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 Events - Spring 2015

There may no longer be an official Twin Cities Fashion Week, but there is still a lot of talent and energy in the Minneapolis-St. Paul fashion community.  

I’m finally making my move to Minneapolis this weekend and it just so happens that a string of exciting local fashion events kick off right when I get the keys to my new digs. 

 

Thursday, April 23 

House of Gina Marie + Ruby3 Trunk Show 
Sip on champagne and peruse a Kentucky Derby inspired collection featuring hats and fascinators with coordinating Allegra Lockstadt prints by Ruby3 will be available at June Resale, as well as Gina Marie sample sale pieces and limited edition items from the latest collection. 

More information: http://juneresale.com/off-to-the-races-with-anna-lee-joy-teiken 

 

Friday, April 24

Fashion Revolution Day 
This global initiative to bring the issue of supply chain transparency and ethical sourcing to the forefront of the fashion industry really reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place.  Started after the Rana Plaza factory complex collapse in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, Fashion Revolution Day challenges consumers to think more about how their garments come to be.  This year, they challenge us to ask “Who made my clothes?”.  The free Minneapolis event will be at the Minnesota Textile Center and includes a runway show featuring participants in recycled/repurposed/handmade/thrifted/fair trade/eco/organic/ethically made clothing, pop up shops from local vendors, and screening of Cotton Road - a documentary which follows cotton from farms in South Carolina to factories overseas.

More information on the Minneapolis event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fashion-revolution-day-minneapolis-tickets-16238026374   
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1374869166175900/  

More information on the Fashion Revolution (and to find events in other cities): http://fashionrevolution.org/  

 

Saturday, April 25 

North Loop Spring Crawl

Named one of Thrillist’s “Coolest Neighborhoods in America”, the North Loop/Warehouse District hosts a bi-annual “Crawl” through it’s various boutiques, studios, and businesses.  Collect stamps on a passport that can be obtained at any of the participating retailers for a chance to win a $500 grand prize gift basket while exploring the neighborhood.  Stores such as Roe Wolfe, Martinpatrick3, Statement, and D.Nolo are part of the crawl, all offering their own discounts, specials, and giveaways.  I’m especially excited about this since the North Loop is not only home to awesome boutiques, but also the awesome place I’ll be working.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/462700807229062/

 

Tessa Louise Art Opening
One of my favorite Twin Cities fashion designers, Tessa Druley of Tessa Louise, will be showcasing sketches at Showroom inspired by fashion - her own designs and the ones that excite her.  

More information: http://showroommpls.com/event/art-opening-tessa-druley/ 
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/448273392005489/ 

 

Sunday, April 26 

I AM FABULOUS! 
Presented by Sarah Edwards of I Am Kindness, the Sunday brunch-time event celebrates style at every age at the Varsity Theater.  Food, giveaways, hair and makeup, local pop-up shops, live music, dancing, a photo booth, a fashion show, and a screening of “Advanced Style” are all part of the fun.  
P.S. The event falls on Sarah’s birthday!

More information: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/i-am-fabulous-tickets-16177011878?aff=es2
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/625077800959299 

 

Wednesday, April 29

RAW Artists Minneapolis Presents: EXPOSURE 

EXPOSURE brings art, fashion, music, film, photography, hair & makeup, and performance art together at the Pourhouse.  Designers include Punkktual (who I remember from Voltage 2013), unisex (and totally badass looking) Form over Function, and Duluth-based, steampunk inspired designer Patricia of Chemistry Fashions, working with No One Fashion.  

More information: http://www.rawartists.org/minneapolis/exposure 
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1630443387191228/  

 

Thursday, April 30

Hardt Jewelry Showroom Opening
Drinks, apps, prizes, and new pieces await at the grand opening of Hardt Jewelry’s showroom at the Northwind Lofts.  Even more importantly, a portion of the proceeds of all sales from the night will go to Reclaim - an organization specializing in mental health care for LGBTQ youth.  

More information:http://www.reclaim-lgbtyouth.org/hardt-jewelry-showroom-opening-event/
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1378547099141212/ 

 

Saturday, May 2

Envision

The biggest bi-annual fashion event in the Twin Cities returns to Orchestra Hall for Spring 2015. A runway show featuring looks from local boutiques and designers is presented in the dramatic glass atrium.  Part of each ticket sale and all of the proceeds from the silent auction during the event benefit Public Functionary.  Live entertainment by Monsieur Adi and an after party at Coup d’Etat are included with ticket purchase.  Check out my recaps of Fall 2013, Spring 2014, and Fall 2014 and be sure not to miss Spring 2015! 

More information: http://envisionmpls.com/
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1570632843176691/ 

 

Sunday, May 3 

RISE: Advocacy Through Design Fashion Show 
University of Minnesota's FAB (Fashion and Business student organization) hosts an annual fashion show/scholarship competition/fundraiser.  Looks from local designers such as Tim+Thom and a student designer scholarship competition will be presented. Additionally, delicious doughnut pop-up by sssdude-nutz bakery will be available at the event.  Proceeds from the event benefit Dress For Success-Twin Cities, the local branch of the global organization that “promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help them thrive in work and life." 

More information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rise-advocacy-through-design-tickets-16372287954  
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1377922449202505/  

 

This list is not comprehensive (so much talent and energy in the MSP area!) and may be updated as I find out more information. 

There are also some events of interest that fall out of this range but are worth mentioning, such as the Eye Candy | A Design Showcase of student-designed garments made of nontraditional material at Weisman Art Museum on April 22, ACG Designs Trunk Show on May 7, Design on a Dime youth fundraiser/fashion show in St. Paul on May 7, Minnesota History Center’s Inspiring Beauty: Fashion Show and Exhibit Preview for the “50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair” exhibit on May 21, and the 2nd Annual Minnesota Fashion Awards/Rumble on the Runway later this summer on August 21.