by Beth Hammarlund
Naming your fashion event “Fall into Luxury” sets pretty high expectations, and last Friday’s MN Fashion Week event did not disappoint. Organized by global non-profit Fashion Group International and held at Morrie’s Luxury Auto, the event featured clothing from local boutiques Mona Williams, June, MartinPatrick 3 and bumbershute, as well as t-shirt designer Mona Nunez, and jewelry from Stephanie Lake and Milana Stile.
Guests nibbled on passed hors d’oeuvres prior to the show, which was hosted by Sarah Edwards, the co-founder and co-director of FWMN, and local style icon Vanessa McDuffie. The long runway allowed guests the opportunity to fully drink in the elaborate and creative looks styled by Richard Anderson. The fashion was certainly luxurious, eschewing modern style watch words such as “effortless” and “restrained.” Instead, Anderson embraced color, texture, detailing and unapologetic glamour. There was effort there, and it showed in the best possible way. I certainly appreciate minimalism, but this celebration of extravagant slow fashion was a welcome change.
Although the event was certainly a success, I did walk away with a few minor criticisms. There were no programs listing the credits and no projections of the boutiques’ or designers’ names during their runway segments. It was left to the hosts to introduce the boutiques and designers, but, as often happens when you have a large room full of excitable guests who’ve been sipping on cocktails, there was a lot of talking and it was easy to miss parts of the introduction. It’s a sad thing to be watching such beautiful clothing come down the runway while being unsure of where to purchase it. A simple program or a basic visual projection would have easily corrected any potential confusion.
As for the crowd, it’s easy to fault guests for talking amongst themselves, but ultimately, keeping the attention of a large and boisterous crowd is always going to be a challenge. “Fall into Luxury” is the kind of event that definitely benefits from having hosts and Edwards and McDuffie share an appealing rapport, but it may be helpful to keep the hosting duties short and sweet. After buzzing around a stylish cocktail hour, even the most refined guests often find their attention span reduced by half.
Event organizers Daune Stinson and Milana Tolins put together a lovely show and Anderson’s styling was innovative and engaging. I’m looking forward to more collaborations between the trio. Hopefully we’ll see another event from the them this spring.
photos by Victoria Turcios courtesy of FGI