Saturday, September 19, 2009

l'etoile's MNFashion Week Fall Spectacular!

As you're well aware, we here at l'étoile have been keeping a sharp hawk-eye on the local fashion scene for many-a-year. This Fall's MNFashion Week is an extra exceptional example of the upward mobility of the fashion community, however, this time featuring a record number of awesome events! With such a lavish buffet of stylish delights at your disposal, we're pretty sure it will be impossible to attend them all -- talk about fashion overload! The diligent peeps over at MNFashion have worked tirelessly for years to get to this point, helping to organize and mobilize independent designers and businesses across the Twin Cities, and we feel it's merely the tip of the iceberg! Get out, buy local, and have a fantastic fashion week!



KOKOON Boutique Grand Opening

Renowned for flattering, feminine styles mixed with an array of funky prints, fresh fabrics and limited edition designs, KOKOON throws open the doors to its brand new headquarters in the heart of Seward, welcoming you in to enjoy a glass of wine while you admire the new fall line. Founder and designer Laine Sou Weinberg will be on-hand to premiere this season's newest designs and field your style questions while assisting you in building the ultimate wardrobe.

4 p.m. to 8 p.m., KOKOON, 2508 24th Ave S in Minneapolis, free


Clothing Swap: Presented by Yelp! and MNfashion

Step gracefully from one wardrobe to another at the Yelp & MNFashion Clothing Swap. Bring your clean, gently used clothing that is rip and stain-free and enjoy refreshments while perusing the garb made available for trade by your friends and fellow fashionistas. Admission is free provided you bring something to swap (a suggested range of 3-12 items of clothing, shoes, or accessories). More information is available by calling MNfashion at 612-338-1150.

7 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Textile Center, 3000 University Ave, Minneapolis, Free if you bring items to swap



Come and learn the best kept secrets of going in thrift and coming out style with tips and tutorials from local designers. Held at the Second Début Renewed Fashion and Art Boutique, this two hour crash course in thrifty hipsterism is sure to enlighten attendees in the art of fiscally frugal fashion and adorn them in original vintage styles. Operated by Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota, Second Début helps raise funds to support education, workforce development, and employment services. Please bring a gently worn garment to donate to Second Début.

7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Second Debut, 4300 36 ½ Street, Saint Louis Park


Charmed Life

Charmed Life! The Trunk Show of All Trunk Shows! Get your holiday shopping done early and join Metro Magazine & l’étoile for a festive evening of shopping, drinks and music at International Market Square.

Shop the latest fall and holiday trends from local boutiques: Il Vostro, Post Dash, Omorphia, Shorty’s Loft, La Bratique, Design Collective, Blacklist Vintage, Second Debut and more. You’ll also have the chance to shop up-and-coming designers in the Twin Cities for the latest in accessories, jewelry and clothing: Vintage City Classics, DC Ice, Karin Jacobson, Seamstrix, JNRR Fashion, Designs by K Cayetano, EC Design, Christina Simone, Adrienne Grahn, Rox Jewelry, Britta Lynn Designs, Laura Fulk, Max Lohrbach, Ferociter, Ruby3, Second Debut, Elsworth, June Resale and more.

You’ll be sure to find something for yourself and the perfect gift for someone else. So grab your friends and spend your evening shopping, enjoying cocktails and fabulous tunes. Curate your life. Be Charmed!

Plus don’t miss the chance to meet current Project Runway favorite Christopher Straub and see his designs!

Featuring complimentary cocktails from 6-7:30pm from Barefoot Wine, 45th Parallel Vodka and Peroni Beer. Enjoy appetizers and receive an amazing swag bag. Get a behind the scenes look at what goes on in a live fashion photo shoot. Get the latest fall and holiday trends in a fashion styling challenge, see fashion/interior vignettes designed by Jeffrey Valley. Enjoy a wine tasting from the Wine Shop and meet-and-greet with Cheryl Tiegs while checking out the new Cambria showroom. All while listening to fashionable tunes from DJs Millions Billions and Tendercakes.

BONUS: Keep your fashionable evening going! Show your proof of purchase for Charmed Life and receive $5 off admission at the door for the Couture Noir fashion show at the Varsity Theater on Wednesday, September 23 at 9pm.

6 p.m. to 9 p.m., International Market Square, 275 Market Street, Minneapolis, $25

Get your tickets today HERE.


GO Travelwear

Designer Margaret Mousley has created a line of versatile clothing featuring jet setting looks with classic lines and the ease of care every traveler needs. Says Mousely of her work, “I create women's garments that are both unique and wearable by focusing on design and quality.” Join her at Lizze on Grand in Saint Paul for refreshments and an informal trunk show featuring her wise and elegant designs.

6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Lizze on Grand, 1856 Grand Ave, St. Paul, free


Couture Noir

Witness the dark, sexy underbelly of the fashion world clothed by designers from Apatico Shop, Seamstrix, Blasphemina’s Closet, Bionic Unicorn, and Oishiimomo. Augmented by live DJs and burlesque dancing, this display of the shadowy and sensual side of sartorial splendor stands poised to deliver the magical and sexy Noir experience to everyone via the plethora of Victorian, goth and steampunk attire on display. Admission is $15, with discounts extended to those who come in masquerade costume or those who appear bearing a ticket stub from another MNfashion Week event.

8 p.m. (show at 9 p.m.), Varsity Theater, 1308 4th Street SE, Minneapolis, $15


Fall Fête at Local Motion

Featuring Mars Clothing by Maureen Fuhr, Allilamodie by Allison Helliwell, Kokoon by Laine Weinberg, and Barbara Heinrich designs, Local Motion will bring you up close and personal with some top notch designers. Enjoy refreshments, win door prizes every hour on the hour and take advantage of the special 20% off everything sale in honor of fashion week. The guest designers will all be on hand to address your fashion needs while debuting their latest vestments with an informal trunk show.

4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Local Motion, 2813 Hennepin Avenue S, Minneapolis, free



Twin Cities designers take over St. Paul for Adorn, Grand Avenue’s major fashion and beauty event, including trunk shows, runway collections, and hair and make-up trends. Featured designers include local heavy-hitters Kimberly Jurek, Robyne Robinson and Calpurnia Peach and so many more at the slew of cute businesses that "adorn" the landscape of Grand Avenue. Be sure to stop by participating boutiques and restaurants to take full advantage of all the fabulous discounts! Visit for a complete list -- and plan your grand evening on Grand Avenue!

5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Various Locations, Grand Ave, St. Paul, Free


Feminine Fair

“Footpaths: The Silk Road to Highstreet,” the new fall collection from the Mehera Shaw line, will be on display at designer and owner Shari Keller’s boutique. The designer’s hand block prints from the Jaipur region of India are sure to add color and life to your fall wardrobe. Join the models and minglers for a casual presentation and a glass of white wine (the sip of choice for chic Twin Citizens who wouldn’t allow a glass of cabernet within twenty feet of their Marc Jacobs). Admission is free, but space is limited, so be sure to RSVP in advance at the number below.

7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Mehera Shaw, 2004 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, Free (RSVP to 612-874-9115)


FAME/ENVISION: Fall 2009 Designer Meet and Greet

Rub shoulders with your favorite local designers and boutique owners at Ignite Models ENVISION: Fall 2009 Designer Meet and Greet and Interactive Trunk Show. Couture pieces will be available to try on and to purchase, creating a unique opportunity for fashion lovers to shop with the designers’ assistance. Participating designers include Amanda Christine, Renate Adjei and Russell Bourrienne. Food and drink will be provided by The Loop, while DJs Timmay and Shiek will be supplying the evening’s soundtrack. Be sure to hang on to your ticket stub from the ENVISION: Fall 2009 fashion show for a 50% off discount for admission to the Meet and Greet. For a full list of participating designers and boutique owners, click on over to Ignite’s website,

7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Ignite Models Studio, Brin Building, 600 Washington Ave N Ste 101, North Loop, $10 ($5 with a ticket stub from ENVISION: Fall 2009)


Project Runway Weekly Screenings

Come cheer on our hometown boys Ra'mon and Christopher every Thursday at Hell's Kitchen! Put on something snazzy and join us for weekly screenings of Project Runway, sponsored by l'étoile and Metro Mag! Show up early from 6-8pm for live music, drink specials and the full dinner menu, then from 8-9pm play fashion trivia with Kate and Beth from l'étoile , who will be giving away sweet prizes including a $50 bar tab every week. From 9-11pm settle in and watch back-to-back eps of Project Runway and spin off show, Models of the Runway, live on Hell's big screen. Enjoy drink specials, fashionable revelry, and damn good food at Hell's Kitchen every Thursday with us! Parking: $5 parking in adjacent lot, or metered street parking.

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fashion Trivia, 9 p.m. screening, Hell's Kitchen, 80 S. 9th Street, Minneapolis, Free


Beauty & Fashion at Belle Reve & Parc Boutique

Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and wonder, “Is my complexion dull? Could I be doing more with my eyebrows? Do I need to trim my bangs?” If so, step right up and get your fashion AND beauty fix at neighboring spots Belle Reve and Parc Boutique. Both shops will offer hair, make-up and manicures provided by Salon Lilli, in addition to their usual fashionable fare. The event is free, but appointments for services are strongly encouraged. Be sure to call ahead!

5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Parc & Belle Reve, 328 E Hennepin Ave / 320 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, Free

For appointments at Belle Reve Boutique: 612-333-3148 /
For appointments at Parc Boutique: 612-353-4966 /


Logan Real, Tour de France 2009 Show Launch Party

Satisfy your shoe lust at the unveiling of an exclusive new line of painted shoes by artist Logan Real. Each piece represents a stage town of the Tour de France, and will be available for auction online to benefit of The Goldstein Museum of Design and Livestrong. Real will attend the reception, so start refining your footwear discussion points in advance.

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Goldstein Museum of Design, 241 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, Members $25; Guests $35 (Tickets available in advance and at the door)


Kjurek Couture Exclusively Fall Runway Show

Kimberly Jurek has established herself as one of the most consistent designers in the Twin Cities. Her new fall collection features luxurious fabrics in rich colors, punctuated with the occasional pop of daring brightness. Jurek's beautifully constructed, gracefully draped garments will add the perfect touch to your autumn wardrobe. These designs will be showcased in a fully-seated show, so buy tickets in advance at Cliché, Drama, Karma, or Gallery 360 to ensure your spot runway-side.

8 p.m. to 11 p.m., W Hotel, 821 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, $20


Eat Street Style: Rare and Well Done

Head on over to Eat Street to feast your eyes on styles from three Nicollet boutiques. Head to Toe, Lost and Found and Blacklist Vintage will satisfy your cravings for yummy fall fashions and plenty of stylish socializing. We’re especially excited for the last look from our pals at Blacklist Vintage. Apparently, it’s inspired by steampunk! Bonus: Drag Queens.

Sponsored by l'etoile magazine!

8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show, Head to Toe Salon, 2445 Nicollet Ave S., Minneapolis, $5

Blacklist Vintage owner Vanessa Messersmith answers some of our most pressing questions about Rare and Well Done.

How do you feel that the selections from Lost & Found, Head to Toe, and Blacklist Vintage will compare and contrast with one another?

Blacklist Vintage and the other boutiques have two owners that compliment each other when buying and selecting styles. Each item in the stores reflect these personalities. With each new season, fashion borrows from past eras. At Blacklist vintage, we incorporate authentic pieces to inspire a modern look.

You're showing quite a few looks for this event. Are you using pieces that you've recently acquired specifically for the show or are these items you've owned for years?

Clothing doesn't stay on the racks long at Blacklist. Since we decided to participate in Fashion Week, we have but putting selected pieces aside on a weekly bases.

You often work vintage pieces from completely different eras into the same look. What eras and trends do you find compliment one another best?

This is our favorite part when working with vintage. Styling all pieces in one era gives a costume look. Being creative with all vintage can instead give a fresh look. For example,1980's fashion was directly influenced by the bright color and shapes from the 60's, so they pair well. A dramatic 40's hat can spice up any outfit whether casual or formal.

All your models are customers. How did you decide which of your customers to feature in the show?

We want our audience to identify with the models and the fashions presented. We want to help people feel un-intimidated by vintage clothing and help people realize that vintage looks great on all body types. The easiest way to do this is pick from our own customers. They have awesome fashion sense and represent people from all walks of life.

Your final look for the show is a steampunk-inspired ensemble. What were the unique challenges of using only vintage clothing to achieve this look?

The best part about steampunk is that it's made up. Whatever you can imagine in your mind about this futuristic past world, can be made into existence. Since steampunk is influenced by the Victorian age, I wanted to reflect the over-sexualized, yet severely restricted women. This is our one artistic piece that holds no practical purpose, unless you are wearing it to the CONvergence convention of course.


Salon Series 5: Punk & Pearls

Despite not being on the official fashion week schedule, this spectacular evening of music, dance and fashion a la Minnesota Opera is one you will not want to miss. Take in the grandiose design work of renowned costumer Zandra Rhodes, who has recently extended her talents to the MNOp's production of The Pearl Fishers -- which opens on Saturday. Get a sneak peek of some of the amazing costumes that will grace the Ordway's stage through October 4th and mingle with a fashion forward crowd while doing it!

9 p.m., Ritz Theater, 354 13th Avenue NE, Northeast Minneapolis, Free with reservation


Liebling Designs, Ruby3 and Third Willow Trunk Show

DIY or die this Fall season with a creative oo-la-la trunk show from Northeast's under-the-radar, but cute as a button boutique, I Like You. With their “small things for a prettier life” mantra and devotion to all things local and handcrafted, I Like You! highlights the Autumn styles of some of this year's most vibrant designers, including unique headwear from Ruby3 (a.k.a. style authority and designer Anna Lee), gorgeous and ornate jewelry by Liebling Designs and stylish clutches, handbags and totes from Third Willow. Chat with the designers, enjoy refreshments and tour I Like You's charming new space.

2 p.m. to 5 p.m., I Like You!, 501 1st Ave. NE., Minneapolis, Free


Meet the Designer: Shari Keller

Meet the stylish brains and creative chops behind local designer company Mehera Shaw, Shari Keller. Inspired by East/West fused prints and stitching techniques, Mehera Shaw's ecologically and fair made design aesthetic produces a “decidedly feminine” artisan line of sophisticated and casual wear with colorful natural fibers and layered silhouettes. Tonight, enjoy refreshments, meet the designer (as well as her husband and co-owner, Mark Keller) and share in conversation about the unique process that goes into making this modern meets traditional clothing collection. Photos from Keller's previous collections, her workshop in Jaipur, India and block printings by village artisans will be on display. During the reception all attendees will receive 30% off regularly priced garments store-wide!

1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Mehera Shaw, 2004 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Free


Draping and Pattern Workroom

The innovative Apparel Technologies Program at MCTC is not only the only one of it's kind in the state, but is also known for utilizing the latest in production technology and cutting edge techniques. This afternoon, the school's Apparel Lab hosts an interactive workshop on the principals of design. Witness a lecture and demonstration on the art of draping fabric from fashion designer and master draper, Mark Caligiuri. Feel free to just listen in and observe the demonstration or get down and dirty with your fabric and show off your textile skills. The 18 available dress forms are first come, first serve, so arrive early and bring your own muslin to work with.

1 p.m. to 4 p.m., MCTC, T Bldg Rm T5000 (5th floor Technical Bldg), 1501 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, free


Rox on Ice!

What better way to wind down Fall fashion week than with local celeb and style guru, Robyne Robinson at her design space, Rox Studio. Robyne's infectious jewlery designs have long been a hot commodity, and have been especially buzzed about lately due to the pairing of her accessories with Project Runway contestant Ra'mon Lawrence-Coleman's collection at the most recent NYC Fashion Week! Sip on delicious chilled champagne as you view her sophisticated and unique line of semi-precious stone, pearl and African brass bead jewelry. Purchase these exotic creations and chat with the talented designer herself.

1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Rox Studio, 2205 California St. NE. Studio 403, Minneapolis



Local design darling Maritza Ramirez doesn't just know how to create fashions a la mode, but she knows how to spot the next big it-designer. Due to the success of last
year's show, MNfashion's Fall Fashion Week welcomes back the style-charged runway showcase, SCENEaSOTA, hosted by Maritza herself. Featuring the stunning Fall collections of established and emerging local designers including returning designers Renate Adjei, Jenny Carle and Carmichael Claith, fresh designs from recent St. Kate's grad, Ashley Busch, Karmadandi, and the eagerly awaited runway debut of curator and local fashion plate, Emma Berg. Held at the airy Ignite Models Studio, the event is sure to be more than just a crowd pleaser, but paradigm for the season's fashion trends. Best of all, every must-have design will to available for purchase the following day at Uptown boutique, Cliché.

7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Ignite Models Studio, Brin Glass Building, 600 Washington Ave. N. Suite 101, Minneapolis, $10 general, $20 VIP

We sat down for a chat with Miss Maritza herself for some fashionable SCENEaSOTA gossip!

Tell us where the concept for SCENEaSOTA came from.

SCENEaSOTA started out in a really informal setting. Several of my classmates from St. Kate’s; Jenny Carle, Renate Adjei, Christine Carmichael and I wanted to showcase our designs last fall and try our hand at putting on our own production. Almost everyone involved in every aspect of the show were people we already knew. SCENEaSOTA, to me, is simply a small sampling of the design community here. From music, to fashions, to the locally owned and operated boutique, Cliché (where we all sell our designs), it's very much a “Minnesota-grown” event.

Last year's event was such a fantastic hit, it's back for a second year. What makes this design show so popular and engaging?

The success of the first SCENEaSOTA was completely unforeseen. I was literally biting my nails the day of the show, wondering if anyone would show up or if it would be a complete and utter failure. With such a limited budget, we promoted the show mostly online and with fliers. We had one ad in that appeared the week of SCENEaSOTA. I think that what made our show so appealing was that it was a very DIY, unpretentious show held at 331 Club. No matter if you were a young, fashionable uptown girl or a curious spectator, I think SCENEaSOTA offered an entertaining show regardless.

Minnesota-grown designers have definitely put themselves on the fashion map this year with the success of Ra'mon Lawrence-Coleman ( who showed a collection at NY's Fashion Week last week) and Christopher Straub's Project Runway spots. Where do you see the future of local fashion heading and what changes can we expect in the industry?

I could not be more proud of where Minneapolis is heading. There are so many designers, producers, stylists, writers and artists who dedicate all of their time and energy to promoting and creating a fashion scene in the Twin Cities. Starting with Katherine Gerdes on Season 3, we have now had 3 very talented local designers on Project Runway. I think people – locally and nationally – are starting to realize Minnesota is home to a very promising and talented fashion community. I credit all of my success with SCENEaSOTA to the fact that the fashion scene here is so supportive and everyone truly wants to see their peers succeed.

This year's show features a stunning line-up of talented female designers and a preview of two new designers who will be making their professional debuts at SCENEaSOTA, art curator, Emma Berg, and recent St. Catherine grad, Ashley Busch. How did you pick this year's participants and whose designs are you most excited to showcase?

I am pleased to say that Renate Adjei, Carmichael Claith and Jenny Carle are on the lineup once again. After attending the St. Kate’s fashion show this past spring, Ashley Busch’s collection caught my attention and I knew that she would be the fresh, young face of SCENEaSOTA. Kathryn V. had expressed interest to Cliché and they contacted me to see if we needed any other designers. I had done several shows with her in the past, so I was very familiar with her work and I have to say that she too shows a lot of promise. Emma Berg got on board after she expressed interest in doing a collection. I can’t pick any favorites. I haven’t seen any one collection in its entirety, so I am just as excited as everyone else!

The second annual SceneASota takes place at the new Ignite Model's Studio in Minneapolis. What made you choose this locale? How do you think the presence of this agency's venture will affect the future of Twin Cities fashion?

Allison Hamzehpour (co-founder of Ignite) was very involved in the Cliché Anniversary show and has an excellent working-relationship with Cliché. It was absolutely fitting that when they opened up their brand new studio in June that we utilize the intimate space as well showcase the talented models that are signed to the agency. Something that I really appreciate and support is that Ignite is founded on the ideal that all models should be paid a fair amount for their work. I think that Allison and Jessica are doing a phenomenal job promoting their business and also looking after their models.

Any surprises scheduled for the show we should know about?

I guess you’ll just have to find out for yourself ;)


Invigorate: Elsworth Men's Fall Fashion Preview

Because fashion week is every bit as much about stylish men's wear and it is women's, Downtown's chic apparel store, Elsworth Menwear joins the ranks in their first ever appearance in MNfashion Week! Hosted by the Lab Theater, tonight's preview affair features a tailored Fall/Winter collection of sleek and sexy looks for the male version of the fashionista. Elsworth's professional yet edgy styles promise to be the “talk of the town” this year and the foundation for an evening style-conscious gentlemen don't want to miss. Enjoy drinks and groovable tunes before, during and after the show.

Note: Suite tickets for this event are unfortunately sold-out. Guests can still purchase $20 general admission tickets at Elsworth Men's store or on the website.

8 p.m. to 1 a.m., The Lab Theater, 700 1st Street N., Minneapolis, $20 General/$35 Suite-sold out


Worn to Be Wild: Anthem Heart Studio Series

The most party-esque event on the MNfashion Week menu, the boys behind the beloved design collective Anthem Heart kick off the first in what is soon to be a monthly engagement: the Worn to be Wild Studio Series. The Anthem Heart event welcomes special guest t-shirt designer Matt Locher of MPLS' electro-heartthrobs, Solid Gold, in a series of collaborative prints especially – and only – for tonight's party. With multiple screens, a variety of blank t-shirt styles, a crazy selection of color choices and a little bit of improv, the design possibilities are literally endless. After all, can you really call yourself a true MPLS-loving fashionista without a few hot, Anthem Heart print tees in your wardrobe? And best yet, the one-of-a-kind wearables will be at a recession-proof price of under $30 bucks! Jam out to beats from DJs Wzz Wnshp (BRLSQOTHEQUE), Gigamesh and Deus ex Machina (l'etoile and SOTC's own Juleana Enright), plus enjoy cool drinks and tasty appetizers. This one's an late-nighter so get ready to get your party on!

11 p.m. to 3 a.m., Anthem Heart Studios, Q.arma Building, 1224 Quincy St. NE. #225, Minneapolis, free


Cliché VIP Salon

Consider yourself a true local fashion fan? Well, then nothing should be able to stop you from getting on the list for this VIP fashion presentation at Cliché this morning. Due to the size of the shop (and the exclusivity of the event) the guest list is mega-tight for this mini-fashion show featuring local clothing and accessory designers. Champagne and appetizers will flow, and a 10% discount on select merchandise will be offered to guests of the event. Pre-reg is definitely required, so call 612-870-0420 to see if they can't squeeze you in.

11 a.m., Cliché, 2403 Lyndale Avenue, Minneapolis, Free (VIP, reservations required)


Miyagi Fashion Chop

Oh, we just love Miyagi Salon! Not only do we count the super cool owners Chris and Mo as personal pals, but we know for a fact that they do top notch work. Get your mop chopped by this fleet of concise clippers for a measly 20 bones today between Noon and 5pm. We guarantee you'll stroll out of the salon feeling like a million bucks -- not $20. The best part? All the proceeds from the cut-a-thon will go directly to MNFashion, which in turn will keep the Twin Cities buzzing with fashionable activities like it has been this entire week!

Noon to 5 p.m., Miyagi, 411 E. Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, $20 haircuts


Suede/Celebrity Luxe for Less

Fall calls for all sorts of rich, decadent materials and suede and leather goods are no exception. Head to Blessings Salon this evening for a peek at the latest collection by Dee Balentine featuring garments constructed of leather remnants and smooth suedes just in time for windy Autumn. Also featured is the styling work of Torih Gillespie, who will put together sassy looks that prove that you don't need to spend the big bucks to look fab. This runway show is first come, first serve seating-wise, so arrive early and score a primo seat.

5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Blessings Salon, 1451 University Avenue, St. Paul, $10


Fashion Guide contributing writers: Juleana Enright, Beth Hammarlund, Rob Callahan, Kate Iverson.

Check back after Fashion Week for tons of post-coverage from our fashion editor Jahna Peloquin!

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