Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In review: Calpurnia Peach Fall 2009 Collection

Local design duo Calpurnia Peach just sent me images from their Fall 2009 Collection, debuted at the La Nouvelle Femme event this past Friday at the Varsity Theater. Traditional rich fall colors, like brick red, plum, and brown are given a twist with pops of bright blue and whimsical prints. Known for their original screen prints, designers Luci Kandler and Ashley Wokasch introduced a new whale print along with more traditional ornate patterns.

The cutout on this dress, worn here and onstage by Margaret Lane of La Nouvelle Femme band Hildur Victoria, is a sweet nod to the bare-midriff trend popping up this fall. The gold-leafed effect of the print gives it old-world charm. I especially like the pretty-meets-tough juxtaposition it takes on with Margaret's tattoos.

Here's another dress featuring a similar print. This to me is one of the silhouettes Cal Peach does best - tailored yet feminine. It's no wonder they're one of my favorite local lines.

This appears to be a fairly basic shift dress. I like that they're incorporating a traditionally spring color here, but the print is hard to distinguish and it looks plain without jewelry and just plain odd when paired with sheer black tights.

This top has a great shape to it. (The brooches are by Ferociter.) The miniskirt is interesting and wearable, and balances the romantic hem of the top.

A barely-above-the-knee dress from Cal Peach? I don't believe it! But yes, here is the closest you're going to get to "work-appropriate." I think it's a good go-anywhere dress - playful enough for day, and paired with some gems (like the ones by Ferociter pictured) you could get away with wearing it to dinner.

Quite a sophisticated look from the duo known for frilly mini-dresses and onesies. I love the flow of this dress, and the one-shoulder effect it has. I particularly like the pairing of brown and baby-blue. But on closer inspection, the fabric is a heavy stretchy polyester; it photographs and drapes well but I can't say I'm a fan of it.

Here we have a classic Cal Peach look - a ruffled mini-dress and whimsical print. The best part about it is the open keyhole back, tied with an adorable bow. Apparently a local fashionista has already placed dibs on it, but you could try to talk them into making another one - or something similar.

This is the same short pattern from a pattern originating in Cal Peach's Voltage 2009 spring collection - a teal short of which I am the prouder owner. Again, this is that brown poly fabric that I'm not so into, but it does lend the shorts a good drape. LOVE and want to have the top. The shoulder detail adds interest, and I never can get enough black-and-ivory in my closet.

The skirt is made from same fabric I have taken issue with, but I do like the printed waistband and the roll-sleeve top. Both pieces are unusual for Cal Peach - it may be the first time they've done a long skirt and a long-sleeved shirt. However, I'm not so into the pairing of the two pieces together. The overall effect is a bit frumpy and forced. Perhaps if the skirt was paired with a tiny camisole, or the shirt was with a relaxed rolled-cuff short, these pieces could work.

This bright blue frock has a sweet hippie vibe to it when paired with the Ferociter gems - and the Jenny Lewis-esque model doesn't hurt. I could see them doing this dress in myriad colors and fabrics and prints for retail.

The collection will be available at Design Collective in Minneapolis and Picky Girl in St. Paul. Look for the Calpurnia Peach girls at Thursday's adorn event in St. Paul as part of MNfashion Week. They'll be screen-printing tights at Picky Girl for $18 a pop and showcasing three fall looks to be sold at Picky Girl. Get there early, or bring your own plain tights.

[All images by Charlie B. Ward /

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