Mark your calendars: I've got the exclusive preview of spring fashion events happening in and around Minneapolis. Here's a sampling of the events I'm most excited about:
Feb. 11: Goodwill/Easter Seals MN presents Second Runway fashion show
This benefit fashion show held at Goodwill/Easter Seals' Minnesota headquarters features a wealth of local design talent, including professionals (like JoyNoelle and Russell Bourrienne) to independent up-and-comers (like Jenny Carle and Renate Adjei) to student designers. The premise: Designers recreate items from Goodwill stores into new designs.
Feb. 13: Walker After Hours: Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton at Walker Art Center
The subject of this Walker preview party is famed portrait artist Elizabeth Peyton, known for her portraits of celebrities, artists and iconic figures. A friend and muse of Marc Jacobs, who's visage is included among her paintings, Peyton has her eye ever-fixed on the pulse of art and pop culture. The party includes karaoke by Arzu of the popular Staraoke night at Grumpy's, tunes by Transmission DJ Jake Rudh, a screening of the film Kurt Cobain: About a Son, and a celebrity art-making activity.
Feb. 14: VD09 at Northrup King Building
Most of us consider Valentine's to be a cheesy holiday, but this Valentine's Day party turns up the cheese factor into kitsch territory. Part art show, part party, this free event encourages guests to "dress sexy" and wear "furry costumes" while drinking, dancing and - of course - eating plenty of chocolate.
Feb 21: Exposed: 41st Annual Clothing Design Senior Fashion Show at Rapson Hall
If you caught Calpurnia Peach's youthful yet sophisticated line last year at Voltage, you probably wouldn't have guessed the line's designers are still students. Designers Luci Kandler and Ashley Wokasch will be showcasing their senior lines (which doubles as Calpurnia Peach's Fall 2009 Collection), which they say is inspired by Peter Pan and The Lost Boys children's book.
Feb 21: Adorable new vintage store Blacklist Vintage, which specializes in affordable vintage headwear, is offering the chance to be photographed in their hats for display at the shop. Also: Free champagne!
Feb. 28: Dean and Britta: 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s “Screen Tests” at Walker Cinema
Internationall-acclaimed singer-songwriter duo Dean and Britta were commissioned by The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh to compose music to accompany Warhol's Screen Tests, a series of silent-film portraits of well-known celebs and Factory superstars. They'll be performing the results live while the films screen in the background.
Feb. 28: Fashion Fight Night III at Uppercut Boxing Gym
Presented by METRO Magazine, the third annual event will feature six teams made up of a photographer, a hair stylist, a make-up artist, a fashion stylist, an assistant and a model that face off simultaneously in two rings. Every year the teams up the showmanship, so there's no telling what theatrics will ensue this time around.
Mar. 7: Fashion Forward at Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth
Yes, Duluth is a bit of a drive, but how many opportunities does one have to watch a rock show at an aquarium? The charity event features the dreamy music of Minneapolis' Bella Koshka, plus Duluth composer Amir Elmasry and Cello Dreams, fashions by Duluth designer Pacy James, and a group photography exhibition by Duluth Photographers.
Apr. 17: kjurek couture fashion show at W Minneapolis
The spring collection by local designer Kimberly Jurek of kjurek couture, described as "kimonos-meet-Little House on the Prairie," will be revealed at Minneapolis' swankiest hot spot.
Apr. 20-26: Spring MNfashion Week at various locations
For the first time, MNfashion has expanded from a "weekend" to a full week. Events include first-time solo fashion shows by Red Shoe Clothing Co., and Laura Fulk, with Voltage as the week's headlining event.
Apr. 21: 'Suffocate' at The Lab Theater
Always the most theatrical element of Voltage every year since its inception, fashion designer Laura Fulk is breaking out on her own with her first solo show. From what Emma Berg of online arts calendar mplsart.com tells me, it's an art-meets-fashion collaboration between Fulk and two visual artists.
Apr. 24: Voltage: Fashion Amplified 2009 at First Avenue
The annual fashion rock show is back for its fifth (!) year at legendary rock club First Avenue. As many longtime Voltage designers have stepped down to pursue solo shows or moved out of state, expect a lot of new faces at this year's show. Returning designers include the dreamy, '20s-esque looks of Max Lohrbach, the sophisticated designs of Amanda Christine, and the fairytale-inspired styles of Calpurnia Peach. The solid music line-up includes bands Lucy Michelle & The Velvet Lapelles, Gospel Gossip, First Communion Afterparty, Maria Isa and Mercurial Rage. Also new this year: A pop-up designer boutique in 7th St. Entry, an in-house after party DJ'd by Transmission DJ Jake Rudh, and a move to Friday night.
May 21: RetroRama at Minnesota History Center
The fourth edition of the Minnesota Historical Society’s exploration of retro style steps away from the ‘50s to include four other stylish decades of American fashion. This year’s local designers who reimagine looks of the past include Max Lohrbach (1920s), Ivan Idland (1930s), TBD (1940s), Calpurnia Peach (1950s), and Sarah Holm (1960s). It also kicks off Minnesota's Greatest Generation, an exhibition that focuses on local perspectives of the generation that came of age during the booms of the 1950s. Best of all, this year's show will be held outdoors under a tent, so we can all pretend we're having our very own Fashion Week show.
Keep your eyes on Vita.mn and La Petit Connaisseur de la Mode as details emerge!