A (super) high fashion show

Superheroes, villains and variations of the classic red cape will parade the runway at the RED: [Super] High Fashion show.

Sophomore Julia Roberts gets her hair done on Sunday at Studio 1414 in Northeast Minneapolis for a photo shoot for the upcoming RED: Super High Fashion show that will be on Saturday, May 4, 2013.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Sophomore Julia Roberts gets her hair done on Sunday at Studio 1414 in Northeast Minneapolis for a photo shoot for the upcoming RED: Super High Fashion show that will be on Saturday, May 4, 2013.

Shannon Ryan

What: RED: [Super] High Fashion

 

When: 7 p.m., Saturday

 

Where: Studio 1414, 1414 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis

 

Cost: $15 GA; $35 premium; $75 VIP

 

 

Fantasy meets fashion Saturday evening at the RED: [Super] High Fashion show in Northeast Minneapolis. Putting their creative energy and design dexterity to the test, 11 University of Minnesota students will compete for cash prizes and exposure in a competition benefiting a nonprofit children’s organization. The philosophical concepts of good and evil will walk the runway in the forms of superheroes and villains. Thirty-three models, most
of them University students, will be transformed into fictitious characters on the catwalk in Studio 1414.

The event began as the elaborate honors thesis of University senior Rah Riley, who intended to execute a spring fashion show for her final project. Riley partnered with the student group Fashion and Business to render her vision of hosting a fashion show unlike any other — one that highlights the strength of women while still showcasing the creativity of youth culture.

“I love creating experiences for people,” Riley said, “and the whole idea for [RED] is the classic superhero goes high fashion. It’s using the talent of these young design students as a way to empower women in the fashion industry. It’s about empowering the super-heroine.”

This group of female students — 10 within the apparel design program and one a student studying aerospace engineering — has been busy inside and outside the classroom. RED is an extracurricular project for the designers. And for some, it’s a completely foreign design process.

“This project is new for me, but I’m really excited,” apparel design sophomore Bridget Erl said. “It’s pushing me to do something different because I’m really used to designing ready-to-wear clothing, and this is far more costume-y.”

Each designer will create three types of garments: a superhero, a villain to complement it and their own version of a red cape. The designers were not limited in terms of where they could harness inspiration from; some took from the idea of a femme fatale while others looked to Greek mythology for their muses. There’s a different story behind every set of designs.

To evoke the designer’s story, the models are able to take on the character they were assigned. Sophomore Julia Roberts, who’s modeling one of Elizabeth Davelaar’s garments, is elated to play a part obscure to her personality.

“I’m going to be the villain,” said Roberts, “and it’s based off of Maleficent from ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ I’m kind of a sweet girl, a little bit quieter, so getting to portray someone who’s completely different from me is exciting and a big challenge.”

Saturday evening, the industrial high-impact Studio 1414 will be transformed into a cove of dark fiction, revealing the hard work and passion that went into RED.

“People aren’t in this for fame or money,” Riley said. “It’s all volunteer. We’re doing this because we’re passionate about fundraising and design, and I love that about this event.”