FWMN Spring 2018

The snow from the mid-April blizzard finally melted and in perfect time for the Spring 2018 edition of Fashion Week Minnesota (FWMN).  A recap of my top FWMN picks: 

One of my favorite FWMN moments - These outfits (right and left) made of recycled Superbowl tents and computer parts at Innovations.  Designer Lena Pelini (center) soldered the computer cables together for the look on the left. 

One of my favorite FWMN moments - These outfits (right and left) made of recycled Superbowl tents and computer parts at Innovations.  Designer Lena Pelini (center) soldered the computer cables together for the look on the left. 

April 19, 2018

The semi-annual FWMN kickoff party at the W Hotel Minneapolis is the intersection of fashion, socializing, and social media.  Models on rotating platforms showed off garments from burgeoning designers Drazenka Designs, Spencer Versteeg, Hannah Johnson, Cassidy Glynn, and Coup De Fourdre.  


    A floral background anchored the red carpet where Anahita Champion interviewed fabulous attendees: 

At Minnstafashion wearing a Vikse necklace and Winsome Goods dress. 

FGI Presents - Accelerating Your Brand: Media, Styling & Exposure
April 25, 2018 

    Hosted by the Minnesota-St. Paul chapter of Fashion Group International, this panel discussion on branding was moderated by Ali Kaplan and included input from luxury shoe designer (and podiatrist) Marion Parke, Instagram star Doug Marshall-MacDonald, and Maya Clark of Culture Piece Magazine

Panelists Marion Parke, Doug Marshall MacDonald, and Maya Clark

Panelists Marion Parke, Doug Marshall MacDonald, and Maya Clark

Major takeaways: 

  • You are your brand even when you don’t think anyone is watching 

  • Be clear and consistent about what you want your brand to be 

  • Start from the inside/in your heart 

Studio Progressive
April 26, 2018

Fashion sketch by Tessa Louise.

Fashion sketch by Tessa Louise.

    A behind-the-scenes peek into the process of six Twin Cities makers, Studio Progressive shared a unique perspective of our favorite locally made goods.  Featured designers included Karen Morris Millinery, Strey Designs, ACG, ILO Studio, Tessa Louise, and Foat Designs.  

Fashion and art as one from Anna Chambers-Goldberg of ACG.

Fashion and art as one from Anna Chambers-Goldberg of ACG.

    Part of what I love about local fashion is feeling connected to the story behind the clothes, and events like Studio Progressive make it even more accessible to get to know the designers and their stories.  

April 28, 2018

Co-organizers of Innovations 

Co-organizers of Innovations 

    The only zero-waste fashion event in the Twin Cities, Innovations combines creativity and sustainability through unconventional design and styling challenges as well as showcasing ethical brands.  Local designers like Crave by Carli Rae Vergamini, Sseko shoes, and Joeleen Torvick hosted pop-up shops.  

    The Eco Design Challenge brought attention to issues affecting the earth including water, agriculture, transportation, energy, and bees/animal conservation.  

    The Stylist Design Challenge showcased the creativity of 11 Twin Cities stylists/bloggers as they put together looks from pieces various thrift and consignment stores.  

    The final portion of the show featured boutiques and designers WAY the label, Spoils of Wear, Slate Collective, and The Icon Effect. 

Circa Now
April 29, 2018 

    Another celebration of the overlap between FWMN and Fashion Revolution Week, Hazel & Rose’s Circa Now event exemplified how vintage and secondhand garments can be an excellent and sustainable way to shop. Looks combining pieces from Hazel & Rose and secondhand pieces from Keep, Moth Oddities, The Golden Pearl, Arlee Park, and Arc’s Value Village.  

    After the runway, a panel discussion on vintage clothing as part of the future of sustainable fashion with representatives from each of the featured boutiques took place, moderated by Emma - founder and co-owner of Hazel & Rose. 

The Spring 2018 season of FWMN brought a lot of changes to FWMN.  The addition of Senior Advisors to the FWMN team helped shape the lineup to include more options for shopping directly from featured designers as well as incorporating events from the coinciding Fashion Revolution Week and voices from communities that are not always included in mainstream fashion events.  Also, the update to the FWMN website to include a local fashion directory and original content by FWMN writers marks a new direction for the group.  Can't wait to see what next season brings! 

Fashion Week Minnesota: Spring/Summer 2017 - Take Two

Since the FWMN calendar was first announced, so many more amazing events have been added.  

I wanted to take a minute to pick some favorites from round two! 

1) Queen Anna Boutique Opening

Image by Queen Anna

Image by Queen Anna

Sunday, April 23

A new North Loop boutique from the founder of One Posh Closet, Queen Anna will carry contemporary brands like YFB of Young Fabulous and Broke, KES, LAMARQUE, and Chan Luu. The opening night party, “Enter the Scene” will include bites, bubbly, beverages, and insight on the vision behind the brand.  

2) LaChouChou Presents: Live Fashion Gallery

Wednesday, April 26

After the success of the first LaChouChou Live Fashion Gallery at Clockwerks Brewing, Jessica Jones and Mercedes Bergman are bringing the second installment to the Food Building during FWMN.  Live models will showcase clothing from Duchess of Whittier, Mercedes Bergman Designs, Abbie Kenyon, D8AGirl by Monica Lyon, Nine56 by Meg Floersch, and Coty Clothing Company.  

The idea, says Jones, is "to get close to the clothes and enjoy them as art.”  Too many times, a runway segment is not enough to really get a sense of the garment, find out who created it, and how to get one for yourself.  In addition to a four-look mini collection, each designer will be showcasing one unconventional material look, inspired by one of the Food Building makers - Red Table Meat Co, Baker's Field Flour & Bread, and The Beez Kneez.  

In addition to local food and fashion, local artist Rya DeMulder will be creating a look inspired by event partner, Friends of the Boundary Waters, supporting preservation of the natural beauty of Minnesota’s wilderness.  There will be passed appetizers and a cash bar to enjoy as you mingle with makers, models, and more.  Tickets to the Live Fashion Gallery are $25 and are available here.

3) Raul Osorio Collection Presentation 

Thursday, April 27

The only event this season solely featuring menswear, Raul Osorio’s latest collection will be presented in a "minimalist fashion presentation” at Jetset.  The free presentation will begin at 8pm, with doors at 7:30.  After the presentation, stick around to enjoy a live DJ and mingle with fellow fashion enthusiasts.

Also, I am very, very excited about a dress I bought from Georgiedda/Goodiewealth that is being embroidered as I type.  I’ll be wearing it to Envision!  Stay tuned 🔌 🔌 🔌

Win Tickets to St Paul's Lowertown Pop Maker's Market

Minneapolis is definitely more my style than St. Paul, but the upcoming Lowertown Pop maker's market at St. Paul's historic Union Depot, filled with talented local artisans from all over Minnesota, will be worth visiting the Capitol city to enjoy.  

Thanks to MN Blogger Bash, I was able to preview some of the makers popping up at the event - from upcycled leather goods from Desdamona Doolittle, to cheeky sentiments from Muddy Mouth Cards, to a Bloody Mary enhancer with some heat from Fast Mary's, to cleverly designed clothing by Anywhere Apparel, and everything in between.  

Upcycled leather necklaces from Desdamona Doolittle:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/DesdamonaDoolittle  

Upcycled leather necklaces from Desdamona Doolittle: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DesdamonaDoolittle 

Obi belts made from repuposed ties by Foat:  https://www.foatdesign.com/

Obi belts made from repuposed ties by Foat: https://www.foatdesign.com/

The market on April 15 will also include live demonstrations including those for cocktail making, aromatherapy, and styling multi-functional clothing.  The schedule of demonstrations can be found on the Union Depot website: http://www.uniondepot.org/events/lowertownpop/.

Lowertown Pop gives back to the St. Paul community!  Tickets to the market are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, and half the proceeds will go to River's Edge Academy, and half will go to one of the makers featured.  

Perusing the market will be a great break from my PE studying and I am very looking forward to going.  Also thanks to MN Blogger Bash, I have a pair of tickets to give away!  

To win a pair of tickets to Lowertown Pop, tweet me (@UrbanOrchidBlog) with which maker you are most excited to check out, and don't forget to include the hashtag #lowertownpop.  Entries are due by 12 p.m. (Central Time) Saturday, April 8.

The full list of featured Minnesota makers can be found here: http://www.uniondepot.org/lowertownpopmakers/ 


Sometimes I Write About Things Other Than Fashion

...for blogs that aren't my own.  

For example, cheap ways to celebrate Valentine's Day in the Twin Cities: http://www.citypages.com/arts/budget-romance-cheap-ass-valentines-ideas-that-are-actually-pretty-sweet/412946723 

Or a funky way to refinish silver heirlooms: http://www.citypages.com/arts/julia-moss-turns-tarnished-silver-into-colorful-statement-pieces/393483901

But mostly, I write about fashion. 

4 designers to check out at Minneapolis Craft Market's Fashion Week MN collaboration: http://www.citypages.com/arts/4-designers-to-check-out-at-minneapolis-craft-markets-fashion-week-mn-collaboration/394189151

Kimberly Jurek and Jennifer Chilstrom re-launch as Kindred Folk at Envision: http://www.citypages.com/arts/kimberly-jurek-and-jennifer-chilstrom-re-launch-as-kindred-folk-at-envision/394343381

Mi-17: House of Nguyen Designs 2017 Collection

Right on the heels of #FWMN Fall 2016, House of Nguyen Designs presented an 80-look collection for 2017 at 514 Studios in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis.  The collection included both menswear and womenswear looks ranging from casual streetwear to sexy clubwear to special occasion gowns.  

The brain (and beauty) behind the brand - Mimi Nguyen - is an self-taught designer.  Her expansive offerings stem from a creative mind that is always thinking, and an ambitious attitude of making whatever the hell she wants.  Mimi is a part of consulting group Royal Krew Co, who I went to visit before FWMN.  

Head of House of Nguyen Designs, Mimi, enjoying her moment at the finale of Mi-17.

Head of House of Nguyen Designs, Mimi, enjoying her moment at the finale of Mi-17.

While not showing in an official FWMN event, House of Ngyuen Designs did end up on the Envision Fall 2016 runway, on host Tricia Heuring: 

Tricia Heuring wearing House of Ngyuen Designs to host Envision's 10th Anniversary.

Tricia Heuring wearing House of Ngyuen Designs to host Envision's 10th Anniversary.

I also got to wear something by House of Ngyuen during FWMN - a blue satin and lace robe, which I later got to see grace the Mi-17 runway: 

Satin and lace robe c/o House of Nguyen Designs, leggings by Hue, shoes by DV Dolce Vita, necklace by House of Gemmes.

Satin and lace robe c/o House of Nguyen Designs, leggings by Hue, shoes by DV Dolce Vita, necklace by House of Gemmes.

House of Nguyen’s 2017 showcase was definitely different than other Twin Cities fashion events.  While skin was definitely trending at Envision (formal recap to come!), Mimi’s designs had a different approach, and it's one that I am a fan of.  Whether it’s an LBD and stockings at Black Hearts Ball, or laser cut pleather at MN4MN, or a mesh cami at #Minnstafashion, you can probably tell that I love working lingerie into a look and Mimi gave me plenty of ways to do just that.

You know when you were young and had to go shopping with your parents, and there were always those outfits you really wanted that they wouldn’t buy for you because they were too sexy?  That’s the vibe of the standout looks in Mimi’s collection. And I love it.  Fashion is supposed to be fun and watching the models walking down the runway, I kept thinking of all the parties, concerts, hot dates, night clubs, girls nights, and everything else they’d be heading to in House of Nguyen Designs. 

I mean, the first thing she sent down the runway was this:

First look from Mi-17.

First look from Mi-17.

Then there were some looks that were maybe demure in the front, and a little more daring in the back: 

And lots of stuff in between:

A selection of pieces from House of Nguyen Designs is available at Showroom, and you can contact the brand on Facebook for more information, but you can also shop the new 2017 collection this Sunday, October 9 at an open house the brand is hosting.  More details about the open house can be found on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/775923032550643/ 

Mimi will also be competing in a Prince themed KFAI Fundraiser fashion show on Saturday, October 8 - https://www.facebook.com/events/1738884149714018/ and showing at Twisted Hare Salon and Spa’s Masked Masquerade Fashion Show in November - https://www.facebook.com/events/103293896800609/