by Jahna Peloquin
On Thursday night, the established coalesced with the up-and-coming at a couple of local fashion events. The evening started out with the Friends of the Goldstein's annual Garden Party fundraiser at the University of Minnesota's Rapson Hall. It had highly-styled models dressed in garden party-perfect cocktail dresses and flowing gowns by Joynoelle, and guys turned out in looks from menswear designer Russell Bourrienne's spring collection. Both designers have been formidable fixtures of the local fashion industry for years, and their craft and originality only continues to grow with each showing.
The casual presentation gave plenty of opportunity to mix with the Goldstein's formidable member base, many of which have been supporters of local fashion since before this author was born, as well as the opportunity to hear about the Goldstein's latest endeavor, the Digital Database Project, in which it will be cataloging its massive, 26,000-strong collection of historical garments and textiles.
Later in the evening, some of the Twin Cities' most promising talent, which have taken to calling themselves the Minneapolis Fashion Initiative, showed their Spring and Summer 2010 collections within the black box confines of the Lab Theater. By all accounts it should be considered a success for the four designers represented - Amanda Chaffin (Dawson), Kathryn Sterner (Kathryn V), Emily Bryngelson (Tender Cuts) and Niki English - who produced the show themselves.
The probable lack of budget didn't show; what did were the designers' increasingly professional, well-constructed presentations. With many of the designers only a year past graduation, they've come strides in their execution - and their promise of wearable street fashion came through in the eclectic but streamlined collection of looks.
Being that these are young designers, both in age and experience, it's clear they still all have a good ways to go before they can be considered strong, seasoned designers with a clear aesthetic, but they're well on their way to do bigger and better things yet.