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Archive for April 14th, 2011

One of the first looks Emma Berg sent down the runway in tonight’s installment of The Mnfashion Shows was a swingy lipstick red dress with “It gets better” emblazoned across the chest. My smile lasted straight through to the last look: a sleeveless tiered white blouse with skinny lace pants and matching oversized hair bow that Minnie Mouse would die for. There were dresses like the white, below the knee halter style with one dynamite red panel you could imagine a fly girl wearing to a country club pool party juxtaposed with short and sheer with strategically placed sequined palm trees. As Berg said herself in the program, “The collection is filled with drama, confidence and wry humor. It is for a woman comfortable in her skin, who, at times, seeks out mischief.”

The uber-talented knitwear designer Kevin Kramp’s oversized men’s sweaters and clingy knit pants seemed downright practical, compared to his grown man onesies and 20 foot scarves of just a few years ago. The biggest cheers came for the chunky women’s sweater dresses. Some male models wore skinny, wrapped scarves with contrasting ends – and nothing else on top.

These are two talented designers who know how to put on a show. The lights were dim and blue, the music was ominous, both segments opened with a montage of fast moving video snippets – from Emma’s flurry of recent news headlines to Kramp’s appreciation for the male form. Berg and Kramp take the art of fashion very seriously, but aren’t afraid to have fun. That perspective makes for fantastic ride. So it was perfectly fitting that Kramp took his bow on a dirt bike.

Photos courtesy of Ellen Dahl Lawson.

Envision Faves

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Two designers jumped out at me at the Envision: Artopia spring show:  YQY By Vivian and Sydney Ilten.

Vivian Aronson is new to the Twin Cities. YQY stands for her Chinese name, Yuan Qian Yi. She was a model who gravitated toward design. An online store is in the works.
Sydney Ilten is a local girl who returned to the Twin Cities after earning a degree in fashion design at Iowa State University. Her day job is stylist and inventory specialist for Hot Mama and she sells her designs online and at Cliche.
The designers sent chic, wearable dresses down the runway – Ilten with a bit of a preppy, classic American vibe; Aronson’s designs have a feminine, romantic appeal. Both impressed me as being well crafted and – perhaps most important for someone hoping to make fashion her day job – wearable.
Photos by Chris McDuffie. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved