February 24, 2015

Were You There?

More than 200 people gathered at Lincoln Savings Bank in Ankeny for last night's unveiling of the March/April issue of dsm. President and CEO Eric Skovgard welcomed the crowd to the bank's beautiful new building, which is decorated with works from Bill Luchsinger, a well-regarded Des Moines artist who also (wait for it) created the new issue's cover .

Attendees were the first ones to get a look at the March/April issue, which offers stories and art we know will inform, engage and even entertain you--ranging from a look at how black is the new black to a look at a little-known organization, St. Gregory Retreat Center, that's having a big impact on addiction treatment. If you didn't make it to the unveiling and don't have your copy yet, check out the new issue by clicking here.


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We Were There: New York Fashion Week   

This gown by the late Oscar de la Renta is a perfect example of how New York designers are using more fabric in their designs. 
By Belle Du Chene


I had the opportunity to spend a week in New York during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Upon returning to the comfort of a clean, nearly noiseless (in comparison) Des Moines, a few thoughts linger on what I saw at Lincoln Center: the lack of diversity on the runway, the crazily underdressed celebrities who bared skin in frigid temperatures for the cameras, and, of course, the trends. Here are a few that caught my attention:


More is more. Coats and sweaters by Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs were oversized. The finale dresses by Christian Siriano were so voluminous that the folds of fabric nearly hid the waif-like stature of the models who wore them. This is great news for us in Iowa--at least during the brutal winters.


Sequins were an eye-catching design element that when strategically placed added a glamorous effect to the looks. We first saw this at the Chanel show in Paris, and I was happy to see the New York designers follow suit. But, I'm a little nervous to see how this trend will trickle down to the ready-to-wear market in the Midwest: A little sequin can go a long way and could easily be overdone. Remember the "bling" fad?


Finally, the naturalness of the makeup and hair was refreshing. Designers chose a pale lip and rosy cheek to keep the focus on the clothes, with the exception of the eye, which was outlined in a thick liner at some shows. The hairstyles were so simple they were practically forgettable, with hair let to flow long and loose or in simple ponytails. I'd like to see this trend filter to the Midwest; you'll definitely see a focus on simple beauty on the pages of dsm magazine!


It will be interesting to see how these trends and more come to Des Moines. With more than 300 shows and presentations, it's impossible to see everything and even harder to condense everything to the page of dsmWeekly. Let us know what you thought of the show coverage on our Facebook page.

A creative grilled ratatouille salad will be on the Bubble Ball dinner menu.   

Eat Well, Do Well at the Bubble Ball  

By Wini Moranville


Some children are so fragile, you want to wrap them in Bubble Wrap....

According to Cheri Burns, ChildServe's director of development and community relations, that comment was a catalyst for Bubble Ball, the organization's annual fundraising gala. Now in its fifth year, the event showcases the work of more than 60 local designers, architects and other gifted professionals who create costumes and other works of art--entirely from Bubble Wrap--for a colorful runway show. This year's ball, March 28 at the newly remodeled Capital Square atrium, will feature comedian and magician Ben Ulin as emcee and music by the Brazilian 2wins.


Recently, I had a chance to sample what's on the menu for the event when I joined Burns and other organizers for a preview tasting. Chef Mike Holman at Catering DSM is overseeing the food for the sit-down dinner.


This year's theme is children's movies, and Holman's creations follow suit. Inspired by a well-known Parisian rodent who dreams of becoming a chef, the grilled ratatouille salad brought a fresh angle to the dish (which is usually stewed). The entrée, a beautiful bone-in pork chop with Star Command Sauce (an elegant star anise and poached pear demi-glace), plays off the movie "Toy Story." For dessert, a baked apple with caramel-crème anglaise offers a nod to the poisoned fruit that sent Snow White into her deep sleep.


Established in 1928, ChildServe now serves over 2,500 children and adolescents with special healthcare needs, providing pediatric rehabilitation and home, community, and residential care and support services.


The ball begins at 7 p.m.; tickets cost $150 per person and may be purchased on the website.

fyi: Mark Your Calendar   

  • Des Moines Performing Arts will present four-time Tony-Award winning
    "Pippin" Feb. 24-March 1. The hit Broadway musical is features high-flying, death-defying acrobatics and magical feats set to songs by the composer of "Wicked." Showtimes vary; visit for more details. Tickets cost $51-$100 and can be purchased here.
  • Lifespace Communities and WesleyLife, two locally based nonprofit organizations that own and operate senior living companies, will host the Iowa premier of the "Glen Campbell ... I'll Be Me" documentary Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. at Lutheran Church of Hope (925 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines). The documentary tells the story of Glen Campbell's music career and his journey with Alzheimer's disease. Following the screening will be a conversation with the Campbell family, moderated by the film's director, James Keach. The event is free and open to the public but advance registration is required; click here to register.
  • Experience the exquisite books and art at the "Treasures Tour" March 3 at Salisbury House & Gardens. J. Eric Smith, executive director, and Megan Stout Sibbel, curator and chief historian, will lead the tour, during which you'll see rare objects and first-edition books seldom on public display. Some of us on the dsm team have been on the tour and loved it; being able to see--and even touch!--some of the rare books (first-edition "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman, a 1935 edition of James Joyce's "Ulysses" illustrated and signed by Henri Matisse) left us giddy. Admission is $30 per person, and advance reservations are required. Buy tickets and get more information here. Wine and cheese will be served at 5:30 p.m., followed by the tour.


Belle Du Chene is senior editor of dsm magazine.

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.
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