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!