Fashion Week MN (FWMN) Fall 2016 Highlights

Minnesota fashion-focused pop-up shops, runway shows, open house events, gallery exhibits, and more were held throughout the Twin Cities from September 15 - September 25, 2016 as part of the third season of the Fashion Week Minnesota (FWMN) initiative.  FWMN events showcase current season/special edition collections from local designers or boutiques to celebrate local creativity and inspire Minnesotans to support each other and our local businesses.  

FWMN balloons outside Intelligent Nutrients for I Am Inspired.

FWMN balloons outside Intelligent Nutrients for I Am Inspired.

This season was probably my busiest yet, but I am so grateful to have been immersed in so much of it.  Minnesota may not be seen as a fashion capital like New York or Paris, but the creativity and community here are just as inspiring to me.  Below are some highlights from each of the events I experienced.  More in-depth looks to come!  


#Minnstafashion
Thursday, September 15

Photo wall at Minnstafashion.  Photo by  E3 Photography .

Photo wall at Minnstafashion.  Photo by E3 Photography.

Highlight - Threader earrings and more from Goldfine Designs and getting excited about the week to come with both old and new friends.  Bonus: Meeting the namesake behind a dress I pre-ordered from Samantha Rei.  


Reali Runway V2
Saturday, September 17 

Highlight - Live musical performances + live runway presentations are always a win.  Bonus: Seeing The Exchange completely differently (and from a much more sober point of view) than usual.   


I Am Inspired
Sunday, September 18 


Throwing #confetti in the #phhhoto booth at #iaminspiredmsp. @fashionweekmn @iaminspiredmsp #fwmn #minnesota

A video posted by Liz M. (@poizenisxkandee) on


Highlight - Throwing confetti in the Phhhoto booth.  Bonus: FWMN balloons in vehicles by event sponsor Range Rover…thus getting that Chainsmokers + Halsey song stuck in my head.  


Matryoshka in Japan: Danielle Everine Fashion Exhibition
Tuesday, September 20 

Highlight -  3D glasses made the printed fabrics pop.  Bonus: Taking a few 360-degree Virtual Reality shots of the models and the space.  


FWMN Homme
Wednesday, September 21

Highlight - Cvstings giving us a crop top for men and finally seeing Mermaids & Accolades in real life as opposed to on Instagram.


MN4MN Blank Canvas
Friday, September 23

Clothes by  Autumn's Vintage , helmet by Jesse Golfis 

Clothes by Autumn's Vintage, helmet by Jesse Golfis 

Highlight - The live presentation was really powerful.  Bonus: Finding out the eco-fashion designer behind Foat is married to the artist behind my favorite sneaker from last year’s exhibition: 








Envision
Saturday, September 24



Highlight - seeing the Kindred Folk collection I previewed for CityPages come to life on the runway.


Full Fashion Panic
Sunday, September 25 

 

Highlight - Falling in love with emerging designers like Nang Mai Designs by Maria Dang and seeing the latest collection from one of the very first designers in Minnesota I ever encountered - Otherrealm by Lucie Biros.  Bonus: Show director Samantha Rei Crossland’s call to action at the end - that supporting runway events showing the art of fashion is only one side of the equation, and in order to keep the events running, we need to support the businesses the artists are running and buy the clothes they make.  


 

It seems the Minnesota fashion community is only getting stronger and its support is growing.  I am so excited to be a part of it and share what’s coming up next.  

Fashion Week Minnesota: Celebrating and Supporting Fashion in the Twin Cities (and Beyond)

It’s surprising to me when I meet people that have no idea there is an active fashion community in Minnesota.  From my coworkers, to old friends, to people attending other fashion events, I get a look of disbelief every time I mention it.  

One of my main questions when attending Pollen's Rally Cry: Fashion was if MN Fashion would be resurrected, or if there would be some kind of consolidated event calendar.

My other question was how as a consumer, I could help support local designers and artists by encouraging others to also buy the clothes, and not just go to the events and shows. (I recall hearing something to the effect of "Designers aren't making a living throwing cool parties.”) 

Fashion Week MN graphic by Fashion Week MN  http://fashionweekmn.com/

Fashion Week MN graphic by Fashion Week MN http://fashionweekmn.com/

I am very excited by the start of a new Minnesota fashion organization - a collaboration between event producers and creatives around the Twin Cities, including Sarah Edwards, John Mark of Hotrocity. and Tim and Thom Navarro.  #FWMN Fall 2015 runs from Sept 20 - 26.  There is also an extended event calendar, which I find very exciting. I keep track of a lot of fashion events in Minnesota, but even I've found some I hadn't already marked down.

Some highlights during FWMN include a men's show (the after party will be DJd by DJ Fundo, which is awesome because he's Prof's tour DJ and I'm a huge fan of both) and LARK from Tim+Thom.  Of course, no mention of fashion in Minnesota could be complete without Envision - the longest running fashion event in the Twin Cities.

Outside of fashion week, highlights include the (now postponed to November 20) Minnesota Fashion Awards/Rumble On The Runway, the screening of “The True Cost” film, and the 12th annual Full Fashion Panic, exploring the influence of anime, manga, and pop culture on fashion.

I am surprised that RAW Artist's Minneapolis most recent event, PARAMOUNT, or upcoming event, MERGE, isn't listed.  There is such a strong connection between the various arts communities that I would think an organization focused on supporting fledgling creatives would be more visible.  I am definitely looking forward to going to MERGE after having a great time at EXPOSURE and SPLENDOR, but missing PARAMOUNT for a work obligation. 

Image for MERGE by RAW Artists Minneapolis -  www.rawartists.org/minneapolis/MERGE

Image for MERGE by RAW Artists Minneapolis - www.rawartists.org/minneapolis/MERGE

Other organizations that suggest a strong tie between arts and fashion are MN4MN and Made Here MN, the latter of which sponsors the various pop up art exhibits downtown.  Made Here MN also held weekly Loring Alley Rally events in Loring Park this summer, with free music and pop up shops.  MN4MN hosted a fashion weekend in St. Louis Park last fall, and recently displayed an exhibit at Public Functionary featuring 13 artists and 13 photographers collaborating on one blank canvas: a canvas shoe.  I loved seeing how many different takes on the same inspiration came together.  Also bringing Minnesota creatives together, Meet Minneapolis is hosting a Creative City Market on September 10 in downtown Minneapolis.  

For other fans of supporting US made goods and a good cause, Key North Boutique will be hosting "Fashioning a Future" with proceeds going to help Nepal earthquake survivors.  The show will be held on September 11 and will be hosted by Grant Whittaker, featuring clothes from Key North and custom jewelry by T Lee.  

I'm very looking forward to the International Interior Design Association - Northland Chapter's 10th annual Fusion + Fashion event, especially since it connects fashion with my career in building design.  The IIDA hosts an "unconventional material" fashion challenge to teams ranging from architectural/engineering firms, construction firms, or even the USGBC-MN chapter.  This year's theme looks like #findYourMuse and cites inspiration from Yves Saint Laurent, Andy Warhol, and more.  I'm planning to get involved in the competition this year, so stay tuned.  The show will be November 13 at Muse Event Center.

Logo by  IIDA Northland .

Not only is fashion in the Twin Cities gaining more support, but I am seeing more events and community in other parts of Minnesota as well.  Style on the Plaza will be taking place September 17 in Rochester, and the Zenith City Style zine/website in Duluth has recently launched. Also in Duluth are occasional pop up shops by DLH Clothing and Crave by Carly Rae Vergamini.

If I would be able to venture out to New Ulm, Modenschau would be fun to attend.  German for “fashion show”, Modenschau will be held on September 11 and include looks by Joeleen Torvick as well as boutiques in the area.  Part of the proceeds from the event will go to The Committee Against Domestic Abuse, Inc.  I’m a big fan of German culture after getting inspired by Rare Dirndls at Germanfest in Milwaukee for years with my cousins, and wonder if the event name has anything to do with the clothes that will be shown.

Other upcoming Minnesota fashion events of note:
*Showroom's "THE SWITCH" seasonal sale: Sept 2 - 9
*Silhouette Fashion Show & Gala hosted by Lindsey Herzog of Ruby Girl: Sept 17
*Fashion Forward with Hardt Jewelry and Moth Oddities: Sept 18  
*Faribault Woolen Mill's tent sale: Sept 25 - 26
*Plus Size Pop Up Shop by Amanda of Bella Moxie: Sept 26

Fashion Week Minnesota is going to be great for the fashion community in Minnesota and I'm looking forward to getting involved, and also to see how the community can grow and support each other. 

Twin Cities Fashion Week Fall 2014 Recap

There were so many great events for Twin Cities Fashion Week, I wish I could have attended them all!  It will be so much easier to coordinate when I finally live in Minneapolis.  I enjoyed my time at the events I did attend and can’t wait til next season! 

Fashionopolis 

Hosted by MSP Magazine at Aria, Fashionopolis showcased items inspired by their September Style issue, all available at Twin Cities retailers.  The show was separated into themed segments and presented in one of the more elaborate runways I’ve seen.  

Fashionopolis at Aria. 

Fashionopolis at Aria. 

Section 1 - Overexposed featured a lot of sequins,  Section 2 - After Sunset featured a lot of leather, Section 3 - Winter Carnival showed a lot of bright outerwear, Section 4 - Dreamsicle showed how to wear pastel colors even in crisp fall and winter weather.  

Platform model at Fashionopolis.

In the lobby, there were live models showcasing pieces from Scheherazade, Stephanie’s, House of 365, and more.  The space was interesting, with whimsical sayings on the walls and cool chandeliers.  Aria is also very conveniently located near the office, so I was able to rush back right after the show (and Glam Doll Donuts) to finish up a project.  


Envision 

Fall 2014 was the best production of Envision I have attended so far.  Loved the signage from Minneapolis based Woodchuck, who I recognized from their storefront in Duluth during the holiday pop-ups.  

The video introductions before each collection really helped focus on each designer or retailer, rather than the night being two segments of a smattering of shows.  The live entertainment by DJ Adora Tokyo and breakdancers made intermission more than just grabbing another drink. 

My favorite piece from the night was definitely this dress by Tessa Louise:

Finale dress by  Tessa Louise .

Finale dress by Tessa Louise.

Full review of Envision Fall 2014 to come! 


North Loop Fall Crawl 

The North Loop of Minneapolis is not only home to the office I’ll be working out of (and the brewery/restaurant below it), but also a lot of independent retailers.  The North Loop Fall Crawl consisted of 11 featured retailers and a passport to get stamped at each one.  

As soon as eight different stamps were collected (4 from the central zone and 4 from the more outer zone), the stub could be filled out and entered in a gift card raffle.  

I got every single stamp by the end of the crawl.

Some of the highlights from the North Loop Fall Crawl include:

Roe Wolfe - I had heard a lot about Roe Wolfe via past seasons of Envision, but never had enough time to stop in until now.  A great mix of local and boutique brands.

Lole - Women’s activewear.  They have the running jackets with the thumbholes that I love so much. Some of their items can cross over from activewear to being casual wear.  

Stephen Vincent Design - Absolutely beautiful fine jewelry.  A lot of gorgeous pieces available (including the perfect diamond studs I need to save up for) and custom designs can be created.

martinpatrick3  - This is the place to shop for men.  Lifestyle store from apparel to barware to coffee table books and more.  


MN4MN 

The inaugural season of this event was a great way to see parts of the Metro that aren’t in downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul.  Held at the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park (which I’ve likened to Town Square in Las Vegas), the weekend involved two nights of different fashion shows from local retailers and designers, and a pop-up market including Minnesota based brands and stores.  

Marc, Coco, Betsey, Karl, and Tom - Fashion icon Block Bots by  Oh Dier .

Marc, Coco, Betsey, Karl, and Tom - Fashion icon Block Bots by Oh Dier.

The market was really fun.  I loved seeing representatives Duluth Pack, Elixery, Oh Dier, Apricot Lane, and getting to know more about them.  I even stopped by Sanborn Canoe booth where they were showing handcrafted canoe paddles...it made me nostalgic for my Concrete Canoe days in college.  

At the market, I fell in love with jewelry designer Cheryl Shohet. Each of her pieces is unique, with a focus on creating art that you can wear.

Artist and jewelry designer Cheryl Shohet.

One of the more interesting things about MN4MN weekend was how Target showed both nights - the first night showcasing items from it’s house brands (Merona, Mossimo, etc) and the second night, looks from creatives on their design team (Lindsey Hopkins, Marissa Bridges, etc).  Sometimes, I forget that a corporation as big as Target still consists of actual people.  

Full review of MN4MN to come.