Shock ‘n’ Roll at Voltage

Voltage: Fashion Amplified 2009 is a chic statement that MPLS stands among fashion’s finest

The designers from Calpurnia Peach met in the University's college of design. PHOTO COURTESY VOLTAGE FASHION AMPLIFIED.

Ashley Goetz

The designers from Calpurnia Peach met in the University’s college of design. PHOTO COURTESY VOLTAGE FASHION AMPLIFIED.

Voltage: Fashion Amplified WHEN: April 24, 9 p.m. WHERE: First Avenue Main Room, 701 First Ave. N. PRICE: Door, $30 While students were hanging on to the end of summer by watching âÄúAmericaâÄôs Next Top Model âÄù marathons, the Voltage committee was already brainstorming and booking bands. Work for this yearâÄôs âÄúVoltage: Fashion Amplified,âÄù the annual highlight of springâÄôs MNfashion Week , began early last September. Voltage harbors the fusion of local designers and community bands, which coalesce into a show with a burgeoning style and sassy attitude reminiscent of a John Galliano Paris production. Executive Producer Anna Lee said, âÄúItâÄôs always been about the combination of fashion and rock âÄònâÄô roll and the way that different art mediums play off of each other.âÄù Voltage features 10 local designers, all with different, complex styles. Among the highlights is Ivan Idland, who studied at Concordia College, Moorhead. His pieces feature angular patterns reminiscent of Missoni throwbacks and muted two-tone dresses with square pops of color that give them a Super Nintendo vibe. Another designer rocking the runway is Amanda Christine, a College of St. CatherineâÄôs graduate who focuses on sustainable design along with simple contouring akin to BCBGMaxAzria. With bright colors and slightly embellished feminine flair, her lineâÄôs simple, sloping curves play off each other like modernist architecture. Each of the five musical acts will herald two designers each. Local rising star Maria Isa is a hip-hop-infused version of the type music that prowls the runways during fashion week in Paris. With beats influenced heavily by her Puerto Rican folkloric roots, Isa will dazzle the crowd and add some bad girl style of her own to the show. For another set, the psychedelic garage band First Communion Afterparty will set a few of their more methodic jams into action. While Voltage has become a stunningly executed event that has the ability to launch careers, its roots were humble. With just a few backers and a whole lot of gumption, Lee set out to start Voltage in 2003. She says she came up with the idea because âÄú[local] designers needed better representation âĦ the right type of outlet for their work,âÄù and the show has been growing ever since. To accommodate the rapid expansion, the number of people throwing their weight behind it has increased as well. The committee has more than tripled to 20 people, including professional stylists and volunteer coordinators. âÄúWe have a great team this year,âÄù Lee said. âÄúThere are hundreds of people that are giving their time.âÄù Behind the scenes, Voltage now provides everything from modeling workshops for those prancing down the catwalk, to a design panel that frequently critiques the fashion lines and offers advice in direction, marketing and pricing. This yearâÄôs show features lead styling by MinneapolisâÄô premiere stylist team, Eclecticoiffeur . Jahna Peloquin, the fashion stylist for Eclecticoiffeur and lead stylist for Voltage, said âÄúWeâÄôve added that extra element of detail, bringing up the level of professionalism and style.âÄù They have aimed to both highlight each individual fashion designer and support cohesion into a chic, super-show that feels wholly punk-inspired. To do that, stylists have done everything from adding feathers onto the designerâÄôs shoes, to constructing black crowns and bangles to make the lines look fierce and holistically hardcore. Eclecticoiffeur has also aided the concluding designer Max Lohrbach , a graduate from the Chicago School of Arts Institute, whose style is marked by hand-painted fabric and intricate embellishments. Peloquin assisted in creating flashy headpieces and customized wigs for the line to help end the show with a daring flourish. Fashion and music aside, the fashion-forward attendees will nab a 2009 lookbook featuring a single look from each stylista that defines their line for the season. Peloquin said the lookbooks this year were âÄúinspired by fashion editorial spreads,âÄù and also hold the showâÄôs program and credits. The stylist team chose to use only one model for all of the spreads this year to give a more cohesive look at each of the lines, a distinctive overview of Minneapolis fashion. The ticket also includes an invitation to the Voltage Afterparty, which will be hosted in the same space as the fashion show. Producer Lee said, âÄúThis is the first time weâÄôve had First Ave all night.âÄù Lee added that she is âÄúabsolutely thrilled,âÄù but her work never stops. âÄúIâÄôm already planning the 2010 show.âÄù Peloquin believes that Voltage is a show that will prove designers âÄúcan do high-end fashion in Minneapolis, just like in Paris or any other place in the world.âÄù