Designer Highlights: Four to look for

MSP Fashion Week closes with the signature two-night event The Shows featuring ten designers. Here are four of their minds to peek at.

Designer Max Lohrbach cuts material for one of his pieces Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, in Minneapolis. Lohrbach will be showing his work in the first night of The Shows at Aria.

Bridget Bennett

Designer Max Lohrbach cuts material for one of his pieces Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, in Minneapolis. Lohrbach will be showing his work in the first night of The Shows at Aria.

Shannon Ryan

What: The Shows

When: 7:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday

Where: Aria, 105 N. First St., Minneapolis

Cost: $25

 

Fashion will come to life this evening and the next in the most anticipated event of the week: the runway shows. Featuring the most promising design talent of Twin Cities fashion, this year’s showcase comes at the tail end of MSP Fashion Week and will present attendees with the Fall/Winter 2013 collections of 10 designers.

We spoke with four of the event’s top talents about their design styles and their ready-to-be-unveiled collections. Two individuals from Thursday’s show, Gina Marie Landes, adored by the vintage darlings, and Max Lohrbach, an eccentric provocateur’s design delight, are ones to note during the evening. For Friday’s show, head back to the ’90s for an acid trip into club-kid digs with Samantha Rei’s collection, and peep the bubblegum and candy corn fusions from Project Runway sweetheart Christopher Straub.

 

Gina Marie Landes

 

Can you describe your design style?

It’s vintage-inspired, and by that I mean I’ve always loved how vintage pieces can stay in your closet for years and [you can] take them out each time and recreate them with current trends and different kinds of styling: with shoes, purses or accessories. I want to create pieces that aren’t overly trendy and can stick with you and can be worn differently.

 

Tell me about the inspiration for this fall 2013 collection.

For this collection I wanted to really design pieces that could travel easily and be mixed and matched for different looks with older pieces. This collection definitely has a more fitted and feminine feeling unlike my previous season, which was more bohemian and had more flow.

 

Max Lohrbach

 

Can you describe your design style?

Generally it changes. I guess my aim is to make really unique, provocative, funny and luxury items. Often it’s the clothes as an object in itself versus a rack full of gray pants.

 

Tell me about the inspiration for this fall 2013 collection.

There are a lot of things that I would say were inspiration for it. It’s really not only a runway collection but also a collection of objects. [The pieces] stand on their own. Aesthetically they fit together, but logically they wouldn’t really. I’m going for the slutty, ’40s, lux aesthetics this time, and I’m doing men’s clothes.

It’s styled is if you’re going to the outhouse — you would just throw on a coat over your underpants, so it’s very paired-down. It’s a variation of underwear, shorts, mittens and hats, mittens and party dresses and so on. That’s how I avoided making too many pairs of gray pants.

 

Samantha Rei

 

Can you describe your design style?

Up until very recently I was mostly a Lolita designer, so I did a lot of feminine dresses, sweet and modest types of things, and I’ve been branching out away from that.

 

Tell me about the inspiration for this fall 2013 collection.

I was really inspired by ’90s club kids. When I was 13 [or] 14 I used to watch all the daytime talk shows during the summer, and they’d have kids on all the time, and I was like they’re so awesome. I’ve always really liked that aesthetic. And in the last couple of seasons I’ve started doing prints with guest artists. The artist that did my print this season is a minka artist, and she mostly does love stories, but in the last, maybe, five years she has been doing horror comics, and I was like, “Whoa, we could get beautiful and monsters, she’d be perfect for this!” So [the collection] is a mishmash of monsters and club kids and candy and sweetness and scariness and all that kind of crazy outlandish stuff.

It’s all kind of like badass rocker girl waiting for the bus to a party. There are a lot of acid plaids and stripes and polka dots and weird prints.

 

Christopher Straub

 

Can you describe your design style?

I love using whimsy in my design aesthetic. I love to use elements that people wouldn’t look at as design inspiration. In the past it’s been things like honeycombs or abalone shells and things like that from nature.

 

Tell me about the inspiration for this fall 2013 collection.

This time I’m actually taking my inspiration from items found in a candy store and transforming images of those candies into prints that are showcased on the dresses. I took images of red gummy bears and pink rock candy and turned them into prints, and then I paired them with texture. I always have to have texture in every collection, like this collection has some fringe — from hints of fringe to entire fringe outfits.

I’m working with a very narrow color palette on this collection — pink, red and white, so it’s very easy to look at. It’s so romantic looking and very soothing. In terms of silhouette, a lot of the dresses are very bodycon style, really defining a woman’s silhouette. There are also some exaggerated styles, but mostly this is a feminine, romantic collection.