'Envision: Artopia' spotlights fall trends

JAHNA PELOQUIN | Updated 9/26/2013

REVIEW: Friday night's semiannual fashion show featured the top fall trends -- and how to wear them.


[Look by Clair Ward]

Minnesota’s homegrown version of fashion week kicked off on Friday night on the fifth floor ballroom of the Graves 601 hotel with the semiannual “Envision: Artopia” fashion show. In its 13 incarnations over the past half-dozen years, the show has consistently been the best-attended fashion show of the MNfashion-sponsored Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week, and it’s not surprising why -- most of the designers and boutiques featured in the lengthy, two-part runway event showcase trendy, wearable looks that are more easily accessible to a wider audience.

This year’s show attempted to put the “art” in “Artopia” with a greater presence of local art, from its emcee (Public Functionary curator Tricia Khutoretsky) to some live cutting-and-pasting courtesy of artist Jesse Draxler. But as always, the focus was on the fashion.

But what “Envision” does best is spotlighting fall trends and showing how to wear them. Here are the top trends showcased at this fall’s show:

  • Athletic fabrics: This year’s biggest runway moment came courtesy of Claire Ward, a standout at the University of Minnesota’s Apparel Design Senior Fashion Show earlier this year. She presented an eye-popping collection of structured yet feminine dresses, rendered in unexpected, athletic-inspired fabrics like Neoprene and mesh decorated with quirky, colorful pom-poms. Also picking up on the athletic trend: Grand Avenue boutique Karma.

  • Quilting: Another highlight of the show was local designer Caroline Hayden’s old world yet modern collection of full-skirted dresses and high-waisted pants -- punctuated with floral-print, quilted fabric. See also: a black quilted, bold-shouldered crop top and matching skirt by local designer Marissa Bridges.

  • Goth-grunge: Fuzzy, oversized sweaters, flannel skirts, camo and black mesh were the order of the day in segments from Cliché and Karma. Bridges also picked up on the trend, combining fuzzy mohair and a dark palette with glammed-out sequins.

  • Menswear: Giving the heritage trend a more sophisticated spin were segments from Martinpatrick3 and Atmosfere, which featured cable-knit cardigans, narrow-cut, cuffed pants, and bomber-inspired jackets in hardy fabrics like wool and leather.

[Photo by Jahna Peloquin]