by Beth Hammarlund
Last Thursday, fashionphiles and philanthropists congregated at “Dress Rehearsal,” a fashion presentation and benefit for The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities held at the Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Golden Valley. Models walked and posed on lit platforms in a well-executed fashion presentation that featured pieces from Emma Berg and jewelry designer (and event host) Stephanie Lake, as well as an amazing series of garments loaned out from the closets of Donna MacMillan and Topsy Simonson.
Simonson’s Christian Dior tweed suit and pillbox hat opened the show on a high note, illustrating how modern Dior’s classic suits still feel. Other vintage highlights included an embellished pale yellow princess dress by George Halley, a a silk floral gown by Leonard, and pieces from Alexander McQueen, Comme des Garçons, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Armani, Missoni and Moschino Cheap & Chic. Playful styling by l’étoile’s own editor-in-chief, Jahna Peloquin, included accessories ranging from the whimsical (a basket-weave “lady head” purse by Lulu Guinness) to the classic, such as of-the-moment tassel earrings by Lake.
After the presentations of MacMillan’s and Simonson’s collections, local favorite Emma Berg presented a series of dresses and separates. Her first piece was one that we saw before at “In Bloom” at the MIA, an elegant strapless gown of hand-painted silk. The closing piece was a hand-dyed goat hair coat that was a crowd favorite in her 2011 Frank Gaard-inspired collection.
The rest of of her pieces were brand new, including the highlight of the evening, a mint and white lace and sequined mini-dress (recently featured in l’étoile’s summer 2012 editorial, “Prêt-à-Porter”). The heart-shaped bodice recalled both a stylized vintage apron and the uniform of a slinky French maid. Berg does some of her best work when she incorporates her sense of humor, and this piece is one of the best examples to date.
Other pieces including a dove gray skirt featuring a waterfall of faux pleats and an unapologetically bright turquoise and hot pink shift. The designer’s niece, Tatiana, made another sassy runway appearance (she also walked in “In Bloom”) and is quickly becoming a fan favorite.
As usual, Lake’s accessories were an opulent collision of the past and the present, highlighting her appreciation of vintage and her ability to be a forward-thinking risk-taker when it comes to her work.
Though it’s always a treat to see the handiwork of Berg and Lake, but MacMillan’s and Simonson’s collections of ready-to-wear and custom designer and couture was a jaw-droppingly special treat. They true patrons of the arts, and I couldn’t help fantasizing about what other gems they might have tucked away in their wardrobes.
All photos by Erin Dahlin