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Fashion Winter: Voltage! Preview and Cliche “Avoid The Grey”

3 Feb

Designs by Danielle Everine

Tuesday last, well-dressed and good-looking people gathered in the live/work loft of Vision Management Inc. honcho Teqen Zéa Aida for a preview of this April’s Voltage! Fashion Amplified designers, and get a chance to order the goods. The evening had all Voltage! participants showing; the perpetually well-styled Raul Osorio, Frances Zerr (who also showed as part of the La Nouvelle Femme show last fall), Kelson, clubwear from Elena Mercurio, a very Katherine Hepburn line from Danielle Everine, a breakout selection from Carmichael Claith (more on that later), Voltage! vet George Moskal, a menswear line from Kevin Kramp, taking his oversize knitwear to a body-swaddling end, deliciously painted silks from PFT Couture and elegantly cut works from MPLSART doyenne Emma Berg. All of it made for an exciting look at what to expect, as Voltage! and parent group MNFashion continue to push for high standards of concept and construction amongst local designers. You can see Staciaann’s full set of photos here.

Design by PFT Couture

On Thursday, Uptown boutique and outlet for local fashion Cliché hosted their annual “Avoid The Grey” fashion show at the Old Arizona Theater. Pulling in from the freezing wind, a man in a dark suit and wolf mask pulling off a large silver flask held the door open, suitably setting the tone for the fairy-tale-gone-dark evening. A total of 16 designers showed 5 works apiece, complimented by 9 accessories designers, with some highlights, lowlights and recurring themes. Little Red Riding Hood made an appearance in Arwyn Birch‘s athletic and functional riot grrl inspired line, as well as in a diaphanous and flattering vision from Amanda Christine. Kelson, Red Shoe Clothing Co. (Kerry Riley) and Dawson all showed dresses or skirts with the hips cut out on the diagonal, ostensibly to create a more flattering form and volume and in Kelson and Red Shoe’s case, a bold geometric contrast. Speaking of volume, one of the favorite looks from the night came from Jenny Carle: a simple empire babydoll with black top, grey and black bottom held aloft by black lace crinoline, a lovely example of how fabric can shape if given something to work against.

Design by Amanda Christine

Well established designers continued to show strong work, Amanda Christine expanded her airy vocabulary and Ivan Idland‘s Art Deco constructions continue to flatter, although Kjurek‘s summery dresses felt a little underdone in the dead of winter. The strongest lines overall were ones that were driven by force of personality and had cohesion of practicality and couture. Niki English, known for her handbags, showed a line of form-fitting party dresses whose flourished shoulders and severe cuts owed a debt to the Italian excesses of the 80s, but made a ravishing statement. Carmichael Claith’s designs were the most revelatory and bold- although she has always shown a firm grasp of construction and tailoring, her previous all-tartan, all-Scottish lines seemed overly twee and conceptually contrived. Not so anymore- her five looks were distinct and differentiated, but a wonderfully balanced blend of patterns, bold cuts and restrained ornamentation that nailed not only high concept but practical wearability, the best a boutique can offer. Coupled with some strong looks from Sydney Ilten, sexy librarians from Kathryn Sterner and the youth of Tender Cuts, Cliche should be a fun place to shop this spring. Just remember to try before you buy, and that all the designers are local and looking for work! You can see Staciaann’s full set from the evening here.

Design by Carmichael Claith

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  1. U of M “Insight” Fashion Show | Cake In 15 - February 9, 2010

    […] some bold colors and origami designs, seemed less effervescent than the works she showed at the Cliché “Avoid the Grey” showcase. However, the construction of the pieces and the eye for detail continued to show promise […]

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