On Thursday, the Minnesota History Center once again hosted RetroRama. In its fifth year (and my fifth year styling it), the show also served as the final time Voltage producer and MNfashion founder Anna Lee would direct and host the show. Every year, the show presents a handful of authentic vintage looks paired with retro-inspired looks by local designers. This year's theme, underwear - presented on burlesque dancers as models - was certainly a contributing factor in the show's sellout status, and was inspired by the Minnesota History Center's new "Underwear" exhibition highlighting the history of Minnesota-born underwear brand Munsingwear. Since I was involved with the show personally, I won't attempt to review it objectively, and instead am posting photos and descriptions.
Heather Luca of Scoundrelle's Keep has the theme of "restriction," Munsingwear's general theme in the '50s that harkened back to Victorian corsetry. The model wore jewelry by local line Bionic Unicorn.
Sarah White of Jagress Intimates offered a humorous take on the garter belt with her underwear set that included a gartered skirt.
Christopher Straub (who was out of town during the event) presented a look inspired by the machinery of Munsingwear's factory with screen-printed fabric featuring an original print by Straub and an external "caged" corset and headpiece. There was some criticism that the headpiece and look in general was too similar to Seth Aaron Henderson's SolarWorld collection presented at Sol Inspirations, but metal caged masks aren't exactly anything new. (Victor & Rolf featured them in their F/W 2006 show - which Gaga infamously donned at Sir Elton John's Ball in June 2010.) Either way, it's fun seeing the designer push himself in edgier directions with his fashions, though it's hard to detect a style that is distinctly Christopher Straub.
Danielle Everine continued on her sheer look she presented during Voltage last month with this look inspired by Munsingwear's push for active lifestyles in some of their 1940s ads. The sheerness of the garments allows the viewer to see every seam and stitch that goes into each piece - a really intriguing concept that is quite lovely and uniquely Danielle Everine.
Samantha Rei of Blasphemina's Closet played with her theme of "exposure" by exposing the knickers of her models via a sweet floral print against sorbet green.
Here I am backstage with some of the "authentic look" models. Unfortunately I haven't come up with any better photos of them, but the necklace on the model on the left is by Bionic Unicorn, and the flower hair clip is by Anna Lee's line Ruby3.
The guests were also super stylish:
Ivan Idland and Maritza Ramirez. Maritza and I are both wearing Ivan Idland designs, Maritza's having been from 2010's RetroRama.
See more photos from the show via Art of Wore, Scoundrelle's Keep, and the Minnesota Historical Society, and Coco Mault recaps the event for MinnPost.