Gerdes' report from Fashion Week

Local fashion designer Katherine Gerdes just got back from three days at Fashion Week in New York. The former "Project Runway" contestant made the rounds of high-profile fashion shows, culminating at the Project Runway Season 4 finale. What did she think of this year's crop of up-and-coming designers' lines? "I was really impressed," she said. "Rami [Kashou] was definitely my favorite." She also thought Christian Siriano's collection was "amazing," though she said "it wasn't very surprising." The show also gave her the opportunity to run into old "Runway" alums: Season 1 winner Jay McCarroll, Season 2 winner Chloe Dau and Season 3 fan favorite Malan Breton. Gerdes' time at Fashion Week couldn't have been complete without a few token celebrity sightings: For the Michael Kors show, she sat next to Donald and Melania Trump, and she literally brushed shoulders with Victoria Beckham at the "PR" finale. Gerdes currently is working on her 2008 line for Voltage: Fashion Amplified, which will feature her trademark draped jersey dresses, but this time made from a sustainable bamboo jersey and dip-dyed.

  • Jahna Peloquin

Shake it for your favorite DJ

If the Grammys bored you last weekend, here's an awards show that will literally have you dancing. The Twin Cities' annual Best Club DJ Awards go down Sunday at Envy. Presented by the website TwinCitiesNightClubs.com, these awards are a good way to give props to the guys who keep you moving every weekend. The top three (decided by fan voting online) will win awards, and 16 DJs will perform short sets. (10 p.m. Sunday 2/17.)

  • Tom Horgen

Shatterproof

What do you get when you cross goth/punk makeup, Kool-Aid-dyed hair and kitschy photography? Minneapolis' newest fashion rag, Shattered Glam. The magazine's tagline is "Not for the Jane Plain," but to give you a better idea, imagine a Hot Topic catalog with lower production values. The articles are somewhat random -- the first issue features a story on a female snowmobiler, which seems straight out of a hot-chick-on-a-hot-rod magazine. But there's something to be said about its counter-mainstream take on fashion and style, and you can't argue with a free subscription. Visit www.shattered-glam.com to sign up for yours.

  • Jahna Peloquin

mnartists takes a Spin

The web site mnartists.org has started a new quarterly songwriting contest, called mnSpin. A three-person panel -- Dessa of local hip-hop crew Doomtree, Chris Roberts from 89.3 FM (the Current) and Kate Galloway from Compass Productions -- chose the best of 80 tracks submitted over the winter. Each week, three new songs are posted at the site. Entries range from newcomers (Bella Koshka, Alison Rae) to established performers (Ellis, Chris Perricelli of Little Man). A listening party and professional workshop are planned each quarter, and there is talk of a compilation CD featuring winning tracks. So far, many winners have been acoustic storytellers, but MnSpin coordinator Rachel Joyce said many genres were represented in round one -- "from electronica dance music to folk to sort of avant-garde electronic compositions. I'm hoping other rounds bring more world music, native musicians, folk and bluegrass."

  • Megan Kadrmas

New season, more drinking

The local TV show "Drinking With Ian" will tape episodes for its fifth season Friday in First Avenue's mainroom. The music-and-drinking variety show, hosted by master drinker Ian Rans, will invite guests Jim Walsh and Mel Gibson and the Pants, among others. Catch episodes Thursday nights at 12:30 a.m. on MCN Ch. 6, or online at DrinkingWithIan.com. But it's best to see it live.

  • Tom Horgen

MN goes SXSW

The lineup for next month's South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, was just released with a whopping 17 Twin Cities-based artists on it. They range from a couple shoo-ins (Tapes 'N Tapes, Dan Wilson) to many returnees (Cloud Cult, Mark Mallman, Birthday Suits, Plastic Constellations) to two acts we've never even heard of (Artifact Shore, Four Letter Lie).

  • Chris Riemenschneider

Even more Moroccan

Mairin's Table has always been sprinkled with a few Moroccan touches (thanks to co-owner Rafiq Antar, a Moroccan native), most notably a monthly all-Moroccan multicourse dinner, still held the first Saturday of every month. But ever since chef John Lambe took over the kitchen, the daily menu features a number of delicious Moroccan-inspired classics (feisty lamb sausages, a lovely lemon-scented chicken with couscous, a fine beef tagine, a blend of roasted vegetables with couscous), all a pleasant alternative to the menu's easygoing meatloaf/shepherd's pie/BLT comfort fare. "We're branching out into more Moroccan dishes, due to customer demand," said co-owner Jennifer Schroeder. "But also because there aren't a lot of Moroccan options in town."

  • Rick Nelson