When the long-running Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week went belly up last year, some local followers of fashion wondered if the party was over.
Slim chance. Although MNfashion, the nonprofit behind the event, is no more, it left behind an ever-growing Twin Cities area independent fashion scene. So a handful of local boosters got together to create the all-new Fashion Week Minnesota (hashtag: #FWMN), which formally kicks off on Sunday.
“We felt an obligation to the Minneapolis fashion community to help keep up its momentum,” said local impresario Sarah Edwards, one of the producers of the new Fashion Week.
“You always hear ‘Shop local, shop local,’ but we wanted to add a little context to what that really means to the economy and boutiques,” Edwards said of next week’s event series. “We’re really focused on not copying New York and Los Angeles, but trying to embrace Minnesota as its own thing — and that includes the weather.”
Here’s a rundown on the runways, designers and boutiques in store for #FWMN, which runs through Sept. 26.
Silhouette: Get a jump start on Fashion Week with this gala runway show, a benefit for community development in Haiti. Designers include Caroline Hayden and Christopher Straub (of “Project Runway” fame). Elegant attire is suggested. (7 p.m. Thu. $75-$150. Calhoun Beach Club, 2925 Dean Pkwy., Mpls.)
The Shoot: Fashion Week kicks off bright and early Sunday with a novel concept: Instead of a runway show, “The Shoot” offers a fly-on-the-wall look at the creative process of a live photo shoot, with some top apparel and accessories designers. Co-presenter Workerby represents a comeback for one who started it all locally: MNfashion founder Anna Lee, who will show off her latest Ruby3 hat line. (11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. $20. Public Functionary, 1400 12th Av. NE., Mpls.)
#IAMinspired: Fashion Week co-producer Edwards unveils yet another in her I AM series of civic-pride events (I AM Mpls!; I AM Kindness, etc.). #IAMinspired highlights the interplay between fashion and art, beginning with an art installation by Justin James Sehorn and leading to a rooftop presentation with boutiques Arrow, Bumbershute, Cvstings and more. (5-8 p.m. Sun. $50-$80. Le Meridien Chambers, 901 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. iaminspiredmsp.com.)
Through the Looking Glass: Where Curls Meet Fashion: Got curls? This one’s for you. “Curly hair evangelist” Lorraine Massey will sign copies of “Curly Girl: A Handbook,” with a runway show featuring Art Institutes International Minnesota student designers — plus Beyoncé and Alicia Keys impersonators. (6-10:30 p.m. Sun. $50-$175. Muse Event Center, 107 3rd Av. N., Mpls.)
Homme: Men’s fashion has made huge strides lately, so Fashion Week follows suit with a celebration of Minnesota menswear. Expect boutiques such as MartinPatrick3, Atmosfere, Len and Heimie’s Haberdashery, and your host, the Star Tribune’s own Tom Horgen. (6-11 p.m. Wed. $20-$50. Muse Event Center. mnhomme.com.)
Fall: Into Luxury: Northern style isn’t all about upstart indie designers. Head to Morrie’s Luxury Auto for a sumptuous presentation of Prada, Chanel and Gucci, as styled by June and Mona Williams boutiques. (7 p.m. next Thu. $10-$30. 7300 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley. fgi.org.)
Tim+Thom presents Lark: Brotherly designers Tim (a 2014 “Project Runway” competitor) and Thom Navarro hit the runway with flamboyant cohort Samantha Rei and lingerie from Jagress Intimates. (7-11 p.m. Sept. 25. $18-$60. Minneapolis Club, 729 2nd Av. S., Mpls.)
Plus Size Pop-Up Shop: Plus-size style blogs Bella Moxie and Cat Inspired curate a pop-up shop of new and slightly used clothing sizes 14 to 28. Plus: Jewelry, shoes and giveaways. (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 26. Second Debut, 4300 W. 36½ St., St. Louis Park. Free; RSVP at eventbrite.com.)
Envision: And finally, the whopping 18th season of Envision is not only the capstone of Fashion Week; it’s become the pre-eminent event on the Minnesota fashion calendar — especially since its move to Orchestra Hall. Check out fall collections from top designers such as Caroline Hayden, Jenny Carle, Cory Allen, Joeleen Torvick, Kjurek, Russell Bourrienne, Sarah Furnae and Yevette Willaert, as worn by Ignite Models. (7-11 p.m. next Sat. $30-$75. Orchestra Hall, 11th St. and Nicollet Mall, Mpls. envisionmpls.com.)