Ready or Hot

Turns out what they say about Rome isn’t true; at least one road leads to Minneapolis–and I’ve been on it since I stuck my hot pink tricycle in the back of my mom and dad’s station wagon and moved here from Madison when I was five years old. I’ve been gone a lot since then: at college in Palo Alto (where I first encountered punk rock chic in the form of a scary-cool roommate with a green Mohawk and a spiked dog-collar necklace) as well as couple of years in Bologna, Italy, then back to Madison, Chicago, and a long stint in Manhattan, where I wrote about fashion for Glamour magazine and later People, covering, in the early 90s, rising designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and Mark Badgley and James Mischka, supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford, and a little-known beauty industry titan-to-be named Horst Rechelbacher.

After nearly 20 years covering celebrities, I know they are no different from you or me; they just have better stuff.

The interesting thing is, the better stuff doesn’t make them happier; it doesn’t bring meaningful relationships or a sense of life purpose or even guaranteed likes on the social media sites they use as eagerly (and, let’s admit it, needily) as we do. What stuff can bring—stuff like shoes and dresses and earrings (I do love my earrings)—is a chance to declare yourself to the world.

In Minnesota, we do this the way we do everything else: with pragmatism, tolerance, imagination, and humor.

That Minnesota spirit is why the road I travel always leads me back here (that and the new finds at Opitz Outlet every week), and also why I am thrilled to be the new Style Editor for Minnesota Monthly.

I will be exploring a community that is both familiar and foreign to me, finding out what’s new from old industry friends (including Paul at Schatzlein Saddle Shop who sold me my first pair of cowboy boots more than 30 years ago) and meeting insiders who share their old tricks (like Leanne at Cos Bar, who turned me on to a Natura Bissé face cream to help “my situation.” Who knew I had a situation?)

I hope you will follow me in the magazine, where I will have a monthly column and bring you the latest in beautiful stuff (and inspiring people) from Minnesota and beyond, and my weekly blog, where I will share my wanderings, both physical and, apologies in advance, mental. A few words of warning: My friends call me benevolently bossy. (My kids challenge the benevolent part.) I am prone to outrage (expressed in purely polite, positive ways, naturally). And (as you can see) I am a shameless alliterator.

Now, on to business.

Tomorrow I will be at Aria in downtown Minneapolis at 6 p.m. sharp for the Ready or Hot fashion show and dance party benefit (I love to dance though I have been told I have no rhythm whatsoever; I deny it and also blame it on the stilettoes) put on by Planned Parenthood. Today local style guru Grant Whittaker spent all day in his Northeast studio doing last-minute fittings on the real-life models who will walk the runway in clothes from local shops (Grethen House, Motto, Martin Patrick 3, Bluebird Boutique, June, Fashion Avenue 2 and more) that will be awash in color, texture and OMG-attitude.

“I’m playing up the ‘Hot’ part,” Grant told me with a grin. “We’re going to have a section that’s a bit racy.” (Translate: at least one dress made from, um, unusual fabric.)

There will be food (from Chowgirls Killer Catering), drink (including a signature Ready or Hot cocktail), a silent auction (Valentine’s Day packages) and at the heart of it all, Planned Parenthood’s new motto. “Care. No Matter What.” To that, allow me to add an exhortation: Come. No Matter What. You can even make fun of my dancing.

Ready or Hot: Fashion Meets Passion for Planned Parenthood

105 North 1st Street ӬMinneapolis, MN 55401Ӭ

Thursday, February 6, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets $55 at the door. $75 VIP