Calamity Janes

A new fashion collective hits the runway with Calamity!, their first big production.

Kara Nesvig

Calamity! WHEN: 8 p.m., Thursday, May 20 WHERE: The Lab Theater, 700 First St. N. TICKETS: $12 in advance/$15 at door (Sold at Cliché boutique) Collectives are so hot right now. Think La Nouvelle Femme, the Rain Collective, 1419 art collective âĦ the list goes on. Talented folks just flock together, and the ladies behind Calamity! are no different. After participating in a variety of homegrown fashion shows, young designers and University of Minnesota students Emily Bryngelson, Kathryn Sterner, Niki English and Amanda Chaffin came together to form Minneapolis Fashion Initiative, a group with a âÄúdesire to shift the face of local fashion toward a more tangible local industry.âÄù Their first project? The fashion show Calamity!, dedicated to street style and focused on showcasing their talents to a new crowd of Twin Cities fashionistas and stylish gents. After using the concept of found objects to spark their creativity and inspiration, the designers set to work creating their lines, which stress the importance of versatile separates. âÄúWeâÄôre all bringing something to the show. ItâÄôs not just a show of dresses,âÄù said Bryngelson. âÄúWe want the audience to think, âÄòOh, I want that skirt to wear with this thing I already have.âÄô âÄù The designers secured a venue âÄî the spacious and modern Lab Theater âÄî and hired Ignite models to walk the show. âÄúI think itâÄôs bigger than we thought it would be,âÄù Sterner said. Cliché , where Sterner and Bryngelson sell their respective lines Kathryn V. and Tender Cuts, signed on to sponsor, as did Taj Salon and Grain Belt beer. Their friend DJ Famuel , a mashup artist, will provide the soundtrack. âÄúTwo thirds of our meetings are crazy ideas [for the show],âÄù Sterner said. âÄúBut when we all agree, then we go for it,âÄù added Bryngelson. Since each involved designer has her own style and aesthetic, donâÄôt expect Calamity! to have a restrictive overarching theme. Bryngelson describes her line of 10 looks as âÄúa cross between a trunk of granny stuff and youthful, but eclectic [separates].âÄù SheâÄôs using floral prints and polka-dots alongside a palette of teal, periwinkle and melon. Sterner, working with graphic artist Scott Ray , has been busy experimenting with dyeing fabrics in zesty yellows and turquoise. SheâÄôs showing rompers and short-shorts in a âÄô60s style, accented with animal-print patterns. According to Bryngelson and Sterner, EnglishâÄôs line will be âÄúedgy, strong, and pow!âÄù SheâÄôs broadening her futuristic, punk-influenced style by experimenting with pants and shorts. Chaffin is showing the collection of ladylike separates she presented (and won for) at Artopia. For Calamity, sheâÄôs planning to punk it up a little with accessories and bright shawls. As for the name of their brainchild, the ladies said it was quite the ordeal to decide on the appropriate word. âÄúIt gets across our point of doing something new,âÄù said Bryngelson. âÄùItâÄôs a malleable word and it means something different to everyone,âÄù Sterner added.