Twin Cities Fashion Week (Month?)

Even though MNFashion has declared September 12 - 19, 2014 as the official Twin Cities fashion week, fashion related events are popping up throughout September and into October.  

The Cut might have a listing of all the shows going on at New York Fashion Week as well as the dates for upcoming shows in London, Milan, and Paris, but I’m more excited to take part in what’s going on right here in Minnesota.

I’ve got a round-up of events, and even though I can’t make it to all of them, I’ll definitely be front row at some of them!  Many of these events are not only an exciting showcase of local talent, style, and businesses, but also serve as fundraisers for different causes.  

Thursday September 11 


This now sold out event features trends out of MSP Magazine’s September issue featuring local boutiques.

More information:

Friday September 12 


My favorite so far, Envision is put on twice a year by Ignite Models and includes two runway shows featuring a dozen different designers, live music, and an auction benefitting local arts.  Check out my recap of

Fall 2013


Spring 2014

, definitely can’t miss this!

More information:

Friday September 12 - Saturday September 13

North Loop Fall Crawl 

A number of the North Loop Neighborhood Independent Business members will hold sales, raffles (including a $500 Grand Prize Giveaway), and other special promotions as a way to introduce people to the North Loop.

More information:

Saturday September 13 

Avant Garden 

This annual benefit for the Walker Art Center takes place in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

More information:

Wednesday September 17 

Brides Against Breast Cancer Celebrity Bartending “Fashionista” Edition 

This networking/fundraising event will be held at one of my favorite downtown Minneapolis spots, SEVEN Steakhouse, and proceeds will “benefit those impacted by cancer"

More information:

Thursday September 18 

Angels & Divas 

The 8th annual benefit for Emergency Financial Assistance and Facing Cancer Together includes a runway show featuring models who are cancer survivors as well as a the ability to shop looks from a variety of boutiques and retailers, including looks right off the runway.

More information:

Friday September 19 - Saturday September 20 

MN4MN Fashion Weekend

I am extremely excited for this weekend-long event at The Shops At West End in St. Louis Park.  MN4MN focuses on businesses and designers not only based out of Minnesota, but many that produce in Minnesota as well (

Duluth Pack

included!).  There will be two runway shows, one on Friday and one on Saturday.  In addition, there will be an all day market on Saturday where these designers and businesses (and food trucks) will be available to talk and showcase their wares.  

More information:

Thursday September 25 

Mercedes Benz & Fashion: A Perfect Combination

Fashion Group International & Mercedes Benz of Maplewood present a “delightful evening of luxury, fashion & style”.  Men’s and women’s styles will be presented as well as luxury vehicles. 

More information:

Saturday September 27 

Woman’s Club of Minneapolis Fall Fashion Show: Step up-Step out, Retro Glam

The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis puts on an annual luncheon fashion show. 

More information:

MCAD Full Fashion Panic 

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design SGMS (Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits: Culture and Creation in Manga and Anime) group hosts an annual academic conference dedicated to the understanding of manga and anime, a highlight of which is a manga and anime inspired fashion show. 

More information:

Nite of Fall Fashions 

Corset Styling & Fashion Boutique in Edina hosts a catered fashion show including styles for both men and women.

More information:

Sunday September 28 

RAFA 2014 

The Rocco Altobelli Fashion Awards are held yearly and include a runway show and awards for salon of the year, a beauty school student competition, and other fashion and beauty industry awards.

More information:

Friday October 3 

IIDA Fusion + Fashion

A few friends and acquaintances I have met through work have a team together for this show.  The Northland Chapter of the International Interior Design Association puts on an annual fashion event in which each team creates a look inspired by a building and created out of non-traditional materials.  This year’s theme is “Get Amplified” and each look is to be inspired by a different amphitheater/concert hall. Fittingly, it will be held at Orchestra Hall.  Part of the proceeds go to the Northland Chapter Education Fund - a not-for-profit philanthropic organization whose primary mission is to advance Interior Design through education, research, and knowledge to benefit IIDA and the Interior Design profession.

More information:

Saturday October 4 

Twin Cities Fashion Expo 

The fashion expo will be held at Joule Event Center and "bring the Twin Cities fashion industry together to combine a mixture of different exhibitors, retailers, designers, fashion experts and the hottest fashion show into one area.”  Also, since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the expo presenters hope to raise raise awareness and hope to encourage people to break the silence and take a stand against domestic violence. 

More information:

1st Annual Rumble on the Runway/Minnesota Fashion Awards 

I don’t yet have my ticket for this but you bet I am working on it.  This first-of-it’s-kind black tie awards ceremony for the Minnesota fashion industry will also include a design competition showcasing not only clothing design, but hair, makeup, styling, and more to be judged by a panel of local fashion industry members and the audience.  

You can vote now for your favorites and see them awarded in October.  Voting ends September 15:

More information:

And I know I’m super behind on my redesign as well as catching up with posts on Sasha Howell’s Spectacle and Cult Collective’s ICONS.  All of those items are in the works, but here are some teaser photos until they go live: 

Sasha Howell's fashion show was indeed a spectacle.

Love that Duluth is growing it's fashion community.

Designer inspiration sketches from ICONS: Film. Fashion. Rock N' Roll.

Envision Spring 2014

     Change can be a good thing.  After 14 seasons at the Graves|601 hotel, the Spring 2014 iteration of the glamorous event was held Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the newly renovated Minnesota Orchestra Hall.  

     The sleek staircases and glass in the atrium made for a really dramatic display.  Setting up seating on the same level as the catwalk, as opposed to models walking down a raised catwalk, made it feel more intimate and allowed viewers to see a lot more detail in the designs than before.  Additionally, general admission viewing from the upper atrium levels provided a unique experience.  

Event host, Tricia Khutoretsky of Public Functionary, took advantage of the multi-level venue. 

     Even on a rainy and windy evening, the venue was full of fun and fashionable people supporting the Minnesota art and fashion community.  During the VIP pre-party, I was able to sample sushi from Social House and spring rolls from Lotus while enjoying a concert by Shiro Dame. 

     This was also the room where the silent/text auction benefitting Public Functionary was set up.  Auction items were displayed on tables around the room.  Up for auction were a bunch of art and fashion related items, including a delicate looking skull sculpture and a t-shirt/clutch/candle set.  Artists were painting models right in the middle of the room.  The finished paintings were also up for auction.


Auction package I bid on but lost.  Came with a candle, MPLS tshirt, and clutch from Parc Boutique.

Envision is broken up into two runway shows.  Part One featured looks from Idle Child, MAI, Cocoon by Elizabeth Geisler, MartinPatrick3, Velvet Moon, Khampian Vang, and Samantha Rei.  My seat was right at the corner so I was able to see details of both the front and the back of each look.  

Look by Idle Child.

Work out wear by MAI.  Also check those shoes.

I didn’t get a clear shot of one of my favorite items. Photo credit: Nick Kozel. But absolutely every male I know needs this shirt sold at MartinPatrick3.

Another of my favorite items was the “Poppy” dress by Samantha Rei.

Part One finale.
     The finale strutted by and the lights came on, allowing time to grab a drink and mingle.  After months of stalking following her on Twitter, I introduced myself to Tara Murphy of Neon Esquire.  After our conversation, trust me, there are huge things coming for the Minnesota fashion community that extend beyond the Twin Cities and even beyond the state.  Be sure to check back here and on her website to stay in the loop.

     Intermission also gave me time to get to the photo booth set up in front of the red carpet.
My friend and I pose for a photo. Photo credit: Michael Johnson. 

     Part Two brought looks from Caroline Hayden, Roe Wolfe, Atmosfere, Tessa Louise, Kjurek, Russell Bourrienne, and Cliche. The music for this half felt louder and more upbeat…it made me want to get up and dance.  

Loved the structured and polished looks by Caroline Hayden.  I wish she could design my work wardrobe! 

I also realized I love Tessa Louise.  These gold pants are amazing. 

I also loved every piece in this look by Tessa Louise and could wear them all summer long.  

Cliche’s set made things interesting with light up umbrellas and masks.  

Part Two finale.

     After the show ended, everyone was invited to the mezzanine floor to dance and mingle.  I finally had a chance to peek through the gift bags and was not disappointed.  A can of RedBull was the first thing I discovered and I downed it right away so I could continue to enjoy the evening.  Also included were coupons galore for the retailers and designer stores that showed, including $100 off at SEE Eyewear, which is great since my glasses are broken.  Now, if only I could find my prescription.  The gift bags also contained a sketchbook provided by Utrecht and a shot glass from Aviv Vodka.  

Gift bag contents.  Minus the RedBull I drank immediately.  
     Envision Spring 2014 was beautifully executed and continued to get me excited about Minnesota fashion.  Now that MSP Fashion Week is back on, I’m starting to plan out how I’m going to spend it - I could definitely work from the Minneapolis branch of my office during the day and go to shows at night!

    September is still months away but in two weeks, Minnesota will be celebrating a new fashion milestone.  Duluth based designer Sasha Howell will be presenting her Kickstarter funded fashion event entitled “Spectacle” on May 23rd.  I’ve already got my tickets and can’t wait!   For more information on Sasha Howell’s “Spectacle”, please check out the Facebook event:  

     Envision Fall 2014 is set to be September 19, 2014 so be sure to mark your calendars and check out the Ignite Models website and MNFashion website to stay updated!  

Envision Artopia: Fall 2013

Better late than never, right? 

Back in September, I attended the Fall 2013 presentation of "Envision Artopia" as a kickoff event for Twin Cities Fashion Week.  

Envision Artopia is an evening of local art, fashion, and music.  There are two runway shows featuring items from boutiques around town and from Minnesota based designers.  Before and between these shows, attendees can sip on drinks from local wineries and breweries and peruse and purchase art by local artists curated by RAW Visual Artist Gallery.  In addition, there is a silent auction from which the proceeds (and $1 of each ticket) benefit Public Functionary.
Some of my favorite looks of the evening.

One of the best things about living in Minnesota is the abundance of great beer, so I loved sipping on different offerings from Schell’s, but it was great to try wines made locally too.  St. Croix vineyards, based out of Stillwater, had a variety of samples available as well.   

Items from designers and boutiques were available for purchase in a pop-up shop set up in what is usually hotel conference/banquet space.  I loved being able to meet the people behind the designs and storefronts.  I also loved that one of the ladies from Big Island Swim And Surf recognized the dress I wore as being from AKIRA Chicago, despite being hundreds of miles away in Minneapolis.  

I’m a dope and didn’t get a picture of my full outfit that night, but you get the idea.

In addition to clothes and accessories, works of art were also available for purchase. Local artists had set up shop in another section of the space.  By the end of the evening, I absolutely had to own a fierce looking framed print from Andrea Stowe.  

There was a variety of great silent auction items, from Atmosphere’s entire discography to Kidrobot gear.  The text message system to notify bidders of their status as top bidder seemed like a really convenient feature.

A few of my things from the night included: 
This wrap top from Tessa Louise.

The cool shaped/colored zipper on this piece by Claire Ward.

Printed top and leather look leggings by Kjurek.

This dress, also by Kjurek.

This dress by Caroline Hayden.

I think my date and I were both obsessed by this sweater by Evil Twin, showed by Cliche Boutique.

Everything about this dress by Marissa Bridges.

Snap Yourself had a black and white Photo Booth set up that I just couldn’t resist.

The gift bags for VIP/+ guests were awesome!  Lots of coupons, a small canvas, bottle of water, taste of Pinnacle vodka, etc.  I was recently able to try Union Rooftop using one of the coupons and am definitely going back…the seafood was fresh and delicious, and you can’t beat rooftop dining and drinking on a warm night. 

Envision Artopia was really fun and helped me to get to know more about Minnesota fashion so I promised myself not to miss another installment.

Tickets are still available for the Spring 2014 event.  This season, after it’s history at the Graves 601 hotel, it is now just called “Envision” and will be held in the newly renovated Minneapolis Orchestra Hall this Saturday, April 26, 2014.  

It seems this year is a year of changes for the Minnesota fashion industry. MNFashion took a brief hiatus to figure out how to best serve the needs of the Minnesota fashion industry and is now ready to be back and better than ever.  I’ve also donated to a successful Kickstarter for a Duluth based designer who wants to host her own fashion show in late May.  I'm so excited to see where these changes bring the Minnesota fashion community!