Orchestra Hall is usually home to knee-length skirts and sensible shoes, perhaps the occasional evening gown for special events. Come Saturday night, however, the venerable hall will be awash in cutting-edge clothing, funked-up music and performance art for the spring Envision fashion show.
Allison Vaillancourt, an organizer of the event and director of Ignite Models, promises a “glamorous, fashionable evening” with nods to Minneapolis’ eclectic art scene.
The show will feature the creations of 10 local designers as well as pieces from Twin Cities boutiques. Monsieur Adi — fresh off Beyoncé’s tour — will serve as the DJ on the runway, and local musicians and artists will put on their own show in the VIP room.
We talked with Vaillancourt about the Twin Cities style scene, what goes on backstage and a head-to-toe look that’s hot for summer.
Q: Is Envision, the show you organize, like a big-city fashion show?
A: We try not to say, “This is New York or London.” We stay true to Minneapolis by incorporating local artists. But we’ve always been focused on having high production quality. The models walk on the floor, rather than a raised runway. It’s more intimate and more like New York.
Q: What’s the fashion scene like in the Twin Cities?
A: Minneapolis has a really great local designer community with a mix of different aesthetics.
Q: Aside from a fashion show, where can you see the work of local designers?
A: There’s Showroom in Minneapolis, which is kind of like a designer co-op.
Q: What’s it like backstage?
A: People think it’s really glamorous, but it’s a lot of work. The audience doesn’t know it’s happening, but there’s so much craziness backstage that one time we sent out the same outfit twice.
Q: Is that the worst thing that could happen?
A: Luckily, we’ve never had a model fall.
Q: Big question: What are you going to wear to the show?
A: That’s always a stressful part of planning. It’s the last detail. I’ve worn something out of a local designer’s collection, like last year. But usually I’ll pick something up the day of the show.
Q: Looking ahead, what are you seeing for summer style?
A: Head-to-toe white is big. As is streetwear. It’s more of an athletic trend. Really great well-made sneakers, clothes made of breathable material, a lot of mesh. So it’s casual, but very well-made.
Libby Ryan is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.