Voltage: Fashion Amplified - The gateway fashion show

Judging by the wide variety of audience members at Voltage: Fashion Amplified on Friday night at First Avenue, it's clear that this fashion event has hit the mainstream. For people who have yet to uncover the raw talent of the fashion industry in Minnesota, Voltage acts as the gateway into the scene, exposing them to one of many high-production runway shows offered during Spring MN Fashion Week.

With the first guitar burst queuing models to the runway, one could see that in its sixth year, Voltage has become a well-oiled machine. The undeniable lure of this annual show is the merging of two coveted worlds: rock-n-roll and fashion. Behind the scenes, MN Fashion crew volunteers, local designers, stylists and musicians work feverishly for months to fine-tune the show. As evident from the crowd's engagement on Friday night, their hard work paid off once again.

Local bands Blue Sky Blackout, The Red Pens, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, Mayda, and Ruby Isle lit up the stage wearing looks created specifically for them by local designers and stylists. Kerry Riley for Red Shoe Clothing Co. created a spectacular dress for the drummer of The Red Pens with a billowy train that surrounded her drum kit and stretched the length of the runway. Caroline Smith looked stunning in a screen-printed dress by Calpurnia Peach that resembled ordained wallpaper one would find in a 1960's smoking den. For the mere performance factor, Mayda had the most vibrant set of the night dressed by Laura Fulk who covered the artist's 5ft frame in deep grays and purples from her Fall 2010 line.

For the most part, the evening was a heavy-hitting line-up of talent. Each music set saw two runway designers showcasing their clothing lines with local accessories, hair and makeup teams completing the look. To borrow an eloquent quote overheard from two average Joes in the crowd, Danielle Everine's line of English equestrian meets prairie romance was "the first fashion stuff that took my mind off the music." Elena Mercurio showed a stunning, airy gown perfect for a hot summer night. On the flipside, knit-protégé Kevin Kramp dressed his male models in thick scarves and long, chunky sweaters. Saving the best for last, Emma Berg wowed the crowd in the most runway-inspired line of the night, with vibrant colored pieces rich in heavy architecture and structure.

If Voltage left you craving more from the local fashion scene, check out all the MN Fashion Week events going on April 16-25 at