MNfashion's the Shows: Night two [VIDEO]
The final night of the Shows closed out Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week with a tour de force of incredible designer collections on the runway, and a gorgeously-dressed crowd to match. The second of MNfashion's two nights highlighting the crème de la crème of the local fashion community made for a spectacular evening. The designers highlighted on Friday included Mary Pranica, TIM + THOM, Samantha Rei, Caroline Hayden, and Christopher Straub.
The show's finale was topped off with the revelation that a local legend had turned up to surreptitiously check out the fashionable and fabulous people on the runway (and off).
Knitwear designer Mary Pranica opened the show with an incredible line composed entirely of knit apparel. Pranica definitely knows her way around a pair of knitting needles, and she demonstrated this with her chunky, fisherman-type sweater dresses and with the intricately knit detailing on all of her pieces. Her woven collection was fit for any chilly day. Looks were paired with a warm pair of stockings and boots, regardless of whether the outfit in question was knit hot pants or a mid-length dress with a long, calf-grazing fringe hem.
TIM + THOM
Tim and Thom Navarro of TIM + THOM created a ready to wear line with a hint of high fashion for both men and women. One of the more noticeable elements throughout the collection was the use of plaid juxtaposed with lace (especially on tuxedo pants). Fur was also employed for an effect that emphasized strong shoulders and slim gams.
Drawing a fair amount of inspiration from the iconic club kids of the '90s, Samantha Rei of Blasphemina's Closet veered away from her usual Lolita-esque garb into new territory. Rei's collection combined bright colors, a mix of patterns, various fabrics, and boldly-hued fur, encompassing her affinity for the fantastic. Her most-stunning pieces included a glittering gold tutu, skirts with hand-designed manga printed on them, and a pink, fur-lined paisley jacket. Rei's models seemed to have the most fun with the task at hand, strutting down the catwalk individually with insane amounts of attitude before coming out together to dance with hand puppets and glowsticks.
Caroline Hayden created a stunning collection that felt both modern and retro with an effortless sense of sophistication and class running throughout each piece. With full-skirted dresses reminiscent of the '50s and high-waist pants (in both black and dark forest green) that brought back the '70s, the collection paid homage to the best sartorial parts of past decades. Hayden managed to make classic silhouettes fresh by quilting floral fabric, including opera-length gloves, or adding futuristic, frame-hugging capelets.
Two words: gummy bears. These sweet little goodies took over Christopher Straub's latest line like the dessert at the end of a full night of fashion. His collection was a mix of childlike playfulness (oversized red bows and bear-shaped bomber hats) and graceful sophistication (perfectly rendered dress silhouettes) that worked well in his chosen colors for the evening, red and white. Many of Straub's pieces featured photo prints of oversized gummy bears hugging the sides of several dresses, while smaller gummy-bear prints clustered together to create a lace-like Rorschach effect. The Project Runway alum also recycled a couple pieces from last weekend's Red Dress Collection, and, to be honest, they were better styled on the Aria catwalk. The bold, red-fringe blazer was teamed up with a simple white dress on Friday, allowing it to pop on the runway.
Meanwhile, little did attendees know, but Twin Cities royalty was also in attendance that evening: Prince.
"If you've seen anything on Twitter about it, the rumors are true. He was here," said Kyle Thompson, marketing director of MNfashion, after the show. According to Thompson, the pop icon sat on his own in a private section, where he arrived before the first collection hit the runway. Prince allegedly stayed through the end of festivities.
MNfashion's managing director Tara Murphy disclosed very little about her conversation with the star following the last designer's line, but she did reveal that Prince's notorious aversion to cell phones in his presence is as strong as ever.
And what, pray tell did the Purple One look like at the fashion show? The precious few who saw him said he had his signature sunglasses, an afro, and "very Prince-like" attire.
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