Springtime in Minneapolis brings two big fashion shows featuring local talent: Voltage on April 16 and DIVA's annual AIDS fundraiser on Saturday. This year's DIVA event, Club DIVA, is taking a decidedly different route from previous years. For one, it's bringing in big names in the GLBT and HIV/AIDS communities, including Jack Mackenroth of "Project Runway" and Twin Cities-based Christopher "The Makeover Guy" Hopkins. (see this week's Crawl for an interview with Mackenroth.) And while past DIVA designers Jason Hammerberg, Hazel Matthys and Taissa Lada Hrenchyshyn are returning, the big news is the new crop of designers for this year's show: Michele Henry, Ivan Idland, Tanya Thomas-Schaefer and Pather Yang.
Highlights from this year's DIVA designers:
Montana native Idland is the only designer showing at both Club DIVA and Voltage (for which he'll design stage gear for dance-punk band Zibra Zibra). Obviously informed by his background designing theater costumes, Idland's pattern-heavy, color-infused aesthetic is not for those who want to blend into a crowd. (www.ivanidland.com)
Menswear designer Hammerberg's fresh, bright take on preppy style is sure to be a crowd favorite again. Hammerberg, probably the most experienced designer of the night, has designed for Saks, Marshall Field's and Minneapolis-based Kuhlman; he is now independently designing custom menswear and infant clothing (www.brandnewbabywear.com).
Though she's been making a name for herself with her retro-infused swimsuits, Henry's clothing line House of Henry shows a sophistication that goes beyond swimwear. Typical of her collection are European silhouettes, retro inspiration and exotic prints -- and plenty of dresses, high-waisted pants and yes, swimsuits. Her clothing is available at Picky Girl, Drama, VState and Il Vostro Boutique. (www.houseofhenrydesigns.com)
The winner of Macy's Distinction in Design competition in 2007, Yang clearly has talent. The relatively new designer first got on our radar last spring when she was picked up by hipmaking boutique Cliché to surprising success for a new designer. Yang has subsequently shown her youthful, detailed yet simple silhouettes at Cliché's biannual fashion shows. (Cliché, 2430 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-870-0420.)