Christopher Straub: The One-Man Show

Categories: Fashion
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Emily Utne for City Pages
Christopher Straub
​Christopher Straub doesn't have a publicist, but in this town, he doesn't need one. As the bell of the ball on the local fashion scene, due largely in part to his successful venture on this season's Project Runway, Straub is in high demand for the remainder of the decade making appearances all over the Metro and pimping his latest accessory line.

This week, Straub checked yet another event off his list and presented his goods at the holiday fashion show, "Tis the Season to Glitz and Glam" at the W Hotel. The event featured runway looks styled by local fashion contributor Jahna Peloquin plucking threads from area boutiques and designers including IL Vostro, Cliche, Bumbershute, Russell Bourrienne, MN Fashion Boutique, and Elsworth Menswear - a store that understands how to dress men with equal parts macho and metro. The runway show offered tons of shimmer, sequins, gold and black - pretty much what you'd expect to find during the holiday season. And while everything was going on around him, Straub worked the room.

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Emily Utne for City Pages
Il Vostro Boutique

"Sewing wasn't something I ever thought about, it just happened. From the moment I stumbled upon a broken sewing machine and begin to play around with shapes and textures I knew I was addicted," said Straub.

I would find unique materials and come up with interesting ways to use them, going in wide-eyed and head first. One of the first dresses I made was vibrant red sweetheart dress. I started creating a pattern with fabric that was given to me and began playing around. The light clicked and it was like, wow, I can make something that is wearable and fashionable, and not just for me."

Obviously Straub wouldn't don one of his dresses, but he sure does exude major style. One of his biggest gripes is when people don't put forth effort to try to look good. 

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Emily Utne for City Pages
Christopher Straub accessories
"I want to tell people to care a little more; a little eyeliner never hurts. You can still look good on your down days, just throw on a stylish hat. In Minnesota, it seems like people older than age forty sort of give up on fashion. But the irony is some of the most adorable fashion plates are the seniors who love to embrace color and pattern, and especially rhinestones. I hope that someday, I'm a fashionable senior."

Since the premiere of Project Runway, Straub's collection of affordable wallets, bags and jewelry has expanded into a sustainable business, leaving him little time to fulfill requests and create custom dresses for his adoring fans. The truth is his apparel pieces would have to carry a Neiman Marcus price tag since he's a one-man show in that department.

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Emily Utne for City Pages
Christopher Straub accessories
Straub is currently working with a major retailer that can't be disclosed quite yet (he's darn good at keeping secrets) and is in the proposal stage to develop a spring show as part of MN Fashion Week in April. He's also keeping his options open to work with fellow designers at NY Fashion Week but nothing has materialized as of yet.

For now, Straub is living the local celebrity limelight and even steering the float on Dec. 11 as Grand Marshall of the Holidazzle Parade. After a whirlwind year, being a reality T.V. personality in hot commodity hasn't got to his head -- but that's probably because he's been too busy to let it.

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