Samantha Rei Debuts Fall Collection, Exclusive Lipstick Line with Elixery

Following years spent showing her fashion line at local fashion shows, Minneapolis designer Samantha Rei opted to get out of town to premiere her latest collection, at the recent Vancouver Fashion Week.

“I felt like I needed to reconnect with my Canadian customers,” says the designer, who has been selling her designs internationally since she debuted her first fashion line, Blasphemina’s Closet, in 2000.

Rei’s fall/winter 2016 collection, dubbed “id.ego,” represents a shift for the designer in terms of both inspiration and aesthetics. While her designs typically mine elements of historical fashions spanning the Victorian era to the Roaring ‘20s, the new collection is a study of her mental health over the past couple of years and takes inspiration from ink-blot tests. It’s rendered in a stark black-and-white palette and architectural silhouettes, with angular, jutting shapes throughout. “It’s my therapy collection,” she has said. (Read more about the collection at this previous piece I wrote on the MNMO style blog.)

Despite the lack of a local showing of the line, local fans of the designer will be able to see it up close at an open studio event she’s hosting tonight at her North Loop studio, in conjunction with a launch party for a line of three lipsticks created especially for the fashion collection in collaboration with Minneapolis cosmetic maker, Elixery.

“Samantha knew exactly what she wanted when she got to the lab,” Elixery’s team wrote on a blog post about the collaboration. Rei says on the darkest purple shade, Supernova: “I’m always looking for a beautiful dark almost-black purple and I think we nailed it in this one. I’m obsessed and wear it like 4 days a week.” She describes Quantum as “a sexy, deep, burnt-berry burgundy” and Midnighter as “a muted grey lavender that is flattering with almost all skin tones,” adding that it’s perfect “for those of you who love the muted pastel trend as well as those of you with darker skin like me who’ve had trouble finding your shade.”

Attendees of tonight’s launch party can purchase lipstick and clothing from the collection, and enter to win a free set of the lipsticks. Also on display will be the shoes by John Fluevog Shoes that accompanied the looks on the runway and the acrylic antler jewelry by local jewelry line Anhedonie that adorned the collection. Rei’s one-of-a-kind ink blot totes, silk scarves, hand-sewn wool headbands, and hand-beaded, satin-lined totes will also be available for purchase. (Buy online at Rei’s Etsy shop.)

7-9 p.m., Thu., April 7, 707 N. Third St., #202A, Minneapolis, samantharei.com.

Below: A few looks from Rei’s “id.ego” collection at Vancouver Fashion Week:

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Courtesy samantha rei

Courtesy samantha rei

Below: Rei’s ink-blot toes:

Courtesy samantha rei

Below: Rei’s lipstick collaboration with Elixery:

Courtesy Elixery

Courtesy Elixery

Courtesy Elixery

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