Review of Envision: Artopia Spring 2013

by Shannon Ryan

On Saturday evening, City Pages threw one of the largest fashion events in the Twin Cities, Envision: Artopia. Taking place in the 5th floor ballroom of the Graves Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, the evening presented two runway shows separated into groups of six independent local designers and boutiques. The collections unveiled each entity’s vision for the upcoming spring and summer fashions, including designs for both men and women.

Prefacing the runway shows with hors d’oeuvres, wine sampling, live painting, and various activities from selected sponsors, the evening began as a rousing event for the sartorially active. When the clock struck 10 p.m., however, attendees were hurried to their seats to view part one of the runway shows.

Opening with MAI, the project of Emma Holcomb and Sarah McArdle, viewers were presented with a taste of modern activewear. Their collection sharply combined black and white in a number of looks, sprinkling paint-splattered tops and colored hot pants in between. The runway continued with angled jersey dresses and A-line minis from Kora Gleason, followed by a delightful collection from Lindsey DeWitt, who showcased a number of darling crop-tops with high-waist bottoms. DeWitt’s line was well executed, and it was a lovely mix of sensible spring colors – pinks, teals and whites.

Atmosfere, which nodded to the dapper looking gentlemen in the ballroom, was a pleasing collection of unique denim pieces, rolled pant-bottoms and wearable sweaters, bermudas, and blazers for young men. Collections from Roe Wolfe and Marissa Bridges captured back the attention of the ladies at Envision, with head-to-toe floral prints and relaxed, muted maxis from Roe Wolfe and cotton candy colors on short, figure skater party dresses at Marissa Bridges. Bridges concluded the first runway show.

Guests enjoyed a short intermission of cocktail refills, lipstick reapplication and elevator eyes-ing before returning to their seats for the second parade of collections.

Part two opened with wardrobe essentials for hip and modern men from MartinPatrick3, though the collection harnessed my female, full-attention all the same. Strong oxfords with colored pants and seemingly “just tossed on” sweaters were worn well on the runway, ostensibly working just as well off. A rather conservative line from CounterCouture came next, bathed in a palette of soft yellows, rich browns, sea blues and varying shades of white. Kjurek, a label by Kimberly Jurek and newly added Jen Chilstrom, followed with a collection relying on its details: draping necklines, side-tied bows and backs with a thick, cut-out strip in a reptile print.Russell Bourrienne showcased blue-hued menswear with a flare – notable in a terrycloth sport jacket of contrasting blues – and clothing boutique Cliché presented a spring collection redolent of 90s grunge with cosmic prints and combat boots shortly thereafter. The runway shows concluded with a light collection by Khampasith Davison, and attendees were then sent off to the after party at Union with an appetite for more art and entertainment.

In a general sense, the collections at Envision didn’t appear to mirror the trends highlighted in the spring 2013 fashion weeks, but they certainly brought a sense of individuality and distinctive trends worth noting to the Twin Cities.