By Liz Hallgren
Fashion Week Minnesota (FWMN) kicked off its week-long series of events Friday, April 21 at the Machine Shop Minneapolis with the Envision fashion show. FWMN is a semi-annual event that brings together artists involved in the Minnesota fashion industry. The show highlights many different members of the industry, including designers, stylists, makeup artists, musicians, visual artists and retailers. FWMN’s inaugural season was in Spring 2015 and since then the event has grown significantly. This year, almost 400 people came to Envision.
Envision, hosted by Twin Cities fashion icons John Mark and Tricia Heuring, brings together 10 designers in the Minnesota fashion community. The event showcases the best and brightest up-and-comers of the industry, as well as its veterans. The 10 shows offered an exciting look at the emerging trends in the industry with designers’ stylistic priorities ranging from sustainable fashion and androgynous wearability to inspired street-style and strong femininity.
Envision opened with a composed and focused collection from Kindred Folk, a Minnesota favorite. On its website, Kindred Folk is a self-described “boho chic adornment for those star folks in the sky.” The brand aims to “honor sustainability and freedom in personal style.” Selling subtle, tie-dye tunics, dresses and clavicle-length summery floral earrings, the brand emanates effortless style for the warmer weather.
Kindred Folk set the scene for the ethically and locally-concentrated brands and their fashion-forward designs. Following Kindred Folk, the event featured Lauren Catcher, Cliche, Emily Trevor, Anna Chambers Goldberg, George Moskal, Idle Child, Kyra Deva, Reiner Vigoa and Sarah Furnae. All of the designers are based in the Twin Cities, although many have international experience working in fashion. Lauren Catcher studied fashion in London and Iceland, whereas Sarah Furnae studied in the Netherlands before establishing her brand in the Twin Cities. George Moskal also attended school in London and made a collection for TopShop.
While each designer offered a unique take on Spring 2017 trends, Anna Chambers Goldberg jumped most dramatically into warm weather wear with a collection based entirely on beach and swim style. Goldberg emphasized simple silhouettes, earthy tones and handmade original designs in her collection. Goldberg is a Macalester graduate who incorporates sustainability into her designs. Showing impeccably-made bathing suits and cover-ups, Goldberg had the audience ready for summer.
Emily Trevor closed the show in a finale that didn’t disappoint. Trevor, a Saint Kate’s graduate, took a global approach to her locally-sourced designs, gaining inspiration from her travels in Asia. Using an energetic combination of blue, green, red and silver to create garments made of unique fabrics, such as tulle, leather, vinyl, tweed and organza, her unique collection closed the show on a futuristic, ebullient note.
While attendees looked to the runway for trend forecasting, those in attendance were excellent trendsetters themselves. Each of the 400 attendees brought a unique and inspired style to the night as Minnesota’s most fashionable. Trends of the night included full suits with cropped pants, bold floral patterns, skirt/top separates and high-waisted gaucho pants.
While Envision brought together Minnesota’s fashion elite in pursuit of an evening of trend-spotting and forecasting, its overall theme of community was the most important undercurrent of the night. A portion of the event proceeds (100% of the silent auction and $1 of every presale ticket went towards a non-profit partner). Public Functionary, an art gallery and social space located in Minneapolis. This is a testament to FWMN’s commitment to creating a gathering space for Twin Cities fashion, art and urban enthusiasts. FWMN acknowledges that the Minneapolis fashion industry isn’t as large as those of New York or Los Angeles, but urges that the tight-knit, innovative, locally and ethically-focused community of the Twin Cities is what makes our fashion scene unique. Attendees came for the clothes, but stayed for the company.