Review: Golden Magazine’s Golden Runway

From tulle mini dresses to custom leather jackets to fluffy fur coats, Golden Runway brings it all.

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Ethan Fine

Looking into the distance, Anthonia Fania poses during Golden Magazine’s fashion show at Aria, Thursday, Sept. 16. Golden Magazine’s show, titled “Golden Runway,” was apart of Fashion Week Minnesota.

Sophia Zimmerman

Take one student-run publication and four women-led labels and, as Golden Magazine proved at Golden Runway Thursday night, you’ll end up with an exhilarating event that’ll leave everyone talking for days.

Golden Magazine held the first-ever student-led Fashion Week MN show at Aria, which is an impressive accomplishment in and of itself. Even more impressive is that the show sold out its seats. Primrose, WAY the Label, ElaMariie Jewelry, and Denim Revival Co. each rolled out a set of carefully curated collections for the event. And while the event seemed to run seamlessly, the process of making it happen was not as effortless as it might have presented itself.

Pulling off her glasses, Heather Khieu struts down the runway at Golden Magazine’s fashion show at Aria, Thursday, Sept. 16. Golden Magazine’s show, titled “Golden Runway,” was apart of Fashion Week Minnesota. (Ethan Fine)

According to Halle Klum, creative director of Golden Magazine, there was a lot of prep work that went on behind the scenes. According to Klum, the team spent hours upon hours working on the event between the rehearsals, fittings and other tasks necessary to put on a show.

“After seeing them build this from the ground up and coming up with all of these ideas, to see where they are now is incredible,” said third-year student Mia Litman.

Nestled in the North Loop and adorned with soaring ceilings, brick walls, pop art and crystal chandeliers, Aria was the perfect backdrop for the good vibes the Golden team wanted to showcase at the event. Attendees circulated between the appetizer table, open bar and red carpet-esque photo backdrop prior to making their way to their seats. Conversation flowed easily, a buzzing undercurrent of excitement running throughout the venue.

The crowd was as well dressed as you would expect an eclectic assortment of faces at a fashion week event to be. Think Reformation mini dresses, glittery gowns, platform boots, neon mini skirts, tailored pantsuits, sleek buns, subtle gold hoops and perfect manicures to match. And even eleven-year-old Izabella Greggoire showed up in space buns, pastel-pink Doc Martens and a sequin-covered jacket she upcycled from a thrifted wrap dress.

Those who shelled out more for their tickets to gain the elusive title of VIP watched the show from private balconies above the rest of the crowd, peering down from not-so-private alcoves. All VIPs at the show were given gift bags that contained a lipstick and face mask, among other things, sponsored by Aloft Minneapolis.

Some of those in the crowd were supportive parents of the Golden team, others were loving friends showing up in support of their friends’ brands, quite a few members were University of Minnesota students and even more were seasoned Fashion Week MN attendees.

Hannah Hassel strikes a pose on the runway at Golden Magazine’s fashion show at Aria, Thursday, Sept. 16. Golden Magazine’s show, titled “Golden Runway,” was apart of Fashion Week Minnesota.

DJ Omaur Bliss was in his element, serving as an addition to the show himself as he got into the music on stage. His mixes featured everything from Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It” to DMX’s “Party Up (Up in Here).”

A handful of attendees commented on the priority of inclusivity at Fashion Week MN shows, expressing a mutual appreciation for the welcoming atmosphere.

Golden Runway was many things: noisy, trendy, well-perfumed. But most importantly, the event was well-executed and the designers on display attested to that.

“For their first year, they are doing absolutely amazing — beyond what I thought it was going to be like. We’ve never done this before, and so no one knew what to expect,” said Kaitlyn Paul, co-founder of Denim Revival Co, on working with Golden Magazine. “They’ve been going above and beyond. They’re all so kind and so welcoming. They killed it.” 

The University of Minnesota is likely not the name that comes to mind for prospective students in search of schools with a vibrant fashion scene. However, if Golden Magazine can continue to produce events like Golden Runway alongside their semesterly issues — there’s a chance that might just change.

Looking into the crowd, Mekhi Pierre poses on the runway at Golden Magazine’s fashion show at Aria, Thursday, Sept. 16. Golden Magazine’s show, titled “Golden Runway,” was apart of Fashion Week Minnesota.