The new kids on the cellblock

Two fresh Cliché designers prepare to jailhouse rock the runway.

The new kids on the cellblock

by Sally Hedberg

WHAT: ClichéâÄôs Avoid the Grey Fashion Show

WHEN: Jan. 29, 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet Avenue

COST: $15

What Elvis Presley and his intrepid pelvis were to millions of young gals in the âÄô50s, local clothing boutique, Cliché is to the Minneapolis fashion scene: the king. Fitting enough, the theme of their fifth annual Avoid the Grey runway show is âÄúJailhouse Rock.âÄù

âÄúElvis has been a sort of trend in Europe and everywhere else but it hasnâÄôt totally hit here yet,âÄù Cliché co-owner Josh Sundberg said. âÄúWeâÄôre always trying to do something ahead or different or weird.âÄù

Per usual, show goers can expect to drool over the designs of ClichéâÄôs crème de la crème, i.e. Carmichael Claith and Amanda Christine (major kudos to A.C. In October Audrina Patridge was spotted rocking one of her sexy black dresses at an L.A. benefit.) But the seasoned Avoid the Grey-ers are hardly the lone superstars of this yearâÄôs production. There are some talented newbies who are wholly deserving of rapt fashionista attention.

A&E dug up the dirt on two of them.


Though itâÄôs her debut showing at Avoid the Grey, ArielSimone designer Adrienne Yancy is no industry rookie. As a 2008 fashion merchandising graduate from Howard University, sheâÄôs already infiltrated the East Coast with her mature and audacious designs. WeâÄôre talking New York Fashion Week, people.

âÄúBeing on the East Coast was great,âÄù Yancy said. âÄúItâÄôs so fast-paced. It definitely taught me how to get on top of everything.âÄù

Being such a naturally transient person, she feels sheâÄôll inevitably be pulled back, but for now sheâÄôs grateful to be part of the burgeoning Twin Cities fashion community.

For Avoid the Grey, groups of three designers each were assigned a different spring trend to incorporate into their looks. Yancy will be tackling DayGlo, a challenge that leaves the young designer undaunted. In fact she considers it to fall within her own style aesthetic: the working fashionista.

âÄúI like to mix classic silhouettes with bolder colors because my lady doesnâÄôt mind the attention,âÄù Yancy said.

Sarah M. Holm

University of Minnesota clothing design graduate Sarah Holm has a season full of exciting firsts ahead of her. In addition to her Avoid the Grey premiere, sheâÄôs also made the exclusive cut for hyped MN Fashion music and fashion fusion production, Voltage. Her elegant, artistic work combines the avant-garde tendencies of Alexander McQueen or John Galliano, seamed with a refined edge of classic retro.

âÄúI love going outside of my comfort zone,âÄù Holm said. âÄúI often do that to myself. Actually, I do it all the time and I sometimes kick myself for taking on too much, but it has made me a better designer and I like the challenge.âÄù

The trend sheâÄôs been delegated is black-and-white polka dots, and she has opted to go the swimwear route for one of her three looks. Holm feels like itâÄôs an exciting time to be a designer in Minneapolis.

âÄúWeâÄôre embracing the whole idea that Minneapolis can be a fashion innovator and not just copy everything thatâÄôs going on in New York,âÄù Holm said. âÄúItâÄôs such a cool, creative vibe.âÄù

With such solid work under their belts and success within the important fashion fixture that is Cliché, both designers have undisputed Minneapolis fashion scene potential.