[Originally posted at Vita.mn online]
It was hard to miss Kevin Kramp's collection during Voltage: Fashion Amplified earlier this year. More than likely, your mind was blown, your eyes were wide, and you definitely had an opinion about the collection which ended with a 155-foot scarf looped around the neck of each model.
The local designer, who only last year returned to his hometown after spending a decade abroad studying design in London and New York, specializes in luxe avant-garde men's knitwear, and has amassed all kinds of awards (winner of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to Brazil; finalist in the L'Oreal Professionnel: 100 Years of Colour competition; a finalist in a Nu-Look t-shirt design contest) and press in top international fashion magazines.
Kramp's most recent honor: being awarded with a Jerome Grant for Fiber Artists at the Textile Center. As part of that honor, his collected work from Voltage and beyond - all of which is machine-knit by the designer himself - will be on display at the Textile Center. "It looks like a fashion museum exhibiting a mini-retrospective of Kevin Kramp," he explains succinctly. It's also a great chance to see the detail of the collection up close (or see it if you missed him at Voltage).
Featuring such an of-the-moment, innovative designer such as Kramp is quite the departure for the Textile Center. It's fair to say there's been a generational gap within the local community of textile and knitting arts, and designers like Kramp could help bridge this gap. Kramp adds, "I do think it's a good thing to see and surprise people with my work, the possibilities of knitting, and to recontextualize the Textile Center in their minds."
As an added bonus for Kramp fans, he'll be making a small range of knit scarves available for the first time in the Textile Center shop. (Wool and silk with nylon and Lurex combinations in two styles at $60 and $75 each.) So even if you can't pull off an oversized, deep-V cowl-neck sweater, you can definitely rock one of his scarves.
Show details: Free opening reception 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, September 10 at Textile Center, 3000 University Av. SE., Mpls, 612-436-0464, www.textilecentermn.org. Kramp will also appear at the annual Textile Center gala "Hot Art Cool Jazz" on Friday, September 24 at 7 p.m. (Note: he will not be showing any work in the live runway wearable-art segment.)