Review: Envision Shines During 10 Year Anniversary Fashion Show
The scene before Envision's Fall 2016 fashion show at Orchestra Hall
Josh Stokes (runway photos by Jay Larson)
This past Saturday marked the 10 year anniversary of the Envision runway show, which served as the glittery grand finale to this seasons Fashion Week MN. Envision, a collaboration between Ignite Models and the NE non-profit gallery, Public Functionary, has definitely carved a gilded name for itself within the local scene. A true culmination of Twin Cities culture; art, fashion, food and music came together and drew a crowd that was a definite reflection of our multifaceted artistic landscape. The only thing that seemed to be missing from the event was a mixology based bar.
The evening's co-hostess, Tricia Heuring, also the curator and co-director of Public Functionary, certainly knows how to inject a certain je ne sais quois of cool into every event in which she's involved. The Public Functionary–curated VIP room was ripe for mingling with ambient mood lighting, chic furniture, and a Masu sushi spread. It also housed a fashion photography exhibition and auction, housed in an interesting stud-based building design, as well as live art all under the chosen noise of DJs Tiiiiiiiiiip, AndThatsBreon, and Just Nine. The lovely Lady Midnight also gave an entrancing performance. Heuring's curatorial prowess was also highly visible in her addition of a neon light installation runway backdrop commissioned by local light artist Jonathan Rodriguez (aka Jonnirod), which became the photo backdrop of choice for every #OOTD hashtagging blogger and fashionista alike. When asked about Public Functionary's contribution to Envision, Heuring said, "We celebrate interdisciplinary creativity at Public Functionary. Every season we select performers we think will shake things up at Orchestra Hall. It's a lot of fun to bring a PF vibe to the venue and event." It was also a delightful treat to have local jewelry designer, design scholar, and author Stephanie Lake (whose gems also decorated many of the looks on the runway) on hand for a pre-show signing event for her Rizzoli-published coffee table book on legendary fashion designer Bonnie Cashin, Chic is Where You Find It.
Attendees came in every age, shape, color, and fashion. From coyote headdresses with platform boots to floor sweeping gowns with zebra mohawk clutches, the fashionable definitely turned out for the 20th season of Envision. But you didn't have to look too far to notice a sea of guests rocking athleisure and sleepleisure trends, after all they are very Minnesota friendly. However, the front row guests spared no expense at statement-making garb. Local activist and hair stylist, Dre Demry-Sanders, donned a powerful black leather shirt that read "Stop Killing Us" styled with patchwork pants by local fashion line House of Nyugen and an oversized denim jacket with gold detail cuffs. Heuring's co-host and event producer, John Mark, looked impossibly chic in gold quilted joggers, an abstract shirt, long cardigan and cargo boots topped off with his curly blue locks. The pair worked the runway flawlessly, had fun with the crowd, and kept things light.
As a stylist and designer myself, talking about other peoples work can be difficult as I tend to have a hyper critical eye. So instead of sharing every thought on all 12 collections, I am going to highlight the standouts. Overall, my main critique was the fabric choices of some of the designers. From the front row, I could practically feel the cheap synthetic fibers that appeared in some of the collections. Designers, take note: Fabric is everything. Bravo to the styling team led by Amy Shelter, who really made the garments come alive.
Emah the Label by Ellie Hottinger
In a video appearing prior to her segment, designer Ellie Hottinger described her line, Emah the Label, as an "artful idea with wearability." Her works were soft, minimal, and slightly deconstructed with supreme attention to detail. Bow-tie pant hems, exaggerated sleeves, and a set of completely detached sleeves were standout construction concepts. The monochromatic collection was a ready-to-wear minimalist dream.
George Moskal's collection was hands-down the best in show. His fabrics were rich in color and luxury, from a rusty orange silk velvet flared onesie to his feather and fur dress and jacket combo in brown and black. His construction was elegant and perfectly executed with beautiful drapery, and there was a clear creative vision throughout his line. It was the only collection within my runway notes that I did not note another designer's influence. Bravo!
Where to buy: email@example.com
Kyra Deva and her upcycled teddy bear fur accents won my heart over instantly. There was something very Parisian-sophisticate and yet girly and playful about it at the same time. Her color palette was on point in shades of emerald, navy, rust, black, and white, accented by sequins and curly teddy bear fur. I particularly enjoyed her cropped capelet.
Russell Bourienne's collection was inspired by a 1980s edition of GQ and it read Versace, Versace, Versace mixed with a more subdued Armani man. His long tweed cape with red pants and a yellow plaid floor sweeping scarf had all the fashionable men in the audience drooling. I also enjoyed his more subdued details, like the button-up sides on a pair of leather pants. Overall, lovely use of plaid and tweed.
Where to buy: russellbourrienne.com
After four years away, Raul Osorio's return to the Minneapolis runway was kind of major. He presented a polished collection of streetwear with definite notes of athleisure and even sleepleisure. The male model in the black drop-crotch jumpsuit was everything—and I totally feel like it could be a unisex piece (something that was apparent through his use of both male and female models). His use of elongated clean lines and quality fabrics made it a collection I would buy for many clients. Also, his drop-crotch knickers were genius.
Xee Vang's collection was a refreshing jolt of Asian influence. Her Hmong-inspired Swavorski embellishments have made me reconsider my opinion on bedazzling. The silhouettes were fresh and playful with drop hems and sleeves. The bedazzled windowpane turtleneck sweater was a standout for me, like my grandmother's sequin dress exploded all over grandpa's favorite sweater and made a brilliant fashion baby. Xee Vang was an unexpected delight that I am excited to watch grow.
Where to buy: xeevang.com
And how could I pen a review on Envision and not include the darlings at Cliché? Although I'd prefer that it be a designer-only show, their whimsical styling and obvious taste level always makes me grin. Where do they come up with such amazing headpieces every season?! Definite cool girl vibes from Cliché, as per always.
Where to buy: Cliché, 2403 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-870-0420, clichempls.com
More looks from Envision's Fall 2016 runway show:
Where to buy: Showroom, 615 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-345-7391, and joeleentorvick.com (should be online by end-of-day 9/30)
ACG by Anna Chambers-Goldberg
Where to buy: Gallery 360, 3011 W. 50th St., Minneapolis, 612-925-2400, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindred Folk by Kimberly Jurek and Jen Chilstrom
ColdVenus by Isaac West
Where to buy: Contact ColdVenusCollection@yahoo.com
Where to buy: