STYLE GIRL “FASHION FIX” – Spooky Chic: Welcome to the Dark Side

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Wilmington designer Jonathan Miciolek’s Rodarte inspired cobweb scarves

Autumn is always a bewitching time of year. The sudden, somehow always unexpected, chill in the air, watching the leaves transition from a grass green to sunny orange, golden yellow, and deep crimson. I can already hear the footsteps of the Trick-or-Treaters shuffling through the leaves accumulating on the sidewalk. Aside from the cinnamon-dusted pumpkin pie and a season of thanksgiving, there is, of course, another reason we adore fall: the fashion.

Securing the perfect outfit for fall festivities becomes a little, shall we say . . . trickier around the end of October. How many Lady Gaga’s will you encounter on Saturday night? The fantasy of Halloween has endless possibilities but please, wear some clothes! It always amazes me year after year to see so many “costumed” women running around half-naked on Halloween. For a fully-dressed option, try wearing one of the season’s hottest completer pieces – a faux fur gilet – with a LBD and a horn headband as a stylish take on Spike Jonze’s new film, “Where the Wild Things Are.”

rz faux fur vestbeth and daneel

Left: Rachel Zoe faux fur gilet from QVC
Right: Producer Beth Crookham wearing a Phillip Lim shearling vest
from Beanie + Cecil with One Tree Hill actress Danneel Harris

Beyond the orange-and-black color palette and costumes associated with All Hallows’ Eve, it seems to be the bewitching hour for our wardrobes, in general. There is a toughness that has emerged in the form of biker chic studded leather mixed with lace tights, Victorian inspired lace-ups and sinister accessories.

For a little inspiration to get your goth on:

alexander mcqueen lookann gothic boots

left: look from Alexander McQueen’s current collection
right: Ann Demeulemeester boots

betsey bloomingdale dress

Black iridescent feathered haute couture dress by Karl Lagerfeld purchased by Betsy Bloomingdale in 1985.

Mrs. Bloomingdale, 83, has donated a sizeable collection of the haute couture she assembled over more than 30 years to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. An exhibition of 60 of her outfits from couture houses like Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Dior, Courreges, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent will be open to the public Oct. 21 until Dec. 13. For more info, click HERE.

mcqueen scarf

rag & bone leggings w/ tunic

left: Alexander McQueen ubiquitous skull scarf that started the skull infatuation;
here’s the latest reincarnation ($495)

right: rag & bone moto leather leggings –
available at
Beanie + Cecil

rodarte spider web tights
jonathan miciolek

left: Rodarte’s spiderweb tights 2008
right: Wilmington designer Jonathan Miciolek look modeled by Vanessa

alexander wang top - hampden II brunettes necklace

left: Alexander Wang top ($380) from Hampden Clothing
(To see Rachel Bilson’s take on this top with knee high boots at the
TreSemme photo shoot, click HERE.)
right: Virgin Saints and Angels “Magdalena” necklace from
II Brunettes

johnny depp - tim burton
edward scissorhands

left: Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s forthcoming
Alice in Wonderland (Spring 2010)

right: Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands


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essie chinchilly

left: Wear Trish McEvoy’s “Gorgeous Red”  (a portion of sales will be donated directly t0 Lowcountry Aids Services) or a blackberry hue.

right: Try a gray polish like Essie’s Chinchilly or Sephora by OPI’s Metro Chic or Absinthe Makes Heart (smoky dark gray with green and iridescent glitter) .

And don’t forget: Daylight Savings Time ends on November 1 this year, meaning a treat for all: one extra hour before you turn into a pumpkin!

aMuse For Shoes/Sierra Leone Fundraiser

beauty makeover - amuse


  • Full holiday attire – the total look – from Sonny B
  • Hair cut and style by Celebrity Stylist Steve Wardwho has styled the likes of Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Roberts
  • Makeup by Phoebe Herron of Natural Elegance
  • Accessories (jewelry and/or headpiece) from aMuse
  • Shopping and styling consult with Style Girl Jess James

You pick the date for your makeover special occasion –
from November 1st to New Years Eve



For every $5 contribution you make to send shoemaker and philanthropist Glen Leasure to war-torn Sierra Leone, your name will be entered to win the
aMuse for Shoes Holiday Makeover.

(The more you give, the better your chances to win.)

To make a contribution, you have 3 options:

1) Please CLICK HERE to make a donation via PayPal.
Click on the box that says “Chip In!”

Stop by aMuse (
4405 Wrightsville Avenue), Steven Ward Hair or Sonny B
to make a donation via cash or check.

3) Call Jan at 910.397.9099 to make a donation via credit card.

We still need $500 to make it happen…we need YOUR help.

Local Milliner Jan Wutkowski has a holiday wish to send her dear friend, Glen Leasure, to war-torn Sierra Leone. Glen, a skilled shoemaker, philosopher and mentor, who Jan descibes as being “one with the Earth” was asked by the non-governmental organization Child Help Sierra Leone to teach shoemaking in Sierra Leone, West Africa in January 2010.

glen - sierra leone 1 glen 2

Diseases are rampant and treatment is largely unavailable. Shoeing the shoeless will save lives by providing protection from disease. On Glen’s behalf, to raise funds for this sojourn (with fees  including airfare, shots, medications and food) Jan Wutkowski and I are asking our fashionista friends for help.

On November 1, we will draw a winner!
To make a contribution, please CLICK HERE.
Thanks 🙂


Downtown salon

Nsalo hosted a Cause for Paws Hair Fashion Show last Saturday at The Cellar to raise funds for Adopt-an-ANGEL (local animal rescue/adoption program). Showcasing looks designed by Loves You Kills You designer Christa Sithes, each look that came down the runway was inspired by old-school cult horror films.

mhebert - michal

Theme: Modesty Blaise 1966
Model: Michal Pierce
Hair: Melissa Kinnamon
Makeup: Erica Adams
Dress: Loves You Kills You

Photographer: Melissa Hebert

keith ketchum - frankenstein bride

Theme: The Bride of Frankenstein 1935
Model: Kameshia Rogers
Hair: Tim Marshburn
Makeup: Erica Adams
Dress: Loves you Kills you
Photographer: Keith Ketchum

mhebert - freaks

Theme: Tod Browning’s Amazing Productions of Freaks
Model: Ashleigh and Julie Kirsch
Hair: Roby Powers

Makeup: Erica Adams
Dress: Loves You Kills You
Photographer: Melissa Hebert

kketchum - king kong

Theme: King Kong 1933
Model: Denver Bailey
Hair: Tim Marshburn
Makeup: Erica Adams
Dress: Loves you Kills you
Photographer: Keith Ketchum


Thanks to Raleigh Radio Goddess Kitty Kinnin, of 100.7 The River’s “Mornings with Kitty,” I had a chance to sit front row at the first annual Couture for a Cause fashion show. Hosted by volunteer organization M3, Raleigh designers created conceptual yet wearable designs to represent and benefit local charities.

Here’s a few of our favorite looks:

diabetes red dress

Designer: Jessica Domino
Model: Megan McInerney
Charity: American Diabetes Association

literacy dress

Designer: Lauren Boynton
Model: Sarah Cannon
Charity: Literacy Council of Wake County

treehugger dress

Designer: Cherihan Lusk
Model: Diala Hamed
Charity: Trees Across Raleigh

fall fashion preview

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Jess and Shannon of James + Dunne Styling hosted an evening of style at Hewitt featuring essential looks for fall – modeled on fabulous women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s – proving that high fashion and age-appropriate looks do coexist from head to toe. Live styling, creative layering and style tricks ensued before Frank Potter of Bangz and Phoebe Herron of Natural Elegance took the floor and shared the latest beauty secrets for fall. Best of all, the night ended with some serious shopping with a sampling of the best offerings for the season from Amanda deLeon, aMuse, Beanie + Cecil, Hallelu, Mitzy Jonkeer, Oliver, Vanessa Jenik and the debut of James + Dunne’s own collection.


dessert divas arrive

kellie and kelly

To see more photos, visit

amanda deleon - new lookour Facebook album



shirley, mary, brooke alexa checking out J+D collection

For a sneak peek on the night’s events, WATCH the video by clicking HERE.

j d event screenshot

style Q+A

j+d focus column - intro photo

As a woman in my late forties, how can I incorporate a few fall trends into my wardrobe? I want to look stylish yet age-appropriate.

ANSWER: Your silhouette may change along with your lifestyle as you age, but keep in mind you’re never too busy or too old to be stylish! You can update your look while still maintaining your signature style simply by adding in a few essentials for fall or reinventing a few pieces from your current wardrobe.

j+d style Q+A - Oct

To see our top 5 picks for fall essentials whether you’re thirty-something or 60+, visit to see the latest edition of our James + Dunne column featured in Focus on the Coast.

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!


Joel Finsel - book cover

Favorite local Caffe Phoenix bartender (full disclosure: and Jess James’s husband) Joel Finsel recently published a book, Cocktails & Conversations. To read the featured review from Encore’s Book Club this week, click HERE.

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 Magazine.

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

You can also purchase Joel’s book online
by clickingHERE.


Haunt 2009

haunt 2009


Halloween Costume Party featuring Art Raffle, Time Warp Dance, Costume Contests (10 Categories), Souvenir Photo Booth, Film, DJ, Complimentary Food & Beverages.
WHERE: Cameron Art Museum (CAM) – 3201 S. 17th Street
WHEN: Oct. 30th( 8pm-Midnight)
TICKETS: $50 per HAUNT ticket;  Raffle tickets $1/ticket
To get your ticket now, click HERE.

Nov 4-6
Week of Wow
Paysage / Lumina Station

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With a name like Bunny, you know she’s got to be just as inviting as the rooms she designs. Interior design star Bunny Williams, whose design work was recently featured on the cover of House Beautiful, kicks off Paysage’s Week of Wow, a series of holiday-spirited events hosted at the Lumina Station interiors store November 4, 5 and 6.

November 4:

Bunny will attend and speak at a luncheon  at the Landfall Country Club, followed by a reception and book signing that afternoon at Paysage.  A holiday open house and jazz concert will finish the day.

November 5:

A workshop on holiday centerpieces and table settings, guest accommodations and festive decorating throughout the home will be hosted at the store.

November 6:
Cookbook author and Four Star Chef Alexis Fouros visits Paysage for a cooking demonstration and luncheon.

TICKETS: are required for all events. Visit for more information or call 910-256-6050 for tickets and reservations.

November 5
AesthetiSpa’s Annual Glow Party

aesthetispa glow party


WHAT: Annual Glow Party
WHEN: November 5, 2009 6pm-8pm
WHERE: Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park-Cooper River Room
WHY: It is the event you’ve been waiting for!  Don’t miss AesthetiSpa’s biggest party of the year.  Enjoy great food by FORK Catering, wind, door prizes, treatment demonstrations, free Trish McEvoy makeovers by Andrew Petersen and his team of makeup artist, discounts, fashion by Mary Mojo Boutique, discounts, and MORE!

November 17
Trish McEvoy’s “Gorgeous Red” Launch Party
Social Wine Bar

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WHAT: The launch party for Trish McEvoy’s “Gorgeous Red” lip color will feature DJ Spaced Invaders, food and drink specials and door prizes. Lipstick consolations will be provided, showing how anyone can rock the red.
WHERE: Social Wine Bar
WHEN: November 17
WHY: It will first be introduced in South Carolina in the Charleston market in support of World Aids Day December 1st. The lip color will be available starting Nov 13 at Gwynn’s and Saks. For the very first time, a portion ($3.50) of the lip color’s retail value ($22) will go directly to Lowcountry Aids Services.

“Over the years I have observed many men of great talent and beauty battle and, in many cases, triumph over this terrible disease, spiritually if not physically. I have seen makeup serve as a healer in more ways than one and my donation of the proceeds from my new Gorgeous Red Lip Color is a literal and figurative symbol of the fight against AIDS. ” – Trish

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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….

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Millinery . Bridal . Vintage Accessories
4405 Wrightsville Avenue

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