Envision Artopia, Fall 2012: Our review
Last Friday, another highly successful Envision: Artopia kicked off the first of many stylish happenings around town for Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week. The celebration brought fashion, art, and music together at the Graves Hotel for one of the year's most glamorous and high-style gatherings. This installment featured historic inspiration from the 1920s to the 1990s, as there was an unmistakable hint of vintage mixed in with cutting-edge, modern looks on the catwalk.
OSO opened the runway portion of the evening decked out in some of Cliché's finest clothes. The model and singer, also known as Tearra Rosario, reminded the crowd that the night was "all bred from collaboration of wonderful artists." Indeed, the evening showed off some of Minnesota's best and brightest artists and designers.
Amanda Christine's collection brought the recently-favored cut-out and slit trend into the winter months with class and elegance. Instead of large cut-outs, the designer favored the less-is-more philosophy with petal-like holes expertly placed on the front and back of her blouses and dresses. Her line also featured diamond-patterned knitwear, including chunky short-sleeved sweaters, mini dresses, and cowl-neck scarves. Her looks were sleek and simple, embracing a touch of retro style with modern silhouettes.
Drama brought the tribal print, often seen at summertime festivals, into the winter seasons with well-tailored wrap jackets that flatter any figure and tribal-print trench coats. Pieces from this collection ranged from beige blazers to patterned sweaters to coral-colored dresses. Drama's standout piece was a halter-neck maxi dress with a deep cowl neckline in a dark burgundy-eggplant hue.
It's unfortunate that there aren't more menswear designers showing collections at Envision: Artopia year to year, but MartinPatrick3 always nails this oft-overlooked category so perfectly. Their segment began with a gris-hued jacket, pinstriped shirt, bowtie, bold red pants, and a pork-pie hat. The retro-European vibe only grew from there. Buzzwords like "France!" and "nautical!" and "Eton!" kept coming to mind as the collection progressed with khakis, striped shirts, navy pea coats (collars popped), and plaid bowties. It should be noted that cheers (and wolf-whistles) for MartinPatrick3 line grew with each successive outfit.
Kayna Hobbs + Jenny Hessman
The collection by Kayna Hobbs + Jenny Hessman was one of the evening's more experimental, but seeing as these two designers are slated to graduate from the University of Minnesota in two years, they're doing pretty well on such a big stage. Hobbs and Hessman's looks combined avant-garde (a large leather shoulder-piece atop a white blouse), grunge (ripped sweaters with Hawaiian-print shirts underneath), and other ideas for an adventurous line. Their elephant-print shirt with ankle-length cigarette pants were a vision, as were a pair of studded suspenders seen at the beginning of their runway segment.
DeLange Designs seemed to take a leaf from The Great Gatsby with 1920s and vintage-inspired pieces and cuts throughout the collection. From a cream, drop-waisted dress paired with a rust-orange turban to a dust-colored, mini-shift dress, it seemed the line was born in a sweet and pretty retro dreamland. The best pieces were a 1950s-style ball gown, a lacy dress teamed with a beret and green leather gloves, and a strapless mini dress with a sweetheart neckline.
If deLange Designs mostly embraced the Roaring '20s for inspiration, Roe Wolfe went with mid-century influences, wowing with an incredible tailored peplum dress with three-quarter-length sleeves and layered ruffle pockets. Other trends seen from Roe Wolfe's boutique included feathers, birds, and more tribal prints.
An Envision: Artopia vet, Kimberly Jurek's line brought psychedelic patterns to the runway on both shiny silk blouses and dresses. The collection showed off batwing sleeves and cut-out ponchos that were both a retro throwback. Some of her best looks included a butterfly wing-like print on a drop-waist dress, and a hi-lo skirt paired with a blue shirt. Kjurek managed to take some very simple clothing pieces and deliver them with a hint of ingenuity, such as her twist-rolled tank-top straps and the tribal trim on the cuffs of a black poncho.
Local Motion's outerwear was a superb blend of fur, plaid, belts, and leather. The first look (a mix of blue, orange, and cream delight) along with the second look (the same sort of style in pink, tan, and green) couldn't have made the crowd more excited for fall and layering seasons. One of the standout looks from Local Motion was a large fur stole topping a printed mini reminiscent of Alexander McQueen's iconic symmetrical patterns paired with wrist-length gloves.
There were elbow patches galore on all the menswear choices from Atmosfere, and there was no complaining since such a simple addition to a sweater or blazer can make all the difference. The line included a gray three-piece suit with a hint of shine. The men in the crowd had a fondness for a pink-striped shirt that screamed Southwest paired with a tan vest. This was a great line for men's outerwear and layering pieces this upcoming season.
The classic-with-a-twist looks from Khampian Vang took the runway by storm by pairing classically tailored pieces with unexpected elements. From the navy pencil skirt with a neon green, sheer blouse to a maroon-hued skirt with leather paneling, this collection made it easy to fall in love with the daily fashion for autumn and winter. These interchangeable pieces would work well as a set, or pair with something already in your closet. That's where Khamphian Vang shines.
Cliché clothing boutique closed the night with its set of Minneapolis chic. Whether it was a brown leather baby doll dress or a plaid schoolgirl-style frock coming down the runway, this collection was definitely cute and ready to be seen on style blogs. One of the evening's most risqué looks came from Cliché's collection: a bondage-inspired black dress with leather belting across the chest and shoulders. A personal favorite from the collection was a sheer onion-sleeved shirt with orange paisley embroidery paired with scalloped shorts.
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