Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week kicks off with Envision: Artopia

JAHNA PELOQUIN | Updated 9/27/2012

Fall fashions from local designers and boutiques hit the runway at Friday's sold-out show

On the heels of New York, London and Milan, Minnesota kicked off its fashion week on Friday night with the semi-annual fashion show Envision: Artopia at Graves 601 Hotel’s fifth floor ballroom. While not nearly on the scale of its major city breathren, our homegrown version offered plenty in the way of spectacle. Collections from 11 local designers and boutiques walked a two-part runway show to a sell-out crowd, with models donning emerald green eyeshadow and “Great Gatsby”-inspired hairstyles. The Jazz Age was in full effect throughout the show, accompanied by international-inspired soundtrack spun by and a showcase of fashions that touched on the exotic eclecticism of fall’s runways.

Highlights included Amanda Christine’s sophisticated, bold-shouldered collection looks that evoked a modern-day Robert Palmer girl; men’s store martinpatrick3 and their dapper, bow-tied dudes donning porkpie hats and flashy red pants; and women’s boutique Roe Wolfe, whose offerings lended a ladylike touch to rustic basics, as in a chunky-knit sweater with delicate lace shoulders. Newcomer Khamphian Vang showed potential with color-blocked sleeves and tweed textiles that evoked a country fox hunt with a London street edge, as did the duo of Kayna Hobbs and Jenny Hessman, who showed a strong point of view with their line of distressed, studded women’s and menswear.

In some places, though, the styling went from eclectic to hodge-podge, and the sheer amount of fashion shown tipped the scales to sensory overload. The nightclub vibe and the audience’s catcalling of male models - something better reserved for Chippendale’s than a fashion show - reflected a crowd that seemed more interested in having a ladies' night out than serious about fashion. But the show, exceptionally produced by Ignite Models Inc. and styled by PrimaChic, ably did its job: revealing a cross-section of Twin Cities style, from its up-and-coming designers to its top shops.

Look by Amanda Christine 

Look from martinpatrick3 

Look from Roe Wolfe

Look from Cliché

Look by Khamphian Vang

Look by Kayna Hobbs and Jenny& Hessman

Look by deLange Designs

All photos by Rhea Pappas for MNfashion