Deck the dolls

Twin Cities designers present their winter collections in true Minnesotan style.

Jewelry artist Lauren Neal discusses her work.  She is excited to appear behind her artwork and talk about her process to customers for the first time at the bazaar.

Jewelry artist Lauren Neal discusses her work. She is excited to appear behind her artwork and talk about her process to customers for the first time at the bazaar.

by Grace Gouker

What: MNFashion Holiday Bazaar

When: November 13, 11 a.m. âÄì 6 p.m.

Where: MNFashion Atrium

Cost: $8.50 in advance, $10 door


People who call Minneapolis, âÄúThe Mini-Apple,âÄù arenâÄôt fooling anyone but themselves.

Sure, there are some great restaurants, a healthy theater community, some quirky artists here and there. But being as small a city as we are, as stuck in the middle of this country as we can get, we shouldnâÄôt be comparing ourselves to a place whose identity consists of completely different components âÄî the fashion aesthetic and its designers included.

âÄúI think the fashion community is small here, but itâÄôs really tight-knit. But even though itâÄôs small, we all support each other,âÄù Thao Bui, owner of Parc Boutique in Northeast, said. BuiâÄôs business will be one of several vendors at the Bazaarshowcasing its winter designs.

Should any of the designers participating in this yearâÄôs MNFashion Holiday Bazaar have been overwhelmingly influenced by their East Coast counterparts, the event would have appeared stale. However, the commonwealth of artisans taking part have kept true to their region and its acute northern sensibilities.

Lauren Neal, designer of the gorgeous âÄúCarrier PigeonâÄù accessory line, has made ace pieces that are inexpensive and colloquial while remaining appealing to audiences both at home and abroad.

âÄú[I concentrate on the] hunter and the hunted âÄî most of my pieces are beautiful, but brutal,âÄù said Neal.

Locally, Neal sells her work at the Minneapolis-focused Design Collective in Uptown, but has work in New York and soon will have pieces in Madison as well.

âÄúI just sort of roll with whatâÄôs happening locally, though,âÄù Neal said.

Last weekâÄôs SCENEaSOTA, which hosted many of the designers with booths at this yearâÄôs MNFashion Bazaar, showcased this aesthetic impeccably. Menswear with full-body knits, long, wooly dresses and warm jackets rounded out the show, and had killer accessories to boot.

Tia Keobounpheng, accessory designer in past Voltage Fashion Amplified shows, will be showcasing her work as well, and had the same to say about her Minnesotan design motif.

âÄúForm and function, most definitely,âÄù Keobounpheng said. In her collection she will feature an uncompromising focus on wood, wool and sandblasted acrylic with rich fall and winter colors.

âÄúI try to produce things that are pretty universal. I take an everyday sort of approach and I keep them accessible so they can go with several different seasons and styles,âÄù Keobounpheng said.

The Bazaar will have complimentary cocktails, cocoa and Ginger Hop appetizers to sustain the serious holiday shopper. There will even be spa treatments throughout, in case those delicate toesies get overworked. There will not be any lefse or lutefisk, however. That is one trend that is probably best left in the dusty pages of MinnesotaâÄôs history books