Designer profile: Tender Cuts

A&E talks to student Emily Bryngelson about her juicily-named clothing line.

PHOTOS COURTESY EMILY BRYNGELSON

PHOTOS COURTESY EMILY BRYNGELSON

Kara Nesvig

Each year, talented designers are busy stitching and draping away over at the St. Paul campus. Sometimes, all that hard work gets them noticed in a big way âÄî take senior Emily Bryngelson , whose breezy, girly line of dresses and separates, called Tender Cuts, has recently been picked up by Lyndale boutique Cliché. Bryngelson chatted with A&E about her lineâÄôs intriguing moniker and its origins as well as her jaunts as a Twin Cities model. WhatâÄôs your background in design? Were you a seamstress as a little girl? I think thatâÄôs the only thing IâÄôve ever been interested in. I canâÄôt remember ever wanting to do anything else. I pretty much taught myself. I had a few classes in high school but I really did just make clothes and thatâÄôs how I learned. What was the first piece you made? It was probably a dress. I attempted to make dresses when I was younger but none really worked out [laughs]. Can you tell me a little bit about your design aesthetic pre- and post-Tender Cuts? ItâÄôs a cross between sweet and edgy. I use a lot of casual fabrics; I donâÄôt really work with silks or anything like that. What inspires you? A lot of stuff inspires me. It usually starts with people. For instance, my spring collection one is inspired by London. I have another collection IâÄôm trying to do for April thatâÄôs going to be inspired by bugs. ItâÄôs kind of weird, but IâÄôm trying to take it into an awesome direction; to turn fearful into inspirational. WhatâÄôs your design process? It starts with my inspiration, then I go back and try to find things that connect. I just sketch like crazy âĦ then I start draping stuff. Where did the name Tender Cuts come from? I was trying to think of a name that would describe my style but be a little âÄúoffâÄù at first, so youâÄôd have to think about it. The first thing I thought of was meat, but if I have this awesome logo with it, then itâÄôs clever. How long have you been selling Tender Cuts at Cliché? I started [working] there in May [as an intern]. I got my clothes in probably two months ago. I love it there! I love [owners] Josh and Delayna and all the other designers there are really great. I got to work with them a lot and that showed me how much fun it is to be a designer at Cliché and in Minneapolis. How do you feel about the local scene? Who are your favorite designers? When I first moved to Minneapolis, I really loved Annie Larson; thatâÄôs the kind of style that I like. I also love Max Lohrbach. He has awesome ideas; they have crazy stories behind them. I was a part of Voltage for a few years as a model âÄî I love Voltage, but I think this year IâÄôm going to try to do my own show in April. IâÄôm starting to plan it right now with a couple girls. IâÄôve been talking to Kathryn Sterner and a couple other girls at Cliché like Niki English and Amanda Chaffin. WeâÄôre trying to put together something cool. How about worldwide fashion designers? I have been definitely loving a lot of London designers lately like Topshop Unique and Luella Bartley. What are your plans post-graduation in May? Hopefully by then IâÄôll have my name out there. IâÄôm going to stay in Minneapolis for a year or two and work out my style, then eventually get a job overseas or in New York and work there. You said you modeled for Voltage. Are you still doing it? I do for my friends. I think in the past I was a model because I wanted to be in the fashion industry. I loved being a part of it. [The first year, Bryngelson modeled for RaâÄômon-Lawrence Coleman and in other years, she walked for Larson and Lorhbach, among others]. I didnâÄôt really have an education then, but now that I do IâÄôm all about the design aspect of it. I want to be the designer and have the models wear my stuff.