Monday, April 18, 2011

MNfashion week in review: "Envision: Artopia"

For last weekend's "Envision: Artopia" runway show (co-produced by Ignite Models, City Pages Futuretime Productions and V2 Nightlife) kicking off MNfashion Week at Graves 601 Hotel, l'etoile fashion editor Jahna Peloquin and legendary local stylist/interior decorator Richard Anderson sat ringside and traded critiques and compliments alike. Lucky for you, we recorded their conversation.

Photos by Stephen Stephens for Digital Crush Photography

Amanda Christine

Jahna: That's my dress (far right)! Only mine is red.
Richard: I love it in both colors. It’s a wearable dress. I love that there’s just a little peekaboo in it. And I love when the dress has a little surprise when it’s walking away from you.
R: Love the print. A little bit of tribal without being overkill.
R: They’re very easy dresses to wear. I’m surprised to see the exposed zipper trick. We saw a lot of that last spring and I thought it was over.

J: I love the jacket.
R: Love the jacket. This is so retail ready. And this works for a variety of sizes - larger women, smaller women.
J: I like how the floral dress takes a pretty print and edges it up with an interesting neckline.
R: Again it’s so fun to see a dress walk away and be impressed by the back of it. That’s adorable.
I’d love to get one of my brides to wear that white dress as a wedding dress.
J: It’s skimpy!
R: I don’t care! It’s like a simple silhouette with just a little bit of edge to it. A lot of different women are going to like it.
J: I think that’s why Amanda has been so successful.

CeCe Vang

R: I like the capelet but I’d like to see it on a floor-length gown.
J: Yeah, it's a little twee for me.
R: I have a thing about big ruffles. Just do them at the neck or not at all.
J: The color is beautiful on that dress.
R: If it didn’t have that ruffle around the skirt, it’d be fun. Shiny fabrics are hard.
J: Satin always puckers. It’s just a bad idea.

R: The jacket and the bodice, it’s just too much. She’s really playing with that ‘80s thing.
J: I don’t think it works, I think it’s the bad side of the ‘80s.
R: They’re like bridesmaid dresses. And the volume on the top and volume on the bottom, it’s just too much. That paperbag cinched waistline becomes obsolete because there’s so much going on.

Drama Boutique

R: I think that grey dress is cute. Sort of a ‘90s athletic thing. But you have to be that rail-thin to wear that.
J: Love the motorcycle jacket. Wear it to work, go out for drinks after work, go to the dive bar. It's nice that it's done in a non-leather.
R: That floral dress looks like a dress you find on the clearance rack at Charlotte Russe.

R: The tie-dye dress is really nice. It's very poolside.
J: I like the combination of hot pink with blonde hair. I think it works because of the hair. It adds an edge.
R: Love the oversized wide-brimmed hat.
J: The dress? Eh.
R: It’s all about the hat. I hate that ribbon on the dress, though.

Jenny Carle

J: Very Betsey Johnson.
R: Very cute, I like it. I always like prison stripes!
J: I know you do.
R: (laughs) You can have fun with that. I mean the right girl can throw combat boots with it.
J: It’s weird that we’re going to a floral print dress after that.
R: I’m starting to feel like I’m at a fashion show at a mall at this point.
J: It’s a bunch of dresses thrown together.
R: I love the hair though. That’s reminding me of Tina Turner in Mad Max.

J: I don’t get the last few looks.
R: There’s no fluidity to the collection. I would like to see that picnic table fabric used in a whole dress.
J: That’s a great basic seersucker dress. You could pair a hat, wedges, and some wood accessories with it and make it really great.

Karma Boutique

R: That print tunic be really cute as a bathing suit coverup or something.
J: Totally San Tropez.
R: That little detail on the hem, the ruching, the sleeve - great fabric, too.
J: The hair gives it an edge.
R: Very boho. I like it. But then I’ve always liked the hippie chic look.

Local Motion Boutique

J: That pale blue ruffled dress so Taylor Swift. The country princess look.
R: It’s adorable!
J: I love that Parisian print.
R: It’s a great print. But I don’t love the belt with it.
J: The accessorizing is sort of uninspired in general.

Sydney Ilten

J: That’s a cute little sailor nautical look. I always love a good nautical look for spring.
R: That’s a dress a professional woman would wear to the office. I’d like to see some accessories.

R: I love the little stripe dress, you can tell a lot of work went into it. The way the lines come together. Great technical skills. This looks very well made. The problem is I don’t think the styling is going far enough to make it a fashion show.
J: It’s just a lot of clothes.
R: And styled for a catalog. This is how a normal woman would wear it. I don’t want to see how an average American woman would wear it, I want to be thrilled.


J: I don't know about that fabric. I know fruit prints are very on-trend, but it looks kind of heavy and dated and I don't like the colors.
R: When you’re doing a shift dress like that, the fabric is so important. It’s all about a minimal cut so the fabric has to be great.
J: Love that yellow skirt and top combination. That's fun.
R: The grey dress kind of reminds me of Norma Kamali in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. I think the woman who would wear that dress is a tall thin woman who works in an art gallery.

J: Are those shorts or a skirt? I like them either way. I don't think I've seen that silhouette before.
R: That’s fun. I like the styling. Now this feels like a fashion show. The little rice picker hats. I like the unexpectedness of that top with those tulip shorts.
J: It’s a great color combination, the pale blue and plum.
R: That's a very cute little bustier. That has sort of a ‘40s vibe to it, especially when paired with those wide-legged pants.

Niki English

R: I love the jacket, I love the pants, I love the seafoam green top. Early ‘80s, late ‘70s references. Good detail.
J: Niki is one of those designers whose style is very edgy. I like how she incorporates those slightly goth, pointy shoulders into a chic little jacket that's very modern.
R: The dress looks like something from the Golden Girls.
J: There's too much going on.
R: That pattern, and the back, and the shoulders, and the zipper, it's too much.
R: The black jumpsuit needs accessories. It needs a chunky gold belt. It’s screaming to be accessorized.

R: I love that it’s kind of a take on a trench coat a little bit. And it's nice to see satin done right!
J: It’s interesting to see her doing a collection that’s not all back. She usually does a lot of black.
R: This is a good collection. That’s like a 1977, ‘78, a rich woman who’s going to Studio 54. Beautiful. And I love the surprise again from the back.
J: It’s sort of a skeleton print.
R: It looks like something McQueen would almost do. I might hate it in five years, but I love it now. Especially on a woman of color.
J: The shaved head makes it more chic.
R: It worked for Sinead O’Connor!

YQY by Vivian

R: This ruffles white dress is actually very cute.
J: Here the accessory is right. Without that belt, it wouldn’t work as well.
R: Oh, okay - she showed this coral print fabric last fall.
J: She showed her spring collection last fall. I think some of the pieces are different than what were shown, though.
R: The silhouette on that romper is cute.
J: But it’s a little disconnected.
R: Maybe without the ruffle on the front it would’ve been better.

J: It’s sort of disappointing she’s showing some of the same pieces she did last fall.
R: I like her use of color though. But I would never show the same thing twice.

OPM Boutique

J: Very sporty. Very Norma Kamali. High fashion sportswear.
R: You could have fun with that jacket.
J: I would throw it on every day.
R: I love the leopard print jacket. Well, I just love leopard print in general.
J: It’s a nice combination with the very feminine dress.
R: With the accordion pleat chiffon dress? Beautiful. I like this too, I love it.
J: The angel wing sleeves are very ‘70s.
R: It’s sexy. Not like overtly sexy. That poppy print on the back is beautiful.

R: I think there are several strong pieces here, but I don’t know if I like it all together. That cummerbund belt is too much.
J: I love that blue dress. Very Studio 54 again. The fabric and color are gorgeous.
R: But again I’d like to see a big Isis necklace with it, something very Egyptian.

Arwyn Birch

R: I love that. It’s like Wednesday from the Adams Family.
J: This designer goes to the ‘60s mod, stewardess styles a lot. But I think she’s getting a little better about having a more flattering silhouette.
R: A little more current. Oh, I love that - it’s very Barbara Streisand, or Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby.”

R: This one reminds me of Jessica McClintock Gunne Sax from the ‘70s with the lace collar and floral print.
J: I like the combination of the little socks and the tougher heels. It edges it up.
R: These are cute dresses. They’re sort of little Catholic schoolgirl, but they’re very young. That’s a very narrow market. You can’t be over 30 to wear these. And I don’t know if a young girl has the sophistication to appreciation that dress.

Kelly Ver Duin

J: This is a designer who just graduated from the U of M.
R: I would totally wear that. I want that whole outfit. It’s so nice to see menswear, no one does it. Except Russell Bourrienne, and Raul Osorio, and Ivan Idland.
J: The ladies are loving these male models. Catcalls!

R: I want that jacket, too! They’re great jackets.
J: I don’t know about those pants, though. It’s all about the jackets.
R: They’re not very flattering. I hate low-crotch pants.
J: But they’re very on trend right now, you know.
R: Yeah, I don't know. Not for me!

Carmichael Claith

J: I think I like the wide legged pants and the butterfly-sleeve top.
R: But not the scarf. It's a little bit grandma.
J: I don’t know about the full skirt. Or the plaid fabric. Haven't we seen this before? It feels old. The romper is alright though, but the colors are so dull.

R: It’s so funny that those sheer, butterfly-sleeve overlays that were popular in the ‘70s are back.
J: The fabric is not good, and something about the silhouette is off.
R: Yeah, this just isn’t working for me. Something is off.


R: I love yellow and grey together, but I don’t love that dress. If you’re going to put layers of chiffon together, somewhere it’s got to give you a little figure, or make all the layers really long so the whole thing drapes across the body.
J: It works better with the mango and yellow top. You need a tighter pant like that to balance the silhouette out.
R: I love the colors. That top would sell anywhere.

J: This is like fall all of a sudden. Is this from the same collection?
R: That knit poncho over a turtleneck and wideleg pants would be adorable.
J: There might be a really cute dress underneath but I can’t tell.
R: Oh my God, the jewelry is all wrong. I love bright colors but I think the colors fight against each other.
J: I think some chunkier jewelry would have worked better, too. The skinny necklaces don’t photograph well and just look messy.


J: Aaaaand it's the finale. Cliche always has great styling.
R: I love the feather neckpieces. (Ed. note: they’re by KR Designs at Cliche.)
J: It’s sort of a Marc Jacobs Spring 2011, ‘70s inspiration. Derivative of course, but fun.
R: There’s a commercial little dress, and they made it into a fashion show. Wow, I’m finally at a fashion show!

R: Love that trench skirt.
J: It’s very Burberry.
R: You could wear it all year round. Fall, winter, spring. And in the summer with a white tank top.

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