Calpurnia Peach: Living the Adventure
Text by Natalie Gallagher
Photos by Lauren Gantner
The energy in the small Northeast studio that Calpurnia Peach calls home was lively with enthusiasm and buzz as small groups of fashionable people waited for the designing duo, Luci Kandler and Ashley Wokasch, to debut their Spring 2010 line on Sunday afternoon.
For those unfamiliar with the name, Calpurnia Peach has branded itself as a whimsical, original clothing line for the girly-girl with good taste and a heart for story-telling. The hand-drawn screenprints make the designs immediately recognizable, and have been charming fashionistas for nearly three years.
“Calpurnia Peach is about living the adventure,” said Kandler, all smiles and satisfaction as she welcomed the audience and introduced the line. “We wanted to have fun, and we wanted to give our customer some of our best pieces.” When asked about the inspiration for the line, Kandler said that they wanted to play with “doing lace in a different way” by not making it delicate. The result: a funky twist on a Victorian-inspired print, featured throughout this season’s collection and paired with bright, fresh citrus colors.
The show started out with a sweet little dress with delicate criss-crossed back and a gray lace print on a full pineapple-yellow skirt. The line progressed with some usual suspects: a Kelly green capsleeve dress with impeccable princess seaming, shortly followed by a classic CP low-backed, gray-print-on-yellow minidress. There were nine looks in all, full skirts, ruffles, and plucky short dresses abounding.
A big, fabulous punch was the gray hooded zip-up vest, lined with electric red and rocking with a square-window cut back. The closing look—a stellar pomegranate-red cocktail one-shoulder cocktail dress with a sculpted bow and bodice—drew excited murmurs and some audible intakes of breath from the audience. Worth mentioning was the unveiling of brand new jewelry designer Leetal Kelman, whose gemmed creations are definitely worth watching for.
The verdict? Unanimous adulation.
“I loved the tiered dress,” said Steve Kang of St. Paul’s BlackBlue, referring to the duo’s eighth look, an orange sherbet-colored cupcake-style dress with a cutout back that tied into a bow. “It really stood out, with the color and detail.”
What’s really remarkable about the designers is that when you see them, you understand immediately what Calpurnia Peach is about. Kandler and Wokasch have thrown dashes of themselves into the effervescent persona that is Calpurnia Peach: sugar, spice, a little mischief and a lot of spunk. It’s that intersection of honesty and playfulness that characterize the brand and continue to distinguish the designs.
You can check out the goods for yourself locally at Design Collective and Picky Girl. Be sure to look for Calpurnia Peach this April at MNfashion’s Voltage: Fashion Amplified, where they’ll be designing for Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps.