TAKING THE ICE OUT OF MINNESOTA NICE
Lads and ladies flocked to Clubhouse Jager on Thursday to kick off Fashion Weekend in style. With a Martini Social hosted by mplsart.com, HYPE promotion and l'étoile magazine, followed by a Kickoff Party featuring DJ Bach and Millions Billions, Jager was the hot spot to dance, mingle and deliver some well deserved pats on the back. -beth hammarlund
You can count on the gorgeous boutiques around town to keep you in looks hot off the runway. We stopped by Design Collective on Friday to check out George Moskal's lastest pieces available for sale, along with designs by Voltage designers including Ann Alyse Clothing, Calpurnia Peach, Dan Patrick, Katherine Gerdes, Kristina Bell, Max Lorbach and Pomije. -angie hanson
Blocks away, the windows of Cliché were dangerously distracting to drivers with live mannequins in fierce looks by Kjurek Couture and Swank Dollar. Owners Josh and Deylana Sundberg are fully locked and loaded with short runs of spring and summer fashions, including but not limited to local designers Amanda Christine, Red Shoe Clothing Co., Arwyn Birch, Belle and Kjurek Couture. -angie hanson
RUBY3 FASHION RIDE
Ladies have been precariously biking in skirts for years, but not without mishap and occasional embarrassment. Ruby3 to the rescue! Anna Lee, Voltage producer and designer extraordinaire, has swooped in with a solution to remedy our biking woes. A group of lady cyclers gathered in ROBOTlove's parking lot on Saturday afternoon to show off skirts that were easy to wear while pedaling around town. Thus, we were introduced to the Ruby3 Cycling line - Clothes for ladies who bike in skirts. The colorful skirts with hand-stenciled flowers and gauzy bloomers had me running to Design Collective afterward to scout out my own. After a few stops at various Fashion Weekend trunk sales, the ride culminated at the Red Stag for a MNFashion Networking party. Ms. Anna Lee biked in high heels, putting all novices in reverence of her biking and fashion feats. -lacey prpic hedtke
SISBRO/SWANKDOLLAR OPEN STUDIO
Candy-coated clothing, accessories, and a crystal garden were some of the magical workings at the open studio for SisBro and Swank Dollar last Saturday. Mix-n-match slouchy socks and canvas shoes emerged from vats of pretty pastel dyes, while mysterious minature Japanese screenprinting kits transformed tags, cards and clothing details. The experience left me wiping the stardust from my eyes. Porcelain diamonds are a girl's best friend! -angie hanson
PORTFOLIO BUILDING WITH KAT DALAGER
What? A call for photographers, fashion designers, stylists and artists to get amazing portfolio advice from a seasoned professional? We are so there. The MN Center for Photography hosted Kat Dalanger's customized fashion portfolio class Saturday afternoon. Scads of exclusive professional portfolios, traditionally meant only for the eyes of directors and ritzy-rich clients, spilled their guts for Twin Cities creatives like Ashley and Luci of Calpurnia Peach. . Some great tips from Campbell Mithun's print production manager: check out LeBook.com, win as many awards as possible, retouching is your friend, and make sure your 30lb portfolio book at least worth it's weight in FedEx shipping charges...you'll need at least two! -angie hanson
IVAN IDLAND & MAX LOHRBACH: ANTIQUE GOWN VIEWING
Not everyone can transform their apartment into an antique gown haven, but Ivan Idland and Max Lohrbach are an exception. Stepping into their apartment felt like walking into a 19th century boudoir. The walls and windows were covered with dresses, arranged by century, and lovingly cared for by this ambitious pair. Their cat, Baby, was given the privilege of donning a mini gown, and sat patiently in front of an array of carte de visites of handsome turn-of-the-century men. The collection included beaded, embroidered, handmade and elegantly woven gowns. One piece's provenance hints at surviving the Hindenburg disaster. Whatever the history of these gowns, fate led them into good hands. -lacey prpic hedtke
THE ART OF FASHION
Connoisseur at the Suburban World theater boasted the most attractive and well-dressed kids in the Twin Cities. Art stars, fashionistas and veteran scenesters flowed into the 1920s theater as if it were a runway. Dancing to James Brown and sipping martinis made with Opulent vodka, everyone in attendance looked like a million bucks.
YouWorkForThem and Alphasuede dazzled with their projected videos. All eyes were on Alphasuede's premiere video of lovely ladies in geometric compositions, stomping overdue Christmas ornaments and strutting and mugging for the camera.
DJ sets from Asphalt Haynes, Mike the 2600 King, YouWorkForThem's Mike Cina, Benny Lojack, and Karl Frankowski kept the audience engaged throughout the evening. Hardland/Heartland (the creators of Hyperlush) topped off the night in a mystery-shrouded art/fashion performance piece that included half a dozen performers in black ski masks. Other performers joined them onstage wearing sleeping bag inspired gowns while gigantic black trashbag-like cones towered over the audience, corralled only by giant sticks. As a reflection of our trash culture, as well as our ability to transform it, Hardland/Heartland's performance left everyone in awe. - lacey prpic hedke
PHOTOS BY DIGITAL CRUSH
THE GOLDEN AGE
In a glossy production at the Soo Visual Arts Center, Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman presented Eluded Love, the Spring 2008 collection for his namesake label, ra'mon-lawrence. Inspired by the work of Johannes Vermeer and Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, the designer expressed his vision of a 'surreal bourgeois life' through 30 looks for men and women, ranging from casual separates to dramatic evening gowns.
Both the collection and production were ambitious and polished. Featuring 24 models, a dedicated production staff and music coordinated by DJ Last Word, Coleman's refined presentation was a tremendous accomplishment for all involved. We hope his success will inspire other local designers to take the plunge and produce solo shows for their next collections.
P.S. We adored that his program featured a quote by the Marquis de Sade!
PHOTOS BY DIGITAL CRUSH
THIS AMP GOES UP TO 11
Each spring, the build up to Voltage: Fashion Amplified electrifies the Twin Cities fashion community. But in the midst of the pre-show giddiness, it's inevitable to wonder how the show will compare to its previous incarnations. Fortunately, Anna Lee and her devoted crew work tirelessly to surpass expectations.
This year's design roster featured a slew of of developing talent peppered with local veterans. Belle designer Brianne Jones juxtaposed African tribal prints and cheerful plaids, creating interesting plays of color and provoking political discussions that lasted through the weekend. Calpurnia Peach delighted with bright rompers and sundresses, leaving the audience salivating for spring and bare legs.
Max Lohrback brought his signature whimsy and humor, while George Moskal's feminine, tailored frocks were fit for a young Elizabeth Taylor. Amanda Christine and Katherine Gerdes presented extremely wearable dresses and gowns, with Gerdes hand dying her own sustainable cotton and bamboo fabrics.
Laura Fulk closed the show with a collection inspired by the strength and resilency of Midwestern pioneer women. With over 40 fashion shows on her resume, it seems that the pioneer spirit is evident not only in Fulk's pieces, but in her work ethic as well.
With impressively smooth production, exuberant performances from all six featured bands and excellent styling (we expect no less from the talented women of eclecticoiffeur), Voltage maintained its consistent crescendo. We can't wait for next year.
PHOTOS BY ANDREW EVANS