Voltage returns with an electrifying show at First Avenue
After taking a year off, powerhouse fashion event Voltage came back to First Avenue last Saturday night with a bang. Presented by MNfashion, the event combines local music and fashion for an evening filled with style, energy, and hot Twin Cities talent. The night was divided into four sets, with bands and the stage as the backdrop for the catwalk.
Bomba de Luz took the stage first. Their mature, folk-rock riffs shocked fashion mavens, as the group is still in high school. Singer Lydia Hoglund's voice projected over the crowd, filling the space easily as the first models started walking down the runway.
deLange Designs' collection
deLange Designs embraced a mix of lace, patterns, and muted color tones with pops of neon yellow throughout the collection. Designer Rachel Roff works incredibly well with the summer/skater dress silhouette, adding sleek, feminine flair to each piece. Roff's own graphics and screen printing also made for personal, unique patterns.
CounterCouture, one of the Twin Cities' up-cycling collectives, worked with neutral colors and no-frills tailoring. With clean lines and solid fabrics, it was easy to imagine these highly wearable pieces coming down the sidewalk on a summer day.
Sean Anonymous and Dreamcrusher opened the second set of the night with an energetic performance combining rock and hip-hop for an unexpectedly amazing fusion of beats. The models strutted and twirled down the runway during the set, embracing the fun atmosphere. The crowd was equally amped.
Danielle Everine's collection
For her latest collection, Project Runway alum Danielle Everine took inspiration from her recent trip to Alaska, resulting in a contemporary Katharine Hepburn-in-the-woods kind of look. There were throwbacks to her last Voltage collection with sheer pieces, and Everine combined dark chiffon blouses with heavier fabric printed with an ornate, crown-like motif.
Ellie Hottinger's line radiated, quite literally, as the expertly tailored dresses and skirts were created with mostly gold-flecked textiles. Her time with Alice + Olivia definitely shows through, with the merging of metallic and neutral materials and hues. Hottinger's use of upholstery fabrics added the right amount of structure and heft to the feminine collection.
Aby Wolf's powerhouse vocals and Grant Cutler's expert production took over the stage next, setting the perfect mood for the following collections. Shining in a metallic gold number from Blacklist Vintage, Wolf gave it her all.
Idle Child's collection
The designers behind Idle Child, Becky Larson and Ellie Niemeyer, drew inspiration from Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin, and Lana Del Rey for looks that floated down the runway, hovering in the perfect space between ethereal and witchy. While the line looked a bit like the higher-end pieces in a Free People catalog, the designers held their own with beautifully-draped, flowing fabrics that would be at home at any music festival or free-spirited cocktail party.
Lindsey Hopkins's collection pushed boundaries both structurally and visually. Her satiny dress, printed with a stylized photo-print of a 1900s prostitute, was gorgeous. The piece was reminiscent of Alexander McQueen's famed mirrored prints, with a similar color scheme carried throughout much of her designs. Although the line seemed a bit haute for street wear at times, Hopkins's pairing with mask designer Artist Built made for a visual feast.
The Chalice closed out the night's music acts, and were on fire from their first note. The powerhouse winners of our Picked 2 Click in 2012, and our hosts for 10 Thousand Sounds Festival, were at the top of their game, and gave a performance filled with intensity and a little bit of cheekiness. By the end of the evening, Lizzo, Sophia Eris, and Claire de Lune had everyone tearing up the floor in their platforms and heels.
Samantha Rei's collection
Designer Samantha Rei went for a more wearable vibe this year, combining Peter Pan motifs and Gatsby nods. Building off of her fairy tale-tinged Second Star collection, this year Rei created the Neverland Redux line, featuring chevron-covered vests, lace-trimmed bloomers, and white dresses that could pop out of a storybook.
Lucie Biros's line, Punkktual, embraced its namesake with a roguish merging of hard-lined punk wear with feminine silhouettes. Strong and structured shoulders, bralette tops, and the combination of leather and tulle were present throughout Biros's dark collection. Pops of color from handcrafted headpieces added both edginess and playfulness to many of her looks.
The night's ample turnout of fashionably fab folks made it clear that even with the highly-anticipated Northern Spark festival going on in St. Paul, Voltage is still a must-see event. MNfashion set out to refocus during Voltage's yearlong hiatus, and it seems to have worked in its favor. The pop-up shop featured looks from the 16 accessory and apparel designers, making it easy for attendees to get up-close-and-personal with the fashion, and the crowd could step right up to the stage and dance during performances. With Saturday night's success, let's hope the crew doesn't take a break from Voltage next year.
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