Make It Work: Cheer for Michelle (Oh, And Shop At Francesca’s)

I was watching the fabulous Tim Gunn and my Project Runway faves Anya Ayoung-Chee and Mondo Guerra on the new series Under The Gunn online this morning — I forgot to DVR it last week — and doing a little research so I could tell you about the show’s Accessory Wall sponsor, a fun boutique called Francesca’s.

But I didn’t get that far, because something crazy happened.

Francesca's Accessories

The designers were scurrying around the workroom, getting ready for their critiques when I looked up and thought, “Oh, there’s Michelle.”

And then I did a double take.

I mean, what are the chances that someone I went to high school with in Minnesota made the cut? It didn’t seem likely, especially considering Norman County West High usually graduates less than 40 people per year.

But it was Perley (and later, Hendrum, Minnesota) native Michelle Überreste. She was Michelle Newgard back then, but I’d recognize her — and her look — anywhere. Now the girl who wore a killer bondage-inspired prom dress has gone international with a strong showing in this week’s episode, a stellar portfolio and an unblinkingly frank and sexy collection for sale online.

I hope to bring you some photos and news from Michelle soon, because I know so many of you are going to love her work as much as I do. (If the words structured, leather, harness or post-apocalyptic make you happy, you’re going to go insane for Michelle’s designs.)

Sale Items at Francesca's

Aaaaaaand now…let’s take an aesthetic 180 and go back to what I was originally going to write about — Francesca’s!  I love that Midwestern fans of the Project Runway juggernaut now have an opportunity to head to their local mall to try on Accessories Wall items in person.

Although Francesca’s is a Houston-based company, they have locations in over 40 states, including a ton of stores in the region. (Midwestern girls in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, read on for stores near you. Indiana and Illinois, let’s just say there are a ridiculous number of locations in your neck of the woods. Click here to find the one that’s closest to you.)

Clothing at Francesca's

Although the colorful bags, printed scarves, jewelry, boots and shoes are featured on the show, Francesca’s also has fantastic clothing, gifts and sleepwear as well. Everything is affordably priced, which makes the line accessible to women from a variety of backgrounds.

The clothes are especially worth noting. They emphasize the luxe details, strong patterns and interesting textures that are usually found at higher price points, which creates a boutique feeling and a more eclectic selection than you’d usually find at a up-to-the-minute-trendy mall store.

Clothing runs from small to large, but a random selection of items seems to indicate that they’re cut more for women’s sizes instead of juniors. Shoes are available in sizes 6-10.

Francesca's Window

Have you shopped at Francesca’s yet? Are you watching the show? You can watch last week’s episode here or tune in Thursday at 8 central.

Want to get updates on the local shops, events, art, parties and food that make the Upper Midwest unique? Follow Prairie Style File on Facebook, on Twitter @PrairieStylFile or subscribe via email on the right side of this page.

Here’s where to shop Francesca’s in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.
NORTH DAKOTA
WEST ACRES MALL
3902 13th Ave S
Suite 4305
Fargo, ND 58103
701-281-1592

MINNESOTA
CROSSROADS MALL
4101 West Division Street
Suite B0027
St. Cloud, MN 56301
320-259-8901

APACHE MALL
333 Apache Mall
Rochester, MN 55902
507-288-2838

MILLER HILL
1600 Miller Trunk Highway
Space L06
Duluth, MN 55811
218-722-4703

RIVER HILLS MALL
1850 Adams Street
Suite 218
Mankato, MN 56001
507-345-5408

ARBOR LAKE
12121 Elm Creek Boulevard
Maple Grove, MN 55369
763-425-3252

RIDGEDALE MALL
12323 Wayzata Boulevard
Minnetonka, MN 55305
952-546-1757

WEST END (COMING SOON!)
1675 West End Boulevard
Suite 3220
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

WOODBURY LAKE
9020 Hudson Road
Suite 412
Woodbury, MN 55125
651-730-2012

CALHOUN SQUARE
3001 Hennepin Ave South
Suite 301A
Minneapolis, MN 55408

EDEN PRAIRIE MALL
8251 Flying Cloud Drive
Space 1056
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
952-944-6310

MALL OF AMERICA
116 South Boulevard
Bloomington, MN 55425
952-854-9985

ROSEDALE MALL
10 Rosedale Center
Space 195
Roseville, MN 55113
651-639-3911

SOUTHDALE
10 Southdale Circle
Suite 1750
Edina, MN 55435
952-929-1113


IOWA

CORAL RIDGE MALL
1451 Coral Ridge Avenue
Space 402
Coralville, IA 52241
319-338-5566

JORDAN CREEK
101 Jordan Creek Parkway
Suite 11172
West Des Moines, IA 50266
515-222-5818

What do you think? Comment here!