[Image by Tony Nelson for City Pages / Hair by Jennifer Fearing / Dress by Jenny Carle]
Let's get the niceties out there first: The venue was a nice step up from previous Envision shows held in nightclubs, and the event's organizer Allison Hamzehpour couldn't have been more professional and gracious. It seems like fashion shows in the Twin Cities are always upping the ante and it's great to see so many happening with a higher level of professionalism than in recent years.
Being that it was a hair show, we expect there to be some level of over-the-top in the hair designs, but overall many of the designs seemed to be crazy for the sake of crazy. However, there were a few outstanding looks. My top choice for hair design by Jennifer Fearing is pictured above. My second choice and the night's winning hair design by Angela Kreitlow-Olson:
Now, onto the fashion.
As far as the clothing itself went, BothDol Fashion by Nyamal Both was the nicest surprise of the night. Her African-inspired line incorporated unusual yet flattering silhouettes and textured fabrics for a look that was sophisticated yet edgy. Other high points included pieces from JoyNoelle, PFT Couture, and Renate Adjei (though each designer showed pieces that were less impressive). I also was pleasantly surprised with some of the new silhouettes Jenny Carle put out (the fuchsia patio dress at the top of the page, especially); they made me excited for summer.
[Image by Tony Nelson for City Pages / Dress by PFT Couture]
[Dress by JoyNoelle]
As much as I appreciate someone in Minneapolis doing menswear, I don't think I will ever understand Russell Bourrienne's aesthetic. I know he's trying to do something interesting but I think it usually ends up missing the mark (though I do like his fall designs much better).
[Image by Tony Nelson for City Pages / Outfit by Russell Bourrienne]
Korrin Lohmann's line Peloria has been around since the first days of Voltage, but despite her attempt to tailor and use more sophisticated fabrics in this collection, it still seems off to me. She does have an architectural background, which informs her designs, but in the end it doesn't flatter a woman's body and they just don't seem very wearable.
[Looks by Peloria by Korrin Lohmann]
These looks by Re-Evolution by Sarah Holm were a bit too costume-y for my taste, though the jumper shorts and the dress used to promote the show were cute. Perhaps they would've been better-suited for a more niche market type of fashion show.
[Image by Tony Nelson for City Pages / Dress by Re-Evolution by Sarah Holm]
[Dress by Kcru$h Velvet]
[Image by Tony Nelson for City Pages / Dress by Amanda Christine]
As usual, kjurek couture and Amanda Christine's lines were, as always, cute and wearable, but on the more commercial end. (I'm more of a fan of their out-there runway collections.) In fact, I wore some pieces by Amanda Christine, similar versions of which she'll be showing at Voltage; for this Friday's kjurek couture show I have a very edgy, very minimalist black butterfly-sleeve dress by the designer. (More on that show soon!) Here's me in my custom-made Amanda Christine jacket and skirt:]
Overall, I think it was a successful event - they packed the house, the setting was well put-together, and there were a lot of talented people involved. But if they would've focused on fewer elements - fewer designers, a shorter runway show, nix the hair show - I think it would've been a stronger, cleaner show on the whole.