Atlanta native Lindsey Hopkins made a splash when she mounted her first local fashion show at Minneapolis–St. Paul Fashion Week in 2012. The innovative collection was one of the strongest debuts in recent memory, demonstrating the designer’s impressive technical skills and original prints on luxe fabrics. But she was no novice—the Savannah College of Art and Design grad had won Elle magazine’s prestigious “Fashion Next” award in 2011 before moving to Minnesota to work at Target, where she’s now an associate apparel designer. “I often draw inspiration from what I’m curious about— current and historical events, science, religion, sociology.” Hopkins says. “The clothes I design communicate this curiosity and inspire those who see and wear them to be curious as well.” Her latest collection features organic, avant-garde shapes juxtaposed against traditional silhouettes, such as this cocktail dress with a removable, hand-detailed outer layer.
The great outdoors has always been a key point of inspiration for the designs of Danielle Everine. The avid outdoorswoman and bicyclist has been active in the Minneapolis fashion scene since the mid-’00s, when she gained a reputation for chic collections created with physical activity in mind. Though a stint on Project Runway in 2011 gave her national exposure, the designer has stayed grounded. While working as design director for local manufacturer Clothier Design Source, she’s turned out capsule collections and collaborative design projects. Her latest: Interlachen, a joint effort with her husband, David Heisserer, featuring Guernsey-inspired knits, including this handmade MTKA sailing sweater, paired with Sven two-tone Mary Jane clogs and a jeweled pirate-ship necklace by Stephanie Lake Design. Danielle says the new project is meant to inspire “a new Minnesota tradition, a sweater that will be in the family for years to come.”
Made-to-order Interlachen MTKA sailing sweater, $300 @ interlachengear.com
Seafarer Penelope navy twill flare pants, $275 @ Arrow, arrow-minneapolis.com
Sven Nu Buc two-tone Mary Jane clogs, $225 @ svensclogs.com
Stephanie Lake Design antique bronzed pirate-ship necklace, $565 @ stephanielakedesign.com
“I try to evoke fantasy and whimsy in everything I do,” says Christopher Straub, a lifelong Minnesotan whose rise through the design ranks has, indeed, been fantastical. The self-taught designer began sewing as a teen and has since appeared as a finalist on Project Runway, designed collections for Maurices, appeared in Oprah’s magazine, and, perhaps most memorably, crafted a dress out of lettuce on the Rachael Ray Show. Straub’s pieces often feature textures found in nature and prints that he’s created himself. His fall 2014 line is forward-looking, combining those natural elements with streetwear-inspired styles with oversize fits and graphic icons. This raglan-sleeved dress blends autumn trends, combining neon purple neoprene with quilted appliqué work—in this case, Straub’s signature quirkiness comes through via a stitched-on triceratops skull.
Lisa Hackwith of Hackwith Design House almost took another career path entirely, planning to study for a master’s in fine arts before she began sewing. Her minimalist dresses, jumpers, and kimonos quickly became favorites on the Twin Cities fashion scene
—and pieces are released a few at a time to keep fashionistas knocking at her door. “I’m not tied to designing an entire seasonal collection,” Hackwith explains. “Instead, I design limited-edition pieces—no more than 25—that will not be seen again once they sell out.” This fall’s pieces are signature Hackwith: neutral, clean, and versatile, making them easy to mix and match throughout an autumn wardrobe—this crop top would be ideal paired with a blazer and
pencil skirt, while a chunky knit worn atop the jumper would make for a cozy late-fall look.
Hackwith Design House Elsa tank, $155, and suspender pants, price upon request @ hackwithdesignhouse.com
Brushstroke leather wrap wristlet in black by Needle & Black, $40.40 @ needleandblack.com
Sven leather clog booties, $395 at svensclogs.com
Emma Berg is not afraid of the dark. Nor does complexity scare her. The seasoned designer specializes in an aesthetic that she describes as “bipolar,” creating custom designs and collections that have either a dark romanticism and an avant-garde slant or an optimistic surrealism full of color and playfulness. Her fall 2014 collection fits into the former camp. “It’s meant to represent the inability for most to move beyond the socioeconomic status they’re born into due to the social constructs in place,”explains Berg, who took inspiration from uniforms to design looks referencing everything from mechanics’ overalls to fatigues. In this two-piece outfit, leather and wool are juxtaposed with lace and a grosgrain ribbon sleeve—surprising, feminine details for such a structured look.
Emma Berg wool and vinyl skirt, $275, and leather, lace, and grosgrain ribbon top, $350
Romantic, delicate, whimsical: These are the words most associated with the work of Minneapolis couturier Joy Teiken. Her namesake line, Joynöelle, has been a staple of the Twin Cities fashion community for more than a decade and has been in the national spotlight with features in Women’s Wear Daily, Real Simple Weddings, and Daily Candy. But with her armor-inspired fall/winter 2014 ready-to-wear collection, Teiken is showing a decidedly stronger point of view, with sharply tailored silhouettes, bold shoulders, and a moody palette. But ultimately, the line is as feminine as it is fierce. “My end goal is always to accent the female form, not change it,” Teiken says—a statement that rings true in this structured lace confection, paired with a one-of-a-kind Victorian jet-winged collar with antique French bird by local jeweler Stephanie Lake Design.
When it comes to inspiration, Emily Trevor can’t put her finger on just one. So she turns to the Alexanders, describing her aesthetic as “Wang meets McQueen.” Though relatively new to the local design scene (Trevor graduated from St. Catherine University’s apparel-design program in spring 2014), she’s already making a name for herself juxtaposing hard and soft, sport and femininity, edge and innocence. Her moody fall collection communicates her vibe perfectly—even this ultra-feminine frock has an attitude. Canvas and boning give flattering structure to the silk faille bodice, and the mid-length skirt has an overlay of nylon mesh with lacquered wool trim to bring extra dimension to the piece. Cutout cap sleeves and a wide scoop neck give the frock an irresistible ballerina-like quality perfect for the fanciest of fall fetes.