Start planning your outfits now and be sure to squeeze in that manicure because the semi-annual fashion fête MNfashion Week kicks off this weekend. The scaled-down lineup this fall may be smaller in quantity, but thanks to some inventive new events - like Blacklist Vintage's "Vintage Did It First," "Little Black Dress," and our very own "Bright Society" - it's clear MNfashion Week is here to stay. Also be sure to head over to our weekly Sales and Shopping Guide to get the lowdown on more local sales and shopping for this week.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
'Sip See Connect: The MNfashion Week Kick-off Party'
What: Kick off the stylish shenanigans of MNFashion Week with a swanky soiree at Loring Park's Bar Lurcat. Get your mingle on with other local fashion forwards, get the deets on what's going down over Fashion Week, and snap up half-priced well drinks and tap beer plus $4 glasses of wine. Bonus: Shell out 5 clams for an official MNFashion Week button that will supply you with extended happy hour deals at Bar Lurcat all week long. -Kate Iverson
When: 7-10 p.m., Sept. 29.
Where: Bar Lurcat, 1624 Harmon Pl., Minneapolis, mnfashionweek.com
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
'Full Fashion Panic!'
What: Manga fever has once again gripped the Twin Cities as the annual Mechademia conference rolls back into town (a conference which celebrations Asian pop culture, especially manga and anime). MCAD once again hosts the "Full Fashion Panic!" runway event, which features fashions inspired by or inspiring to the manga culture. See looks that range from Lolita to steampunk to cosplay and back again in this out-of-this-world runway presentation. Tickets are $10. -Kate Iverson
When: 6:30 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. show.
Where: Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Auditorium 150, 2501 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis, mnfashionweek.com
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1-SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2
Mighty Swell's One-Year Anniversary Sale
What: Vintage occasional boutique Mighty Swell hosts its one-year anniversary sale just in time for fall MNfashion Week. Fall in love with the collective's array of affordable vintage clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry from all eras, as well as housewares, décor, small furniture and other tantalizing trinkets. For the anniversary sale, the shop is showcasing an extended lineup of eight different vendors, including menswear from Things I Found (at the Thrift Store). Vintage dresses start at $15; fur-trimmed coats at $25; and skirts, shirts, bottoms, blouses and accessories at $5. Be sure to grab a $5 mystery bag and enjoy donuts, coffee and melodies as you shop. -Stefani Arden
When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Oct. 1 & Noon-5 p.m., Oct 2.
Where: Mighty Swell, 3109 E. 42nd St., Minneapolis, 612-805-2040, www.mightyswell.com
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2
l'étoile presents 'Bright Society'
What: Join l'étoile during MNFashion Week at St. Paul's historic Alexander Ramsey House for "Bright Society," an afternoon fashion affair. Sip specialty drinks a la Prairie Vodka, nibble fancy bites, explore the famed estate, and peruse selections from the Historical Society's beautifully preserved collection of fashionable finery. Designers Max Lohrbach, Samantha Rei, Russell Bourrienne, Danielle Everine, and Laura Fulk will showcase one-of-a-kind creations, inspired by a garments from the Historical Society's collection. See an informal fashion presentation of the looks, accompanied by a discussion with the designers moderated by Robyne Robinson and words from the Historical Society's textile curator, Linda McShannock. Matthew Curney (of local Britney Spears cover band, Spearz) will entertain throughout the afternoon on the Ramsey House's antique 1875 Steinway piano, playing a smattering of pop hit renditions. -Kate Iverson
When: 2-5 p.m. Fashion presentation at 3 p.m.
Where: Alexander Ramsey House, 265 S. Exchange St., St. Paul, mnfashionweek.com
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4
'Vintage Did It First: Looks That Inspire Fall's Runway'
What: Blacklist Vintage has become the go-to vintage shop for stylish Twin Citizens since it opened its doors only a couple of short years ago. During their MNfashion Week event, "Vintage Did It First," owners Jennifer Sapiro and Vanessa Messersmith will show off vintage looks influenced current runway fashion. Between the champagne and the 10% discount, you'll probably head out of the store with a bit more than you intended. Fortunately, Blacklist Vintage's well-edited collection doesn't lend itself to buyer's remorse. Their sartorial and domestic treasures are always a purchase well-made. -Beth Hammarlund
When: 7-11 p.m., show at 8 p.m., Oct. 4.
Where: Blacklist Vintage, 25 E. 26th St., Minneapolis, 612-872-8552, mnfashionweek.com
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5
Sol Inspirations Fashion Networking Happy Hour
What: Get your mid-Fashion Week recharge in with the first happy hour from new networking group Minnesota Fashion Connect. Enjoy happy hour drink and food specials plus $1 off organic wines, hobnob with fashion industry professionals, and view and exhibition of locally-made fashions from eco-fashion organization Sol Inspirations. -Jahna Peloquin (Photo: Serah Sauser)
When: 4-6 p.m., Oct. 5.
Where: Red Stag Supperclub, 509 1st Ave. NE., Minneapolis, mnfashionweek.com
Parc Boutique's Fall Preview
What: The casual, contemporary Northeast shop Parc celebrates MNfashion Week with a fall trunk and fashion show. The evening kicks off with a cocktail hour, when you can enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres from Solo By Bonicelli and drinks. It's followed by a runway and trunk show featuring the shop's latest fall collections, and local jewelry designer Karen Cavetano will be on hand to showcase her new collection composed of classic beads and intricately woven chains. And come ready to shop - the store is offering 15% off everything in the store during the event. -Stefani Arden
When: 5-7 p.m., Oct. 5.
Where: Parc Boutique, 320 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-353-4966, www.parcboutique.com
Blasphemina's Closet Open House
What: You saw the Fall/Winter 2011 line "Atlantis Kumarinadu" from local neo-Victorian line Blasphemina's Closet during "Full Fashion Panic!" Now, get a look at the collection up-close-and-personal during this open house event. Designer Samantha Rei will have the entire collection on display and take custom orders. Inspired by lost continents, Belle Epoque, Art Nouveau, Oz, China and Korea, the line will be accompanied by hats designed by Megan Bishop of Apatico and jewelry from Bionic Unicorn by designer Kristin Berwald. -Jahna Peloquin (Photo: Fairshadow Photography)
When: 6:30-10 p.m., Oct. 5.
Where: Blasphemina's Closet Studio, 5701 Shingle Creek Pkwy., #530, Minneapolis, mnfashionweek.com
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6
'Little Black Dress'
What: Fashion trends come and go, but there's one thing that never goes out of style: the little black dress. Some of the top apparel designers of the Twin Cities - including Emma Berg, Maritza Ramirez, Danielle Everine, Ivan Idland, Raul Osorio, Max Lohrbach, Laura Fulk, and George Moskal - offer their take on this wardrobe staple with their very own LBDs at the local design showcase. After kicking things off with a cocktail hour, a runway segment will showcase the designs along with another non-LBD look from each designer. The event is free and guests must be 21-plus to attend. -Jahna Peloquin
When: 7-10 p.m., runway show at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 6.
Where: Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 6 W. 6th St., St. Paul, mnfashionweek.com
Local Motion Pop-up Boutique & Fashion show
What: No one can resist the get-it-while-its-hot nature of the pop-up boutique. During Fall MNfashion Week, brick-and-mortar shop Local Motion will be bringing together one of the most diverse pop-up inventories to hit the Twin Cities yet. Local lines such as KOKOON, Maureen Fuhr, Ixion Jewerly and Urban Junket handbags will be featured, as well as many of Local Motion's favorite designers from New York, Los Angeles and overseas will be on the bill for this free event. Peruse the offerings, enjoy some desserts, and try on some clothes - but be sure to wash your hands between the desserts and the clothes. Sticky fingers are no one's friend. -Beth Hammarlund
When: 5-9 p.m. Runway show at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6.
Where: The Lexington, 1096 Grand Ave., St. Paul, mnfashionweek.com
'Athenaeum: A Study in Fashion'
What: While Scoundrelle's Keep's custom corsets and neo-Victorian holds most of its appeal to the niche steampunk and gothic Lolita sets, steampunk-inspired fashion and design have started to receive more mainstream attention. Get a glimpse into geek subculture when local fashion designers Tara Reich and Heather Luca of Scoundrelle's Keep come together for a joint fashion show showcasing their latest fall collections. Spend the time between now and Thursday brushing up on your neo-Victorian and Class Lolita terminology. Steampunk: not just for geek conventions anymore. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. -Beth Hammarlund
When: 8 p.m. doors, 8:30 p.m. show, Oct. 6.
Where: James J. Reference Library, 80 W. 4th St., St. Paul, mnfashionweek.com
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7
'Hair Salon Night: The Looks of Madonna'
What: Beloved local boutique Cliché pops off their second annual Salon Night, inspired by none other than the Material Girl herself. See a smattering of wild Madonna-esque hairstyles from talented stylists from Sweeny Todd's, Audacia's Styling, Trés Jolie Salon, along with makeup artists Tifini Friend and Amber Phillips. Not to mention, all merch in the shop is 20% off, so even if you're "Borderline" broke, you can still shop guilt-free. -Kate Iverson
When: 7-9 p.m.
Where: Cliché, 2403 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, mnfashionweek.com
'Fresh Traditions V'
WHAT: The annual Fresh Traditions fashion show is back and ready to entice with a delightful display of fashions from Twin Cities Hmong designers. See new collections from designers Ashley Yang, Dokiang Thao, Marlena Thao, Sai Chang, and Kao Lee Thao. Even better? Proceeds from the event go to benefit CHAT (Center for Hmong Arts and Talent) which helps "nurture and sustain vibrant Hmong arts in the community." Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For VIP seating e-mail email@example.com. -Kate Iverson
When: 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. show.
Where: McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. SE., Minneapolis, www.freshtraditionsfashion.com
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8
Bombshell's Fall Fashion Luncheon
What: Head to St. Paul for a feisty Fall luncheon with a side of tasty fashion. Presented by Bombshell boutique, Italian plus size line Elena Miro (pictured) will debut their latest collection alongside other curvy girl-focused designer lines. Enjoy a runway presentation and lunch with the ladies at beloved Cathedral Hill eatery, W.A. Frost. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the shop or by calling 651-330-2605. -Kate Iverson
When: 2 p.m.
Where: W.A. Frost Restaurant, 374 Selby Ave., St. Paul, mnfashionweek.com
Inspire by Gaochen & Nonmala Trunk Show
What: b. (a resale shop) hosts an evening of retro-infused looks and classic, feminine jewelry from local line Inspired by Gaochen and Nonmala. Taking inspiration from home and garden, scrap booking, painting, beading, embellishing, and other crafty endeavors, the collection will be sure to put you in creative spirits. While you're there, sip complimentary bubbly and check out b. (a resale shop)'s hip selection of vintage and contemporary threads for guys and girls. -Stefani Arden (Photo: Chris McDuffie)
When: 4-6 p.m., Oct. 8.
Where: b. (a re-sale shop), 5456 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-824-1292, www.b-resaleshop.com
Edited by Jahna Peloquin
Contributions from Kate Iverson, Beth Hammarlund, Stefani Arden and Jahna Peloquin