Simpson sisters debut line to Raleigh fans

November 3, 2011 

While Jessica Simpson has been in the news a lot lately for her (just confirmed) pregnancy, she and sister Ashlee have been working on another baby - their new clothing line for tween girls. The pair will visit Belk in Crabtree Valley Mall on Saturday (1-4 p.m.) to debut the collection and meet fans. The new line builds upon the coats and shoes for girls offered through the Jessica Simpson label, and features a mix of Jessica's girl-next-door charm and Ashlee's rocker aesthetic.

"We want to inspire young girls to have fun and express their personality and creativity through fashion," says Ashlee in an interview with the sisters via email.

The collection includes everything from denim to dresses. Though they only come in girls/tween sizes, the Simpson sisters still covet several of the pieces.

"I love the faux leather moto jacket; it's great for layering over tees or a sweatshirt," says Ashlee. Jessica's picks? "The fur vest is so cute. It's actually a takedown from our jeanswear collection, and I also love the sweater skirt and leggings - I would live in them!"

The pair also love the fact that this collaboration allows them to work together - a treat for two busy women who find it hard to fit quality sister time into their hectic schedules.

"I love having Ash on board as a co-creative director - she has great insights and styling comes so naturally to her," says Jessica. "Plus, we get to hang out and design together."

Also on Saturday at Belk, the annual charity event will feature deals and a private shopping experience from 6 to 10 a.m. For more information, and to buy tickets, call 782-7010.

Time for the Shopping Spree

With the holidays right around the corner, the Raleigh Junior League's annual Shopping Spree is back, this time with more vendors and a few surprises. The event - today through Sunday at the Raleigh Convention Center - features local and national exhibitors selling holiday items, clothing, home décor, accessories, gifts and more. The spree also welcomes a special guest, designer David Meister, for a fashion show and a presentation of style secrets and fashion advice from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday.

The event runs 11 a.m.-8 p.m. today; 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. An early morning private shopping event is 8:30-11 a.m. today, and the weekend wake-up, which includes coffee, is 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10-$25 and benefit the Junior League's community outreach programs. For more information, visit www.ashoppingspree.org.

Fashionable on Friday, too

Everyone knows there's plenty of art to see during First Friday, but this weekend there also will be a few more fashionable finds during the monthly downtown Raleigh event.

At the Collector's Gallery (443 Fayetteville Street), jewelry designers Sarah Tector and Susan Meyers will bring their funky, colorful pieces to the gallery for a weekend-long trunk show, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Both designers will be on hand during First Friday festivities, 6-9 p.m. For more info, call 828-6500 or visit www.thecollectorsgallery.com.

In Glenwood South, Gypsy Jule celebrates First Friday with pieces from local designers Kenda Kist Jewelry, and knit scarves and hats by Jennifer Olsen. In addition, shoppers can score a 15 percent discount on Ugg boots during the event from 6 to 9 p.m. Gypsy Jule is at 520 N. West Street, 809-7688, gypsyjule.com.

Fashion show for survivors

Lux Salon and Saks Fifth Avenue are joining forces to help educate women about post-cancer breast reconstruction surgery. The "Take a Walk on the Luxurious Side" charity fashion show, 7-9 p.m. Saturday at Saks, features designer duds and hair by Lux stylists, with proceeds benefiting Myself: Together Again. Myself: Together Again is a local nonprofit dedicated to educating breast cancer survivors about breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Tickets for the event are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $40 VIP (includes a swag bag), available at Lux Salon (910-109 Spring Forest Road, Raleigh). For more information, call 790-7011 or visit www.luxsalonspa.net.

Local artists in SECCA show

Triangle-area designers are taking their creations to Winston-Salem for the "Out of Fashion" exhibition, which opens today at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. The show features a collaborative installation by the Common Seam Collective, a five-member collaborative of N.C. State College of Design alumni. Common Seam member Gabrielle Duggan will also contribute a solo work to the show. Other local artists included in the exhibition are Katie Martin of Chapel Hill, Jan-Ru Wan of Raleigh and Talena Sanders of Durham. The exhibition, which has an opening reception 7-10 p.m. on Thursday, runs through March 4.

secca.org.

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