This past Sunday at the historic Alexander Ramsey House in St. Paul, l'étoile's MNfashion Week event, "Bright Society," was greeted with balmy October weather and an enthusiastic, stylishly retro crowd. At once paying homage to the past and looking forward to the future, the crux of the event centered upon five Victorian-era garments - some of which were worn by Ramsey family and friends - that served as points of inspiration for five of the Twin Cities' most esteemed fashion designers.
[Looks by Samantha Rei, Max Lohrbach, Laura Fulk, Russell Bourrienne & Danielle Everine. Photo: Peter Jamus]
The fashion presentation featured musical accompaniment on the house's antique 1875 Steinway piano by Matthew Curney of local Britney Spears cover band Spearz, who played a smattering of Top 40 radio renditions - tying the new to the old once again. Afterward, textile curator Linda McShannock of the co-presenting sponsor Minnesota Historical Society lent her considerable knowledge on the inspiration costumes while former local news anchor (and current arts patron and jewelry designer) Robyne Robinson led a spirited Q&A with the formidable group of designers, giving the audience a chance to hear straight from the designers about their design process.
Before and after the presentation, guests - including jeweler Stephanie Lake, painter Caitlin Karolczak, and designer/curator Emma Berg - socialized on the house grounds and adjacent carriage house, sipping old-timey cocktails courtesy of Phillips Distilling, bites from Ginger Hop, and delectable desserts, and partaking in game of croquet. It was, quite simply, a perfectly refined beginning to Fall MNfashion Week.
[l'étoile Fashion Editor Jahna Peloquin, in a Max Lorbach dress, and designer Max Lohrbach. Photo: Kate Iverson]
[Stephanie Lake, Vicki Norby Rivkin, Robyne Robinson & l'étoile Founder & Creative Director Beth Hammarlund. Photo: Kate Iverson]
View more event photos by Peter Jamus here, Kate Iverson here, and Minneapolis 2Night here.
Hair: Catlin Weston of Mezzanine Salon, Mark Dolan of Evolution Hair, Claire Powers of Darting James Salon.
Makeup: Julie Swenson.
Fashion styling: Jahna Peloquin.
All jewelry provided by Rox Jewelry by Robyne Robinson, except Max Lohrbach's look provided by Bionic Unicorn.
Models: Brittany McKee, Monica Ulrich, Cate Lehman, Kouwai Potocnik, DaeTeaira Tucker.