Holiday shopping, MN style

Buying local is about to become much more urbane. Starting Friday through Jan. 10, MNFashion, the organization that brings you Voltage: Fashion Amplified, will open a pop-up boutique at Gaviidae Common, on the skyway level near Neiman Marcus in downtown Minneapolis.

MNFashion Holiday will feature giftables created by designing Minnesotans such as Amanda Christine Designs, Anna Balego Jewelry, AO3 Designs, Calpurnia Peach, Grayline Clothing, Kat Dalawager, Margarette, Maybe You Should Die, Ra'mon Lawrence Designs, Ruby3, Sis-Bro, Wild Oats and XO Handworks. Here's a preview of what you'll find: a shopping tote ($42) by Rectangle Designs, a machine-knit toddler dress ($75) by Hazel and Melvin's Room and a cashmere sweater top ($158) by FOAT design.

To open the shop, MNfashion (www.mnfashion.org) received a grant from the Pohlad Foundation, which also runs Twice the Gift, a boutique across the hall that sells donations to various local nonprofits groups, beautifully packaged as gift certificates.

Anna Lee, MNFashion's executive director, will be MNFashion Holiday's manager.

"Our goal is to increase the visibility of the amazing things going on in the Twin Cities for independent designers and boutiques," she said.

More good news for downtown shoppers: From Thanksgiving through Christmas, you can park free on weekends at Gaviidae Common's two parking ramps -- no purchase necessary. See www.parkfreeatgc.com for details.

Events and sales

Local jewelry design company Sequin makes baubles for Badgley Mischka, but you can buy its trinkets at 50 to 80 percent off retail (normally $40 to $300) during its sample sale. The event is at International Market Square (275 Market St., Mpls.) today (4 to 8 p.m.), Friday (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Tonight, stop by any Juut location (www.juut.com) for a girls' night out with holiday hair and makeup trends and refreshments. If you buy an Aveda gift set today or Friday, get 20 percent off of any other retail products.

Happy first anniversary, Drama. On Friday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), you can help celebrate with champagne and a 10 percent discount at the downtown shop (Gaviidae Common, 651 Nicollet Mall, Mpls, 612-338-9423, www.shopatdrama.com). You'll find going-out clothes and party dresses, such as this Kjurek Couture frock ($165). Then, Friday night, swing by Cliché (2403 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls, 612-870-0420, www.clichempls.com) from 7 to 9 p.m. for a Kjurek Couture trunk show with the designer.

What to read

The stars of "What Not to Wear" can't get enough of the Twin Cities. After featuring several residents on the show earlier this year, Clinton Kelly, Nick Arojo and Carmindy were in town to sign copies of their new books. Check out the authors' top tips (and their books):

Carmindy ("Get Positively Beautiful"): Buy cosmetics at a drugstore to save money. In terms of color, the hot fall tip is purple for eyes and lips, but not both at the same time. On eyes, try a liquid liner in eggplant or a smoky eye with amethyst shadows. If you want lips as your focus, use a sheer berry, burgundy and wine.

Nick Arrojo ("Great Hair"): Get product recommendations from hair professionals, specifically for you. Most people end up buying things on impulse instead of what's going to work. As for trends, hair is much more natural, which is great because it's easier to let the hair do what it wants.

Clinton Kelly ("Freakin' Fabulous"): If you have to buy clothes, buy classics like a sheath dress, a pencil skirt or a glen-plaid trouser. If a garment was in style five years ago and even 20 years ago, it's going to be in style five years from now and 20 years from now. If you have discretionary income, that's where you can add in trends.

Style Star

Julie Swenson, St. Paul

Spotted at: Maiden Minnesota, W Minneapolis.

Makeup artist Julie Swenson prefers to work at weddings. "I love to be part of the day," she said. She attended the second annual Maiden Minnesota, a local sale/party for women-owned businesses, to network for her upcoming cosmetics line -- Smart and Chic Bride (www.smartandchicbride.com). She bought her floaty WD.NY top in Los Angeles, AG jeans from Saks Off Fifth and Me Too boots from Nordstrom.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 • sglassman@ startribune.com