Review: Danielle Everine's “Matryoshka in Japan”

While she’s had a steady presence in the Minneapolis fashion scene over the past decade, showing the occasional design or capsule collection, designer Danielle Everine hasn’t shown a full line since fall 2011’s seafaring-inspired “Call Me Ishmael.” That was amended last week with the Project Runway alum’s presentation of her fall collection, “Matryoshka in Japan,” at Eat Street gallery City Wide Artists during fall’s Fashion Week in Minnesota. The intimate presentation—an extension of the designer’s spring capsule collection shown at Black Hearts Ball earlier this year—featured ten models moving throughout the gallery, offering the public the chance to see and feel the garments up close. (The designer noted that pieces from the collection would be immediately available for order on her website, danielleeverine.com, following the showcase.)

Coincidentally shown against the backdrop of the provocative exhibition currently on display at the gallery, A Letter from the South by Atlanta artist Horace Imhotep, Everine’s fall 2016 collection, too, drew on cross-cultural references. Taking inspiration from the “delicate intricacy” of enameled Russian nesting dolls and Japanese Daruma dolls as well as the cultures from which each doll derives, Everine wove bits of each culture—Mandarin collar–evoking necklines, thigh-high knit socks trimmed in rabbit fur, a tropical-print silk pant that offered a tailored take on harem pants—throughout the collection. The designer took the nesting-doll inspiration as far as the intricate layering of the looks themselves, made up of diaphanous sheer fabrics, vibrant prints, and wooly knits. Creating looks that play off the contrast between prints and textures is by now a signature of the designer, as is her adeptness with outerwear and knitting. (She recently began creating her own knitwear via a knitting machine.) Other standouts included a buffalo-plaid jacket with an embroidered collar, a striped linen dress with a ruffled hem, and a sheer, screen-printed dress worn over a plaid jumper. While a look featuring a kimono-inspired jacket worn over a plaid dress was a bit of a clunker—the colors and fabrics too heavy-looking, the pieces themselves fairly bland—the collection overall was a fantastic showcase of Everine’s thoughtfulness, attention to detail, creativity, and skill.

[Disclosure: The author of this review is co-director of Fashion Week MN.]

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all photos by Jay Larson

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