Thursday, October 1, 2009

MNfashion Week Recap #4: 9/25

Friday, September 25: SGSM, Eat Street Fashion, kjurek couture, and Eat Street after party

by Jahna Peloquin

[A kjurek couture look modeled by Tearra; Image by Denis Jeong Plaster Perfecta Pictures]

We’ve hit the weekend at MNfashion Week, meaning there is no conceivable way I can hit every single event. But it won’t be from any lack of trying. First up is the Fresh Fruits Basket Fashion Show at MCAD, part of the annual anime workshop Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits. It’s actually not part of MNfashion Week officially, but it seemed deserving of a spot on my agenda. The show is full of MCAD students, and I’m clearly one of the oldest people in the room. I’m there mainly for the Libertine Asylum, a local trio of neo-Victorian and Lolita designers. Well, not so local anymore – it turns out Megan Bishop and her line Apatico have moved to Seattle. Regardless, it appears she’ll still play a strong role in Libertine’s shows in the future (including the Carpe Noctem show at the Loft on November 6).

[Image by Drayke Larson/Photosynthetique]

The show started off with models dressed in animal pajamas. Samantha Rei of
Blasphemina’s Closet filled me in: These are not mere pajamas, but “kigurumi” (or disguise) pajamas. “They are SUPER popular in Japan.” Popular characters include Stitch of “Lilo and Stitch,” Marie from “The Aristocrats,” Pikachu and Winnie the Pooh characters. Apparently, teens and young people wear them in public in Japans with tennis shoes, face jewels and backpacks.

[A look by Heather Luca; Image by Caitlin Longley for MCAD]

In the second half of the show, we get to see the latest from the Libertine ladies, which includes Heather Luca of Scoundrelle’s Keep, Megan Bishop, and Samantha Rei, as well as Atlanta-based Lolita designer Megan Maude. Luca showed her Neo-Victorian line of corsets, bloomer shorts, frilly skirts and blouses. The corsets in particular were a feat of technical skill, including an impressive excess of straps and buckles. Oh, and mini top hats?! Yes, please.

[A look by Samantha Rei; Image by Caitlin Longley for MCAD]

Next up were Megan Bishop and Samantha Rei, who showed mostly looks already seen at last week’s “Couture Noir” show. (Read my recap here ).) Bishop’s line is somewhat more wearable than the others, my favorite look being a pair of blouson suspender shorts made in a dark tweed paired with a sheer blouse. For her part, Rei made a fun addition – menswear, particularly side-button, Edwardian-styled vests. With their powdered hair and sooty eye make-up, the guys looked straight out of “Sweeney Todd.” Rei seems to be particularly adept at creating period looks that have just enough of a smart, modern twist to them to make them unique. Bonus trivia: Did you know Rei is one of the longest-running Lolita designers in the U.S.? She’s been at it for nine years now.

[A look by Megan Maude; Image by Caitlin Longley for MCAD]

In between Samantha Rei and Megan Bishop, we saw the work of Megan Maude. Her ultrafeminine blouses, dresses and skirts were just what you would imagine life-size dolls would wear if they could. I noticed at least two looks I would wear, particularly an adorable white dress - at least if a few of the ruffles were taken down a notch.

[Image by Stephen Stephens/Digital Crush]

The moment the show ended, I rushed off to stop by the Eat Street Fashion show at Head to Toe Salon. Blacklist Vintage, Lost & Found, and Head to Toe each were to put on a mini fashion show that featured their own customers as models. I stopped by the staging area to check out the looks up close, and Blacklist’s steampunk-themed collection appeared the best-styled of the bunch, and even featured – gasp – men in women’s clothing! (Check out Kate Iverson’s recap here.)

[A kjurek couture look modeled by Cana; Image by Denis Jeong Plaster Perfecta Pictures]

I realized I had better head to Kimberly Jurek’s show at the W Hotel before I was too late. I arrived to a warm welcome from Josh Sundberg, the co-owner of Cliché – one of the places Kimberly’s line kjurek couture is sold. I took my front-row seat at the front of the runway next to Angie Hanson, a l’etoile contributor and stylist for the “Couture Noir” and “SCENEaSOTA” shows. Her BF Ken Hannigan manned the turntables under the moniker DJ Real Talk Radio. (Check out a video of the show by Anthem Heart A/V.)

[A kjurek couture look modeled by Liz; Image by Denis Jeong Plaster Perfecta Pictures]

Jurek’s “Exclusively Fall” runway show was executed flawlessly, and showcased her wearable dresses, tops and skirts. Styled with Anna Lee’s new faux-fur babushka hats and luxe hat-wraps for Ruby3 and Zoby’s bold feather earrings, Jurek’s Indian summer collection was given just the right amount of a wintery touch, showing you can indeed wear a halter cowl-neck silk dress into the colder months. I particularly adored a flirty cotton dress in a bright yelow with a surprisingly low back, a full-length yellow dress, and an ivory coat with bell sleeves and an empire waist – one of kjurek couture’s trademark silhouettes. (I happened to be wearing a “vintage” kjurek couture design from Fall 2007 to the show.) I also can’t help but love on the models of the evening, provided by Ignite Models - Lily, Liz, and Tearra are such darlings.

[Jahna, center in kjurek couture coat, with Allison and Jessica of Ignite; Image provided by designer]

As things wound down, I found myself at the after party for Eat Street Fashion at Azia’s Caterpillar Lounge. There I spied a very chic table of peeps, including Blacklist model Zach Pearl, also known as a talented graphic designer, artist and stylist, sitting with the always-chic photographer Joe Kramm, stylist Danica Andler, local designer Laura Fulk, and Joe’s boyfriend Raul Osorio, also a model in the show. After ordering some scrumptious happy hour snacks (a spicy tuna roll and fresh herb roll) and Lychee-tinis with l’etoile’s own Kate Iverson and Beth Hammarlund, and finished off the night by ordering a bottle of the finest cham-pag-ne we can afford to toast Blacklist owners Vanessa Messersmith and Jennifer Sapiro on a job well done.

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