Retrorama's Sarah M. Holm: "I make clothing for tough cookies who relish in their feminism."
Local designer Sarah M. Holm's work goes from drawing to reality
This Friday, RetroRama is once again at the Minnesota History Center for a night of fashion, music, games, drinks, and vintage fun. The highlight of the evening is a runway show featuring five local designers, with collections by Danielle Everine, Laura Fulk, Sarah M. Holm, Max Lohrbach, and Kerry Riley.
Before the big night, Dressing Room caught up with Sarah M. Holm. The designer says she is influenced by modern art and architecture, mid-century vintage, oldies, rock 'n' roll, punk music, and D.I.Y. culture.
"I make clothing for tough cookies who relish in their feminism," Holm says. "I like to make women look and feel good, so I'm drawn to classic silhouettes that flatter the female figure."
RetroRama 2012 [slideshow]
Works on paper hitting the runway this Friday
Holm discovered her love for design at a young age, which was inspired by her passion for drawing.
"I was always drawing as a child, primarily drawing people. The people wore clothing, and eventually I started paying more attention to the details in the clothing," Holm says. "My mother taught me to sew at a pretty young age, and I slowly progressed from making clothing for my Barbie dolls to making it for myself. When it came time to choose a major for college, I thought clothing design would be a good way to merge my love of art and making things with my hands."
Holm participated in the fashion show at RetroRama a few years ago, and says she had a blast. She is excited to be designing a collection for the runway show again this year.
"I love RetroRama," Holm says. "I think it is a great way to honor and learn about the past while having fun. RetroRama is very focused in its mission and content. Quality is preferred over quantity, and creativity over commerce. As a designer, it is refreshing to be able to take my time and really refine the designs and construction. In an industry that is so season-driven and fast-moving, it's a relief to work outside of that frenzy."
A sneak-peek at a dress in progress
All of the designers were invited to browse the History Center's collections in order to draw inspiration from any of the artifacts, and were asked to keep the words "heritage" and "timelessness" in mind. Holm says she originally wanted to create a workwear collection, but was drawn to a pair of 1890s bicycle boots.
"I fell in love with the lines, shape, and quality construction of the boots, and started looking at other bicycle-related clothing," Holm says. "Then I saw some old bicycles, including a couple of Penny Farthings, and that sealed the deal. My line was to be based on bicycles, not only because the clothing and bikes were so cool, but also because I love biking in general."
After doing some research on the history of bicycles and clothing women wore during the 1890s, Holm decided to include some of the stylistic lines from the actual bicycles into her collection while making "bicycle-friendly" outfits.
Holm also had to keep "timelessness" in mind while creating her collection, as the designers were challenged to create classic pieces.
"Classics stand the test of time," Holm says. "They can be worn year after year, and again in 50 years, and still look relevant aesthetically. They also can hold up to years of wear and be around 50 years later, which means that they are made with high quality materials and construction."
Holm encourages people attend the fashion show and see what RetroRama is all about.
"RetroRama is a fantastic event that shows how the history of Minnesota is relevant today in a hip and fun manner," Holm says. "The fashion show is going to showcase vintage fashion, have audience participation, and will highlight the looks that four other super talented designers and I have been working on for months."
Check out this cool reversible skirt from a previous collection by Holm
IF YOU GO:
Friday, May 17
Minneasota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul
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