Twelve: Apparel Design Senior Fashion Show


Eleven designers, one show. Twelve.

So began the video sequence which opened the fashion show for the graduating seniors of the University of Minnesota’s College of Design.

Eleven designers collaborated to put together the event, each one putting forth their own show within the larger show – creating the aptly named “Twelve.” The class of 2012 set forth to create a different event compared to years past. It has been described as an attempt to make the collaborative effort look more like high-end fashion shows and less of a student effort.

The notorious rickety, black-curtain-lined runway has been done away with. This year, models walked on glossy, white flooring at ground-level with audience members on raised platforms. That is not the only change the seniors made; they also passed on the traditional emcee. Instead, a video played in the background while Anthem Heart carried deejay duties with the music selected for each designer’s time on the runway.

Kari  Kachelmacher ( [email protected] ) identifies as a gay designer and put out a collection for the show. Kachelmacher was raised with an appreciation for the arts and described art as being “just as much a fashion, as fashion is an art.” As such, she made her clothes completely from repurposed vintage items without purchasing a single new bolt of fabric. Everything from the buttons to the trims, everything has been recycled.

“It’s important to be not only environmentally friendly,” Kachelmacher noted, “but also to save money, especially in this economy. If your old clothes aren’t in fashion, make them into something new. I did.”

Listing the 20s, 50s, and 80s as design inspiration, Kachelmacher said “I guess what happened was, I kind of thought about the kind of clothes I wanted to make and realized it would make my collection and my message so much stronger if I actually used vintage clothing.”

Which begs the question, where does a graduating senior with a degree in apparel design go from here? “I’ve been looking for jobs all over the country,” Kachelmacher shared. “It would be marvelous to start a recycled (high-fashion) industry in this market. Right now, all of the ‘good for the environment’ apparel is not that attractive…but if you see me in ten years from now, let’s hope I’m not flipping burgers, but I could honestly be doing anything!”

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