Minnesota fashion gets crafty

Artisan-heavy fashion show struts back onto the scene.

Grace Gouker

What: SceneASota

When: November 6 at 8 p.m.

Where: Loft 2, second level of OM,   401 First Avenue N.

Cost: $10 general admission, $15 seated


Sometimes designers get lost in the fray of fashion shows, as unlikely as that may sound. What with all the opening night galas, the after parties and the bands that are bigger suckers for attention than they are, the people who are supposed to be recognized for their exquisite art are overshadowed by all the hoopla that goes along with their events.

SceneASota has not lost its focus on the artisan. A one-night-only fashion event without the hors dâÄôoeuvres and the flim-flam, it highlights local artists and the real merit and grunt work that goes into beautiful pieces of clothing.

âÄúThis show really emphasizes just local designers, and this is just about local fashion,âÄù Maritza Ramirez, lead coordinator of SceneASota, said.

Ramirez founded the event three years ago when she and other students of St. Catherine University were in need of an outlet for their own collections to be showcased.

The event will also show four films throughout the shows âÄî on the runways and featuring the designers themselves âÄî from local filmmakers.

âÄúThe show started out really small, actually, and the first year we had it at the 331 Club. We packed in a lot of people, but we didnâÄôt sell tickets, it was just donation-only. And we had a teeny-tiny runway that just came off of the stage,âÄù Ramirez said.

SceneASota has since blossomed into one of the larger fashion productions in Minneapolis. Though still featuring a small number of designers (only eight this year, and nine accessory designers), the production quality of the event has been exponentially amplified.

 âÄúI think [the event has] been really successful, and I think itâÄôs only going to continue to grow. Each year itâÄôs just gotten more and more professional,âÄù said Kathryn Sterner, one of the designers in the event.

Sterner, working under her Kathryn V. label, is one of the veterans of the event and also participated last year.

Sterner will be joined by a few other vets, as well as a promising student at St. Catherine University, Jenn Bratvold.

This year, SceneASota will also have two male designers. In the past, there hasnâÄôt been any menswear, and the huge gap was promptly and handsomely filled. So if a guy is hesitant about going to something that doesnâÄôt apply to him, he now has no excuse. The menswear is intricate, functional and flawlesslydesigned, capable of easily being translated to a college campus setting.

The artisans all hold promise, but the collection from Frances Zerr (of Ruby3) in particular looks like a collection one could wear in and out of seasons without it losing its zest.

The provincial potentiality of SceneASota is avoided due to the sheer quality of the event, which will have only increased this year.