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Posts Tagged ‘MNFashion’

The New Mpls-St.Paul Fashion Week

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

MNfashion Week is becoming Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week and shifting its calendar to align with the industry. That means showing collections a season ahead, just like they do in New York, with the hopes of getting orders from retailers with time for manufacturing. Basically, moving beyond the fashion show as entertainment to fashion show as launching pad. The upcoming season, announced today, will be held Feb. 19-26, 2012 and will premiere Autumn/Winter 2012 collections. The MNfashion organization, in its quest to professionalize the local design community, is also implementing a review process to improve the caliber of events and streamline the schedule so shows aren’t double-booked. Registration for Minneapolis-St.Paul Fashion Week runs through Dec. 23. The lineup will be announced Jan. 16.

Local Design at Arafina

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The exhaustive efforts to send a cohesive collection down the runway during Spring MNFashion Week have paid of in spades for local designer George Moskal, whose line – including the white linen dress shown in MplsSt.Paul Magazine – was picked up by Galleria boutique Arafina.

Moskal is a former Target designer who studied apparel design at U.W. Stout, and interned Zandra Rhodes. Arafina was drawn to his “timeless elegance, silhouette experimentation, and couture techniques.”

See Moskal at our spring fashion shoot - talking about the challenges of making it in the fashion biz.

You and Me

Monday, April 18th, 2011

I popped in on Tim + Thom Friday at their new South Minneapolis retail space You and Me, shared with Katy Schmaty jewelry. The boys were slaving over a sewing machine and steamer, finishing designs for the evening’s Voltage: Fashion Amplified, but they couldn’t have been more polite about my bad timing. The self-taught designers and tailors are making fashion accessible beyond runway shows: Come into their funky little shop, and buy a reinvented jacket off the rack (they describe their look as inspired by Twin Cities bicycle culture), or get something custom made. Heck, they’ll even fix the hem on your jeans. Not necessarily for the Ann Taylor crowd, but then, everybody needs to mix it up now and then. 2114B Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-823-8200

Scrubbed Into Fashion

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Grey’s Anatomy met Project Runway and I attempted to channel Nina Garcia as a judge at Saturday’s Scrubbed into Fashion, a collaboration between the University of Minnesota Medical School Student Council and FAB: Fashion and Business group to benefit Smile Network International. Six student designers were challenged to create two looks, one ready to wear, one couture, out of medical scrubs. The master of repurposing, Project Runway alum Christopher Straub hosted, and created four of his own looks for the event (pictured above). I had the difficult task of judging, along with Juut founder/owner David Wagner and another Minnesota Project Runway alum, Katherine Gerdes, now the manager of Hell’s Kitchen. I sort of thought I’d go all Simon (David announced upfront he was a hopeless Randy), but turns out I’m a little more Paula – though all I drank was Vitamin Water, swear. The designers showed real talent and creativity – and the models, all medical students, looked amazing. Maybe Grey’s Anatomy is more realistic than I gave it credit for. After much deliberation, we gave it to Jen Voth, a full time student and jewelry designer, who took inspiration for this challenge from the human heart – color, contrast, and even chamber-like cutouts. The two very wearable dresses were constructed entirely of medical scrubs. Check it out (she made her own dress out of scrubs as well). Congrats to all on a clever, well executed charitable event!

Photos by Kristen Holte, FAB creative director

Fashion Ball

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Where you see nautical stripes and American heritage, Grant Whittaker imagines red sequined marching band jackets with white tights and combat boots. Grant is a true original, and we’re so lucky to have him in the Twin Cities – styling, producing, shaking his booty, and encouraging everyone to embrace the inner diva. When you look good, you feel good – whether that’s a simple, fitted dress with sexy heels…or, perhaps gold sequined bikini bottoms over lace tights and a fishnet top. The second annual Fashion Ball at the Ritz Theater was an entertaining romp through spring trends with superfly dance segments by Ballet of the Dolls. So amusing to see Grethen House and BluePeg designer threads taken downtown. Joynoelle closed the show with a sharp new collection of bridal fashions.

One of the first looks Emma Berg sent down the runway in tonight’s installment of The Mnfashion Shows was a swingy lipstick red dress with “It gets better” emblazoned across the chest. My smile lasted straight through to the last look: a sleeveless tiered white blouse with skinny lace pants and matching oversized hair bow that Minnie Mouse would die for. There were dresses like the white, below the knee halter style with one dynamite red panel you could imagine a fly girl wearing to a country club pool party juxtaposed with short and sheer with strategically placed sequined palm trees. As Berg said herself in the program, “The collection is filled with drama, confidence and wry humor. It is for a woman comfortable in her skin, who, at times, seeks out mischief.”

The uber-talented knitwear designer Kevin Kramp‘s oversized men’s sweaters and clingy knit pants seemed downright practical, compared to his grown man onesies and 20 foot scarves of just a few years ago. The biggest cheers came for the chunky women’s sweater dresses. Some male models wore skinny, wrapped scarves with contrasting ends – and nothing else on top.

These are two talented designers who know how to put on a show. The lights were dim and blue, the music was ominous, both segments opened with a montage of fast moving video snippets – from Emma’s flurry of recent news headlines to Kramp’s appreciation for the male form. Berg and Kramp take the art of fashion very seriously, but aren’t afraid to have fun. That perspective makes for fantastic ride. So it was perfectly fitting that Kramp took his bow on a dirt bike.

Photos courtesy of Ellen Dahl Lawson.

Planning Your MNfashion Week

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Strap on some stilettos for a lively week on the Twin Cities runways. It’s MNfashion Week and that means more than two dozen shows and events to see (and be seen). Some nights have no fewer than nine events going on around town. It’s a great dilemma to face, but here are my top picks:

Tuesday, April 12: Glam Slam Week at Smart and Chic Beauty Lounge Pretty yourself for fashion week. Enjoy 10 percent off all services and products. Call 612-227-9363 for appointments.

Wednesday, April 13: The Voltage kids have grown up and gone on to produce serious fashion shows. The first of the MNfashion Shows will feature new collections from promising local designer George Moskal and forward thinking upcycling brand CounterCouture. Tickets are $20 to $30 and include two drinks. Doors at 7 p.m.; Show starts at 8 p.m. 79 13th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis

Thursday, April 14: The second of two MNfashion Shows spotlights talented local designer Emma Berg, a favorite in the arts scene, and Kevin Kramp, whose men’s knitwear designs are internationally recognized. Tickets are $20 to $30 and include two drinks. Doors at 7 p.m.; Show starts at 8 p.m. 79 13th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis

If I could be two places at once, I’d hit the StevenBe Knitwear Runway Rockshow featuring knit creations by local designers curated by industry vet StevenBe, whose theatrical workshop has become a hangout for novices and skilled knitters alike. $30. 7 p.m. 3448 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis

Friday, April 15: Voltage: Fashion Amplified. The event that started it all, now in its seventh – and possibly final – installment. The show debuts spring lines of aspiring local designers, set to the sounds of local bands. $24. 7 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave., Minneapolis

Saturday, April 16: Fashion Ball. Enter the fantabulous world of stylist Grant Whittaker, who mixes trend and fantasy, blends luxury fashion with thrift and vintage for an entertaining evening of fashion and dance to benefit Ballet of the Dolls. The show will feature fashion from Grethen House, Bluepeg and the new bridal collection from Joynoelle (also takes place Friday night, which could be more of a scene for those whose days of wearing earplugs to watch a show are behind them). $35 to $75. 7 p.m. Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis

Sunday, April 17: Styles for Smiles. A fashion show featuring spring looks from KOKOON Design Studio and Local Motion boutique. Buy the clothes straight off the runway, including jewelry from local lines SBG Designs and m.bridget designs. A portion of proceeds will benefit Project Healthy Smile, bringing oral health education and dental supplies to underprivileged children globally. Admission is free. Doors at 1 p.m.; Show at 2 p.m. 2508 24th Ave. S., Minneapolis

Information on these, and more events is at

Spring Style Dash + MNFW Tickets

Friday, March 25th, 2011

MNfashion takes its independence to the mall this weekend. That’s right: the local designers who seem the antithesis of all things Mall of America are  following through on their pledge to reach out to a broader audience. The Spring Style Dash takes place in the Nordstrom Court Saturday (March 26) from noon to 2 p.m. Three contestants will receive makeovers on the spot, and there will be a sneak peek of spring looks from the upcoming MNfashion Week shows in April.

Speaking of which, tickets for the MNFashion Shows, featuring promising designers Emma Berg and Kevin Kramp (pictured below) and Counter Couture and George Moskal, go on sale April 1. Get up close and personal with all four designers – and their designs – during a trunk show at the MNfashion Studio on April 16. More details on these and other upcoming MNfashion Week events here.

Pale Rider

Monday, September 27th, 2010

One of the most promising events to come out of fall MNfashion Week was Pale Rider – the first fashion show produced by the MNfashion organization at their space in Northeast Minneapolis. It featured the collections of two local designers, Danielle Everine and Raul Osorio. The raw concrete lobby space of the lofted building was transformed into a sexy-chic fashion venue with just some strategically placed sheer curtains, lighting and a long runway. But what really made the space and the show come to life was the crowd – more than 200 young fashion admirers, eclectically dressed to the nines. I was blown away by the size of the crowd and how fabulous everyone looked. I sat next to Anna Lee – the outgoing executive director of MNfashion. Yes, outgoing. The woman who gave birth to an organized Twin Cities fashion scene is ready to move on. She says seeing an event like Pale Rider come together with the help of hundreds of volunteers gives her confidence that the organization can be strong without her. It is the hope of Lee and MNfashion to turn the space at 79 13th Ave. N.E. into fashion week headquarters – our own little Bryant Park – where fashion shows would go on throughout the week. The infrastructure, the enthusiasm – it’s all there. Let’s hope there are enough designers who can live up to it – and grow beyond it.

Fashion, and MNfashion

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Sitting through the underwhelming MNfashion Week preview show this week, I couldn’t help but think about some of the Twin Cities-based designers I’ve talked to in just the last few days, like Katherine McMillan of super cool men’s accessories line Pierrepont Hicks and Jessika Madison-Kennedy of Dadadress. Both rave about Twin Cities – it’s creativity, liveablity and support for the arts. Both are career designers whose fashions are sold internationally. Both are giving back to the local scene: McMillan helped produce tomorrow’s Northern Grade Men’s Market, a celebration of American-made men’s brands, including many local; Madison-Kennedy is running the new fashion design program at the College of Visual Arts.

Neither is involved with MNfashion, the organization that aims to support emerging designers and champion fashion as a viable industry in Minnesota. From Sept. 20 to 26, many of those young designers will participate in fashion shows throughout the Twin Cities – at least two dozen events are planned. Based on the preview, many shows will be fun, but few will be memorable, or lead to commercial placement of the clothes. And that is the goal: to sell the clothes that come down the runway. MNfashion is in danger of falling into the rut it aimed to help designers avoid: staging fashion shows just for the sake of something cool to do on a Saturday night.

In the spring, it seemed MNfashion was finally reaching beyond its core supporters – mostly artsy 20somethings with time to go to fashion shows every night of the week – and exposing itself to the rest of the city, including older women with money to buy the clothes. There were events at Galleria boutiques and designers that are working on manufacturing and distribution, like Laura Fulk and Christopher Straub participated. The only true shining star this time is Joynoelle, which will show on Sept. 23. (tickets available here.) Retailers chose Boutique Week over MNfashion Week.

MNfashion Executive Director Anna Lee continues to work passionately and tirelessly on behalf of local designers. She’s assembled an impressive troop of volunteers. She’s coordinating events with museums and working on securing grants and establishing a sewing cooperative for designers. But the group needs to look beyond its members and the endless parade of wannabes and reach out to the many designers in the Twin Cities who are already doing it – and doing it well. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved