Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cliché's Avoid the Grey in Review

A look by Niki English Designs & Handbags/ Image by Stacy Schwartz for Decider Minneapolis

Cliché's bi-annual runway shows are always a can't-miss event, if not for the slew of fabulous people it brings out, for the chance to plan your spring shopping. Its spring 2009 "Avoid the Grey" fashion show showcased the work of 14 of its busy designers (paired with locally-designed accessories by Tea Tree Designs, Adrienne Grahn, Zoby, and others). In a departure from previous shows, Cliché owners Josh and Delayna Sundberg decided to keep it simple, showing only 5-6 looks per designer - a move which made the show move by more swiftly while maintaining its energy.

The show kicked off with Emily Weich's line of unapologetically feminine dresses, skirts and blouses in shades of pink and fabrics both sheer and satiny.

Dress by Emily Weich / Headpiece by Zoby / Image by Stacy Schwartz for Decider Minneapolis

Another highlight was Ivan Idland's line, which featured his usual graphic, intricately-seamed aesthetic. But this line seemed more sophisticated and playful for Idland, whose silhouettes have at times been at times difficult to pull off -unless, that is, you happen to be a 5'11", size 2 model. These cut and design elements of these dresses would flatter just about anyone's shape.
Dress by Ivan Idland / Image by Stacy Schwartz for Decider Minneapolis

I'll admit I'm biased when it comes to Red Shoe Clothing Co. I'm a fan of just about anything that Minneapolis fashion fixture Kerry Riley of Red Shoe Clothing Co. designs. I've already pre-ordered a pair of her spectacularly-fitting high-waisted, suspendered pants that come with an optional band at the ankle that can take the look from wide-legged to harem. Expert tailor that she is, she also does ingenius leather-work, including this hand-cut gold leather belt with a removable bow ($150 at Cliché).

Dress and belt by Red Shoe Clothing Co. / Image by Stacy Schwartz for Decider Minneapolis

I had been eagerly awaiting to see the collaboration between clothing designer Maritza Ramirez and graphic designer Anthem Heart, and it managed to retain both Maritza's structured, feminine aesthetic and Anthem Heart's stripped-down tribal prints.

Dress and t-shirt by Maritza Ramirez + Anthem Heart / Image by Tony Nelson for City Pages

Above looks by Maritza Ramirez + Anthem Heart / Image by Stacy Schwartz for Decider Minneapolis

Relative newcomer and Ghana native Renate Adjei showed her collective, a vast improvement over her debut at last summer's Cliché show. Thought was put into each seam and ruffle, and though the black and white dress below was my personal favorite, Adjei showed a masterful, unabashed use of color. Though lacking in a cohesive color story, Adjei seems to have a strong and distinctive aesthetic that I can only hope she continues to develop.

Dresses by Renate Adjei / Accessories by Tea Tree Designs / Image by Stacy Schwartz, courtesy Decider Minneapolis

The always-solid Amanda Christine never lets on just how busy of a designer she is. Every garment was perfectly fit and sewn, and the mix of soft florals with a curve-hugging little black dress made a strong, if not entirely groundbreaking, statement. But in the business of fashion, nothing beats a flattering fit, lovely fabrics and well-attended-to details.

Dresses by Amanda Christine Designs / Image by Stacy Schwartz for Decider Minneapolis

If you see something you like, be sure to hop over to Cliché - most everything in the show is one of a kind so don't miss out.

Check out Stacy Schwartz's review for
Decider Minneapolis. You can view another photo set here.

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