Year in Review 2013: Fashion

It's not just up to the coastal cities to decide what's hot and what's not across the country. The Twin Cities fashion scene has been coming into its own over the last few years, and 2013 was no exception. From high fashion to eco-chic, this year was filled with incredible looks and events. Here are just a few of our fav fashion highlights from 2013.

See also:
Year in Review 2013: Visual Art

New designers

Sometimes, the first fashion events of Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week are the most memorable. MNfashion's Emerging Designer Showcase annually features new talents who have smaller collections that highlight their burgeoning skills and expertise. Meanwhile, the U of M Junior and Senior Fashion Shows brought some of the freshest style spotted on the runway this year, from active wear to evening gowns. The designers spotlighted at both MNfashion and the U of M's shows aren't resting on their laurels just yet. These guys are hungry for sartorial splendor, and the results are spectacular.

Kokoon's 25th Anniversary Fashion Show

In 2013 Kokoon celebrated 25 years of fashion trends with a party reflecting back through the decades, featuring pieces such as cropped tops and flared pants from earlier eras and fitted knitwear and smart skirts from more recent looks. The self-proclaimed "boutique without borders" champions the idea that designers don't need just one retail spot to sell their clothes. Rather, they can take their "stores" right to their fans' homes, and even involve them in the selling process. As designer Laine Sou Weinberg took to the stage at the party to thank everyone for their support over the years, it was clear that Kokoon is more than just a fashion line to her family, it's a way of life.

Dress Rehearsal

This year, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts played host to a show that was half vintage, half brand-new fashion. Featuring tons of pieces from various collections, the first part of the program brought the past to life with beautiful clothing that included a gorgeous Bullock's Wilshire beaded dress and the experimental looks of Comme des Garcons. Emma Berg's newest collection followed the retro portion of the evening for its debut on the runway (the only time it's been shown as a whole). Mixing bold fabrics and strong silhouettes, Berg designs played with the idea of yin-yang.


Voltage returned this year with a vengeance. After taking a short hiatus, the raucous show that combines fashion and music at First Avenue came back stronger than ever. The lineup included a diverse mix of acts, including Sean Anonymous and the Chalice, and the models appeared to be having fun as they strutted and danced their way down the catwalk. The audience was getting down in the Mainroom as well while the bands played their way through the collections from the likes of Idle Child and Danielle Everine.

Year in Review 2013: Fashion
B Fresh Photography

Shout Out St. Kate's Fashion Show

Students from the fashion merchandising program at St. Kate's put their design talent to work trying to craft chic duds from stuff you'd normally see in the trash can. Using items as varied as chip bags and toothpaste tubes, these student designers made memorable, eco-chic pieces that shimmered and shined down the runway in the Mall of America's rotunda. Product placement, anyone?
Northern Grade 

The ultra-trendy, traveling menswear pop-up market hit the Minneapolis Institute of Arts again with the hippest of hip apparel just in time for the holidays this year. As part of the museum's Third Thursday program, designers also stopped by to reveal what goes into making their pieces unique while sharing insider tales about the fashion industry. Minnesota knitwear designer Kevin Kramp showcased his craft and sold some of his luxury scarves at one of this year's events.

Avant Garden

Coinciding with the opening of the Claes Oldenburg exhibit this fall, the Walker's annual gala combined high fashion with very Walker-inspired glamor. Highlights included a fascinator in the shape of a cherry inspired by Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture, and a dress mimicking Oldenburg's Shoestring Potatoes Spilling from a Bag.


Sheryl Crow lit up the stage at this year's Glamorama. The evening featured a decidedly broad theme: light. The annual fashion show, sponsored by Macy's, brought out some of the Twin Cities' biggest fashion mavens to check out what the department store (and the designers it stocks, like Jean Paul Gaultier, MaxMara, and Diesel) have to offer this season. A performance by Cirque du Soleil capped things off with considerable flair before the glittering masses retreated to Macy's eighth floor for an after-party extravaganza filled with fashion, dancing, and more than a few drinks and nibbles.

Best of the Twin Cities Party

Gatsby was everywhere in 2013, and flapper flair was on display in droves at the City Pages Best of the Twin Cities party. Nothing -- not even half a foot of snow on the night of the event -- could keep fans of the Jazz Age away from the shindig. With drop-waist dresses, sparkling headbands, high heels, and fringe galore, folks dressed to the nines with their best Roaring Twenties impressions as Davina and the Vagabonds set the backdrop for everyone to Charleston away into the night.

Envision: Artopia

The twice-yearly fashion show brings Ignite Models to the catwalk while some of the most esteemed local designers and boutiques bring their collections front and center. Shoppes such as Cliche and MartinPatrick3 are perennial favorites for girls and guys respectively, showing some of the best ready-to-wear style right from the store, and local designers bring a bit of personal flair from their collections to the runway. In many cases, it's not so difficult to see yourself strutting down the sidewalk in some of those clothes. This year's standouts included Claire Ward and Marissa Bridges.

The Shows

No conversation about fashion in the Twin Cities is complete without talking about the Shows. The cornerstone of Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week, this series of runway shows is the place to see and be seen. With experienced local designers' collections hitting the runway, audiences got a look at the sartorial handiwork that's going on right here in the Twin Cities. Both iterations of the Shows in spring and fall brought new pieces to the runway, inspiring local fashion for the coming season. The first series of the Shows in February boasted gummy bears from Christopher Straub and an elegant line from Caroline Hayden. With Lindsay Hopkins's daring collection and Samantha Rei's new brand launch, fashion week this autumn was just as hot as it was in the spring. Even Prince showed up at the Shows this year, and when Prince shows up to something anything, it's automatically the hottest ticket in town.

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