Saturday, February 28, 2009

In review: Fashion Feud, round 1

Kerry Riley at her sewing machine at Fashion Feud

Two of Minneapolis' top independent fashion designers went head to head last week at the 7th Street Entry at First Avenue in the so-called
Fashion Feud, and it gave onlookers a rare glimpse into their world. Arts-supporting car company Scion (which also sponsors Project Runway presented the event, which will be continued over the next couple of months. (Check out for my preview on the event.)

Laura Fulk at Fashion Feud

Designers Kerry Riley of Red Shoe Clothing Co. and Laura Fulk are both Voltage alumni, and both are breaking out on their own this spring for the first time with solo shows during MNfashion Week. But that's where their similarities end.

Laura Fulk at Fashion Feud

True to their individual styles, both designers took a different approach to the challenge, which involved having an hour to make something out of a bag of random fabric immediately before the clock began ticking. Riley immediately began sewing, whereas Fulk started by draping her fabric around her model. It began clear quickly that Riley intended to create a simple wrap dress out of her peacock-printed fabric.

Kerry Riley and Laura Fulk at Fashion Feud

The end results weren't something you'd spend good money on, but to be fair, both got cheap-looking fabric neither would normally choose (Riley got a swatch of peacock-printed fabric and Fulk got a bunch of pink floral), and only one hour to put it all together. But by the time the bell rang, Fulk's look ended up appearing more quintessentially Fulk than Riley's final product did, which is probably why she was named the winner. It makes sense from what I know about both designers: Fulk is more organic in her design approach, while Riley is a precise, meticulous designer. An hour obviously isn't much time to conceptualize and execute a design, and it makes you appreciate what those Project Runway contestants go through.

Laura Fulk at Fashion Feud

Laura Fulk working on her design on model Maggie

Laura Fulk's finished winning design modeled by Maggie

All images by Lauren Gantner for The Minnesota Daily.

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