Perhaps it was the unseasonably warm weather or the giddy rush of a revamped and wildly successful Minnesota Fashion week, but Envision’s Fall 2015 showcase was nothing short of spectacular. If the Spring 2015 show offered impeccably tailored but more restrained clothing, the fall collections were as impudent and playful as they were boundary-breaking. Whether it was the giant black balloons held aloft by melancholic girls dressed in funeral dresses (Cliché) or the blasting industrial soundtracks pushing the inaugural menswear collections boldly down the runway, Envision felt big. To those accustomed to the avant-garde spectacles of McQueen shows past, Envision was perhaps a tame offering. But in a city like Minneapolis, whose collective fashion taste tends toward the conservative (as much due to our weather as it might be due to our Midwestern tastes), it takes serious guts to send out a man’s camel coat with a horse mane stitched to the back or a floor length gown held up by a stiff Elizabethan bumroll (yes, that’s the correct term).
With eight collections, Envision had the proverbial something-for-everyone, from trendy fall plaids and 70’s flared wool trousers to Rick Owens-esque leather pants and graphic printed sweaters. With a plethora of fall fashion events still to come (and a good chunk of time before we have to drag out the parkas), there’s no reason not to shop local. And there’s now even less reason to think that Minneapolis doesn’t stack up against the design legacies of our bigger coastal cities. We do stack up. And we know it. But if you don’t know it, you’ll find my review below and links to the designers themselves. Enjoy!
Ubiquitous Minnesotan fabric though it may be, plaid is the sartorial version of reassurance and comfort. In contrast to the bulky and thick fabrics we associate with “dad” plaids, Jenny Carle delivered two perfect “lumberjack chic” plaid jackets for fall: a structured evening piece and a beautiful daytime cardigan-style layered over a black turtleneck. Paired with fringed ankle boots and sheer black stockings, each of Carle’s plaids balanced the heavy with the light, the trendy with the classic. In keeping with the culottes trend from spring, Carle also offered a fantastic transitional look—knee length black culottes under a boldly printed tunic topped with a long camel vest. Easy, minimal, autumnal. Like collections before, Carle’s collection showcased her eye for fantastic fabrics with a careful design hand. Inspired by the natural color of stone formations, ACG presented a series of beautifully dyed pieces, as much reminiscent of rust and stone as it was of blood or wine stains. Paired with a green coat made from found fabric (vintage wool throw), it left me wanting a whole collection in found fabric.