MNfashion Week is back for yet another round, and this spring it's bigger than ever, with events spreading throughout nearly the entire month. It's another sure sign of the constant growth in the Twin Cities' fashion industry, and having been around since MNfashion Week's inception, l'étoile couldn't be prouder! Here we highlight some of the week (nay, MONTH)'s best events, noting the events we highly recommend.
Contributors: Lauren Gantner, Juleana Enright, Beth Hammarlund, Kate Iverson, Tara Sloane and Jahna Peloquin
Edited by Jahna Peloquin
MONDAY, APRIL 11:
Equinox en Vogue
What: Your wardrobe needs more Neo-Victorian. And splashes of Edwardian, Steampunk, and Lolita at that! Three of the Twin Cities most standout custom costumers, corsetieres, and creators of wearables past – Irregular Pearl, KMK Designs, and Scoundrelle’s Keep – will convene Monday to show their spring collections. Karrah Kobus Photography and Fairshadow Photography will also be selling prints before the show. Be there, and be enchanted. -Tara Sloane
Cost: $10-12 or $20 VIP
When: 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show, Monday, April 11.
Where: The Jungle Theater,
2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, www.scoundrelleskeep.com/equinox
Art & Style: A Frank151 Celebration *l'étoile recommended
What: We heart the little pocket-sized Frank151 magazine. It's quarterly fashion/art/music/culture pages are always thoughtfully curated, and tonight's soiree at Honey ought to follow suit. Dress to impress and join Frank151's Minneapolis crew as they present "Art & Style" a fundraiser for the Minneapolis Home for Children. Bring your wallet plus a new toy to donate to the cause and you'll score a raffle ticket that enters you to win a piece of art by a slew of our favorites including Adam Booka, Amy Gee, Amelia LeBarron, Ibi Ibrahim, Michael Gaughan, Ben Lafond, Michael Cina, CES, Chanel Kennebrew, Eyeone, Christina Rimstad, and many more. Add in the fresh beats of one DJ Bach and some tasty drinks and apps at Honey and you've got yourself a pretty awesome Monday night. -Kate Iverson
When: 8 p.m. Monday, April 11.
Where: Honey Lounge, 205 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-746-0306, www.frank151.com
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13:
The MNfashion Shows: George Moskal + Counter Couture *l'étoile recommended
What: Presented by EMI Audio and MNfashion, these local designer solo shows share an air of elegance, dramatic flair and a design aesthetic heavy on the couture. For his spring collection, seasoned textile and apparel designer, George Moskal showcases sophisticated, timeless silhouettes with luxurious fabrics for a collection that reflects the recherché style of the French woman. CounterCouture – a small local brand of collective talent – showcases their upcycled, eco-friendly collection inspired by the children's book character Eloise and textured classics. Ticket prices include 2 complimentary drink tickets, courtesy of Goose Island Beer Company, St. Croix Vineyards and vitaminwaterZERO. -Juleana Enright (Pictured: Looks by George Moskal & CounterCouture)
Tickets: $20 GA, $25 Seated, $30 Two-day pass to both MNfashion Shows, General Admission Standing
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13.
Where: MNfashion Atrium, 79 13th Ave. NE., Minneapolis, mnfashionweek.com
THURSDAY, APRIL 14:
StevenBe Knitwear Runway Rockshow
What: Think couture knits sounds like an oxymoron? Think again as innovative fiber workshop, StevenBe and NE specialty shop, Key North Boutique, host a runway show where high fashion meets knit-wear. Snack on hors d'œuvre and sip down wine as you scope hot styles and knit trends – including chic scarf hoods and vogue infinity scarves – from designers Ilze Bruvelis, Kirsti Relopez and friends. And because die-hards never miss a moment to knit, guests are encouraged to bring their needles and yarn to knit before, during and after the show. -Juleana Enright
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14.
Where: StevenBe: A Yarn Garage Workshop, 3448 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, 612-259-7525, stevenbe.com
Lollycopter Loves EveryBODY
What: The season has finally changed, but if you still don't feel that spring in your step, pop in to the Smitten Kitten to celebrate the up-cycled vintage sexy of Lollycopter. New pieces from the eco-conscious clothing line will be presented, along with live musical performances and a drag performance by Ms. Sasha Rodgers. You won't be able to wipe that smile off your face for days. -Beth Hammarlund
When: 7-10 p.m., Thursday, April 14.
Where: Smitten Kitten, 3010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-721-6088, mnfashionweek.com
The MNfashion Shows: Emma Berg and Kevin Kramp *l'étoile recommended
What: Two of the Twin Cities' most provocative designers have teamed up for a night of design at the MNfashion Atrium. Voltage: Fashion Amplified veterans Kevin Kramp and Emma Berg are both known for their forward-thinking collections and immaculately finished pieces. Their much buzzed-about joint runway presentation is sure to be one of the can't-miss events of MNfashion Week. -Beth Hammarlund (Photo by Robb Long)
Tickets: $20-25 or $30 for two-day pass for The MNfashion Shows
When: 7 p.m., Thursday, April 14.
Where: MNfashion Atrium, 79 13th Ave. NE., Minneapolis, mnfashionweek.com
Atmosfere's Spring Fashion Week Party
What: Head to Uptown boutique Atmosfere for their annual spring fashion week party, where you can check out all the shop's latest offerings for men and women and get in on some one-night-only deals. You'll have to show up to find out what kind of deals, but you're promised free food,d rinks, and music from DJ Strangelove, plus the chance to win a $100 Atmosfere gift certificate with any purchase of $50 or more. -Jahna Peloquin
When: 5-9 p.m. Thursday, April 14.
Where: Atmosfere, 1426 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-332-0381, click here for the Facebook invite
FRIDAY, APRIL 15:
Voltage Fashion Amplified 2011 *l'étoile recommended
What: Arguably the most anticipated nucleus event of Spring MNfashion Week, the ever-evolving high-fashion runway + rock show Voltage debuts the spring collections from an eclectic cast of veteran and up-and-coming innovative, haut monde local designers. This year's line-up features lines from Tim & Thom, Frances Zerr, Danielle Everine, Raul Osorio, Rachel Blomgren, Sarah Holm, Ivan Idland, Kathryn V, Max Lohrbach and Terri Martin as well as the stylish accessories and jewelry designers from locals Bionic Unicorn, Needle & Black, Katy Schmaty, Blacklist Vintage and more. With live sets from rockers, Phantom Tails, Me and My Arrow, Communist Daughter, Pink Mink and Fort Wilson Riot. -Juleana Enright
Tickets: $25-30 at www.first-avenue.com
When: 7 p.m. Friday, April 15.
Where: First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612.332.1775, www.voltagefashionamplified.com
30 Days of Biking Fashion Ride *l'étoile recommended
What: The folks at 30 Days of Biking (aka #30daysofbiking on Twitter) is getting into the fashion act with a fashion ride. The idea is self explanatory - dress up all fashiony for MNfashion Week. Take a cue from last year's Dapper Ride and the Tweed Rides and bicycle around with cycle-chic. Meet up at Powderhorn Park at 6 p.m., stand for a group photo, and then bike around South Minneapolis, ending at MNfashion Week's main event: Voltage: Fashion Amplified at First Avenue. -Jahna Peloquin
When: 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 15.
FRIDAY, APRIL 15 & SATURDAY, APRIL 16:
Fashion Ball *l'étoile recommended
What: If you're not already acquainted with the Ballet of the Dolls, consider this your official invitation to a world of dance, theater and fashion. Prepare yourself for a night of indulgence with delectable cocktails and sumptuous treats. Then dazzle what remains of your senses with a performance by the Dolls featuring couture by Grant Whittaker. The VIP Friday night performance includes dinner and a silent auction. -Beth Hammarlund
Tickets: $35 on Saturday or $75 for VIP Friday
When: 7-10 p.m. Friday, April 15 & Saturday, April 16.
Where: Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE., Minneapolis, 612-436-1129, mnfashionweek.com
SATURDAY, APRIL 16:
ROX Trunk Show at OPM
What: Lovely cherry quartz and agate slices in brilliant colors - as usual, ROX jewelry sounds good enough to eat. An afternoon spent sipping pink lemonade, sampling artisan chocolates, and trying on jewelry that ranges from ladylike to ferocious is a perfect choice on a spring Saturday. -Beth Hammarlund
When: Noon-4 p.m., Saturday, April 16.
Where: OPM Boutique, 3700 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-567-7399, link to Facebook invite
Jagress Intimates Fall/Winter 2011 Couture Premiere *l'étoile recommended
What: Don your favorite spring cocktail dress and join designer Sarah White as she presents her fall collection for Jagress Intimates. Music from DJ Soulwork and complimentary drinks and nibbles will precede the four segment runway show featuring Jagress Intimate's signature decadent pieces. Ranging from playful to seductive, White's lingerie designs incorporate vintage details and unexpected fabrics, creating pieces that are almost a shame to keep hidden. -Beth Hammarlund (Photo: Stephen Stephens/Digital Crush)
When: 8-10 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
Where: Four Seasons Dance Studio, 1637 Hennepin Ave. S. (entrance in alley), Minneapolis, 612-342-0902, mnfashionweek.com
The Elixery Launch Party
What: Practice your pout and get ready to sample the official lipstick of Voltage: Fashion Amplified at The Elixery's Launch Party at Jon Oulman Salon. DJ Jill Reilly is providing the evening's soundtrack and there will be plenty of drinks and dancing, but don't sweat it if you leave some lipstick on your wine glass. That's just an excuse to try out a new shade. -Beth Hammarlund
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
Where: Jon Oulman Salon, 331 13th Ave. NE., Minneapolis, 612-333-2386, mnfashionweek.com
The Secret Garden Fashion Show
What: Fall down the rabbit hole with Secrets Fashion Agency in an Alice in Wonderland inspired runway production. Documenting Alice’s transformation from a child to a woman, designers Ninh Nguyen, Autumn Kirchman, Nonmala & Gaochen Xiong, Sina Yi, Tony Eliason and Khamphian Vang will be constructing an array of fanciful and quirky couture to hit the catwalk all to raise funds for YMCA’s Club Beacons. -Lauren Gantner (Photo: Sam Nong)
Tickets: $15-25 or $30-40 for VIP
When: 6–9 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
Where: The Women's Club of Minneapolis, 410 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis, 612-813-5300, www.secretsfashionagency.com
Children's Hospital Association Benefit Fashion Show
What: In the spirit of MNfashion Week, many of Minnesota’s great salons are teaming up with tons of local clothing shops to create a total Twin Cities-centric runway event. For instance, this Saturday Selby Ave’s 526 Salon (and the Children’s Hospital Association) is bringing together local boutiques Picky Girl, Flirt, Allee and Karma (including designs from Seth Hardin and Maggie Dayton) to hit the catwalk at a positive and proactive fashion event. Help raise money for CHA while admiring local trends, patrolling photos from Elizabeth Barnwell and Karen Klein and filling yourself up with food and drink from Solo Vino, The Cheeky Monkey, Sweet Rush Bakery and more. -Lauren Gantner (Pictured: A look from Picky Girl)
When: 6–8 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
Where: 526 Salon, 526 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-222-3839, www.526salon.com
Emma Berg Trunk Show
What: As one of Minnesota’s most recognizable fashionistas and entrepreneurs, Emma Berg’s bright and bold clothing designs were a shoo-in for this year’s MNfashion week. That means her spring/summer collection will be on display and up for grabs (as well as personalized orders) on Saturday at June throughout an exclusive afternoon showing and trunk sale, complete with treats from Perfect Day Cakes and sips of bubbly. –Lauren Gantner (Photo by Robb Long)
When: 1- 4 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
Where: June Resale Shop, 3406 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-354-3970, juneresale.com
Lucie Lu Trunk Show at Bombshell
What: Join the Twin Cities' only plus-sized boutique Bombshell as it hosts its first trunk show with designer Lucie Lu. Lucie Lu brings a fresh point of view to plus-size clothing by focusing on style rather than size. Enjoy happy hour drinks, view the collection, and place orders. -Jahna Peloquin
When: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
Where: Bombshell Boutique, 794 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-330-2605, mnfashionweek.com
Yuvita Trunk Show at Key North
What: Join Key North for a day of fashion, food, models, music and art. The boutique hosts a trunk show from contemporary designer Yuvita, a European favorite and Chicago designer Cynthia Ashby’s collection. A reception for local artist Marcia Cushmore will also take place from 4 to 6 p.m. -Jahna Peloquin
When: Noon-7 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
Where: Key North Boutique, 515 1st Ave. NE., Minneapolis, 612-455-6666, mnfashionweek.com
Local Jewelry Trunk Show at Parc Boutique
What: In honor of MNfashion Week, Northeast boutique Parc will host its second annual jewelry designer trunk show featuring Twin Cities designers. Meet local jewelry designers (such as m. bridget designs, Camba Jewelry, Kim-Anh Tong Jewelry and KR Dezigns, plus Twilight Soaps and Gifts), shop their new spring collections, and snack on food catered by Solo by Bonicelli. Parc will also be offering 20 percent off everything in the store during the event. -Jahna Peloquin
When: Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
Where: Parc Boutique, 320 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-353-4966, mnfashionweek.com
Scrubbed Into Fashion
What: Here's a challenge you haven't seen on Project Runway yet - get designers to transform medical scrubs into fashion. Fittingly, the event will be hosted by Project Runway alumni Christopher Straub, who has his share of experience creating clothing out of unusual materials (with hair and makeup by Juut Salonspa). He'll be joined by co-host Lisa Roberts of ShopNBC to emcee the event that pits designers from the University of Minnesota against each other to come up with the best couture and ready-to-wear garments. Judges include fellow Project Runway alumni Katy Gerdes, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's Allison Kaplan, Juut CEO David Wagner and Alexis Walsko of LolaRed PR and My Talk 107.1 "Shop Girls" co-host. Proceeds of the event benefit the Smile Network. -Jahna Peloquin
Tickets: $10-15 GA, $25 Seated, $50 VIP
When: 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show, Saturday, April 16.
Where: Rapson Hall (on the University of Minnesota campus), 89 Church St. SE., Minneapolis, mnfashionweek.com
THROUGH SATURDAY, APRIL 16:
ZINQStyle Online Launch
What: New online retailer ZINQStyle.com may be based out of Minneapolis, but its style is international-flavored. The site carries everything from Italian knitwear icon Missoni to trendy lines like Hale Bob and Rock and Republic for women and men alike. Locals lines like Helen Wang Jewelry and Post- Handbags are also in the mix. The site's week-long launch event gives you the opportunity to receive 20 percent off all Hale Bob designs including a free pair of Hale Bob flip flops with any Hale Bob purchase ($40 value, while supplies last). -Jahna Peloquin (Pictured: Hale Bob)
When: April 9-16.
THROUGH SUNDAY, APRIL 17:
Glam Slam Week at Smart & Chic Beauty Lounge
What: Whether you're just looking for some R&R or wanting to get primped for the week's fashion shows, Smart & Chic Beauty Lounge is offering some great deals on their services. The newly-opened beauty bar in Northeast Minneapolis is offering 10 percent off all services and products for the week. That includes everything from blowouts to makeup applications to hair coloring. So bring yourself - or gather a gaggle of girlfriends and make a night of it. For a full list of services, visit their website. To schedule an appointment, call 612-227-9363. -Jahna Peloquin (Photo credit: Maren Delaney Photography)
When: April 9-17
Where: Smart & Chic Beauty Lounge, 20 University Ave. NE., Minneapolis, 612-871-4482, mnfashionweek.com
SUNDAY, APRIL 17:
Bike Style Social *l'étoile recommended
What: In a town known for it's devotion to bicycling and bike culture, it's no wonder that fashion and biking should symphonious. Stop by the shop of coffee connoisseurs/bike specialists, Angry Catfish, for a deliciously brewed complimentary cup of Intelligentsia coffee as you enjoy an evening of film, sweet bikes and peep the latest in local spring cycling-wear and accessories from Rapha, Outlier, Chrome and Mission Workshop. At 5 p.m., watch a Rapha screening of short films inspired by the people, places and stories of road racing, then hop on your rides for a stylish, Rapha-inspired bike cruise/pub crawl to surrounding bars and eateries. -Juleana Enright (Photo courtesy Minneapolis Affair)
When: 4–7 p.m. Sunday, April 17.
Where: Angry Catfish Bicycles + Coffee Bar, 4208 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-722-1538, www.angrycatfishbicycle.com
Minnesota Design Diaries at Old Arizona *l'étoile recommended
What: After following the lives of aspiring teen designers from the Old Arizona for months, the program and MN Historical Society are ready to finally showcase what their students have been up to. Get into the brains of student designers as well as local fashion role models (like Kerry Riley from Needle and Black, Kimberly Jurek from K.Jurek and Korrin Lohmann) in this exhibit and clothing show case all Sunday afternoon. -Lauren Gantner (Pictured: Needle & Black. Photo: Nicholas Marshall)
When: 4–6 p.m. Sunday, April 17.
Where: Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-871-0050, www.oldarizona.com
Styles for Smiles at KOKOON studios
What: Local line KOKOON and shop Local Motion are teaming up with accessories and jewels from SBG Designs and m.bridget designs are joining forces for an MNfashion Week event that doubles for helping out a good cause, Project Healthy Smile. They'll be showing off their cute and colorful spring wear with a runway show with local Ignite models and a tasty snack session (with wine and hors d’oeuvres) – not to mention a Serah Sauser photobooth, DJ Fatty tunage and free mini-makeovers by Brett Dorrian Artistry. -Lauren Gantner
When: 1–4 p.m. Saturday, April 17.
Where: KOKOON Studio, 250 24th Ave. S., Minneapolis, www.projecthealthysmile.org
George Moskal & CounterCouture Trunk Show
What: Hot off their Wednesday evening showcase as part of the MNfashion Week Shows at the MNfashion Atrium, local lines CounterCouture and George Moskal will be making their lines available to the public for purchase. Meet the designers, sip mimosas, snack on hors d’oeuvres, make special orders for trunk show items, and enjoy 20 percent off all Cliché inventory. -Jahna Peloquin
When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, April 17.
Where: Cliché, 2403 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-870-0420, www.clichempls.com
Of Venus And Gaia Celebration
What: Wrap up MNfashion Week with an evening of live jazz from Leah Tousignant and a presentation of the spring collection from of Venus & Gaia. The local accessory line's spring collection features belts, vests and hats as well as lightweight hand-warmers and crocheted vests. -Jahna Peloquin
When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday, April 17.
Where: Overflow Espresso Cafe, 2929 University Ave. SE., Minneapolis, www.ofvenusandgaia.com
MONDAY, APRIL 18:
Bill Cunningham New York Screening *l'étoile recommended
What: In an Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival and MNFashion Week crossover, St. Anthony Main premieres the documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, an intimate and humorous look into the life and passion of street fashion photographer extraordinaire, Bill Cunningham. With special guests from the Goldstein Museum of Design. -Juleana Enright
When: 7 p.m. Monday, April 18.
Where: St. Anthony Main Theatre, 125 Main St. SE., Minneapolis, 612-331-4723, stanthonymaintheatre.com
Haute Roxx: Hot Roxx MNfashion Week Edition *l'étoile recommended
What: The vinyl aficionados of monthly '70s record night Hot Roxx are celebrating MNfashion Week their way. For this special MNfashion Week edition, Hot Roxx are being joined by the Pink Mink's styling team for Voltage, Invisible Outfit (Molly Roark, Lisa Luck, Mike Head, Greta Herman, Danielle Morris and Hot Roxx's own Jen Hughes), to help spin some haute tunes. They also promise "the ever-dashing Gaylord will be donning his shiniest belt buckle and sharpest t-shirt with the caption reminding us all 'It’s What’s On the Inside That Counts.'" A fab way to end MNfashion Week if there ever was one. -Jahna Peloquin
When: 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday, April 18.
Where: Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-722-3454, Facebook invite for more info
FRIDAY, APRIL 22:
Fashion Dance for Life
What: Travel elegantly through time with fashion, dance moves and local designs. Friday evening, Eleve Productions has put together a night of flair and talent, bringing together some of Minneapolis’ instrumentalists, dancers and models to flaunt history inspired looks from designers around Minnesota all to raise money for the Hughes Foundation. -Lauren Gantner
Tickets: $20 GA, $50-65 Seated, $80-100 VIP
When: 8 p.m. Friday, April 22.
Where: Windows on Minnesota, 80 8th St. S., Minneapolis, 612-333-4545, mnfashionweek.com
SATURDAY, APRIL 23:
ARENA Bikini: Iconoclash *l'étoile recommended
What: It seems as though it's been a long time since Minnesotans have feasted their eyes on short-sleeves, let alone bikini wear. Tonight, say goodbye to hefty winter coats and lumbering boots and say hello to the latest in swimwear crafted by local designers and paired to choreography by ARENA Dances Artistic Director, Matthew Janczewski. Peep distressed denim, glitter and miniscule leather bikinis bared by ultra-hot Vision models. Enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and tasty beats with profits going to benefit the local nonprofit dance company, ARENA Dances. -Juleana Enright
Tickets: $45 GA, $100 VIP at www.arenabikini.org
When: 8–11 p.m. Saturday, April 23.
Where: Grain Belt Studios, 77 13th Ave. NE., Minneapolis, mnfashionweek.com
Sol Inspirations Eco Fashion Gala & Benefit *l'étoile recommended
What: Though eco-friendly fashion can still do some major damage to your checking account, it's worth it to give your conscience and the planet a break. Though minimizing your carbon footprint no longer means a wardrobe made of hemp, at Sol Inspirations, Project Runway Season 7 winner Seth Aaron Henderson will bring environmentally sound fashion to the next level. The presentation, which will feature his solar-powered designs, also includes Twin Cities designers such as Jenny Carle and Kathryn V., and a design competition including locally grown fashion darlings and Project Runway alumnu Christopher Straub and Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman. -Beth Hammarlund
Tickets: $35 GA, $75 VIP
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, April 23.
Where: The Depot, 225 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-375-1700, mnfashionweek.com