Project MNfashion Week

Sarah Harper

It's MNfashion Week. And you know what that means – fashion and hometown passion for a whole week.

We're smack dab in the middle of it, so it's a perfect time to take a breath and take a look around. I'll be Nina, who wants to be Michael?

What already happened:

The U of M senior designers showed off four years of hard learning with their show, "twelve." They bought their own fabric, hired their own models, and put on the show entirely by themselves. And they jazzed up the runway, improving on the rickety runways of yore. Big ups, ladies. Stand-out collections: the playful distortion of menswear by Sara Lopez and the fresh-as-a-daisy wedding looks from Laura Van Riper. Side note: Michael Scott would have loved it. I laughed (in a good-natured way, I promise) when I opened the tiny white box in the gift bag to find a macaroon – is there any dessert that says "fashion" more than the macaroon?

And then there were the shows I didn't go to, which yes, sorry, were all the rest: The dresses shown off at the Sol Inspirations show looked like they were architectural in their construction. MNfashion Emerging Desiner Showcase was presented in part by L'Etoile Magazine and they've got some nice pix up on their blog. And The Red Dress Collection wowed for a good cause. So did Styles for Smiles. Minnesota Monthly named The Shows the best fashion week event in 2011. And it looks like they impressed folks again this year. How do you feel about the dress with the crescent moon and star? What about all those knits? Inspired or itch-inspiring? 

What will happen:

The dramatically capitalized RESURGENT – the first-ever show from the You and Me label.

SnowGRADE – menswear, menswear, menswear.

And finally, jewelry at the Parc Boutique Trunk Show.

So not that much. Am I the only one who thinks the calendar looks a little sparse? Where are the full days, packed with shows and white tents and all that jazz? Granted, it's front-loaded. And this whole venture was founded in 2006, so it's only a few years old. So fine, I'll wait a few years before I call it MNfashion Weak. For now, you're in, Minnesota. As Heidi would say, you may leave the runway.