Preview: Joynoelle's Color-inspired Collection

It’s less than week before Joy Teiken’s fall 2016 runway show, “A Study in Color,” and she’s preparing for fittings and making finishing touches on the collection at her South Minneapolis atelier. The designer has been one of the Twin Cities’ most prolific, consistent, and visionary names in fashion since debuting her line, Joynoelle, in 2004, presenting a full runway show nearly every year since.

The concept behind her latest collection came out of a back-to-school shopping trip with her seven-year-old son, Noel, and the experience of opening a new box of crayons for the first time. She selected a dozen hues to provide the foundation for her 24-look collection, each color representing a pair of looks—one an elegant gown, typically paired with an opera coat (“There’s so much fabric in this collection,” she says); the other a “funkier” version made up of jumpers, shorts, and tailored vests for a look that Teiken describes as “almost dandy-like.”

Unlike many of her previous collections, which have taken inspiration from the paleolithic era and The Cat in the Hat, color is the only real unifying theme to the line—though many of Teiken’s signatures, such as innovative textile manipulation, Edwardian ruffles and necklines, and velvet-trimmed bodices, are present throughout. A pink textured bustier was constructed by gluing thousands of tiny bits of torn velvet onto muslin. “Some things need more work than others,” she says. “It takes me six months to do all of this stuff. But I do this to myself—it’s not like I have to do this, it’s fun!”

Designer Joy Teiken

Courtesy Joy Teiken

Where does your customer come into this collection? I ask. What do you see them wearing?

“I’m not even thinking about my customer with this collection, to be honest,” she admits, explaining that she spends most of the year custom-designing bridal and special-occasion dresses tailored to clients’ needs. “Once a year, it’s nice to do whatever I want and not even think about other people. It’s not designing for a women who’s been dreaming about her wedding all her life. It’s a very different thing.”

But I have a feeling many of her loyal clients will embrace the ethereal, kaleidoscopic collection nonetheless. See for yourself next Tuesday, April 12, when Teiken will debut the full collection on the runway at the Minikadha Club as part of Fashion Week MN’s spring season. Tickets are nearly sold out; reserve yours at Proceeds benefit Kill Kancer, a local non-profit dedicated to promoting cancer awareness founded by Mary Beth Mueller, wife of Soul Asylum member Karl Mueller (he died of cancer in 2005). For the full Fashion Week MN schedule, visit

View an exclusive look behind-the-scenes with Joy Teiken at her atelier by Minneapolis filmmaker Stefanie Toftey:

Preview “A Study in Color,” taken at the Joynoelle Atelier:

all photos by jahna peloquin