Sunday, August 23, 2009

Project Runway Premiere Party Recap

Wow. We're (almost) speechless. Thursday in downtown Saint Paul was an unbelievable night for the Twin Cities fashion community as they celebrated the series premiere of Project Runway Season 6.

Two of the show's local contestants, Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman and Christopher Straub, partied all night alongside their families, friends and the movers and shakers of the Twin Cities' fashion and media world in the Saint Paul Hotel's grand ballroom, where a private screening was held. Hors d'oeurves were passed, cocktails were sipped and photos were snapped while the stylish crowd mingled before the screening.

Event producers Kate Iverson of l'étoile and director Emma Berg welcomed the 300+ guests and introduced Mayor Chris Coleman, who commented "I can safely say this is the best-looking crowd I've ever seen in St. Paul" and talked about the ever-evolving fashion scene in the Twin Cities. Ra'mon-Lawrence gave the audience a sneak peek of his new line, which will be shown at New York Fashion week this September; a breezy, fresh representation of Coleman's signature style. When the screening began, the crowd screamed and cheered for their hometown heroes; a true testament to the supportive nature of the Twin Cities fashion scene.

Meanwhile, across the street, another 300+ local Project Runway fans packed the gorgeous atrium of the historic Landmark Center for a public screening of the show and were treated to a special appearance by Straub and Coleman, who paraded Coleman's models across the stage and invited the audience to the post-screening party at the hotel.

In a wonderfully surprising turn of events, our two locals ended up being the top two in the premiere episode's design challenge! The crowd went wild as Straub was declared the winner, and the two hugged it out as the audience cheered. An exciting and touching moment in Twin Cities fashion history!

The evening continued at the Saint Paul Hotel as the public and private events merged together for a fabulous post-party in the lobby which included cocktails, mingling, and a trunk show by Christopher Straub, who happily signed his own designer t-shirts, handbags and accessories. Fans lavished praise on both designers who chatted up the hundreds of revelers.

Next up was the after-after party at Camp Bar, where the Twin Cities' most stylish danced up a storm and got up close and personal with Straub and Coleman into the wee hours.

All in all, a fabulous and inspiring night!

l'étoile magazine would like to thank everyone who made this event possible (the list could go on and on...and it sort of does!)

- Ra'mon and Christopher, for invigorating the Twin Cities with their talent and graciousness. Your presence at the event was a wonderful thing! We can't wait to see what happens next for both of you.

- Event producers Kate Iverson (editor in chief of l'étoile), Emma Berg (director of, and Jahna Peloquin (fashion editor of l'étoile), whose hundreds of hours planning and developing this event were well worth it!

- Beth Hammarlund, whose vision took l'étoile from a small fashion magazine, to a big one, and finally to an online magazine and dynamic brand that obsessively supports, encourages, and helps develop art and fashion culture in Twin Cities.

- Sarah Fossen of Capital City Partnership, whose support and excitement for the event made it possible for us to connect with many of our wonderful sponsors. Without her, this event would not have happened! Fossen is our hero! Also to A.J. Keifer from CCP whose ideas and humor were ever-so helpful.

- Sheryl, Barbara, Pat, David and the entire staff of the St. Paul Hotel, who worked tireless to put this event on and so generously donated their space and their relentless energy to making it happen with class and style.

- Erin Dady and Joe Spencer from the Mayor's office, who helped us every step of the way with enthusiasm and encouragement.

- The staff of Landmark Center who patiently made our public event sparkle, despite the last minute change of plans due to the rain.

- The crew at Comcast who spent hours figuring out how to run a live cable feed inside the Landmark Center and the St. Paul Hotel's Ballroom, and for generously donating their time and resources to do so.

- Megan and Doug from Lifetime, who gave us the go ahead to do the event and were incredibly supportive!

- Chuck and Matt of Solo Vino and Lindsey of Prairie Vodka who generously donated product to keep everyone happily liquored up throughout the evening.

- Allison from Ignite, and all the lovely models who walked the walk to show off Ra'mon's new line.

- Eric from The Lab, who generously printed our logo board that so many of you had your beautiful mugs snapped in front of.

- Kristin from Rake whose support of l'étoile is constant, and who excitedly donated advertising to our event.

- Tim and the crew from EMI rentals who spent a big chunk of their day hooking up our sound and lighting, and who worked patiently with us for weeks to make sure we had exactly what we needed.

- Christopher Larson, who diligently worked with us on our event branding and graphic design over the last month to create a polished, modern look for our invites, programs, and advertising. A true professional if we've ever met one!

- Cole Griswold, whose help and dedication to the event from the choreography of the fashion piece to his general expertise, made the event pop off with style and grace.

- Stephen Stephens from Digital Crush Photography who created our pre-show projection reel, and who shot the event from top to bottom for us -- something he does on a regular basis, donating his time and creativity to document the local fashion and art scene like a pro.

- the fabulous Brian Gioelli who was our wingman, keeping our nerves in check and doing just about anything we asked (or, in many cases, didn't have to ask for). He made the day-of prep incredibly less stressful, and for that we especially love him!

- Clement Shimizu for being our tech wizard, setting up the projections and sound to run cohesively during the show. For years, Clement has made more l'étoile events sparkle than anyone with his creativity, innovation and know-how.

- Tim Ritter for generously donating his time and technical talent to run the projection/sound system at Landmark Center despite minimal direction and chaotic last minute venue change circumstances.

- Jonathan Ackerman who brought the jams all night, creating the perfectly hip ambiance for the event.

- Carissa and Josh at Red Bull, who generously swooped in at the last minute to supply our public event with some caffeinated goodness.

- Robyne Robinson for her neverending support of l'étoile and the fashion and art scene in general, and for the use of her beautiful Rox Jewelry line that was so stylishly paired with Ra'mon's new line during the fashion piece. News flash: She'll be showing again with Ra'mon at NY Fashion Week this September!

- St. Paul Mayor, Chris Coleman, for his continuing support of the arts and for taking the time to speak at our event!

- Sabastian and the crew at Camp Bar for providing us with a killer after-after party venue!

Cynthia and Katy Gerdes (of PR Season 3) for being so supportive and offering up their restaurant, Hells Kitchen, for weekly screenings of the show!

- Jahna, Kelsy, Catlin, Erin, Xavi, Minjo, and Romeny, who spent all day styling 14 models for the fashion show -- no small feat!

- Teri, Juleana, and Danielle who worked the check in table all night like pros and are constantly supportive of what we do, routinely helping out at l'étoile functions and being all around cool chicks.

- Sarah, Alison & Katie who helped with whatever we needed and did a stellar job of model wrangling.

- Alaina and Carlos for prepping programs, helping with the crowd and just being so damn pretty!

- Allan and Ray for doing all the manly things, like moving furniture, setting up equipment and more.

- Our staff writers Juleana, Robyn, and Lacey who threw off their schedules to help rush along this past week's edition of l'étoile despite vacations, complicated job schedules and other such things. You guys rock!

- Anna Lee and the crew at whose tireless work, encouragement and dedication inspires the local fashion scene to fly to new heights.

- all l'étoile contributors and collaborators past and present, our readers, friends, families, and supporters -- you've made l'étoile what it is today and for that, we are immensely, utterly grateful!

For 200+ pics from the event by Stephen Stephens, visit

For extra footage from the first episode, including extended reviews of both Ra'mon and Christopher's work by the judges, visit fashion editor Jahna Peloquin's personal blog, Le Petit Connaisseur de la Mode.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great job Kate. Sounds like the event of the year.