Looking lovely, keeping it local

Get amplified this weekend with some tr

Kara Nesvig

Hang up your parka and dust off your dancing shoes, because it’s time again for Voltage: Fashion Amplified, a celebratory fashion-forward local event that happens just once a year, like a really fashionable Christmas with rock bands and runway models.

Voltage Fashion Weekend

WHEN: Through April 20 For a complete list of events see www.voltagefashionamplified.com

The brainchild of ultra-chic Fargo, N.D., native Anna Lee, Voltage is an event intended to raise awareness of the talented denizens of our metropolis who send their creations down the runway sound tracked by local bands. Voltage aims to “stitch together,” if you will, the oft-collaborating worlds of music and fashion and present the package to its eager audience of retailers, buyers, media members and stylish folks from all around the area.

“Voltage was started from an idea that designers should be well-represented and fashion shows were about more than just showing clothes,” says Lee, a woman of many (self-designed) hats who plays the role of producer for the event.

“Although the collaboration between rock and fashion is nothing new, Voltage has been able to bring talent together in the Twin Cities – and always for a good cause,” continues Lee.

This year, profits from the runway show, which took place on Wednesday, went to the Emergency Relief Fund for Springboard for the Arts.

Besides the runway show, which takes place at historic Minneapolis music venue First Avenue and will be the result of 12 exceptionally gifted local designers like Annie Larson, Laura Fulk and “Project Runway’s” Katherine Gerdes, there’s also Voltage Fashion Weekend to attend.

Thursday, April 17
Thursday boasts a martini social hosted by l’etoile magazine, mplsart.com, and HYPE promotion at Clubhouse Jäger in the Warehouse District, where you can sip chic cocktails and rub elbows with fellow fashionistas, then dance the night away to the selections of DJ Bach and Millions Billions.

Friday, April 18
Friday follows with trunk shows, an open house at Cliché boutique, and the Fashion Weekend Band Bash with Dance Band and MC/VL. (What’s a trunk show? It’s a sale where designers or retailers present their wares directly to customers, usually before the designs are made public).

Saturday, April 19
Saturday features the Ruby3 Fashion Ride, sponsored by Lee’s own line for “ladies who bike in skirts.” Celebrate Earth Day and look cute doing it by biking all over the city and then refresh yourself with happy hour cocktails at the MNFashion Networking Party.

Sunday, April 20
Sunday, the final day of Voltage Fashion Weekend, boasts more trunk shows and showcases, a fashion illustration course, and a private shopping party for 12 lucky individuals at Cliché.

Ultimately, the goal of both Voltage and Lee’s nonprofit collective MNFashion is to alert both the Twin Cities and the world of the new talents popping up from all corners of the metropolis. With the support of fellow designers and the nurturing of those who’ve been in the business for years, MNFashion hopes to create and sustain a flourishing community of designers and strengthen the fashionable endeavors of the city of Minneapolis.

Although it would be far-reaching to compare Voltage to New York Fashion Week, the enterprising Lee remains optimistic about Minneapolis’ future as a design hotspot. “It will take time, but we are already seeing the results of the past few years of work.”