAT: REEDS Jewelers and David Yurman are
celebrating “Cable for a Cause” with hors d’oeuvres, wine, cocktails, bubbly and baubles
WHERE: Mayfaire Town Center
WHEN: December 10 / 5-9pm
WHY: Benefits the Betty H. Cameron Women’s &
Children’s Hospital

December 10
Hallelu Holiday Fashion Show
Odessa Downtown

michael kors mad men

WHAT: James + Dunne Styling are joining
Hallelu for a pre-fashion show Holiday Party “ReStyle” where Jess and Shannon will style
a holiday dress three different ways. Invest in
one dress and a few strategic accessories to
re-style your look party after party! Hallelu
will feature their holiday must-haves on the
runway. Holiday Gift Ideas from Local Artist
, Sweet Treats from Coastal Cupcakes

WHERE: Odessa Downtown / 23 North Front Street
WHEN: December 10 / 7:30 pm
WHY: Head-turning holiday looks at
recession-proof prices. Proceeds
benefit Yahweh Center.
WANNA GO?: $7 at the door / First 25 get swag bags!

December 11
Help-Portrait: Wilmington
Good Shephard Benefit

help - portrait

WHAT: National initiative (
going local – Local photographers are donating their time to take portraits of thos
e in need for the holidays.

WHERE: TBD: Good Shepherd Center / 811 Martin Street
WHEN: December 11
WHY: “It’s not about taking pictures. It’s about giving them.”
WANNA GET INVOLVED?: Contact Kevin deLeon at

December 17
Amanda deLeon Fashion Show
Odessa Downtown

deleon black mesh dress
WHAT: Local fashion designer Amanda deLeon, emerging designer
semi-finalist from Charleston Fashion Week 2008, is hosting a
fashion show revealing her latest collection.

WHERE: Odessa Downtown / 23 North Front Street
WHEN: December 17 / 7-9pm
WHY: Because our girl Amanda is going to make it big one day,
and you want to buy, own and wear her one-of-a-kind pieces while
we can all still afford it.

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Contact Jess

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