Friday, January 29, 2010

Matt Scharenbroich's hand-illustrated flyers

(Updated 1/29/10) This is primarily a local fashion blog, but sometimes I get so inspired by something in other artistic realms that I can't help but post them, too.

My latest obsession? Hand-illustrated flyers by Matt Scharenbroich for Grant Cutler & The Gorgeous Lords. City Pages pointed out his newest work for Grant & crew's show on Friday. (Look to the print issue of on Thursday for my writeup and album preview.) Here's a few of Matt's previous flyers for GC&GL:

Formerly of legendary local punk band The Plastic Constellations, Matt is the drummer for Grant Cutler of Lookbook fame's latest project, which also includes members of Askeleton and Brutal Becomings. What do you know? Matt is also an accomplished visual artist. View his site here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stuff I wrote: 1.28.10-2.3.10

Check out my writing in last week, including my feature story on Polaroid show 'Instant Film Forever', the scoop on a Minnesota model who just walked the runways of Milan, store openings and sales, Jaime Carrera's performance in 'Channeling Carol', Kaleena Miller and co. in dance revue 'Elements in Translation', as well as music spotlights on Glitter Ball 3, MPLS.TV Winter Jubilee, MOVITS!, and Kid Koala (print version only). Here are some excerpts below:
[Image by Sam Hoolihan]

Art: Instant karma in 'Instant Film Forever' (via
Two local photographers hope to revive the golden age of Polaroid.
By Jahna Peloquin

When Polaroid announced in 2008 that it would no longer produce its iconic instant film or cameras, Polaroid fever struck. The new wave of interest has produced a European organization called the Impossible Project, which bought Polaroid's Netherlands factory with plans to "reinvent" the instant film, as well as Polaroid's curious announcement that pop star Lady Gaga would be its new creative director. Now Polaroid -- which apparently had been unaware of the niche demand for its original product -- is in talks with the Impossible Project to partner on the recreation of the film.

Capitalizing on the new interest, Polaroid photographers Nadine Gross and Sam Hoolihan are exhibiting 250 of their originals for the first time, alongside a selection of large scale-prints, this weekend at Gallery 112 in Minneapolis. "We thought with the amount of Polaroids we both have individually we should put on a love-letter show to Polaroid," Gross explains. "Especially now."

Although other Twin Cities photographers have dabbled in the medium, Gross and Hoolihan have specialized in it for nearly 10 years each. "It's kind of a rare thing to do it as much as Nadine and I do, and for as long," Hoolihan says, "at least on a local level." After all, unless you're like Hoolihan -- who stocked up on 50 boxes of the film when Polaroid first made the announcement -- fanatics have to shell out upwards of $50 for a pack of 10 photos on eBay and Amazon.

Gross is in the latter group. "I've been spending way too much money on film," she admits. "It's difficult to keep buying it, but it's sort of like a drug addiction." (When she really needs a fix, she'll call up Hoolihan to float her a pack until she can get her hands on some more.) They're both crossing their fingers that the Impossible Project will begin reproducing the film later this year before stocks of film run out -- or become expired.

[Image by Nadine Gross]

Despite their camaraderie, the two self-professed obsessives have known of each other for only about two years. They first met at Visionary Optical, where Gross, an optician by day, fitted Hoolihan for glasses. "We talked about how eyeglasses frame a face," Gross recalls, "and we ended up talking about photography."

Gross' background in painting inspired her to take up her Polaroid camera. After taking photos to get inspiration for her abstract, minimalist paintings, she soon realized her true love was for the photos themselves. And, like many Polaroid lovers, there's also a sentimental value. "My parents documented my childhood in Polaroids, so it's been in me forever," she says.

On the other end of the spectrum, Hoolihan boasts a formal education in the medium and is attending grad school at the University of Minnesota for photography, specializing in 35mm color film. It was when he brought his Polaroid camera to the Snapshot Shanty during the Art Shanty Projects a few years ago, he says, that interest became obsession.

Hoolihan's Snapshot Shanty portraits will be among the images on display at this weekend's "Instant Film Forever" show, alongside Gross' abstract, graphic shots. The presentation of the show itself will hark back to a pre-digital time, as the duo plans to create a series of mix tapes to play on an old-school sound system for Friday's opening reception.

As Gross puts it, "We just don't want anything to feel digital at all. We want to give a tribute to the time when [Polaroid photography] was the most thriving."

[Will Defiel in Alexander McQueen Fall 2010. Image via]

Crawl: Minn. model in Milan (via
Twin Cities-based model Will Defiel, who spent last season as the face of Calvin Klein, hit the runways for Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana last week in Milan during Men's Fashion Week. Due to his classwork obligations at the Carlson School of Management, it was a pretty light schedule for the in-demand Defiel, who's walked in four Fashion Weeks. For the upcoming Fashion Week in New York, Defiel said, "I'm pushing just to be exclusive for Calvin Klein again so I can bypass having to run around to castings while school is in session." The Stillwater native, represented locally by Vision Models, is on track to graduate in May, so expect to see more of Defiel's classic jawline come fall. -Jahna Peloquin

Fashion: My Sister's (second) Closet (via
St. Paul enjoys a reputation for having the best vintage shops in the Twin Cities, but Minneapolis will soon be privy to one of its best-kept secrets. Longstanding Grand Avenue boutique My Sister's Closet is set to open its second location on Monday in Uptown, bringing its eclectic yet well-tailored selection of women's clothing, accessories, jewelry, shoes, hats and handbags. The sisters-owned shop has long been a favorite of vintage collectors and thrifty, designer-conscious shoppers alike. -Jahna Peloquin


Fashion: gh2 half-off sale (via
Grethen House's little sister store, gh2, is having its biannual half-off sale for two days only this weekend. Scoop up consigned and new designer items from high-end designers (think Prada, Miu Miu and Comme de Garçons) at 50 percent off gh2's already severely discounted prices. The sale is so popular that it's known to have designer label-loving penny pinchers lining up down the block. -Jahna Peloquin

[Jaime Carrera in "Carolesque!"]

'Channeling Carol' (via
Brought together by a shared love for Carol Channing, 10 local artists created performance pieces inspired by the fabled musical comedian. A highlight is sure to be "Carolesque!" by Jaime Carrera, who says his cabaret-style piece blends performance art, dance, sound design by DJ E-tones, live singing and "a little razzle dazzle" while skewering themes of feminism and domesticity -- a topic present in both Channing's and Carrera's work. The piece should be full of effusiveness and eccentricity, as well as Carrera's penchant for offending and titillating his audience. Other performers include onetime Carrera collaborator Tyler Jensen and Bryant-Lake Bowl artistic director Kristin Van Loon, plus Jeffry Lusiak, Kristi Ternes, Megan Meyer, Molly Van Avery, Rachel Nelson, Sheridan Zuther, and the Wreck Family. More event details. -Jahna Peloquin

And as always, check out my weekly shopping blogs for l'etoile magazine,, and

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cliché's "Avoid the Grey" preview

Though both of Cliché's fashion shows this Thursday are already sold out, I thought I'd still offer a preview of what you may see, if you're lucky enough to have scored tickets.

First up is Emily Bryngelson. The University of Minnesota apparel student is about to show her senior line at the U of M's senior show, and she's already crafted her second line, Tender Cuts, for Cliché. Look to see more of Emily's penchant for high-waisted silhouettes, soft patterns and florals, and lady-like details styled with a tough edge.

[Emily Bryngelson images by Stephanie Hynes]

You can view more of Emily's past work HERE.

Amanda Christine's collections are always a favorite, and she's taken her wearable silhouettes to a chic-er level than ever before. I'm loving the tougher, architectural lines seen here - perfect for summer soirees. I'll have to ponder which pieces I'll be putting on order come spring when I see them up close at this Thursday's show.

[Amanda Christine Images by Rod Hasse]

Visit to view Amanda's entire spring 2010 collection.

Finally, we have Kimberly Jurek of kjurek couture. These pieces are totally wearable and showcase Kimberly's love of color. The longtime Cliché designer tells me she's planning a trip with Amanda Christine to POOL in February; it's said to be the biggest retail trade event in the U.S.

[kjurek couture images provided by designer]

View the rest of the kjurek couture Spring 2010 collection at Kimberly's facebook page, and previous collections at

Other fashion designers at Thursday's show include Kelson, Niki English, Peloria, syd, Carmichael Claith, Kathryn V, Dawson, Ivan Idland, Jenny Carle, Red Shoe Clothing Co. (Kerry Riley), Rachel Delange, Arwyn Birch, and Ashley Busch.

Click HERE for my profile of Cliché owners Josh and Delayna Sundberg in last week's issue of

Monday, January 25, 2010

Will Defiel at Men's Fashion Week

Local model Will Defiel just made a few appearances on the runways of Men's Fashion Week in Milan last week. Look for my writeup on the Vision model in on Thursday, but for now feast your eyes on Defiel in action:

[Will Defiel for Alexander McQueen. Photo: Andrew Thomas/]

[Will Defiel for Alexander McQueen. Photo: Andrew Thomas/]

[Will Defiel for Dolce & Gabbana. Photo: Andrew Thomas/]

Vision Model Management's Elijah Chuum also tells me this bit of news: "For next (New York) Fashion Week coming up, (Vision model) Diane Johnson is going back, signed with Major NY. So keep your eye out for her, and we will have five to six models in shows this year."

[Source: Vision Models facebook]

Stuff I wrote: 1.21.10-1.27.10

Check out my writing in last week, including my feature story on local boutique Cliché on the eve of next week's "Avoid the Grey" fashion show, next week's Commingle fashion show, graphic designer Mike Cina's relaunch party at Honey, the St. Paul Winter Carnival, Rock the Cradle at the MIA/Children's Theatre, and the Andy Elwell CD Release Show. Here are a few excerpts:

[Design work by Michael Cina]

Thursday 1/21: 'I Work for Me' (via
After establishing the renowned design agency YouWorkForThem in 2002, graphic designer and visual artist Mike Cina is now working for himself. With his latest venture, Cina is working on trademark and branding jobs, as well as a custom typeface for the likes of Victoria's Secret. First up, though, is a T-shirt collaboration with fashion designer Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman of "Project Runway." The launch party will include free appetizers, drink specials and giveaways. -Jahna Peloquin

[A look by Elizabeth Chesney/Image by Tony Nelson]

Wednesday 1/27: Commingle IV: Fashion Show at Fine Line Music Cafe (Via
The fourth annual event, produced by arts nonprofit E-three, mixes avant-garde fashion with various dance media and live music. This year includes fashions from edgy designers Elizabeth Chesney, a Voltage alum with a penchant for black leather and fringe, and SoHo Exchange, last seen crafting kicky dresses out of vinyl billboard advertisements. The fashion show will be juxtaposed with ballet, hip-hop, reggae and contemporary dance by Tundra Ladies and Universal Dance Destiny, and music from Niknyc and DJs Naughtyboyy, Chris Castle and Blowtorch. -Jahna Peloquin

Where local fashion fits (Via
How an Uptown boutique accidentally became an incubator for homegrown design.
By Jahna Peloquin

[Josh and Delayna Sundberg, owners of Cliche. Photo by Tom Sweeney]

When Cliché opened on May 1, 2004, at 2403 Lyndale Av. S. in Minneapolis, "local fashion" was an anomaly in the Twin Cities. The fashion shows that did exist were disorganized, underground affairs. Few if any clothing stores carried locally produced designs.

"People weren't really making stuff people could wear," said Josh Sundberg, the boutique's co-owner. A trip into Cliché's basement confirms that. Think patch-covered dresses and tops with purposefully unhemmed edges and hand stitching from yesteryear's local designers -- definitely not looks that would fly in 2010. "But I think there was a tinge of excitement," Sundberg continued, "because there was this national DIY scene growing at the time, and people wanted to make that happen here."

Cliché's foray into quality local fashion was, in fact, something of a happy accident. "We thought we were opening a vintage store," said fellow co-owner Delayna Sundberg (Josh's wife). "So we had a lot of mediocre vintage and some stuff from Japan, and some local stuff, and it was really rough. There was no theme -- it was just kind of thrown together."

Things seemed to change when the store picked up local designer Kerry Riley, now a veteran of local fashion. "She had it all together," Delayna said. "She had a label, a business. She taught us her standard, and we kind of went from there." The Sundbergs became more business-savvy, raising their standards, figuring out what sold and what didn't and encouraging designers to create full-size runs. Today, the quality in the racks housing local designs is hardly distinguishable from that in the racks of national, factory-made lines.

Meanwhile, local runway shows were becoming more prevalent. After participating in several disorganized shows in dank bars and clubs, the Sundbergs began producing their own shows, the first of which marked their second anniversary. "It was random and weird and people showed up with their own models," Delayna recalled.

Today, Cliché's shows are increasingly sophisticated and cohesive. Sitting runway-side at its annual "Avoid the Grey" show, you'd hardly know you were at a locally produced show, put together with minimal budget. High-quality hair and makeup styling, professional models, a soundtrack helmed by the city's top DJs and foam-at-the-mouth-worthy fashions have made Avoid the Grey consistently a hot ticket.

And Cliché's role as an incubator for local fashion continues. At next week's Avoid the Grey show, the boutique introduces its two newest designers, Emily Bryngelson and Rachel Delange. Bryngelson is definitely one to watch -- her premiere line was a hit at Cliché last fall. The designer credits her summer internship working at Cliché with much of her initial success.

"The Minneapolis fashion scene has gained so much momentum, thanks largely to Josh and Delayna," said Kerry Riley. In Cliché, the designer found a sense of community for the first time in years. "I had been to a couple other [boutiques] and had the door shut on me," she recalls. "They were the first place to be open-arms. They're just hugely supportive."

Shopping for Haiti

This week, local screen printers Burlesque of North America, photographer Eliesa Johnson, Nelle Handbags and others are giving a portion of the money for their products to the relief efforts in Haiti.

[Nelle Handbags]

Friday: Nelle Handbags for Haiti
Locally-designed handbag line Nelle Handbags is donating 30 percent of every purchase made at will be donated to Vision of Hope Ministries Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund on Friday, January 29 for one day only. Visit for more information.

[Burlesque's "Brotherman" poster]

Through Monday: Burlesque Poster Auction for Haiti
Burlesque of North America screen printers have donated some of their screen prints to the Soul Strut Heatrocks for Haiti online auction, a sale of records, merchandise and memorabilia with all the proceeds going to charity. Bidding ends Monday, January 25. Burlesque's poster auction is here, and the rest of the auction items can be browsed here.

Foat Design donates to Haiti
Through today (Monday, January 25), local yogawear company Foat Design is donating 10 percent of purchases made online to Haiti relief efforts.
When: Through Jan. 25

Through Saturday: Key North Sale Away Event
We love shopping with a cause. Save 20 to 70 percent on selected items at eco-friendly Northeast boutique Key North’s annual Sale Away Event. Bonus: the shop will donate 10 percent of profits from the sale to Haitian earthquake relief efforts, and all unsold sale items will also go to Haiti. You can bring in your own new or gently used clothes to add to the shipment. (Jan. 23-30. 515 1st Ave. NE., Mpls. 612-455-6666.)

Photogen Inc Haiti Relief from Eliesa on Vimeo.

Ongoing: Photogen-inc. book for Haiti
Local photographer Eliesa Johnson of Photogen-inc. is selling her photography book The Film [Camera] Book with all proceeds going toward Haiti relief efforts. Check out her video explaining why in the above video. The book retails for $60 at

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Local fashion roundup for 1.17-1.23

[Linda Farrow/Jeremy Scott sunglasses]

Minneapolis-based e-shop Shop Fatal is getting in the new Linda Farrow sunglasses, many of which have appeared on the face of Lady Gaga. That includes Alexander Wang, KTZ, Walter Van Bierendonck, and Jeremy Scott, and a re-stock of the much loved Bernhard Willhelm Mask frames. [Shop Fatal facebook]

Jane Belfry and photographer Jenn Cress are in Paris for Fashion Week. Jane will be tweeting live from fashion week via @FashionWeekAL. [facebook]

A Tiny Machine reviews the best Golden Globe Red Carpet looks and after-party party dresses. [A Tiny Machine]

Former Project Runway contestant Christopher Straub reviews the second episode of Season 7. []

[A knitwear look by Kevin Kramp]

Voltage 2010 designer Kevin Kramp announces his upcoming move to Winona, where he'll be working for knitwear company St. Croix Collections. The Minnesota-based label, celebrating 50 years this year, is one of the few specialty and high-end knitwear factories in North America. Congrats to Kevin! [facebook]

Various facebook updates from local designers:

Can't wait to snag myself one of these tees by Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman and Michael Cina for l'etoile magazine!

Fashion designer George Moskal is readying designs for Tuesday night's Voltage 2010 retail preview event.

Minnesota ex-pats Coco & Breezy prep for their first New York Fashion Week show, featuring their iconic sunglasses and the debut of their clothing line.

Vision Model Will Defiel rocks the runways at Men's Fashion Week in Milan.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Local fashion roundup for 1.10-1.16

Better late than never - here's my weekly roundup of local fashion links and news.

[Image via]

The Daily Makeover has a step-by-step guide on How to Curl You Hair with a Flat Iron by former Minneapolitan hair stylist Kelsy Osterman. Kelsy is currently working as a stylist at Cutler Salon in NYC. Congrats, Kels! []

This season of Project Runway may not include any local fashion designers, but they're still in the news. Season 6 contestant Christopher Straub is blogging weekly recaps for He also recently posted "lost photos" from behind-the-scenes of Project Runway, Season 6 that includes shots of the tattoos he got with Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman. [, facebook]

Mary O'Regan covers spring fashion in Minnesota and previews local boutique Cliche's upcoming Avoid the Grey fashion show on her Fitting Room blog for METRO Magazine. Cliche designer Kimberly Jurek posts images of her Spring 2010 collection, appearing at Avoid the Grey next week. Look for my preview of Cliche's show on [, facebook]

[Image by Colin Angus]

Check out the edgy new fashion shoot featuring Minneapolis-based model Michael Elmquist of Vision Model Management in a quarterly online menswear|lifestyle magazine called Visual Tales. Click here for more fashion spreads featuring the rising star. Click here to view all the images. [The Fashionisto via Visual Tales Magazine]

North Virginia-based underground arts magazine Beautiful/Decay posts images of the recent custom knitwear from Minneapolis-based fashion designer Annie Larson, a collaboration with fiber artist and Susan Johnson of Avalance, Wisconsin. [Beautiful/Decay]

Check out this video which gives details about Coco & Breezy's upcoming fashion show at New York Fashion Week, in which the sunglasses-designing twins plan to launch their debut clothing line. [Coco & Breezy on facebook]

[Photo from backstage at Voltage 2009 by Jenn Barnett]

Check out these recently uploaded, never-before-seen shots from Voltage 2009 by Jenn Barnett. [facebook via LOL-OMG!]

In Voltage 2010 news, the open model call has been announced for February 6. Click here for details. [Voltage 2010 facebook page.

Midwest fashion blog The Midwasteland has a posted a Duluth shopping guide. [The Midwasteland]

Local fashion designer Kerry Riley's brand-new e-shop is now live. Browse her popular screen-printed t-shirt selection now, with more products promised to be available in the coming month. [Red Shoe Clothing Co.]

Pioneer Press reports that destruction of unsold clothing (as in the recent case with H&M) is a rarity in the Twin Cities. [Pioneer Press]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Faatemah Ampey in "Modern Salon Magazine"

Faatemah Ampey's new spread in Modern Salon Magazine have just been posted, and they are simply gorg.
Here's a sampling of the images from the spread; view the complete spread at

I've covered the rising local hairstylist on Le Petit first when she won an award at the prestigious North American Hairstyling Awards last year and was announced as a contestant on the upcoming season of Shear Genius. She also styled the incredible images in METRO Magazine's November 2009 fashion spread. It's definitely not going to be the last we hear from her.

Choice quote: “I like combining hard and soft. It’s ‘controlled de-construction.’ I am technically strong but can tear it apart.” —Faatemah Ampey

Photography: Roberto Ligresti
Hair: Faatemah Ampey
Make-up: David Maderich for
Fashion Styling: David Widjaja

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In review: Crystal Ball NYE Fashion Show

Finally, more photos are in from the Crystal Ball New Year's Eve fashion show at International Market Square, which featured much-anticipated collections by Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman and Christopher Straub of Project Runway fame. (Here's my earlier mini review of the show.) Unfortunately, they're not the best quality and some looks are missing, but it seems like this is as good as it will get.

Ra'mon's Holiday 2009 collection was delightfully edgy and futuristic - more than one piece looked like something Rihanna or Lady Gaga would rock. In fact, in my interview with Ra'mon for l'etoile magazine, he mentions Gaga as a source of inspiration and said, "It’s very art nouveau meets space-age gothic."

As worn by Tearra, it appears Ra'mon is once again working with his most infamous fabric, Neoprene. He also seems to be jumping on the sheer trend that rocked the Spring 2010 runways.

Another view, where you can really see the sci-fi influence. (Did you know Ra'mon is a Trekkie?)

A classic, bejeweled satin dress worn by Margaret. Very holiday, and very wearable.

The lovely Lily wears Ra'mon's ivory and pale gold "Michelle" dress, which he originally showed at New York Fashion Week as part of his Spring 2010 collection. This is a truly Ra'mon piece - feminine and body-embracing, with unique construction details. (I am lucky enough to own a dress by Ra'mon in the same fabric.) Love the hair piece.

Here's Ra'mon with his models, provided by event sponsor Ignite Models, Inc. I wish I could find a clearer photo of the jeweled jacket second-to-right. I also wish I could see more of the outfit second-to-left - those look to be some pretty hot leggings.

[Photo by Denis Jeong Plaster/City Pages]

Christopher showed a few brand-new pieces - some hits, some misses - as well some pieces from previous collections.

Not sure I am loving the color combination or the leggings, but I could see many girls snatching up the dress.

Love the upper half of this dress. (See a closer up view below in the group shot.) Not so sure I'm digging the length or the satin hem.

Cute, chic, wearable. Again, Christopher uses his trademark layered skirt construction.

Love, love, love this piece. I've had the opportunity to see this up close, and the layers of organza are gorgeous, as is the brocade bust.

Here's a shot of Christopher with his models. I'm still curious about the look on the far left but I think I like what I see. As reported in my story in last week's, Christopher's line will not be available to the public, but Ra'mon promised his collection would be up on his e-shop soon.

[Photo by MJF Foto]

Local designers Amanda Christine, kjurek couture, and PFT Couture also showed pieces from their collections. (Boutiques OPM, Drama, VState, and Parc also presented, but I'm not able to differentiate them from the posted photos.) The highlight was the debut of Amanda Christine's Spring 2010 line:

Such a chic look, perfect for an afternoon on the yacht. The texture of the fabric and the subtle detail of the construction make this piece special, expensive-looking, and wearable.

This black cocktail dress is an extended version of a skirt Amanda did for Fall 2009. Love the neckline, though I think the belt throws off the chic-ness of the look.

La Lily wears a fab aqua dress. Love the interesting cut-in at the shoulders, love the asymmetrically-draped skirt. I believe Amanda is also creating this dress in black - it's sure to be a hit come spring.

This look reminds me of the Amanda Christine of yore, which was a little less body-con, but it still echoes the clean, classic lines seen in this collection. Bravo, Amanda!

Local favorites Pa Thao of PFT Couture and Kimberly Jurek of kjurek couture showed pieces from previous collections, so I won't go too far into depth since these have all been featured in fashion shows previously. Here's my favorite looks from both:

This is kind of an odd angle, but I truly adore Kimberly Jurek's coats. The bell sleeve, shawl collars, and tapestry fabrics have a great vintage feel.

Though it's hard to pick, this is one of my favorite looks from Pa Thao. It was shot for a cover of Twin Cities Luxury & Fashion (since rechristened Twin Cities Statement) last year in a bed of flowers - simply gorgeous.