The story of style

Minneapolis-based Needle and Black designer Kerry Riley, 34, is keeping diaries -- specifically, Minnesota Design Diaries.

As part of the new program sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS), Riley and other designers are teaching a group of girls about the local fashion scene. The goal of the project is to preserve stories about the community, said Aleah Vinnick, young adult audience specialist for the MNHS. Through intergenerational learning, Vinnick hopes the young participants will be "inspired by designers' work to create a new history."

During a recent lesson, designer Kimberly Jurek demonstrated how to drape fabric on a form, Laura Fulk talked about how she uses fabric as an inspiration for design and Riley demonstrated how to work with leather.

After some persuading, Cathy Soto, 13, of Minneapolis, and Karisa Yang, 11, of Brooklyn Park, showed Riley their design diaries. Riley praised one of Soto's pencil sketches as "a really interesting design, really cool."

In addition to her work with the design diaries project, Riley also teaches a free, drop-in crafting class for youths at Old Arizona on Thursday afternoons, which has included making duct-tape tote bags and painting fabric.

An experienced sewer, Soto has been part of that class, as well. The soft-spoken teen said she's really gotten into fashion. "You can express yourself by doing something other people can wear," she said. "You can be creative and do what you want with it."

Soto and the other girls involved in Minnesota Design Diaries will make a final presentation in April. "The first time you show your work it's frightening," said Riley, "but it will give them such confidence and a sense of public accomplishment."

MINNESOTA DESIGN DIARIES

When: 4 to 6 p.m., April 17.

Where: Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., www.mnhs.org.

What: A final presentation will feature a runway show of local designers and new garments by the program's participants. A slide show will include interviews that the girls did with the designers.

Tickets: Free.

Model call

Aspiring models, here's a chance to strut your stuff. The Duluth-based Maurices is looking for 12 models to represent their hometowns in a Main Street Model Search. Through April 7, women ages 18 and older can enter online (www.maurices.com) by uploading a video and photos of themselves. The top 20 will be brought to Minneapolis for a casting call with a judging panel, including former Project Runway contestant Christopher Straub of Shakopee.

Pick of the week: Frances Zerr

Military jacket ($180) and jersey dress ($100), www.franceszerr.com

Basic doesn't have to mean boring. Minneapolis-based designer Frances Zerr makes wearable pieces that are easily integrated into your wardrobe and styled with your own accessories. (Her new website also makes it easy to purchase from her collection.)

SALES AND EVENTS

THURSDAY

Priscilla of Boston's semiannual sample sale: Discontinued bridal gowns, special occasion dresses and accessories are up to 75 percent off original retail prices. Most sample bridal gowns are a size 8, but can be tailored. No appointment necessary.

Through Friday, 3926 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-922-2106, www.priscillaofboston.com.

Willows' "Going Green" event: Shop for new spring fashions and accessories and enjoy refreshments. Pick up a reusable bag to save 5 percent on every future purchase at the storefront.

Noon to 8 p.m., Medina Golf and Country Club, 400 Evergreen Rd., Medina, 763-478-6021, www.willowshome.com.

FRIDAY

Spring break event at Pumpz & Company: Shop the latest flip-flops, beach bags, sunglasses and hats, and enter prize giveaways.

1 to 8 p.m., Galleria, Edina, 952-926-2252.

Covered's denim exchange: Bring in your gently worn premium denim that cost at least $75 (brands such as Banana Republic, J. Brand, J Crew, Paige, 7 for All Mankind) to donate to the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center Women's Domestic Abuse/Empowerment Program and receive 20 percent off a new pair of jeans. (No torn or stained jeans or jeans by less expensive labels such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Gap, Hollister, Mossimo and Old Navy.)

Through Sunday, 1201 Lagoon Av. S., Mpls., 612-825-1610.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 • sglassman@startribune.com