Designer party

After five years of designing Kjurek Couture, Kimberly Jurek is arguably the most popular local designer and one of the most ambitious: Her clothing can be found in more than 20 boutiques from Tokyo to Los Angeles.

She'll be celebrating the anniversary with a show of her fall collection, which will include the launch of a leather and suede handbag line she created in collaboration with Amanda Christine, another local designer.

Per Jurek's usual style, the line will combine diverse inspirations. "It's based on gauchos [Argentinean cowboys], bombas [huge ruffled skirts] and peasant and Victorian influences as seen in the apron pocketed belts and peasant-style tops," she said. You'll also see traditional braided faja belts throughout. When the collection hits stores, the clothing will retail for $80 to $170 and the handbags will be $100 to $350.

8 p.m. Saturday, Arctic Studios, 2538 Hennepin Av. S., tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Available at Cliché (612-870-0420), Drama (612-338-9423), Gallery 360 (612-925-2400), Karma (651-291-1997), Parc Boutique (612-353-4966), Fresh Face Loftique (651-285-0998), www.kjurekcouture.net.

 

So you think you can dress

Betsy Henderson believes in fashion that dances with you.

The local designer behind the label Soft Chocolates studied at the University of Minnesota and was the vice president of technical design at Christopher and Banks. But when she picked up the Argentine tango seven years ago, she found a new way to channel her talents.

Her line of clothing, which she refers to as "tasteful clothes that are also danceable," will be part of the Heartland Tango show this weekend.

Henderson said that Soft Chocolates is "for the moderate age market that wants to be covered, but with a bit of sexiness and elegance."

That translates into form-fitting ensembles, many with A-line silhouettes that twirl as you move and look good from every angle.

"As a dancer, you're not really seen from the front, so my clothes look good from all directions," said Henderson.

The pieces are made-to-order from her website (www.betsyhendersondesigns .com) and range in price from $55 up to $300.

Don't worry, Henderson "test dances" all of the garments before marketing them.

The Heartland Tango show will also feature leggings and sleeves by Annie Fink Designs and Olive Jewels by Kris Miller and clothing from Venus. Sunday, show at noon, Nick and Eddie, 1612 Harmon Pl., Mpls., $10 tickets at the door.

 

Now open: Phenom

A trip to the cleaners? A chore. A visit to Phenom in Minneapolis? An experience.

When they decided to go beyond their original St. Paul store, owners Rob Yang and Max Weber decided to put a unique spin on their new Hennepin Avenue location. That's why the front area mimics a laundromat, complete with washing machine facades and a functioning conveyor like you'd find at a dry cleaner. If you make a purchase from their collection of hoodies, tees and jeans, it will be "wrapped" on a wire hanger in a plastic bag.

The stores stock includes items by local label the Airtime Collection (www.theairtimecollection.com), but its main focus is on status sneakers, including Nikes (including the World Cup collection) and other sought-after styles. For diehard Nike fans, they offer customization. Check their website for updates on new arrivals.

Phenom, 2829 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-355-2250, phenomglobal.com.

 

SALES AND EVENTS

THURSDAY

Peter Cohen trunk show: The designer's fall 2010 collection will be available.

Through Saturday, Grethen House, 4930 France Av. S., Edina, 952-926-8725.

FRIDAY

OPM Outlet opens: A temporary pop-up outlet store will feature savings of 40 to 80 percent off Diane von Furstenberg, YSL, Gucci, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Alice + Olivia, J. brand and more. Additionally, the first 10 customers each day of the sale take an extra 20 percent off their entire purchase.

Fridays through Sundays (July 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 and Aug. 1, 6, 7 and 8), Excelsior & Grand, 3700 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-567-7399.

SATURDAY

Key North 4th anniversary celebration: There will be a daylong sale with door prizes, plus trunk shows with Heinz Brummel Jewelry and Until There Is Peace tees (noon to 6 p.m.) and a Vita.mn trunk show (3 to 6 p.m.) with wine, appetizers and live music.

515 First Av. NE., Mpls., 612-455-6666, www.keynorthusa.com.

CONTINUING

Half Time at Hammer Made: The men's shirt and tie outfitter has brought in Egyptian cotton shirts ($48, originally $95) and Italian silk ties ($30 each) for a special sale.

Galleria, Edina, 952-681-2534, www.hammer-made.com

N'etc summer clearance: Spring and summer merchandise is now up to 70 percent off.

Until sold out, 5005 France Av. S., Mpls., 612-922-9321.

Stephanie's summer savings sale: Select clothing and accessories are 40 percent off. On weekends (Friday to Sunday) through Labor Day, there will be bonus bargains on sidewalk sale deals of 70 percent off and an extra 10 percent off regularly priced and 40-percent-off merchandise.

Through Labor Day, 758 Cleveland Av. S., St. Paul, 651-690-3802.

Parc Boutique summer sale: Get 30 to 50 percent off dresses and 50 to 90 percent off tops and tees.

Until sold out, 328 E. Hennepin Av., Minneapolis, 612-353-4966, www.parcboutique.com.

Green contest: The Ivy Spa wants to see who in the Twin Cities is the greenest of them all. To enter, you must "like" Ivy Spa Club on Facebook and then upload a picture of an environmentally friendly activity in action (composting, installing energy-saving bulbs, reusing shopping bags). A winner will receive a package of services worth $400.

Through July 28, 201 S. 11th St., Mpls., 612-343-3131, www.ivyspaclub.com.