[Christopher Straub & Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman / Image by Carlos Gonzalez for Vita.mn / Styling by Eclecticoiffeur / Ra'mon's shirt by YouWorkForThem]
The Twin Cities fashion community has undergone a curious transformation over the past five years. What started out as a DIY-styled group of duct tape-wielding, trash-bag couturiers throwing fashion shows at nightclubs has become a vitrifiable industry of professionals very nearly making a living at their trade. Though unhemmed finishes and hand-sewing were the norm when the first Voltage: Fashion Amplified show hit the First Avenue stage in 2004, the levels of craftsmanship, professionalism and quality that exist today locally are like never before.
So it’s about time that there are not one, but two local designers who Project Runway deemed worthy of being on the national stage. The long-awaited sixth season of the fashion reality TV show (which was stuck in a pitched legal battle between former network Bravo and its producers for nine months until an agreement was finally met in late spring) will include the ambitious former Target designer Ra’mon-Lawrence Coleman and the relatively obscure small-town guy Christopher Straub. (Of course, it’s not the first time a local designer has been on the show – Katherine Gerdes was a contestant on the show’s third season.)
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[Marc Jacobs at Glamorama 2009 / Image by Stephen Stephens/Digital Crush]
Glamorama in review
Macy's Glamorama returned to the Orpheum Theatre last Friday, reasserting its status as Minnesota's best-produced fashion show. The show kicked off with highlights from Marc Jacobs' fall collection, a neon-highlighted homage to the power-suited big shoulders of the 1980s. Sonia Rykiel's moody palette and stompy boots were juxtaposed with plenty of sequins, rainbow patterns and the French designer's trademark berets (and set, appropriately, to Fischerspooner's "Danse en France"). Click here to read more at Vita.mn.
For more on tonight's l'etoile-sponsored screening of the season premiere of Project Runway in St. Paul, check out my blog on St. Paul STAYcation.
More of my writing in Vita.mn this week:
SUNDAY: Sartorialist release party at Magers & Quinn
In his debut book The Sartorialist, street fashion photographer Scott Schuman’s work (on his blog of the same name) is committed to the printed page, serving as a kind of best-of tome of his work for the past five years. The untraditional book is a visual feast, packed with eclectic imagery and Schuman’s occasional written observation. Independent bookseller Magers & Quinn is celebrating the August 25 release with an event that includes street-style photography by Digital Crush, street food from moto-I, and styling assistance from Blacklist Vintage. Click here for more
(For more, be sure to check out my interview with Schuman on l'etoile later this weekend.]
FRIDAY-SATURDAY: Gh2 90% off sale
Discount designer store gh2 – which cosigns and picks up Grethen House’s overstock, is having its biggest blowout sale of the season this weekend. Designers like Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, Prada, and Comme des Garcons could be among the deals, marked down an astounding 90 percent off. There’s always a huge line waiting outside the store before opening on Friday, so be sure to come early and wear something you can try clothes on over – you will probably have trouble getting a dressing room. Click here for more
SATURDAY: Stoplight Soiree & Fall Fashion Preview
Retro Hollywood glam and a good old-fashioned spotlight party combine for this benefit gala and fall fashion preview. For the uninitiated, a spotlight party makes your relationship status clear by providing red, yellow and green buttons to guests, so you don’t have to worry about giving him or her the wrong idea. Local shops Cliché and Ellsworth will give you a preview of fall trends for women and men to the big-band sounds of the 1950s for the Brass Menagerie at the Crowne Plaza’s outdoor Sky Garden rooftop patio. Click here for more
[New work by John Alspach]
FRIDAY: GO LIVE IV at 526 Salon
The latest work from collage artist John Alspach will be the focal point of FiveTwoSix Salon’s monthly art-meets-music-meets-fashion series, GO LIVE. The Shiny Robot Studio owner will be exhibiting his latest work while working on one of his large-scale abstract collages. The series of large-scale panels constructed from old metal signs and billboards into jagged configurations of warm summer colors seems to point to the reappropriation of urban decay. Click here for more
SATURDAY: Pinewood Derby Art Car Show at Pink Hobo
In a nod to summertime nostalgia, Pink Hobo’s latest exhibition gives the Pinewood Derby the Art Car treatment. A symbol of 1950s innocence and a hallmark of the Cub Scouts to this day, Pinewood Derby cars were invented as a smaller and easier-to-build option from the Soap Box Derby cars. These cars will be built by genuine Cub Scouts and customized by local artists. Click here for more
OPENING THURSDAY: "After Juliet" at Or Theatre
Ever wonder what happened to the Capulets and the Montagues after Romeo and Juliet died? Scottish playwright Shaman Macdonald presupposed the aftermath in a play originally commissioned for the Royal Rational Theatre in 1999. Independent theater company 20% will be giving the play its first Twin Cities treatment, in which Benvolio, Romeo’s best friend, falls in love with Juliet’s cousin, Rosaline. Bonus trivia: The play is said to be inspired by an idea by Macdonald’s famous daughter Keira Knightley, who starred in its original production. Click here for more
THURSDAY-SATURDAY: Rhythmically Speaking at Bedlam Theater
This three-night performance brings seven of the top local jazz choreographers together for what should be an eclectic exploration of the tradition of modern jazz dance. It includes the esteemed Karla Grotting of local troupe the Flying Foot Forum and the incomparable Kaleena Miller of Rhythmic Circus – surprising on the surface for a jazz-oriented show, since both are best-known as tap dancers. Click here for more
Fashion & Shopping News (Via Vita.mn)
Make-up Art Cosmetics Collection launches at MAC
For MAC's fall make-up collection, they took their name - which stands for "Make-up Art Cosmetics" - to heart, enlisting three of the most reputed artists of New York to create make-up-inspired art. Richard Phillips, Maira Kalman, and Marilyn Minter offered their own takes on MAC's fall 2009 trends, in some cases incorporating actual MAC pigments into the work. The pieces are bold, playful, and abstract.
[Painting by Richard Phillips for MAC]
For his part, Phillips worked with a photo retoucher to re-create the palette of pastel-to-bold MAC lipsticks and apply them digitally onto a painting.
[Photograph by Marilyn Minter for MAC]
Meanwhile, Minter took her inspiration from a range of glitter pigments, particularly a deep red shade, for her large-scale photography piece.
[Illustration by Maira Kalman for MAC]
Kalman took bold eye shadows and eyeliners as inspiration for her portrait of a young Russian woman.
To celebrate the launch of the line, MAC make-up artists at the Mall of America location are offering the opportunity to try these new shades for a three-day event this weekend. (11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Mall of America, 294 W. Market, Bloomington. 952-814-9800.
More local fashion & shopping news:
[The cast of Project Runway Season Six]
Don't miss the free screening of Project Runway's season six premiere at Landmark Center in St. Paul, hosted by l'etoile magazine. Local contestants Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman and Christopher Straub will be present to introduce the show, and there's rumor of an impromptu fashion show happening before the screening. (7:30-10 p.m. Free. 75 W. 5th St., St Paul. Post party at St. Paul Hotel from 10 p.m.-midnight.)
Jungle Red Salon Spa Gallery is hosting its first annual Clothing Swap. Bring in your good-condition unwanted clothing and score some free threads. Jungle Red will also be offering chair massages, basic nail/toe polish services and eyebrow/lip waxing for only $10 a pop. (6-8:30 p.m. 1362 Lasalle Av., Mpls. 612-870-0653.)
[A look from Jarbo]
Grethen House NETC hosts a cash-and-carry trunk show for NYC-based basics-with-a-twist line Jarbo. Basically, you pay with cash and in turn get everything at wholesale prices - an amazing deal to say the least. (Thu. & Fri. 4930 France Av., Edina. 952-926-8725.)
The Le Cirque Asylum collective hosts their regularly-recurring fashion show and party - this time at Ground Zero. Le Cirque Libertine will feature neo-Victorian fashions by Megan Bishop of Apatico, Samantha Rei of Blasphemina's Closet, and Heather Luca of Scoundrelle's Keep, as well as belly dancing, burlesque performances, and a photo booth. (10 p.m. $6-8. 18-plus. 15 4th St. NE., Mpls. 612-378-5115.)
For the first time, the organizers of the Red Stag Block Party have added a runway fashion show. It features just about every northeast Minneapolis boutique, including Belle Reve, I Like You, gh2, Parc, Key North, and Melrose Antiques. Hair and make-up will provided Miyagi Salon. (2 p.m. Free. 509 1st Av. NE., Mpls. 612-767-7766.)