Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Envision: Artopia in review (Vita.mn)

Here's my review of the Envision: Artopia show last Saturday for Vita.mn online. Check it out in the print edition of Vita.mn on Thursday.

True to its name, Envision: Artopia showcased a palette of lush color, bold prints and occasional whimsy from some of the most recognizable names in local fashion.

[A look by kjurek couture. Photo by Amy Gee]

The biannual show produced by Ignite Models Inc. on Saturday night at the Graves 601 Hotel kicked off with an "interactive hair show," which put hair stylists from Rocco Altobelli on the runway as they sculpted avant-garde hair looks on models. As a soul singer jammed over beats by DJ Ken Hannigan of Anthem Heart, the first half of the show was dominated by a Robert Palmer-esque army of statuesque models in slicked back hair, red lips and kohl-rimmed eyes wearing looks from local boutiques.

[A look from Elsworth. Photo by Chris McDuffie]

The show got a welcome burst of kitsch and color thanks to Cliche's Carmen Miranda-inspired headpieces, eliciting the most oohs and ahhs of the night. But the Elsworth segment nearly stole the show from the ladies, thanks to a hot-nerd look incorporating cardigans, bowties, eyeglasses, and a graffiti-inscribed umbrella into its usual dapper aesthetic.

[A look from Cliche. Photo by Chris McDuffie]

The second half of the show was dominated by local designers, including seasoned vets kjurek couture, Amanda Christine, and Russell Bourrienne. But the most talked-about segments came courtesy of some lesser-known designers, namely Rose White, Jenny Carle and Sarah M. Holm. While Rose White (by designer Amanda Chaffin) and Carle made a softly feminine statement with the season's biggest trend - neutrals - it was Holm's dark, Lady Gaga-esque take on springtime that fittingly capped off the show. Dresses, jackets and even headpieces mimicked the shape of an umbrella, punctuated with drip-like accents and rubber wellies. Besides, what says spring in Minnesota better than a rainstorm?

[A look by Sarah M. Holm. Photo by Chris McDuffie]

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