Friday, April 29, 2011

local fashion link roundup: 4.23-4.29

Here's the week in review in local fashion, from Le Petit and other local bloggers.

[Photo of Joan Erakit by Ellen Dahl Lawson/The Minneapoline]

Ellen Dahl Lawson does a Q&A with and Brown Girl Files style blogger Joan Erakit for The Minneapoline.

Joan Erakit recaps Voltage: Fashion Amplified for national blog Frank 151.

Kara Nesvig does some hilarious dude beauty interviews with local writer and man-about-town Jay Gabler and fellow writer Jay Boller for her beauty blog, Vanity Project. She also does a beauty interview with local blogger/stylist Jane Belfry.

Kara Nesvig reviews the new skincare line by local beauty guru and writer Elizabeth Dehn, By Elizabeth Dehn. Click here for details on her May 12 launch event.

Fashionasty blogger Jake Thompson has resurrected his Street Meat street style feature.

The Minneapolitan reports on artist Miles Mendenhall (who was a finalist in reality show Work of Art) and his new artist collective, Faux Poco, which includes fashion and textile designer Luci Kandler of the late, great Calpurnia Peach label.

Cake in 15 just posted its review of Voltage: Fashion Amplified, and it's the most detailed, extensive review of the show out there, with photos by Stacy Schwartz and words by Carl Atiya Swanson.

Check out MPLS.TV's Voltage edition of "What the F**k Are You Wearing?", with video by Dan Huiting.

I review last Saturday's Sol Inspirations eco-fashion show for, and do a closer look at the competing designs for Le Petit. Metromix takes crowd and runway shots at the show, while METRO Magazine fashion editor Mary O'Regan takes runway and crowd shots for her blog, Art of Wore. Hina Khan has backstage photos of the Evolution Hair team at work. Beth Hammarlund reviews the show for l'etoile magazine. SeƱorita Susan also reviews the show for her blog.

I preview next month's April Showers Bring Bitch Flowers drag fashion show for and next weekend's Walker Local Artist Jewelry Mart for Le Petit.

I announce news of Project Runway's Christopher Straub's new underwear collection over at

I preview this weekend's Craftstravaganza craft show, Mighty Swell Vintage pop-up sale & Ini Iyamba's new CAPSULE collection at June for this week's issue of

l'etoile magazine publishes its whimsical, adorable paper dolls-themed spread featuring Voltage 2011 designs, as illustrated by Lisa Luck. reports that Up Six Vintage provided the dress for Elizabeth Bank's character in last night's episode of 30 Rock, after the show's stylist spotted it on Up Six's Etsy shop.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just announced: April Showers Bring Bitch Flowers

The annual drag show and party put on by stylist/interior designer Richard Anderson's drag persona, Bitch Flowers, April Showers Bring Bitch Flowers is always a gay old time. Held in the decadent Varsity Theater, the show features bitchy drag queen comedy and performances from Bitch Flowers, Krystal Kleer and Camille Collins, with special guests Polly and the Hot Buttered Crackers and Esme Rodriguez with live music from Harley Wood and Wrecked Wheelhouse, and rounds out with a riotous dance party spun by DJ Shiek. In a stylish twist, this year's edition ups the glam factor with the inclusion of restyled spring lines from local designers Emma Berg (hot off a solo showing during MNfashion Week), Voltage 2011 designers Raul Osorio and Ivan Idland, and DIY-styled lingerie line Lollycopter. It should be a night of campy fun.

Raul Osorio's spring 2011 collection photos by Amy Miller

Emma Berg's spring 2011 collection runway photos by Stephen Stephens/Digital Crush

Ivan Idland's spring 2011 collection runway photo by

Lollycopter spring 2011 collection photos by Eric Snyder

Show details: 7:30 p.m. doors. Friday, May 27. $12 advance/$15 door. 18-plus. Varsity Theater, 1308 4th St. SE., Minneapolis, 612-604-0222.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Next weekend: The Walker's Local Artist Jewelry Mart

Just in time for Mother’s Day shopping, the Walker Shop is back with another installment of its popular Local Artist Jewelry Mart. The day-long trunk show showcases one-of-a-kind pieces by nineteen local jewelry artists and designers from the Twin Cities - most of which are not usually carried at the Shop.

I have long been a fan of Lauren Neal's Carrier Pigeon line, which is muted and minimal yet detailed and quietly bold. Each piece seems to carry a story. She does all original castings in gold and silver. I am really digging this silver ring.

Renee Larson is known for her whimsical, vintage-inspired designs.

Lefthand Originals by Larissa Loden are always fun and quirky. She designed a very cool line exclusively to go with designer Ivan Idland's collection at this year's Voltage - expect to see some of those pieces at the sale.

I hadn't yet heard of Annika Kaplan, but I really love this edgy, minimalist design.

Tia Keoubounpheng's minimalist, modern silvercocoon line is regularly carried at the Walker Shop, but expect to see some of her bolder, statement pieces in molded plastic.

Other designers featured include Brittany Foster of BMF Jewelry, Tasha Rae Tatro of Tasha Rae Jewelry, Mel Tudisco, Rebecca Wicklund, Yen Chee, Bridget Clark, Britta Kauppila of Britta Lynn Designs, Marisa Martinez of Meztiza Designs, Lauren Nicole, Liz Oie, Sarah Sitarz of Sarah Michaela Designs, Jill Smith, Molly Spilane, and Helen Wang.

Bonus: If you "like" the Walker Shop on Facebook, you can receive 20 percent off all Walker Shop purchases April 27 to May 4. Walker members always receive 10 percent off at the Walker Shop.

Details: 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in the Walker’s Medtronic Gallery, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-375-7633,

Christopher Straub announces new underwear collection

[Originally posted at]

Last night via his Twitter account, local designer and Project Runway alum Christopher Straub announced a return to his roots. He'll be debuting an all-new underwear collection for beginning this summer, with a women's collection to follow. Straub infamously got his start selling men's underwear crafted from vintage t-shirts under the name Cricket Syndicate out of his backback in Minneapolis nightclubs in the early 2000s, and the relics are now considered by many a collectible form of pop art. No word yet on whether this new collection will be made from recycled tees, but that was the underwear's main appeal so let's hope he does.

[Photo via]

You can see new underwear designs from Straub on May 12 at the underwear-themed Retrorama 6 at the Minnesota History Center.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A closer look: Sol Inspirations' designer challenge

When I first wrote my initial review of last Saturday's Sol Inspirations eco-fashion show for, I was missing a handful of images from each of the six competing designers. Now that more images have trickled in, I wanted to take a more in-depth look at each designer's three looks.

Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman
, in town from his new home in New York, had the most relevant, stylish collection of the bunch. His stunning orange gown with a high slit at the back thigh was best-in-show and the drape, bold color and asymmetry were all quintessentially Ra'mon, though the African print jacket he paired with it looked a little dated and thrown-on. (Apparently, the jacket was added to satisfy the solar panel requirement.) I didn't notice the beaded shoulder until looking at photos now, and it's quite a lovely, exotic detail.

[Photo by Jules Christman]

His sustainable look is a another perfect example of Ra'mon's signature aesthetic: a classic, figure-flattering silhouette rendered in pretty fabrics, which a lent an edge by giving a slightly disheveled and asymmetrical look to it all.

[Photo by Jules Christman]

For his upcycled look, Ra'mon played with artistic colorblocking. Despite the unusual shapes and gathers, I think it is an unusual, eye-catching design - especially when looking at the textures of the fabric up close:

Niki English's was my initial choice for the winner. She wowed with a trio of looks that pushed the boundaries of what would be considered wearable, and of the designers, most fully lived up to the challenges. Her strongest look was a neon tie-dyed dress with two metallic side panels and a black, shiny yoke, which worked to satisfy the challenge (upcycled fabrics) while exhibiting Niki's signature futuristic, gothy edginess and pushing the boundaries.

[Photo by Jules Christman]

She wasn't quite as successful with her bodiced dress outfitted with a jutting, sculptural, tulle-filled skirt. Though the bodice was gorgeous, my only criticism would be that she perhaps took her designs too far, incorporating too many elements into one piece.

[Photo by Jules Christman]

Once again, for her sustainable fabrics challenge, she perhaps over-designed a bit, meshing tons of multi-colored fabric with L.E.D. lights. The look could have used a waist, and all that folded fabric ended up making the (very thin) model look a bit thick. But of the designer, Niki seemed to push design a bit more and really put on a show, which seems to be the point of a design competition. More is better than less in this case.

Project Runway season six contestant and local darling Christopher Straub won the competition with three edgy, architectural looks. Surprisingly, they were more McQueen than the ruffly, cute looks he's better known for. That's not to say the looks weren't well-designed - I particularly liked his printed denim bustier & leggings (though on the fence the froo froo underskirt) for the upcycled challenge - but they didn't seem very Christopher.

[Photo by Jules Christman]

In fact, his unusual materials look couldn't be more McQueen (spring 2010 specifically) with its insect-like bodice and detailed, graphic print.

[Photo by Jules Christman]

The same went for his sustainable fabrics look, which was edgy yet organic. I do love the fabric selected for the dress, which appears to have a bamboo print. In the end, I shouldn't have been so surprised that Straub won - the three looks are all well-constructed, cohesive and satisfied the challenges. But the looks have been done before, whereas it seemed like at least Niki English was reaching for something more, and Ra'mon showed innovation while staying true to his unique aesthetic.

For her upcycled challenge, formerly-local knitwear designer Allilamodie (now based out of Chicago) showed a chic, oversized knit sweater over skinny leather-looking pants - a strong streetwear look to be sure, but it didn't exactly say "design competition." Based on the strength of her design portfolio on her website, it does seem like the designer is upping her game as of late. She may be one to watch when it comes to chunky, ready-to-wear knits.

[Photo via Art of Wore]

For her unusual materials look, she selected an intriguing "fabric," the metallic material she used appearing scale-like and creating interesting movement as it went down the runway. It wasn't clear what materials were incorporated, and that's one qualm I had with the show - information regarding materials from what each piece was crafted wasn't provided. As for the design of the dress, I don't think it's particularly flattering, and the back had some extremely strange fringe on the shoulders:

[Photo by Jules Christman]

[Photo via Art of Wore]

New-to-Minneapolis designer Tara LaTour's bridal-y dresses were cute and well-constructed but pretty safe. (Apparently, she is best-known for her bridal designs.) And in white and off-white shades, they faded into the background amongst the other more highly-designed pieces other designers sent down the runway.

[Photo by Jules Christman]

The team of Atom Pechman and Jenn Bratvold too seemed outmaneuvered by the competition. I had to review the photos from the show to remember what they showed, and that's never a good sign. In photos, the looks don't appear to fit the model all that well, or just aren't well-constructed to begin with. For this look, the boots stole the show - which isn't a good sign in a design competition. The jacket is sort of a cool idea conceptually, but it strangely cuts the model off in mid-bust. And what is that fabric - crushed velvet?

[Photos by Jules Christman]

Apart from being rendered in awful-looking fabrics, this hooded look is also quite strangely designed. Who wants to wear a vest that is only open to expose the breasts?

[Photo by Jules Christman]

Their upcycled look was sort of pretty (if impractical) with its flowing chiffon half-train and bodice with short-shorts.

[Photo by Jules Christman]

Click here for more photos by Jules Christman.

Style diary: Sol Inspirations eco-fashion show

Last Saturday, I attended the Sol Inspirations eco-fashion show. (Read my review for here.) Since my old friend and longtime collaborator Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman was one of the competing designers, I found it only fitting to wear one of his designs - a one-of-a-kind runway piece from his spring 2008 collection (borrowed from the closet of Emma Berg). I paired it with a bright yellow feather neckpiece by new accessory designer KR Designs (currently available at Cliche for about $64), a beaded silk baguette given to me by friend Teri, and blue silk ankle-wrap pumps by DKNY from Opitz Outlet.

Here I am with designer Raul Osorio and l'etoile creative director and founder Beth Hammarlund.

[Photo via Art of Wore]

Here I am with former Minneapolitan Hina Khan (who does a fun style blog), in town from L.A. for the weekend in a spring 2011 Needle & Black dress by Kerry Riley; Raul; Beth; and designer Emma Berg in Raul Osorio spring 2011.

New designer spotlight: Molly Erickson's long beaded earrings

I got turned onto brand-new jewelry designer Molly Erickson via knitwear designer Annie Larson's blog, and immediately fell in love with her unique, super-long, colorful beaded dangle earrings. When I contacted the designer, I found she was not yet selling the earrings officially, but hopes to set up a retail site by the end of the week. Keep your ears to the ground - I'll let you know as soon as I hear.

[Photo via Annie Larson]

l'etoile's Paper Dolls Voltage spread

Via l'etoile magazine:

We took some of our favorite looks off the runway of Voltage: Fashion Amplified and handed them over to local illustrator Lisa Luck! We've long been a fan of Lisa's whimsical, color-rich paintings: you may have seen them floating around town under the guise of gig posters for Twin Cities' bands or as promotional pieces for Yeti Records (the cute record shop that Lisa co-owns with her husband Jake). Who better to indulge our girlish fantasies of having our own book of paper dolls paired with local designer creations?

All 10 runway designers from Voltage: Fashion Amplified are represented, along with Lisa's charming illustrations. Click the flipbook below to view in magazine format, or download the spread in PFD format here to cut out and play!

Photos of clothing by Stephen Stephens / Illustrations by Lisa Luck / Styling by Jahna Peloquin

Monday, April 25, 2011

Video: Fashion Dance for Life

On Friday night, I unfortunately missed MNfashion Week event Fashion Dance for Life, put on by Jaron Green and John-Mark of Eleve Productions which benefited the Hughes Foundation. The show had a mix of fashion and dance choreography, featuring dancers, models and local fashion from Sina Yi, Mae Rodgers and Tony Eliason, veteran designers Ariel Simone and Anna Woodling. The group did release a gorgeous video which gives you an idea of what the show would've been like.

Peter Holme Photography has photos from the event.

Kelsy Osterman talks the Kate Middleton cut on NYC news

Minnesota native hairstylist Kelsy Osterman is making news while working for Cutler Salon in New York. In this video clip ABC-7 News in New York, she talks about the latest hot cut that everyone is asking for: the Kate Middleton.

Coco & Breezy collab with Vuarnet, get worn by Beyonce

The ever-busy designing duo of Coco & Breezy have been seeing success after success since moving to New York from their hometown of Minneapolis a couple of years ago.

During their recent stint in Paris, the duo had the opportunity to collaborate with legendary French designer Vuarnet on a blinged-out helmet:

Meanwhile, they're got even more celebs wearing their accessories. In her recent kids' campaign "Let's Move!", Beyonce wears Coco & Breezy's "Uni" bracelet:

[Photos courtesy Coco & Breezy]

Jane Belfry gets a style makeover for New York-based blog Style Like U

In the ongoing "Second Skin," series from New York-based style blog Style Like U local stylist/blogger Jane Belfry gets a one-day style makeover from Style Like U editor Roxanne Fequiere. It's quite fun to see Jane's usual '50s-meets-'70s classic retro look be transformed into tomboyish, complete with high-waisted trousers, loafers, glasses and a headscarf.

SECOND SKIN: Jane and Roxy from StyleLikeU on Vimeo.

Jane was also recently featured in Style Like U's "Unifying Thread" feature on head pieces, wearing a vintage Halston topper.

[Photo courtesy Style Like U]

Local inspiration: muses and lenses

Apologies to regular readers of my weekly muses and lenses photo feature - MNfashion Week took over my life (and blog) for the past couple of weeks so I haven't gotten around to posting until now. Here's a compilation of images culled over the past few weeks via Facebook, Twitter and the blogroll featuring local photographers and their subjects.

WERQ, Naures. Bitch knows how to pose. (Photo: Marissa Wetzel)

Danielle Morris gets her Nick and Eddie "mugshot", courtesy of Cindy Ivy.

Little Man's Chris Perricelli looks straight out of the '70s in this shot photographed and art directed by Emily Unte.

Hairstylist Jessie Quast ponders her reflection.

Photog Amy Gee snaps housemate (and beauty blogger) Kara Nesvig posing hard.

Local model Ashley Hawks updates her portfolio.

Photographer Sohail Akhavein shoots style blogger Kara Nesvig taking a glamorous shower.

Amy Gee shoots a sophisticated profile of designer Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman.

Emily Utne goes behind-the-scenes at the Emma Berg promo video shoot with Vision model Mary Cann.

Lindsey Tauer poses for Mighty Swell Vintage.

Ignite Models Inc. debuts new talent Aja. (Photo: Billy Rood)

Photographer Louisa Podlich features the lovely singer-songwriter Haley Bonar as part of her .onethirtyfive. project with writer Christian Dahlager.

METRO Magazine fashion editor Mary O'Regan hangs out on the rooftop.

Photographer Eliesa Johnson does a road warrior-style test shoot, complete with motorcycles.

Style blogger Kitty Cotten wears neon Gojane pumps.

Song of the Exile style blogger Julia wears a blouse by Project Runway season 2 winner Chloe Dao.

Twee Nguyen models a dress from Local Motion, as photographed by Minneapolis Affair.

Dirty Hair Halo blogger Shannon Licari is hippie chic in peach.