KOKOON Behind the Seams ~ The Making Of Bon Voyage

Ever wonder how a new style gets developed?
Take a peek Behind The Seams of KOKOON’s Bon Voyage Dress .

Easy care and easy to wear, in a soft stretchy rib knit.
Ethically Made in the USA, of course!

The first small batch just arrived in Farm to Table and Ginger Floral prints.

So. Dang. Cute.

AND…You could win one, along with this gorgeous Oh Necklace by Belle Isle Design Co.
To enter our Mother’s Day Giveaway on Instagram, just head over to our Insta page, @kokoonfashion for details! Entries close Sunday 5/5 at midnight PST ;-)

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Good Luck!

Laine Sou

Fashion Friday!

If I had to pick one surprise of the season, it would be the Natalia Jumpsuit.
I mean, I LOVE it, but I was just not sure many others would. It got of to a sleepy start, so I thought we would be lucky to sell through the 50 or so units we produced. 
And then, one day...they just started selling like crazy. I don't like to bring in re-cuts anymore, but this one I thought even if it takes a while, it could still sell all fall. 
Now the recut has almost sold out before even landing in our warehouse.
Go figure.

I call it a "Forever" jumpsuit...the kind of jumpsuit you will keep and wear forever.
The crepe is a substantial fabric, the straps are adjustable, the fit is amazing, and the cropped wide leg is the pant silouette of the season.
So much love for this piece!!
 

KOKOON Natalia Jumpsuit, $158.
Small Batch, Ethically Made in the USA.
Shop HERE.

Client Highlight: Tricia Utley

To help celebrate #smallbusinesssaturday, KOKOON is shining a spotlight on our community of clients and sales reps who walk the walk of being a small business owner! 
As our very first feature, we're excited to introduce you to KOKOON client and Girl Boss: Tricia Utley LE and her business American Apothecary!

Not only is Tricia a fashion queen (what KOKOON customer isn't?) she is also a Certified Holistic Skin Care Specialist and Holistic Lifestyle Coach.

Her passion for skin care and holistic remedies rooted from her personal struggle with dry, sensitive skin, and hormonal acne issues. After almost 20 years of dealing with these issues, Tricia was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Instead of sitting back and accepting her condition, Tricia became committed to her health journey and soon found the correlation between diet, stress, toxic skincare, and environmental toxins. Tricia works in the treatment room and also is an esthetics instructor and trainer. Her knowledge includes everything from skin nutrition to medical modalities. Through Tricia's personal health struggles, she managed to find the silver lining by helping her clients achieve healthy, radiant, toned skin, as well as overall health and well-being. Her current area of study is women's hormone health and Tricia is passionate about teaching women how to live in harmony with their cycles.

Tricia says: "Skin health isn't just about beauty, it's about living a beautiful healthy life!"

Give Tricia's FB page a "Like" and if you're looking for solutions for your own skin care issues, find her American Apothecary business in New Hampshire!

Tricia wearing KOKOON's Farrah Wrap Dress at work

Tricia wearing KOKOON's Farrah Wrap Dress at work

Tricia in the Leo Peplum Top

Tricia in the Leo Peplum Top

Tricia in KOKOON Otto Cigarette Pants

Tricia in KOKOON Otto Cigarette Pants

Tricia in the Shimmie Dress and KOKOON Stylist Adria in the Reunite Dress

Tricia in the Shimmie Dress and KOKOON Stylist Adria in the Reunite Dress

Behind the Seams ~ Fall Photo Shoot

Last week's unexpectedly perfect weather mix of warm plus overcast allowed us to not only finish shooting some fall merch, but some spring styles as well! We were able to get most of it done before the sun burned away our cloud cover, then we booked it back to Melissa's studio to finish up some upcoming sale and SOTW items. 

Our new intern, Anne, joined us to do a little behind the scenes filming.
Take a peek at this fun behind the scenes look at our KOKOON photo shoot! 

Model: Ashlee

 

Peek Behind the Seams

A few more snaps of the photo shoot ~ featuring one of our new favorites, the KOKOON Hitch a Ride Pullover in Lagoon (for future release). The Celery and Navy were just introduced and these feel so amazing...the washed rib knit is spongy and really has nice substance.
From crunches to brunches, this top does it all in comfy style!

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our adorable photographer

our adorable photographer

outtakes from the screen of  Melissa Louise Photography

outtakes from the screen of Melissa Louise Photography

Coming soon, can't wait! 

Behind The Seams


Yesterday's photoshoot was so lucky ~ sandwiched between huge thunderstorms the night before, and even bigger ones to come later that day!
We're in love with this striped turtleneck that we just put into work.  Of course it has a "little something" to make it special, you'll just have to wait to see what it is ;-)

More sneak peek photos tomorrow! 

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KOKOON ~ Behind the Seams

When I first started designing I was part of a design cooperative called Local Motion in Minneapolis. It stopped being a co-op many years ago but I still sell there, pretty much the last remaining retail relationship we have, and it has been an amazing relationship. 

And now I'm please to announce KOKOON is going to join another local Minneapolis designer collective, Showroom, on April 1st! Starting Saturday, you can find a nice selection of current styles at their Uptown Minneapolis store. Kinda back to our roots! I'm also excited because Tess' jewelry line, Belle Isle Design Co, is also there, and it's fun to do something together.

If you're in the Twin Cities, be sure to stop by and check out the local design scene! 
Showroom | 615 West Lake Street | Minneapolis

pulling together the assortment for Showroom

pulling together the assortment for Showroom

Inside Showroom

Inside Showroom

The studio is super busy right now, designing to fill in for spring/summer.
These florals are so fresh and I can't wait to work them up. 

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One of our most frequent requests this season has been more options in our Santa Fe blouse...a simple top, I had no idea we would blow through them so quickly. But, sometimes the simplest wardrobe solutions are the best wardrobe solutions. 

So, we sampled one in the top floral, we're calling this print the Garten of Ina ;-) 

We had a really fun photo shoot on Tuesday with a new-to-us model, Alesya, who was just a doll and so sweet!

And, tomorrow...is our last day our cutter's facility in LA. We've been there for over 15 years and a few weeks ago Emma and I went out to sort through all the fabric...what to do with it all! Our cutter is moving to a much smaller facility and can't take everything with him. 
As of this afternoon, it's all out...either moved or shipped back to Mpls, or sold..except one pallet full that I have no idea what to do with :-/.

Behind the Seams ~ Spring 2017 Development

Happy Holidays! 
I hope you all enjoyed a great one! 
This was a particularly exciting year because Hanukkah started the same weekend as Christmas, and that felt very special. 
I've been working non-stop lately, so I literally had just Christmas Eve day to do all my holiday shopping, including groceries for 3 family meals. I had no idea that the liquor store and Jerry's (our grocery store) closed at 4pm! When I walked in to Jerry's, there was non a single grocery cart. Which was funny because the parking lot wasn't very full. When a check-out boy walked towards me with 3 carts, I smiled and said, "oh thanks, I'll take one of those" but he just looked at me and kept walking. I'm like, "excuse me!" And a manager appeared and said, "M'am, we close in 6 minutes."
I hate being called M'am. My mouth must have gaped open. He kinda stood there a few seconds and then he nodded to the kid and said, "Go ahead and give her a cart." 
The kid wasn't supposed to give people carts! 
I was so grateful. There were sheets over parts of the produce stands, the butcher was gone, lights were off in some sections. I RAN through the store trying to remember the menu for all three meals. I forgot a few things, but it all ended up just fine and I was just so happy that I hadn't had to go home to 2 days of staring down a fridge containing only a half carton of eggs. 

The holidays are always one of my busiest times of the year. When I'm not at the studio, I bring patterns to work on at home. Yesterday was the first day I could start to see the line coming together, and felt a little less panicky. 

Preppy isn't usually my thing, but I'm just crazy about this gingham seersucker! This was he first test, I had to calm that ruffle down quite a bit as it was very balloon like over the boobs. It is SUPER CUTE!!!  

Preppy isn't usually my thing, but I'm just crazy about this gingham seersucker! This was he first test, I had to calm that ruffle down quite a bit as it was very balloon like over the boobs. It is SUPER CUTE!!!  

First test of a little fit and flare dress. I love this navy and coral jacquard knit, a perfect weight for early spring.

First test of a little fit and flare dress. I love this navy and coral jacquard knit, a perfect weight for early spring.

And...I think this is might have to be my mother of the groom dress for Sam's wedding this summer. This is an embroidered stretch tulle....really gorgeous fabric!! Very excited about this one ;-)

And...I think this is might have to be my mother of the groom dress for Sam's wedding this summer. This is an embroidered stretch tulle....really gorgeous fabric!! Very excited about this one ;-)

So, that's what's been going on. Follow us on Instagram @kokoonfashion for more sneak peeks as we get ready for spring.

And, now is the time if you or someone you know is interested in becoming a KOKOON stylist for spring 2017! Inquire here.

Happy New Year, Everyone!!

What's in a Name?

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked about designing for KOKOON is, "How do you come up with the names of the styles?"
Sometime I can just look at the item and a name will reveal itself, other times it's not so easy to come up with a name that feels right. 
Today I carried on a word association game in my head trying to come up with a name for a new design and the word Savoy randomly popped up in my brain. I think I like the word. But I don't really know what it means so I plugged it into google...and this is what showed up on UrbanDictionary.com:

savoy

a fairly slutty woman who often is too skinny and enjoys being with men of a different race. a savoy often is crude and inappropriate and also lacks morals, a conscience, and a social filter.

"I heard that girl sleeps with a lot of football players"

"Yeah, she's a total savoy"

#slut #jersey chaser #rude #inappropriate #skinny

First of all ~ WTF?
Second ~ Now I've got to go with it for sure!

Savoy Pullover/Spring 2017

Savoy Pullover/Spring 2017

Happy Fri-Yaaayy!!

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...Seriously, this week's KOKOON Steal is one of my all time fave's, The Miles of Smiles cardi.
Versatile? Check. Slimming? Check. Pockets? Check.
Wear it a bunch of different ways.
There's a random variety, but not many, and they won't last long.
$59 to $69 this weekend only while they last. Shop HERE.

Behind the Seams ~ New Orleans

I thought today would be the perfect day to do a Behind the Seams throwback to a photo shoot we did in New Orleans. 

I had never been to NOLA, and after Richard spent a couple days there and told me all about it, I started envisioning a photo shoot. So last spring we scheduled a tourist weekend for the two of us, then tacked on a couple extra days and flew our photographer and model down.

We were on a pretty tight budget, and we booked last minute, so we were staying in a pretty marginal AirBNB, but the location was pretty good and it was just a place to sleep so, not a big deal. I booked a different AirBNB for Melissa and Giana, in what was described as a bohemian, up and coming neighborhood, and we drove there straightaway after picking them up from the airport so they could get ready to shoot. 

Just a word of advice. if you are looking to book a place to stay, 'bohemian' and 'up and coming' are code words for the hood. 

This was kitty corner from their place:

Seriously. And there were roosters randomly wandering the streets. 

I was pretty mortified. 
The AirBNB I chose for them was very highly rated and the host was considered a 'super host' and had raving reviews. She was a super interesting gal, and her home ended up being appealingly eclectic/kitschy. The first thing I saw when we entered the house were these awesome stairs.

The next morning I asked if we could do some photography in her house and she didn't mind. 

I loved her old school kitchen, where she had dozens of fresh eggs available for guests and she had made freshly baked bread and delicious, homemade apple butter! 

She informed us that she used to be a model also. 
She did fetish modeling for 10 years.

She told us about Hurricane Katrina, and showed us photos of the back of her house that went missing during the storm, showed us an entire photo album of the re-building process. I couldn't help but want to capture the authentic kitchy-ness. These weren't decorations, this was her home, her life. This was in March. 

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After we left the AirBNB, we had a long day photographing all over the city, and ended it in a cemetery before we rushed to the airport. 

Richard and I had scouted this cemetery over the weekend and fell in love with it.

What ended up being so cool was seeing the cemetery transform in the camera into the perfect ambiguous neutral backdrop. 

Photo credit to our awesome photographer! Melissa Louise Photography Minneapolis. 

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween!

XO, 

Laine Sou

What To Wear Wednesday

This is my FAVORITE top of the season ~ The Tempest Tee.
I love the varying ribbed textures in the fabric, but I'm absolutely smitten with the slashed-sleeve detail. Its not often you find a sexy tee that's also warm (extra points!). I'm even further in love when this top is paired with the Verona Skirt, which is the perfect balance of sexy and sweet.

You can definitely wear either piece with many options in your closet to create different looks. I would also throw on a down vest over this top to show off the sleeves and still be warm enough for all my casual daytime commitments. 
Both the top and skirt are available in limited quantities online at KOKOON, or thru a KOKOON Stylist. 

Please forgive the shameless plug!

XO,

Laine Sou
 

The Future is in Good Hands

Thursday marked the inaugural event of The Clothing Collective, a fundraiser to benefit sex traffic victims in the Philippines.

This was an ambitious project...the goal was to raise $50,000 to fund 2 safe houses in the Philippines. The creators, (mostly young twenty-somethings) Sami Huerta of Simply Sami, Paul Weaver, and a group of their friends got together and just made it happen. At Aria no less!

We donated some KOKOON overstock, as did some other local designers and retailers, and there was lots of additional gently-used clothing and accessories from individuals. The vibe was one of a slightly sophisticated and elevated clothing swap. 

Racks of gently used clothing were grouped by price point, $5, $10, $15, etc. What I thought was most brilliant was the signage at the ends of the racks ~
$5 buys a girl 3 meals for one day.
$15 provides transportation for a month.

The new donations from designers and retailers was a bit more confusing, with bid sheets on high tables next to each rack. I think next time the organizers will arrange that differently, but they adjusted on the fly and made it work. I suspect that if they continue with this event they will attract a tremendous amount of support. 
I, for one, will donate more next year, and probably a younger assortment, as I noticed my more mature styles were still on the rack, and my friend and I were double the age of just about anyone else there. 
But that's what was so striking and hopeful. It was quite emotional to see these young, energetic people use their time and talents to reach so far outside themselves to benefit others so desperately in need. 

I scored this cool cuff for $10.

And this cute little jean jacket for $25, along with a fantastic BCBG wool sweater, and a sky blue knitted sweater coat. 

Here's adorable Sami and her equally adorable mom.

Keep your eye on this girl, she's going to change the world.

Behind the Seams ~ Designing for the Red Dress MN Event

This was my 2nd year designing a dress for the Red Dress MN event.  I don't usually do custom designs but it's for a great cause (raising awareness and money for women's heart health) and I love the women I've been paired with as my models. Last year it was Natalie Nyhus of WCCO, and this year I had the pleasure of designing for Alison Kaplan, the fashion editor for Mpls. St Paul Magazine and co-host of the weekly radio show Shop Talk. 

It's nerve racking designing a custom anything for anyone, much less a fashion editor. The Red Dress MN event is very well organized, and while we had months to sketch, pattern, fit, tweak, and come up with our final design, I knew I wouldn't get it done until the last possible minute. Because that's just how it is.

In December I met with Ali and showed her several options and we settled on one. The weekend before the dress was due, I kept seeing a different dress for Ali in my head. But I knew I didn't have time to do it., so I tried to just put it out of my mind.
When Monday morning rolled around Emma cut the fit sample for the original dress. But I just kept seeing Ali in my head in this other dress...so, at about 1 pm (Ali was coming at 3) I said to Emma, "I think we can do this" and I sat down and started making a totally new pattern. 

The original design looked very nice on Ali, and she was polite and said she liked it. But when I showed her the then half-finished fit sample of the new dress...she was pretty excited. 

We just went ahead and made finals of both dresses and on Wednesday, 2 days later, she tried both on.

The first one looked great. 

But when Ali put on the 2nd dress, you could just see her light up. I think she wasn't just being polite. I think she felt amazing and she certainly looked it. It's really important to me that if I'm designing a dress for someone, not only do I want them to look gorgeous in it, I want them to feel like it's THEIR dress. And you can tell that the moment they put it on. 

I turned in the final dress and sketch (the Red Dress people frame the sketches as a gift for each model from their designer) 2 days past deadline, one day before the event.
Emma took my place that evening because unfortunately, my former assistant's wedding was at the same time.

Which was magical and lovely, but that's a different heart story. 

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Here's to heart health in all its forms.

Xo,

Laine




November New Releases

It's been such a beautiful fall so far (no complaints) but I'm definitely starting to get the winter nesting itch, which means I broke out the Crockpot. Nothing's better than coming home to a home cooked meal that's ready the moment you walk in the door.  
Since we've decided to stay put this winter, we figured we should make the most of it. o, we converted our firplaces to gas, which is the best, most cozy thing ever! And Dik-San and I actually bought snowshoes this weekend! I've strangely been craving the winter experience, and then the message pops up on my phone saying Santa Baby Radio is back on Pandora. 
Perfect!

Can' wait to wear this sweater dress: 

J5305 CoSho Dress in Lead $148

J5305 CoSho Dress in Lead $148

J4574 Chiffon Brush Off Blouse in Ferver. $114.

J4574 Chiffon Brush Off Blouse in Ferver. $114.

J4571 Brookland Blouse in Reigning Diamonds. $109.

J4571 Brookland Blouse in Reigning Diamonds. $109.

I've been living in these detached collar sweaters.

J3377 Detached Collar Sweater in Pomegranate.  $118. 

J3377 Detached Collar Sweater in Pomegranate.  $118. 

J3377 Detached Collar Sweater in Lead.  $118

J3377 Detached Collar Sweater in Lead.  $118

J3095 Bleacher Tunic in Escher $88.

J3095 Bleacher Tunic in Escher $88.

Fashion Friday ~ Fall 2015 Trends

Who's ready for Fall?

I just gotta say, I think there is more general excitement going into fall 2015 than I can remember in any recent years past. Maybe because the rumors say this will be a mild winter, or maybe because we're still basking in the glow of one fabulous summer, but personally I think it's because the fall fashions are downright  gorgeous. And not just one or two standout designers....the September issues have been back-to-glory-days-of-printing thick, and the editorials held within are inspiring, as well as the advertisements. I just want to stick my head inside a pile of magazines with a good bottle of wine and suck it all in. 

There's not much I'm seeing that I don't like...pretty much crushing on all the trends right now.
Here's my take on Fall 2015 Trends.

I always start with color. Color is the trend most easily identified and absorbed by shoppers. There's no risk in purchasing the same button down blouse in a new hue. But this fall the colors are downright gorgeous and range from rich and earthy to vibrant and charismatic.

By far the most prevalent color you'll see will be shades of Burgundies. It will be everywhere.

I personally love shades of gold, although it can be a tough sell in winter when tanned skin is but a distant memory. But if you can wear it, you definitely should. Goldenrod, Saffron, Spice, Sage...

As a full palette, your spice drawer says it all.

Jewel tones draw you in ~ rich Teals, Amethyst, Emerald, Ruby...And the mix is terrific.

We're still seeing plenty of nudes, blushes ~ and of course grey and charcoal will be your dominant neutrals this season.

Allover white was a strong statement this spring and summer, and continues to be a clean, crisp alternative to darker neutrals this winter. A strong favorite.

One of the most popular color mixing trends will be graphic black, red and white. It's a thing.

Texture is one of the most looked forward to luxuries of fall and winter, and this season they will abound.

Fur and faux fur continue to be in high demand in all-over outerwear pieces as well as in trim details.

Feathers are having a moment. Not practical in reality, but we have a gorgeous peacock print this season that totally works.

Leather and suede are HUGE, (all faux in our case) and laser cut details will be prevalent. Many of the laser cuts echo the look of lace, giving a message of modern feminine strength. LOVE it!

'Heritage' is kind of a movement right now, evoking a return to quality and lasting values. Historical influences like Downton Abbey have popularized the luxe look of brocades, velvets, laces, embroidery, and quilting.

Speaking of quilting...it is a definite THING. Quilted textures look very current and new and they will be hugely popular.

Sweater knits take on ever-increasing stitch details, chunkiness, and creativity.

People are still taking a shine to metallics; a little goes a long way.

Many of the fall looks are drawing inspiration from past decades, of course. It's hard to choose just one, women want variety and they're going to get it.

Even though Mad Men has had it's day, the influence of 60's mod looks persist.

Probably the most popular theme involves 70's references. It was a wild and wacky era, and women are ready to embrace it again.

And...many of us consider the 80's our coming-of-age decade. Unfortunately, the clothes were pretty bad. Nevertheless, we still are reliving some of the finer points like baggy silhouettes and slouchy vibes.

As far as popular detail trends this fall...

My favorite is the 70's inspired return (with a vengeance) of flared and wide leg pants, a relief to women everywhere. Yay!

Don't throw away your skinnies...they're still going strong and leggings are here to stay.

Cropped and boxy silhouettes borrow from the 60's and look fresh and new, I love them!

Exposed shoulders will be EVERYWHERE. Every woman has good shoulders. It's a fact. When was the last time you heard your girlfriend complain about her shoulders?

Peplums took a season or two off and are now back en force. It's hard to keep a flattering silhouette down. And why would you want to? Hemline interest ~ asymmetrical, hi-lo, angled...all are popular and very wearable.

You know how I love a pocket. Well, they're a thing this season, too.

And, the most fun details will be happening around the neckline. From yoke details to turtlenecks, mock turtlenecks, neckties, detached collars, mandarin collars...there will be many great options to choose from.

This will be a hard season not to blow a lot of money, there's just too much good to choose from. 
Take a long hard look at yoru closet. if you can't do it by yourself, get a girlfriend and trade the favor of critiquing each other's closets. Evaluate what you actually need to compliment your existing wardrobe.

Or have your friendly KOKOON Stylist help you.

Just sayin'.

Xoxo,

Laine Sou

Maxi-ed Out

My favorite part about Spring & Summer? Maxi dresses.

They are the most comfortable, stylish, throw on piece out there. And our Jolie Maxi is quite perfect for any occasion. 

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Alex Evjen over at AVE Styles styled 3 KOKOON dresses for 5 looks total. You can see how she styled our Sienna Dress and our Rick Rack Dress as well as our Jolie Maxi below!

Thank you so much to Alex Ejven for spending her maternity days in the comfort of KOKOON and looking so fabulous while doing it! You can see all of her posts about KOKOON at her blog, but we recommend checking out her blog anyway -- she has great posts about styling, trends, giveaways and more!



Rick Rack is Back!

Our Rick Rack dress is becoming a new staple in our client's wardrobes! 

This simple shift dress gets a textural upgrade & the scooped back is a little sexy yet still bra-friendly. 

The amazing Stylist and Blogger, Alex Evjen over at AVE Styles, styled our Rick Rack dress for two day's worth of looks with her adorable baby bump.

You can see her whole post here! Alex will be styling one more KOKOON dress to show how to rock 3 dresses, 5 ways in all! Stay tuned!

Seeing Sienna (dress)

This. Dress.

It is feminine, sporty, casual yet dress-up-able. It's... well... see for yourself.

So cute... right?

The fabulous Stylist and Blogger, Alex Evjen over at AVE Styles, styled this dress adorably with her new little baby bump.

You can see her whole post here! Alex will also be styling two more KOKOON dresses! Keep an eye out :)


Want the look? Go to our site!