4 takeaways from Fashion Week MN (so far)

Fashion Week MN may be drawing to a close, but that doesn't mean the event will live on solely as Instagram posts or vague, champagne-blurred memories.

With each year, the festival gets more polished and professional, and the happenings that make up the FWMN calendar bring something important and relevant to the table. Though this writer (that's me, hey!) wasn't able to make it to any events due to working NYFW, I couldn't help but observe what was going on in my home base and admire the FWMN crew for all their hard work.

Here's what I, a non-participant, took away from FWMN's fall 2017 installment.

(Project Runway contestant Samantha Rei, who was part of a body-positive panel talk)

1. Twin Cities fashion scene is inclusive. So many events this season made a point of being welcoming to everyone, no matter someone's body type or personal style. It's an attitude that's becoming more popular, and it was really cool to see local fashion folks making a point to spotlight body positivity. There was even a plus-size pop-up with a panel. That’s incredible.

2. Luxury is alive and well ... with a twist. Sure, we lost Neiman Marcus and the original Off 5th with the actual designer fashions, but that doesn't mean you can't get runway clothes here. You just have to do a little extra legwork. The FGI Fall into Luxury event spotlights the fanciest spots in town, like June Resale (a great spot to get designer clothes and shoes for way less) and Mona Williams, as well as menswear retailers like martinpatrick3 and Heimie's. We may no longer have an upscale department store, but wouldn't you rather get your Prada and Alaina for a discount? Of course you would.

3. Getting dressed up and going out is fun. This seems to be a no brainer, but when you hit a wall and realize all you've been wearing is Lululemon, it's kind of fun to do something and go somewhere. Sure, it's not NYFW... but is that really a bad thing? (The traffic is definitely better here.) People were excited to put on fun, fancy clothes and go out to support something that’s a little out of the ordinary. Plus, hitting up fashion events gives you an excuse to go shopping, and we know that we’ve got more than our fair share of awesome boutiques and specialty stores for that very purpose, as well as salons and makeup artists to get you looking just right. You can see the excitement around all the events if you just peep at the hashtag.

4. It’s not just runway shows. This year, there wasn’t the traditional massive Envision runway show to cap off FWMN. And that was okay! There were plenty of smaller events, like panels and workshops, that brought together like-minded individuals who were interested in having a conversation about fashion, personal style, and the mechanics of the business, including the sustainable fashion discussion at Hazel & Rose. Runway shows are fun and exciting and dramatic, but they’re not everything. Sometimes it’s a good idea to strip things down a bit and remove the flashy photo ops. FWMN is a living, breathing idea, and it’s fun to see how things change from year to year.

Fashion Week MN continues tonight with Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's Fashionopolis. Saturday's events include Flip Phone's panel talk on drag fashion, a drag fashion party on Union's rooftop, and MN4MN Blank canvas, which explores the intersection of clothes, visual arts, performance, and more. Find tickets and more details at