k o z o l

a non-gmo lifestyle blog

TRUE LIFE: Colorado road trip. Two girls and a boy head to the mountains.

A road trip inspired by Devotchka appearing at the Colorado Red Rocks Amphitheater. Performing with the Colorado Symphony.

Funded by turning it into a work trip.

Why not bring a boy; for entertainment purposes

and also the chance to give him the mountains to play on as well.

The Following:
A photo story of what reminded me (and maybe probably the other two as well) to keep moving forward.
The Crew: Michelle Hamburger with her working iphone and Hyundai, Devin Tolleson aka Dizzle aka Devizzle aka Shithead Tollymon with his Surly, and me with my road map. Plus all the snacks.

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A picnic where we were going to camp.

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Slept under the stars. Woke up to a view. Buena Vista and mountains. 



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This is an ad for the bag I designed. Launching soon. Haha. 


In Salida for Fibark!

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Crow, the dog we couchsurfed with, in Salida. 


Now, every time I hear Trente Møller, I think of this trip. 





Happy Birthday Dizzle. Devin’s friend got him a cake! 


Devin’s friend’s beautiful backyard. 


Our last night in Denver.

Random photos :
We dropped Devin off at the Colorado Trailhead and did our own thing most of the week while he mountain biked. So, you’ll have to read his blog to find out what his story is. Heh heh.
Another a$$ shot. Great to do some climbing, got a souvenir, knew our campsite was the one when we found a TV tucked in the brush. Eye roll. Wtf. “Hiked” on a super old railroad line. Easy walk. Stunning view. Ate a gummy, went to the Botanical Gardens, and were super duper impressed by the bee hive village. A hamburger cake. Michelle’s last name IS hamburger! It was a great metaphor for the trip. Or, my friend just happens to have the last name of a very popular kind of sandwich that also makes for a very entertaining cake suitable for any situation…. Well, we had fun. Cheers.






A concept photoshoot at Theodore Wirth Park, Nordeast Mpls

This is a ginormous thank you post to all the fantastic people that help put this shoot together. We did look book shots, beauty shots, and the editorial shot. The hair and makeup turned out amazing, the models worked so hard and were like clay as we were guiding their every little position! The crew behind the camera was great. Everyone was helpful and cheerful and I don’t know if anyone got stressed, they didn’t show it. It was such a good time and it went so smoothly! I met talented beautiful people and am so thankful for this opportunity!

Alex Butterfield: Producer/Photographer
Jose Villalobos: Photographer
Chelsea Hammerbeck: Art Director
Tim Baer: Location Lead/Photographer
Chloe Krenz: Assistant
Jalen Stumpf : Assistant
Francisco Mendez: Assistant
Keisha Bien: Lead Hair
Brooke Huberty: Assistant Hair
Tina Turner: Lead Makeup Artist
Heidi Edwards: Makeup Artist
Olivia Owens: Makeup Artist
Hannah Main: Model
Amanda Eidem: Model
Lauren Engle: Model
Bailey Reimer: Model
Stacie Yokiel (kozol): Designer/Stylist 

We hash-tagged our day #blackalicenordeast and here are some of the photos I got just from my phone….

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IMG_1840(this photo sent from Chelsea H!)

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Using my skills to support a cause: Tubman Center

Last night was the Starlight Soiree at the McNamara Alumni building on the east bank. This is a fundraiser to build and support critical programs that help people find safety, support, and healing in the aftermath of domestic violence. There is a live auction, a silent auction, and a few other fun games to raise money for this amazing and very much needed organization. It was catered by D’Amico (amazing food last night!) and Davina and the Vagabonds closed out the night with jazzy/bluesy upbeat dance music (amazing local band!)

My friend, Lisa, is on the board and asked if I could donate something. In the craziness of sewing my collection for Envision, I took a few nights to work on a garment to donate. About 6 months back, my sister-in-law Kimberly, had commissioned me to make a semi-formal maxi dress for her. When construction was almost complete, she decided it wasn’t her style! So I had a dress waiting to be altered, repurposed, remade….something!  When Lisa asked me if I had anything to donate, I knew that dress could be something more.

I cut off the bodice, cut the lining to knee length, added a lime neon grosgrain ribbon waist, and sewed on silk embroidered flowers. It turned into a gorgeous spring/summer maxi skirt. Here are photos from the recreating to the night of the event.

Lisa was bidding on the skirt, and thought she had outbid everyone, and there was this lady, we called her the “hat lady,” (because she was wearing this beautiful black vintage looking hat piece) that was sort of stalking the skirt! And she ended up outbidding Lisa at the end! So, on an egotistical note, ladies were “fighting” for the skirt AND it helped raise even more money for Tubman. Win-win.

Personal note: I’ve been so stressed getting ready for Envision; doubting my collection, myself as a designer, thinking really negatively – and going to this event and hearing about people being killed, abused, manipulated…..it really put things into perspective. I will continue to design and make apparel because I live and breathe it – and be thankful that I have the resources, support, and love to do what I love to do. And I want to continue to use my talents and skills to try and help other people.

Thank you for reading. Please check out the Tubman Center, and consider donating. They help so many people.

“Tubman is the state’s largest provider of domestic violence services, with over 20% of all Minnesota shelter beds for women and children experiencing family violence. We help more than 40,000 adults and children in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties and the surrounding area get the support and information they need to reach their full potential for safe, healthy, stable lives. ”

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Black Hearts Ball 2015: An Interpretation of Steppenwolf

Black Hearts Ball showcased seven Minnesota based artists in fashion and design; paired alongside local operatic and classical musician’s performances. Each designer featured presented their interpretations of an inspiration from the Nobel Creations Exhibition at the American Swedish Institute.

I chose to interpret the Nobel Prize, literature, specifically Hermann Hesse’s novel, Steppenwolf. Hesse won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946. His novel, Steppenwolf, poetically describes the healing journey of uncovering the many layers of one’s self. Steppenwolf feels he is part man; spiritual, sublimated, cultivated, and part beast; instinctive, chaotic, and savage. Can there be a balance? He meets Hermine who teaches him to dance and live and to accept that he has many selves. She introduces him to beautiful Maria, who shows him how to love, feel, and enjoy the pleasure of life. They feel love for one another. Are the three of them even separate entities?! This collection uses texture, color, and shape to emphasize this recurring theme throughout the novel.

My collection. With the musical accompaniments of “Prelude and Waltzer for two violins” – from Five Duets for Violin, written by Dimitri Shostakovich. Performed by Emily Schmidt and Teigen Leonard, accompanied by Donald Livingston.

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A huge thank you to my beautiful models; Lauren Engle (Maria), Rachel Burbul (Hermine), and Caityn McArthur (Steppenwolf). Thank you to Dusty Thune of House of Thune for the spectacular wolf head piece. http://www.facebook.com/house-of-thune. Thank you to the hair and makeup team! Mahogany Plautz and Sarah Elizabeth. Mahagony is so talented at making hair extra textured and big! She can read my mind. Thank you to Gregg Jiracek for the gorgeous photos. Thank you to Rachel Roff for the rad videos/photos! Thank you to O’Calla Joslyn for the artful choreography of the models. Thank you to Tim+Thom Navarro for putting this event together, and the support and love and opportunity to be a part of such an awesome event. Thank you to Spark Letterpress for the absolutely beautiful event posters and programs. Thank you Bela Vander Voort for having the coolest name in Minneapolis and for the dazzling blackheartsball website. There were so many creative and talented and NICE people behind this show! Thank you to my friends and family; for not abandoning me when I was so selfish with my time in getting this collection finished and perfected! Thank you Katie Radford for the clean, updated business cards and for designing book marks for me at the last minute! Thank you Judah Birkeland for the support near and far.


My Review: Black Hearts Ball 2015

Can I review a show I participated in?! I’m doin’ it.

Each mini collection was inspired by a Nobel prize category. The designer had to interpret her category, decide what that meant to her, and design a collection from that interpretation. Each collection is a mini work of art to be studied, and thought deeply about like you would a painting or sculpture. How does each piece relate in context to the Nobel prize category? The collection as a whole? How is color used? Form, texture? The choreography of the models? The styling, hair, and makeup; how was that used to help convey the idea of peace, or economics, or chemistry?

Peace: Emma Holcomb of Mai

I thought the first collection was the perfect start to the show. Emma’s garments were hand dyed in natural dyes (wine, tumeric, and red cabbage!) They gave a sense of simplicity and calm. I loved that the models “namaste’ed” the audience in their last pose. The music was perfect, the body language of the models, and their yoga poses, the styling of the garments; her Nobel prize category was Peace and I think she pulled it off beautifully. It invited the viewers to sit back, relax, and enjoy. My favorite look is the yellow-green leggings with stitching at the knee and raw edged asymmetrical top. Look for her yoga wear here: http://www.fashionbyMAI.com


Economic Sciences: Emrys Mariel

How do you create a collection with economics in mind? Ask Emrys. This is from her artist statement included in the BHB program.                    “A diversity of tactics were embraced for this collection including hand weaving, wildcrafting, dumpster-diving, gifting, recycling, deconstructing, spinning, and embroidery stories; working collaboratively to develop ideas. Biodiversity and cultural diversity are the irreplaceable inheritance of our human family, let us pass this wealth on to future generations.” I thought her pieces were well executed, layered, and thoughtfully put together from head to toe. The cargo pocket shorts and the knit cardigan are so Minnesota and wearable and lovely! Contact her at: voluptas.et.lux@gmail.com


Chemistry: Claire Ward

I like to look at art before reading the artist’s description, then read the description, then look at the piece again! It usually changes what I see. I usually cheat and just look at the statement too…….. Seeing this collection for the first time, I noticed the spring, watercolor-like print, the gorgeous, exotic look of the models, and the technicality of patterning and style lines. After reading the artist statement, I will conclude those godets are crystal forms, and the diamond shapes on the bodice are to resemble crystal structures. I loved the two bodices and the apple blossom inspiration! The soft palette reminds me of spring. A bright and uplifting collection! Find her at http://www.facebook.com/ClaireWardDesigns

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Physics: Sarah Patros of Jagress Intimates

A lingerie bridal collection. And the inspiration is physics. Makes total sense! The physics and metaphysics behind falling in love and being in love and staying in love; marriage, together forever…. Opposites attract, and also, like attracts like. In relationships, how do we make it work? Why are some people drawn to each other and others are not? A quote from Sarah’s artist statement that I think sums up her collection, “Your smile makes visible matter, matter.” I loved the horsehair(?) bows on the bra and panties, and though they do not make functional sense, (and most adornments on intimate apparel do not!) I appreciate the stiffness and texture of them compared to the soft, sensual lace. The styling and accessories were stunning. And FABULOUS job models! Girls rocked it. Find more at http://www.jagressintimates.com

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Physiology: Adrienne Yancy of ArielSimone

Physiology looks at living mechanisms, from the molecular basis of cell function to the whole integrated behavior of the entire body. (Thank you Google for that definition) Adrienne interpreted the phenomenon of when a virus takes over the body through three bridal themed looks. I like that she chose a bridal theme and the color white for the “virus,” – also, that she used soft, delicate petals to portray the virus. As each model came out, you see the “virus” grow from look to look. The hair and makeup really emphasized the virus element. Go team! My favorite look was the white dress. I loved the sillouette and proportions of the design and loved how she styled that look. Find Adrienne at http://www.arielsimone.com

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Literature: Stacie Yokiel of Kozol

I will write a whole blog piece on my own collection later ; ) Here’s a photo though!


Nobel Prize: Danielle Everine

Danielle’s collection is inspired by the Nobel Prize itself. She researched the history of the prize and the man who established it. Her cohesive collection gives tribute to traditional Swedish wear as well as the techniques used to create and adorn it. Rosemaling, embroidery, weaving, leather, and wool. I love how she included the physical gold prize itself in her collection. Each look, with its many layers (an absolute necessity in Minnesota) is executed with the detail and quality craftsmanship that is Danielle’s signature. My personal fave: The rosemale inspired printed silk blouse with suspendered wool/leather skirt/skort(?) and red cape with gold neck tie. Each piece easily a staple in your wardrobe, worn all together, or mixed and matched! And who doesn’t want that beautiful gold neck tie!? http://www.danielleeverine.com


If you did attend the show, thank you, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! If you didn’t get a chance to see it, go to facebook.com and search Black Hearts Ball. There are tons of photos of attendees, and the collections! I will say more thanks later, here is a start!

Tim+Thom, American Swedish Institute, Spark Letterpress, Rogue models, Caryn, Pompadour Salon, Rhea Pappas Photography, Paul Mitchell, One Car Service, and Rachel Roff for sponsoring and partnering in the event.


2015: Year of the Sheep



The arts will save us all!


The Sheep (Goat) is a Yin energy, a symbol of Peace, Harmonious co-existence and Tranquility. That is the primary and fundamental mood for this year.

The Sheep is the symbol of the Arts. It relates to passive and nurturing times. It will help the healing process with regard to past events caused by individuals who have little respect for the human race or life itself. It will be a year of banding together in faith and in belief that good will prevail and win out over the forces that refuse to comply to a peaceful way of life. For those who trust in goodness; happiness and success will follow.


Feelin’ sappy; love for what I do

I like making clothes that you can wear any day, any time. They fit into your wardrobe, they flatter your figure, they are pretty.

I also like to make pieces that are exciting and playful. You might not wear these pieces every day. Unless you live in Black Rock City. Or work at the circus….or just don’t give a fuck.

I always knew I wanted to pursue some sort of design. Growing up I thought I might one day be a teacher. In high school I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation, maybe art therapy? In college I studied studio art, mainly ceramics.  I don’t ever remember having the feeling of certainty like I do now; the feeling that this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing and I absolutely love it. It feeds me. I am addicted to it. I have so many ideas, I cannot keep up.

I live in a one bedroom apartment and recently moved my bed out into my living room and changed my bedroom into my sewing studio. I’m getting rid of a large part of my wardrobe because I need that closet space for fabric and tools and supplies. I’m thinking of turning half of my kitchen cupboard space into more storage as well.

When I see my work go down the runway, or work with a photographer to bring my looks to life; to tell a story – I feel so blessed that I found my passion. It sounds so cheesy in my head as I type this; it is a perpetual feeling of gratefulness though! I am very excited to continue to grow and become a better designer, seamstress, artist, person.

I do want to live off of my art. I mostly want more of the joy and satisfaction of seeing my work out there, being adored. I have been inspired and I hope that I also inspire. Life has handed me a few lemons and I think I’ve done a good job of painting that shit gold. Cheers to whats to come in 2015.


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hot air balloon dress

For the Sol Inspirations 2014 Eco Fashion Scholarship show, the challenge was to make a garment from the material from a hot air balloon! Target donated a hot air balloon and designers got to take as much fabric as they needed to make a garment. Here is what I came up with.

I sort of made my own textiles. I cut strips of the brown cotton fabric (which used to be the part where the balloon meets the basket, the arches…) and wove them together to create a large basket weave. Then I stitched over the whole piece with rows being about 1/4″ apart.


The skirt part is made from rows of pin ticks spaced about 1″ apart. I put elastic around the knees, and since we had to use every scrap (no waste!) I made a saddlebag tu-tu to poof the skirt out. I kept the styling to minimal, a feathered covered headband adds to the interpretation of “flight.”

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THANK YOU : Alexander Butterfield/photos, Amanda Eidem/model, NaseemRafiei /makeup, Annie Shurson/hair

photos from “eclipse” : spring ’14 MCTC fashion show

Photos by Antonio Rodriguez, Makeup by Andrea Wesley, Models are Lauren Post, Ebise Tadesse, Amanda Eidem, and  Hannah Main.

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kozol spring ’14 collection

a look at my spring collection; the assignment from one of my last classes at Minneapolis Community Technical College. this line is dedicated to the residents of minnesota. we’ve endured a long winter and now it is time for birth and rebirth.

Eclipse-89 Eclipse-90 Eclipse-91 Eclipse-92 Eclipse-93 Eclipse-94 Eclipse-95 Eclipse-96 Eclipse-97 Eclipse-98 Eclipse-99 Eclipse-100 Eclipse-101thank you so much to Amanda Eidem, Lauren Post, Hannah Main, and Ebise for being my beautiful models. thank you to Andrea Irwin for doing the makeup. These photos are by Jack Mader. Stay tuned for photos from the photo shoot by Antonio Rodriguez. happy spring! xoxo


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