Our Notes: FashionFest 2018

Here are our top picks from FashionFest’s luxury marketplace

UMN athletes and coaches model the latest Love Your Melon on the runway as a preview to the fashion show. Photo by Lianna Matt.
As a preview to the fashion show later in the evening, current and former University of Minnesota athletes and coaches modeled the latest Love Your Melon hats. Throughout the fashion show, community  influencers like broadcasting hosts, athletes, university regents, and doctors were the models.

Photo by Lianna Matt

At FashionFest, the annual gala for the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, time flies by. The highlights of the evening include a fundraising portion, where one family’s willingness to share their story with the hospital’s care moved more than a few people, as well as a live auction, fashion show with more than 140 outfits highlighting the 20-plus vendors in the gala’s marketplace, after-party dancing and on a personal level, meeting Vikings player Kyle Rudolph and university president Eric Kaler (and seeing a whole lot more recognizable people on the runway). If you want to have a good night out (and be a part of the $345,000-plus crowd raising), I would definitely recommend this one.

The upscale brands included Bumbershute, Cambria USA, Nicole Miller (brought to you by Dugo), and Stephanie’s, and throughout the night, wingmen carrying trays of featured items gave you previews of what to keep an eye out for. Each brand donated 25 percent or more of their sales for the night, and considering some of the most expensive items were nigh $8,000 (and, to be fair, others were affordable around $30), donations add up fast. Here are some of my standout items of the night that you should check out: 

Woodchuck USA world map coasters ($35) are locally designed and made, and the six coasters can make up the world or be stored in its compass rose-embellished holder. Like all Woodchuck products, if you buy a product, they plant a tree.

Queen Anna House of Fashion’s Chan Luu Vintage floral embroidered choker ($36) is, well, just what it says, plus it has some small clear beads lining it for some extra specialness. If you want something with a little bit of edgier vintage glam, check out the Chan Luu beaded diamond long skinny scarf ($58).

Goldfine Jewelry floating pearl necklace ($78) is simple, elegant, and timeless. I love pearls, but I will say even my friend who thinks they’re boring liked this necklace because of its statement proportions.

Tommy Bahama’s Collegiate Sandbar Slub Reversible Half-Zip Sweater ($145) may have not been the exact shirt from Tommy Bahama’s college collection, and it may not have been my favorite item there. However, the gala part of the night made me feel slightly more school spirit-y, and hey—it wasn’t a bad sweater.

Shields Hammermade shirt ($148.50) has a navy and red dot pattern with navy tonal check trim, which creates an eye-catching, almost shimmering purple hue. 

Gloria shoes by Red Wing Shoes Co. ($549.99) are great whether you want them as a functional staple to a casual outfit or as the missing piece you need to make your outfit a little fiercer.

Ribnick Outerwear’s Ruby Sheared Beaver Stroller with Fox (price available upon request) has the classic silhouette with a modern twist from the hue and the subtle zig zag pattern on the body. Obviously, not eveyone likes fur, but if you are, you’ll want to make sure to put everything down to be able to handle the coat with the care its value demands.