Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fashion link roundup: Mid-week edition

[Photo by Jenn Cress]

Photographer Jenn Cress has posted a new test shoot featuring the talents of Amber Brenke (hair/makeup) and Elle Williams (Vision Models).

Vision Model Management's Elle also appears in the latest issue of Minnesota Monthly.

In other Vision news, the agency has announced its model Kylie Bunberry has received confirmation on the first leg of a three picture deal with Disney.

Check out Steve Marsh's excellent article on local eco-beauty entrepreneur Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda, Juut, and now Intelligent Nutrients for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.

Voltage 2010 favorite Carrier Pigeon has posted new jewelry designs over at her Etsy shop. Ferociter has her double-finger dagger rings back in stock.

Locally-based designer e-shop has taken new markdowns, including a ton of Daniel Palillo S/S10.

Star Tribune reports on the Goldstein's Digitization Project.

Photographer Miles Schuster posted some behind-the-scenes photos on the set for METRO Magazine's July spread, featuring the styling talent of Hollie Mae and models Raina Hein (runner-up in the recent America's Next Top Model cycle) and Ashlee Walker. Ignite Models has more behind-the-scenes shots.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Goldstein launches Digital Database Project

[Originally posted at]

Situated on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, the Goldstein Museum of Design is like our very own mini-MOMA right in our backyard. Unfortunately, few of us have been lucky enough to take a peek inside the Goldstein's 26,000-strong collection of designer garments running the span of the 20th century. But now, thanks to a grant it recently received, the Goldstein is currently in the process of creating a digital database of its vast collection of clothing, shoes, hats and accessories, thanks to a grant it recently received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Eventually to be made viewable in an online database, it's part of a measure to increase access to the collections to the public, and increase the use of the collection as a research tool. "This new database will transform the way students, staff, and volunteers interact with the collection, improving the quality and efficiency of GMD's service and dramatically increasing the number of people who benefit by this resource," said Lin Nelson-Mayson, Goldstein director in a press release about the project.

So far, they've posted some preview images at their facebook page and the Goldstein website, and items range from flowered rayon chiffon afternoon dress from the late 1930s, a Repousse art nouveau vanity case from 1925, and brown leather riding boots from the 1950s.

The museum itself also have some items from the project on display as well as large-scale prints of some of the photographs.

While you're there, check out these upcoming exhibits:

"Off the Top of My Head: Hat Habitats"
This exhibition features the work of artists Cynthia Rapacz and Ryan Haro, exhibiting a melange of artistry including photography, design, fashion and architecture that become fanciful vignettes of the life of the hat.
Opening reception 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, June 4; ongoing through September 3.

"Flights of Fancy: Feathers in Fashion"
Flights of Fancy is a colorful and thought-provoking exhibition that explores the historical and contemporary use of feathers in western fashion. Visitors will be invited to examine the function of feathers in nature, the historical feather trade and activism against it, and the psychological appeal of wearing feathers. Feathered apparel from the late 19th through the 20th centuries from the GMD collection will be on exhibit including garments designed by Bill Blass, Sonia Rykiel, Victor Costa, and Oscar de la Renta. The opening reception will feature curator talks, a live-bird display and talk from the UMN Raptor center, and food & drinks. Please join us!
opening reception 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 11; ongoing through September 8. Visit for more info.

The Goldstein is located at 241 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, 612-624-7434.

[Images courtesy of Goldstein Museum of Design] Summer Guide

Have you seen's epic 80-page summer guide yet? It hit newstands yesterday. I contributed some of my top picks, including:

Twin Cities Pride weekend (6/25–27)
Iain St. James walks his dog, Jacques, before last year's Pride parade. Photo by Richard Tsong-Taatarii

Every June, the Twin Cities plays host to one of the nation's biggest GLBT pride celebrations -- and this year it's bigger than ever, thanks to some marquee names coming to town. The Pride Festival in Loring Park (10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.) and the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade (11 a.m.-Sun.) are the biggest draws, with the Village People and CeCe Peniston headlining Pride in Concert (5:30 p.m. Sat., Loring Park, $10). And just in time for Pride, self-proclaimed "D-List Diva" and longtime gay rights supporter Kathy Griffin is in town for two shows at the Orpheum Theatre (7:30 & 10 p.m. Sat., $53-$63). Other big to-dos include Bryant-Lake Bowl's Uptown Pride Block Party on Friday, and Lavender magazine's "Bitch 'N Brunch" hosted by drag queen Bitch Flowers atop Seven's rooftop lounge, offering a perfect view of Sunday's parade. And expect huge parties at bars like the Saloon and Gay 90's throughout the week. More info on -Jahna Peloquin

'Mad Men' Season 4 premiere on AMC (7/25)

Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Courtesy AMC

It's hard to say now whether midcentury modern came back into vogue as a result of "Mad Men," or "Mad Men" became a hit because of it. Either way, it all seemed to come to a head last summer at's swanky Season 3 premiere party at Jax Cafe. Who knew that the Twin Cities loved to get so dressed up? Our affection for the midcentury style -- and substance -- of the AMC series set in the ad-agency world of 1960s Manhattan has hardly waned. Creating your own "Mad Men" avatar was the Facebook meme of 2009, and when Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper) hosted "Saturday Night Live" in January, it was one of the most-watched episodes of the season. Season Four of "Mad Men" promises new beginnings for Draper and Co., and of course, plenty of mid-'60s fashions. Premiere party at Jax Cafe, details TBA. -Jahna Peloquin

Macy's Glamorama (8/6)

Thanks to a shaky economy, fashion lovers' fingers have been crossed in hopes that Glamorama will go on. We can take a sigh of relief -- the long-running fashion show will return for at least another year. The high-octane event includes some of the best production values seen in a locally produced runway show, and will feature fall collections from the usual roster of high-profile designers: Jean Paul Gaultier, Just Cavalli, Marc Jacobs, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Sonia Rykiel, SportMax, and new addition Versace for men. Musical guests to be announced. An epic after-party will follow on the eighth floor of Macy's. -Jahna Peloquin

Lady Gaga (8/30–31)

Lady Gaga

It's hard to believe the last time Lady Gaga was in town, she was showing her poker face in the intimate confines of the Fine Line without much fanfare. But within the last year, Gaga's celebrity status has shot into the stratosphere, thanks to her commanding Web presence, music video premieres-as-events, over-the-top fashion sense and a steady stream of chart-topping singles. For her "Monster Ball" tour, it only took a matter of days for the pop cipher to sell out her first show at the Xcel (a second was quickly added). Gaga's predecessor, Madonna, hasn't pulled those kinds of numbers since her "Material Girl" days. -Jahna Peloquin

Boat parties (via "We're On a Boat" Guide)

What would summer in the Twin Cities be without boat parties? Last year saw a sharp rise in the size and scope of cruise parties rocking local waterways. The following parties will set sail again in 2010. (No word yet on whether Red Bull will return with another epic boat party, but it's possible there will be a throwdown during its Red Bull Flugtag event July 24 at Harriet Island.)

  • River Rampage: St. Paul record label SP Style's annual hip-hop fest on two boats. DJ D. Mil, Mr. Peter Parker, DJ Dow Jones, DJ Doez It, DJ Francisco on June 12; live DJs and comedy on Aug. 14. (10:15 p.m. June 12 & Aug. 14. Harriet Island, St. Paul. $25-$40.
  • Twin Cities Pride Boat Cruise: Part of Twin Cities Pride Week. Salsa lessons, DJs. (1:30 p.m. June 19. Harriet Island, St. Paul. $40.
  • Reggae on the River: Jamaica Minnesota Organization's annual reggae boat ride with the International Reggae All-Stars band. (9 p.m. July 19. Harriet Island, St. Paul. $30-$35. 651-639-7687.)
  • Rock the Boat III: Vega Productions' annual party on two boats, with live music from Dance Band, Mark Joseph Project featuring Heatbox, Pistol Whippin Party Penguins, Roster McCabe, White Iron Band and the Summit featuring Nicholas Mrozinski. (9:30 p.m. Aug. 20. Harriet Island, St. Paul. $30.)
  • Attitude City Yacht Club: Annual yacht party thrown by Attitude City DJs. (Date, time, location, cost TBA. -Jahna Peloquin
More in this week's

As usual, check out my weekly fashion column. This week's focuses on Jeanne Beatrice French market basket handbags (pictured at left) and Sex and the City 2 parties.

My spotlight on Vilification Tennis' "Michael Jackson: Gone but not Forgotten" satire.

And my spotlight on monthly dance night Menergy (print edition only):

Saturday: Menergy
10 p.m. Kitty Cat Klub $1-3 21-plus
A couple of months ago, everyone’s favorite kitschy homoerotic dance night made its triumphant return - this time at a new venue, the Kitty Cat Klub. Helmed by DJs Nightstalker and Sweet Talk Radio (formerly known as Real Talk Radio) and interactive video artist Time Squid, the night includes plenty of sexy, hard-hitting beats juxtaposed against animated video of ‘70s Playgirl centerfolds and cartoonish depictions of testosterone-fueled musclemen. This month’s edition includes guest DJ Bach 666, and the chance to get animated on the big screen by Time Squid live. -Jahna Peloquin

Preview: Emma Berg S/S10 Lookbook

Emma Berg just posted a preview of her upcoming spring 2010 lookbook (to be debuted on l'etoile magazine in the next couple of weeks). The collection made its runway debut at Voltage 2010.

Photographer: Emily Utne
Fashion Styling: Zach Pearl & Emma Berg
Hair: Charlie Brackney
Make-up: Daniela Serra
Model: Mary of Vision Modeling Agency
Location: XY and Z Gallery
Visual artist: Drew Peterson
Jewelry: ROX

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In review: Calamity! fashion show

[Originally published at l'etoile magazine]

by Jahna Peloquin

If there's any sign the local fashion industry is alive and well, it's when it becomes self-sustaining. Believe it or not, there once was a time when Voltage: Fashion Amplified was the be-all, end-all opportunity for local designers to show their lines (in addition to boutique Cliché, long a seller and supporter of locally-produced fashion). Now, with Voltage acting as a signature event under the umbrella that has expanded into non-profit organization MNfashion, more and more designers are making their own statement in the local fashion scene - from conception to execution, and from production to promotion. Not to mention sewing, sewing, sewing!

[Look by Dawson; Image by Adam Reyna]

Today, many freshly-graduated design students don’t wait wide-eyed for opportunity to come to them - they make it happen for themselves. Leading that charge is the Minneapolis Fashion Initiative, a collaboration between four enterprising local designers (Emily Bryngelson, Amanda Chaffin, Niki English and Kathryn Sterner) and a jewelry designer/stylist (Andrea Oseland) - all of which have been selling at local boutique Cliché beginning as recently as last fall. The four presented their spring/summer 2010 collections in a group show, Calamity!, at the Lab Theater last Thursday evening.

[Look from Cliché; Image by Adam Reyna]

Kicking off the show was that fashion incubator itself, Cliché, showing a selection of styled looks from the national brands lining their racks. Denim made an impact (in the form of cutoffs and a sweet mini-dress) coupled with sheer blacks and wide-brimmed straw hats - a must-have accessory of the season.

[Look by Dawson; Image by Rod Hasse]

Next up, Amanda Chaffin's line Dawson hit the runway with a perfectly-styled pastel-print romper, with super-'70s round sunglasses and wide-brimmed woven hat. The St. Kate's 2009 grad (and former intern to Amanda Christine) showed an increasingly polished and cohesive collection. Some of the pieces were a little on the basic side - after all, why buy a locally-designed top you could easily find at American Apparel for half the price? The point of local design, besides supporting locally-made items, is for the special-ness factor. But with her incorporation of some interesting design elements (the twist-tie at the top of the shorts romper, draped ivory pants with pleating going the entire way around the waistline) into wearable, sellable pieces, Chaffin shows she's moved beyond "recent grad" status to be one to watch in local design.

[Look by Dawson; Image by Adam Reyna]

Oh, and did we mention, she did swimwear? Yes, and not only swimwear (a tricky item for a designer to tackle), but statement-making swimwear featuring a lovely floral print and interesting cutout details. Love that she did cover-ups to make it a complete look.

[Look by Kathryn V; Image by Adam Reyna]

Next up we have Kathryn V by Kathryn Sterner. The designer first seen at last fall's Scene-A-Sota fashion show has come a long way - her designs are increasingly sophisticated and polished, not to mention cohesive and wearable. In her spring line, she incorporated some interesting textile prints to add some interest, and a few cute details (a faux-peplum look on the vests, and a top ruffle to an otherwise fairly basic but excellently-fitted strapless jumper). As is the case with many fresh-faced designers, Sterner's line lacked a definitive aesthetic, but we can only hope that continues to be developed.

[Look by Tender Cuts; Image by Rod Hasse]

The highlight of the night when it came to execution, uniqueness, wearability and styling, was Tender Cuts. I've been a supporter of designer Emily Brygelson since I first saw her designs show up at Cliché last fall before the designer had even graduated from design school at the U of M. (I even wore one of her designs from that collection to this show.) Her spring line further exhibited her ability to beautifully construct garments, her impressive adaptability in creating separates, and an increasingly-strengthened aesthetic that had her models styled with adorable animal ears and knee socks. The jackets were particularly impressive, something most designers hesitate to tackle until well into their design careers.

[Look by Tender Cuts; Image by Rod Hasse]

The collection was perfectly spring, in a pastel color palette with varying textures and patterns. This is exactly how I imagine dressing all spring - and summer. (Minus the animal ears, of course.)

[Look by Niki English; Image by Rod Hasse]

Ending the show with a dramatic finale was Niki English. English perhaps has the longest design history, having been carried at Cliché for some time now. The collection comprising edgy zippered jackets (a strength of English), leggings, skirts, tops and dresses in shiny, slinky fabrics. While it was easily the most dramatic collection of the night, so much black and slate gray seemed a little dark for spring. Despite their intended dramatic impact, her pointy-shoulder minidresses literally fell a little flat, points dropping in odd directions, and by now, the bold-shoulders look popular last fall felt a little dated. But dug the elastic leg pieces English made to add to the impact of the line.

[Look by Niki English; Image by Rod Hasse]

Where English shone most brightly was with looks such as her draped and pleated pants, paired with a crop top and sleeveless vest, showing the designer does indeed have her finger on the pulse of the moment. Though English clearly aimed to show less ready-to-wear pieces than the other designers, it would've been nice to see some of the more wearable pieces in her collection, such as these, that still incorporate her signature look. After the show, English told us she was heading to New York for the summer and fall to intern at Zac Posen. (We wish her luck, despite the fact that she certainly doesn't need it!)

These designers were smart to bond together - five heads are better than one when it comes to taking on such an endeavor. Calamity! presented a sure sign that the local fashion industry is alive and well.

Jahna Peloquin is the Fashion Editor for l'etoile magazine and a freelance writer and stylist based out of Minneapolis.

All photos by Rod Hasse and Adam Reyna. Click here for more images by Rod Hasse.

Fashion link roundup

["Kiss Me, Cake" Photo by Kate Iverson]

Here's a cute article on the cake hat designs by Thea Farrington of Perfect Day Cakes for the l'etoile shoot (which I styled), "Kiss Me, Cake," in her hometown paper The Owatonna People's Press.'s Alexis on the Sexes offers a scathing review on Sex and the City 2 on her Girl Friday blog.

Coco & Breeze show off their first national magazine ad, appearing in Image Magazine.

Twin Cities "fashion experts" (including Vision Models' Elijuh Chuum, former Project Runway contestant Christopher Straub) weigh in on Sex and the City 2 style for Star Tribune.

The Minnesota Historical Society just posted new photos from RetroRama earlier this month by Sean Smuda.

U of M School of Design grad assistants Monica Sklar and Mary Alice Chaney are presenting at the Costume Society of America this week. Sklar will be discussing her paper "Punk dress in the workplace: Rebellion and routine at a crossroads." Sklar, whose fashion blog Worn Through is a must-read, will be Tweeting updates all weekend.

Anthem Heart's flyer design for the upcoming "I Feel Love" fashion show has been posted over at designer Maritza Ramirez' blog.

Aesthetic Apparatus designs poster for Ray-Ban

Super-cool news in the local design world: Aesthetic Apparatus' new poster print for iconic sunglasses line Ray-Ban has appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone, according to their recently-posted Tweet pic.

The info according to this blog post by Dutch Uncle agency:

This spring Ray-Ban introduces Rare Prints, a limited edition batch of custom-designed patterned Wayfarers.

To launch the Rare Prints line, they commissioned Aesthetic Apparatus to create hand-printed, individually numbered posters inspired by the glasses, making the advertising as rare as the glasses themselves.

Congrats, guys!

The inspiration glasses and more prints from the series:

Jonathan Gomez Whitney designs for Emma Berg

Interior designer Jonathan Gomez Whitney is the gold standard when it comes to local design. He's designing the interiors for the new ROBOTlove space and now-defunct sneaker store Status, as well as for a hot new salon opening this fall (details to come on that!). Just published are photos of his amazing kitchen design for the home of arts curator, director and fashion designer Emma Berg.

Emma has this to say on Gomez Whitney's design:

"Jonathan’s exciting and new ideas on how to address my bare kitchen for a remodel were refreshing, the planning process was creative and collaborative. Each design he came back with toped the last. The kitchen cabinetry work and shelving that Jonathan built is breathtaking. It is a perfect balance of unique visual pleasure and functionality. The kitchen is always the first room in the house that I show people and they are always taken aback. I don’t think anyone has been in there without needing to feel the curve of the upper cabinets. My kitchen truly is amazing!"

View more images at

Matt Scharenbroich does Lazerbeak album art

If you've read my blog for a while, you'll know I'll sometimes digress from fashion to proclaim my love for Matt Scharenbroich's hand-illustrations. Usually it's poster art for Grant Cutler & The Gorgeous Lords (for which he plays drums), Zoo Animal, and others; this times, it's album art for Doomtree cohort, producer and beatmaker Lazerbeak's new release, Legend Recognize Legend. Check out more of Matt's art at

Freedom From Doubt launches spring line

Apparently, it's unofficially men's week in local fashion. Some more news on the local menswear front: Neckwear line Freedom From Doubt - the work of Vision model Jared Zachary - has launched two new spring lines, Nicholas (so-named for Vision model Nic LaFrance) and Wesley (also named for a Vision model, Wesley Meirick). Here's a peek:

["Mint Floral" print from the Wesley collection, $50]

["Pink Floral" print from the Wesley collection, $50]

["Constellation" print from the Nicholas collection, $50]
[All photos via]

The line made its debut at the Spectacle of Fashion runway show on Seven Sushi Ultralounge's rooftop last Thursday, May 20. Here's designer Jared Zachary in his own leather bow-tie design:

[Image by Margarita O'Brien]

Click here for more photos from the show by Margarita O'Brien of OGI Eyewear.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The weekend in fashion: Goldstein Garden Party + Calamity! fashion show

[Originally posted at online]

by Jahna Peloquin

[Looks by Joynoelle]

On Thursday night, the established coalesced with the up-and-coming at a couple of local fashion events. The evening started out with the Friends of the Goldstein's annual Garden Party fundraiser at the University of Minnesota's Rapson Hall. It had highly-styled models dressed in garden party-perfect cocktail dresses and flowing gowns by Joynoelle, and guys turned out in looks from menswear designer Russell Bourrienne's spring collection. Both designers have been formidable fixtures of the local fashion industry for years, and their craft and originality only continues to grow with each showing.

[Looks by Russell Bourrienne]

The casual presentation gave plenty of opportunity to mix with the Goldstein's formidable member base, many of which have been supporters of local fashion since before this author was born, as well as the opportunity to hear about the Goldstein's latest endeavor, the Digital Database Project, in which it will be cataloging its massive, 26,000-strong collection of historical garments and textiles.

[Look by Tender Cuts; Image by Rod Hasse]

Later in the evening, some of the Twin Cities' most promising talent, which have taken to calling themselves the Minneapolis Fashion Initiative, showed their Spring and Summer 2010 collections within the black box confines of the Lab Theater. By all accounts it should be considered a success for the four designers represented - Amanda Chaffin (Dawson), Kathryn Sterner (Kathryn V), Emily Bryngelson (Tender Cuts) and Niki English - who produced the show themselves.

[Look by Kathryn V; Image by Rod Hasse]

The probable lack of budget didn't show; what did were the designers' increasingly professional, well-constructed presentations. With many of the designers only a year past graduation, they've come strides in their execution - and their promise of wearable street fashion came through in the eclectic but streamlined collection of looks.

[Look by Dawson; Image by Rod Hasse]

Being that these are young designers, both in age and experience, it's clear they still all have a good ways to go before they can be considered strong, seasoned designers with a clear aesthetic, but they're well on their way to do bigger and better things yet.

[Look by Niki English; Image by Rod Hasse]

Stuff I wrote: Week of 5.20.10

Check out my writing in last week's issue of

[Image by Sara Glassman for Star Tribune]
  • A Not-Quite 'Top Model', my blurb on local model Raina Hein coming in #2 in the latest America's Next Top Model cycle.
  • Click HERE for my Q&A with Raina, exclusively for online.
  • My weekly fashion column spotlights the "Calamity!" fashion show and Karin Jacobson's new recycled gold jewelry line.
  • My review of Kerry Riley's "The Death of Red Shoe" fashion show during Art-A-Whirl, exclusively for online. My preview of printmaker and painter Terrence Payne's opening reception for "Pick Me Up."
And as always, I update my massive shopping guide for l'etoile magazine.

Calamity! stop-motion party pix

Adorable stop-motion video by photographer Rod Hasse from Thursday's Calamity! fashion show.

Calamity 2010 from Rod Hasse on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New local men's fashion blog launches

I'm loving this new locally-based menswear blog The exceptionally well-designed site is a project of Corey Tenold, a web developer for space150 and Vision model, with additional content by his former space150 cohort, hip dude and graphic designer Evan Nagan. It has a focus on international and local menswear, and trends in general. So far, the duo has waxed poetic about their love for Brooks Brothers ties, Tom's shoes, Topman suits, and local designers Annie Larson and Raul Osorio. Look for a Q&A with Corey in the coming weeks in

[My not-so-awesome Photoshopped pic of Corey Tenold and Evan Nagan]

Check out the blog at

A Midwestern take on Kevin Kramp

When Kevin Kramp first popped up in the local fashion scene, I was a bit baffled - where did this guy come from? And why haven't I heard of him already? It turns out the designer known for his avant-garde, fantastical and ground-breaking knitwear is, in fact, originally from the Twin Cities but spent the majority of his post-high school years in London and New York. Last fall, l'etoile editor-in-chief Kate Iverson and I ran across his website and were floored, and I immediately made his acquaintance and invited him to apply to be a designer in Voltage 2010 (for which I am Lead Stylist). He applied, and the rest is local fashion history.

[Photo by Stephanie Colgan for Voltage 2010]

Kramp has baffled others in the local fashion world as well, but for different reasons. You see, his designs aren't exactly prototypical Midwestern. But they are constantly featured in international publications (with upcoming features in publications in France, Italy, New York and Canada) and sold in boutiques in London and Paris.

Attempting to get into his head, longtime Pioneer Press fashion reporter Alison Kaplan has posted a new interview with the designer over at her blog. Some excerpts:

On conceptual versus wearable fashion: "'Conceptual' is not the opposite of 'wearable.' The wearability of a garment is determined by the individual, not by the degree of concept."

On going from designing his namesake line and for his job day at conservative St. Croix Knits: "I’m a schizophrenic moody freak, and a Gemini to boot. My life has consisted of nothing but extremes, opposites, contradictory coexistence, and brutal transition."

On breaking boundaries in men's fashion: "This isn’t about fashion; this is about life. I always encourage individuals, men and women, to thoroughly and severely examine their personal history, ignorant preconceptions, and bizarre rules of right, wrong, should and shouldn’t."

Visit for more from the interview, and l'etoile magazine for another great interview with Kramp by Juleana Enright.

In review: St. Kate's Katwalk 2010

[Originally published at l'etoile magazine]

by Jahna Peloquin

Student work." The phrase conjures images of eye-searing fabrics, and thread-hanging, bumpy-seamed garments. It's a Project Runway designer's worst fear to hear from the mouth of Tim Gunn. But student fashion shows provide an important role, acting as an incubator, training ground and workshop for tomorrow's top designers. Even the most talented designers were once students, after all.

[Looks by Caitlin Gottshalk; Photo by Cody Lidtke]

And it seems as if more local talent comes out of St. Catherine University in St. Paul than any other school of its relatively small size. Designers now on the tips of the local fashion elitist's tongues - Amanda Christine, Maritza Ramirez, and Jenny Carle, to name a few - have graduated from St. Kate's. But these designers were once students, and each had their share of faux pas and snafus when their senior collections hit the runway. As with most student shows, it's clear who has talent, drive, vision and skill - and who is just trying to hurriedly finish their degrees. With this in mind, we're taking a closer look at some of the more promising designers from last weekend's annual senior show, Katwalk: Altered Appearance, and offering some constructive criticism to these fledgling designers.

[Look by Caitlin Gottschalk]

St. Kate's juniors started off the show with their mini collections - and in fact, some showed more inspiration and talent than some of the seniors' lines. Of the juniors, Caitlin Gottschalk showed the strongest point of view, with flowy white dresses and jumpers, with styling straight off of a Victorian beach in summertime.

[Look by Caitlin Gottschalk]

Consisting of fresh whites and ivory with pops of rose and burgundy, the frilly dresses and jumpers were on-trend and wearable, and the lovely styling gave it a whimsical feel. Though the construction was a little spotty in places and the men's sailor look was a complete misstep, Caitlin proved herself as one to watch.

[Look by Abby Jensen]

Abby Hansen, a junior, showed a small line of cotton vintage-inspired sleepwear, comprising dresses, tops, shorts and robe-like jackets. The little lace-trimmed cami and shorts in particular were adorable, but it's hard to gauge the talent of a designer whose premier collection consists entirely of sleepwear. Hopefully next time she'll show us some ready-to-wear.

[Look by Mary Ehlers]

Next up was Mary Ehlers. Though her line was fairly one-note - using bright white and aqua blue in each look - the one-shouldered dress shone most brightly.

[Look by Jenn Bratvold]

Another junior, Jenn Bratvold, intrigued with her on-trend pieces (hooded jackets, jumpers and mini dresses) that incorporated some interesting details. Jackets are known to be an ambitious challenge for a new designer, and Jenn pulled this one off quite well. (Though the fit was off on the jumper.) The accordion pleated details were also a nice touch, taking a basic silhouette into more highly designed territory.

[Look by Ariel Bock]

Next it was time for the seniors to show their fruits of their labors. Ariel Bock presented an intriguing collection, "Shades of Gray," that hit the runway twice - the second time, showing the transitional qualities hidden in each garment. A satin dress with a chiffon skirt (pictured above) cleverly changed shape with a change of a clasp, and then came off completely, transforming into a minidress. The construction in the piece was among the strongest and most well-executed of the night. But another satin gown suffered from a problem challenging many designers throughout the show - that being cheap-looking, super-shiny stretch satin. It's pretty near impossible to get the seams to lay flat and not bunch, as loyal viewers of Project Runway will attest. Overall, the presentation was definitely eye-catching, though the transitional qualities made some of the garments appear overworked. Though Ariel could use little editing, it's clear she has the goods to shine.

[Look by Anna Taney]

With her cohesive collection of printed, cutout minidresses and separates, Anna Taney was truly the star of the night. She really succeeded when combining eclectic prints and solids with cutout shapes and intertwined strap details.

[Look by Anna Taney]

This color-blocked look made a particularly bold statement on the runway, and kudos to Anna for making the cutout trend so de rigeur her own.

[Look by Emilee Kuznar]

The finale of the night came courtesy of Emilee Kuznar. The lush, floral print of the above look, consisting of a corseted top and skirt, was adorable, and the way she pleated the fabric of the skirt to contrast with the top showed great attention to detail.

[Look by Emilee Kuznar]

But you would hardly know this look was in the same collection. The white flimsy fabric looks like a swarm of moths, and hits at the weirdest places on the model, adding heft to her butt and hips.

[Look by Emilee Kuznar]

But this powder blue, pleated chiffon dress was simply a dream as it glided down the runway. If there was one piece I would want to take straight off the runway, it would be this. Yet again, it seems as if this piece is from an entirely different collection than the two previous looks.

[Look by Emilee Kuznar]

This is another look that confuses me. The reappearance of the chiffon baby blue is welcome and the silhouette is classic and elegant, but it's inexplicably paired with solid black. It's as if two completely different dresses (from two different collections, even) were merged into unholy union.

[Look by Emilee Kuznar]

But here we are back to a bright floral print. I love how the print is similar to that of the first look, but different - and the patio length and styling is spot on. With a little more attention to the overall look and feel of the collection, Emilee will have a very bright future ahead of her.

Regardless of the criticisms, be sure to keep your eyes on this crop. You'll probably be seeing some of them in local boutiques and fashion shows sooner than you think.

Click here for more images from the show by Stacy Schwartz

Jahna Peloquin is the Fashion Editor for l'etoile magazine and a freelance writer and stylist based out of Minneapolis. All photos by Stacy Schwartz (except very top image by Cody Lidtke).