Sunday, May 16, 2010

Red Shoe, reborn: Kerry Riley revamps fashion line

Originally posted at, check out my review of Kerry Riley's retrospective fashion show last weekend at the Thorp Building during Art-A-Whirl, "The Death of Red Shoe."

Art and fashion have longed enjoyed a collaborative relationship in the Twin Cities, where art curators do double-time as fashion designers, and the art of local painters is printed onto fabric. And Art-A-Whirl is no exception. For fashion designer Kerry Riley and her solo show "The Death of Red Shoe," it was the closing of a chapter in local fashion - and a new beginning.

Held in a raw, spacious warehouse space in the Thorp Building amidst the early evening flurry of Art-A-Whirling folks, Riley showcased a formidable retrospective of her work under the Red Shoe Clothing Co. label over the past six years - from her sparkly white short-shorts worn by The Soviettes during Voltage 2005 to her leather holster-like belts to her eponymous screenprinted logo shirts, it was all there. Kicking off in high drama with a sharply-tailored, high-collared coat, the show went on to include Riley's trademark mix of stripes, eventually brightening up to a bold white finale featuring a model donning a huge train atop an industrial swing that breezed across the runway. It was a bold, optimistic finish leading to Riley's announcement of her new label's name: Needle & Black. "It just sounds good," she said by way of explanation.

[All photos by Stacy Schwartz]

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