What can you say about Voltage: Fashion Amplified that hasn't been said before? As the golden child of Minnesota fashion events, now in its seventh installment, the event brings together people from all over the Twin Cities, dressed to the nines and packed like sardines in the middle of the First Avenue dance floor, to experience the thrill and excitement of the best-produced and most buzzed-about fashion show in town. But what isn't said out loud—at the risk of sounding uncool—is that Voltage is way more than just a rock 'n' roll fashion show where audience members flood local designers and musicians with praise and support. It's a well-orchestrated business model that has changed the local fashion scene into the success that it is today. Yes, the mighty Voltage is an anomaly of sorts, a powerhouse establishment in a sea of casually executed fashion shows. Built up and produced for years by Anna Lee, founder of MNFashion, the event has brought together some of the greatest talent in Minnesota. In this city, most either know someone who has worked on a Voltage show or someone who has attended. And that's exactly what MNFashion wants: to keep greasing the wheels that are already in motion to create a community of consumers, volunteers, and businesses that support local artists and designers. We're talking about pure supply-and-demand capitalism at it finest—on the local, sustainable level. The successful enterprise Lee has created now allows her to sit back and watch the organization grow organically with new leaders at the helm who will take over after 2011. Lee's final Voltage production will feature local bands Pink Mink, Phantom Tails, Communist Daughter, Me and My Arrow, and Fort Wilson Riot, styled by local boutiques and designers. During music sets, models walk the runway in spring looks by Ivan Idland, Sarah Holm, Danielle Everline, Raul Osorio, and others. As always, local stylists, accessories designers, and hair and makeup artists will help complete each look for a thoughtfully finished presentation. Tickets tend to sell out fast, so visit www.first-avenue.com or www.voltagefashionamplified.com for more info. 21+.
Fri., April 15, 7 p.m., 2011