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Review: “Envision” Fashion Show Hits All the Right Notes


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Looks by Lindsey Hopkins

A.J. Olmscheid for Minnesota Monthly

Over the course of 16 seasons, Envision has arguably become the most consistent fashion event in the Twin Cities. Originally hosted in a hotel ballroom where clothing from local boutiques dominated, the Ignite Models-produced show has evolved along with the burgeoning local fashion community. For the second season running, the show returned to Orchestra Hall, a space that gives the show a decidedly more cultured feel. Along with the new venue came plenty of top-notch fashion design talent, heightened production values, and fresh, relevant cultural programming. The latter came thanks largely to the contributions of Public Functionary, a new contemporary art gallery in Northeast Minneapolis that had a major hand in the show’s high-design production: projected visuals and videos highlighting each of the show’s designers and boutique owners.

Similarly, the fashions from 11 designers and three boutiques demonstrated an overall trend toward quality and sophistication. The show kicked off with the handiwork of Mary Pranica, who hand-knit her entire collection of chic, oversized sweaters, knit skirts, and cozy yet body-conscious dresses. Another standout was a collection by George Moskal--his first since 2011--that mixed expertly tailored silhouettes with elegantly draped pieces in a moody palette.

Samantha Rei also shone with collection of sweet yet sophisticated pieces, including some gorgeous pleated shorts and a handmade hat with the word “love” stitched on it. The designer demonstrated her most commercial collection to date while managing to stay true to her distinctly whimsical point of view and incredible craftsmanship.

Lindsey Hopkins, a Minneapolis transplant via Atlanta whom we featured in our September style issue, worked in Neoprene for the first time in her Hiroshima-inspired collection--and it paid off. The structure of those pieces lended strength to a collection that also incorporated gorgeously draped silks featuring original digital prints.

Emerging local designer Emily Trevor, a recent St. Kate’s apparel grad that we featured in the same issue, impressed with a darkly beautiful collection. Incorporating a mix of sporty mesh, brushed cotton, luxe wool, and leather, the structured yet elegant line cemented the designer as one-to-watch.

Fall’s key trends were in full effect throughout the show. One such trend, which I’m hereby dubbing “witchy minimalist Southwestern bohemian,” was pervasive in collections from local duo Idle Child, e-retailer Velvet Moon, and Kjurek, co-designed by Kimberly Jurek and Jennifer Chilstrom. Standout pieces included an Idle Child cow-print cropped jacket and ethereal, midnight blue v-neck jumpsuit, and a Kjurek black fringed poncho.

Local boutique Cliché celebrated the normcore trend with a mix of sportswear-inspired separates and dresses, paired with sheer ankle socks, crisp white sneakers, and white stocking caps. While it’s hard to imagine anyone over the age of 30 pulling off this trend, Cliché hit the nail squarely on the trend’s head.

Before, in between, and after the runway shows, Public Functionary hosted a “V.I.P.” room, open to all ticket holders. It featured live art-making by Minneapolis-based artist-on-the-verge Jesse Draxler; live music collaborations from a fresh-faced crew known as thestand4rd, whose members include internet phenomenon and St. Paul’s own Spooky Black; DJ sets from Sarah White and Adora Tokyo; improvisational dance from performers face-painted by Minneapolis photographer Travis Chantar; lip-sync performances by rising local drag glamazon Max Malanaphy; and a silent auction that included a couple of Draxler paintings (which are sure to skyrocket in value over the next few years); proceeds from the fashion show and silent auction will go to benefit the gallery.

All things said, the local fashion community is evolving, growing, and showing no signs of slowing. Kudos to fashion shows like Envision--and this weekend’s MN4MN--that give so many local designers some much-deserved visibility.

Look by Mary Pranica

Look by Mary Pranica

Look from Velvet Moon

Look by Idle Child

Look by Idle Child

Look by Idle Child

Look by Kjurek

Look by Cliché

Look by Samantha Rei

Look by Samantha Rei

Look by Samantha Rei

Look by Tessa Louise

Look by Lindsey Hopkins

Look by Lindsey Hopkins

Look by Lindsey Hopkins

Look by Emily Trevor

Look by Emily Trevor

Look by George Moskal

Look by George Moskal

Spooky Black performing

Jesse Draxler working on a piece featuring Spooky Black

A dancer in the V.I.P. Room

DJ Adora Tokyo in the V.I.P. Room

Dancers in the V.I.P. Room

Max Malanaphy performing in the V.I.P. room

[Photos by A.J. Olmscheid for Minnesota Monthly]

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From boutiques to salons to your own closet, TC Style will bring you expertly curated tips and tricks from the local shopping, fashion, beauty, wellness, and design scene. Odds are if you put it on, take it off, hang it up, or cut it out, we’ll tell you how to get it. Most importantly, we know that when you look good and feel good, you do good—the beautiful life is about much more than the material world. (But that won’t stop us from loving it.)

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