[Originally posted at Vita.mn]
Last night at the Grainbelt Building in the heart of Northeast, MNfashion kicked off its first of a two-night local designer showcase. Aptly titled "The Shows," both nights produced by MNfashion (the local organization behind Voltage) feature two established fashion designers in a stripped down runway show - minus the frills. Here, it was all about one thing - the clothes.
Showing first was CounterCouture, an upcycled line by a trio of young designers. Cocktail dresses and a few office-to-a-party looks in a muted fall palette of black, white and red hit the runway. The looks were for the most part well-made and retail-ready, but overall it seems that the line threatens to be overshadowed by its concept (i.e., dresses made out of recycled bridesmaid dresses). After all, most bridesmaid dresses are typically manufactured in cheap taffeta and too-shiny satin. With such fabric to work with, CounterCouture's offerings were well-done, if only lacking a bit in personality.
After a cocktail break, the show began once more with George Moskal's spring collection. Though a new face to some, Moskal has a bit of history with the beginnings of what we now associate with the local fashion scene. He was a designer in Voltage 2007 and 2008, and after moving to Portland for a spell, returned to show a line at Voltage last year. Anyone familiar with Moskal's work will know he's a master draper and has a knack for incorporating unique, architectural design elements into his garments.
For his spring collection, Moskal showed a truly world class collection - emphasis on world. This was the wardrobe of the sophisticated yet modern world traveler as she heads to a island vacation, full of linen and cotton fabrics rendered in elegant silhouettes. The collection was also perfectly varied - shorts, skirts, dresses, tops and jackets all made appearances in shades of sky blue, mango, white, metallic taupe and kelly green. A pair of high-waisted white linen pants were particularly swoon-worthy, as was a green cotton Betty Crocker summer frock. This was a collection tailor-made for Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus - a sure sign of the growth the Twin Cities fashion industry has seen over the past few years.