The Shows, one of Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week's most popular events, is three nights of runway parties featuring some of the top names in local fashion. After impressive showings by designers Nicole Larson, Lindsey Hopkins, Christopher Straub, MAI, Marissa Bridges, and Adrienne Yancy, the series closed last night with Samantha Rei and Emma Berg.
Full Fashion Panic features looks inspired by cosplay, Japanese culture, steampunk fashions
"It's about childhood nostalgia," Rei says. "This collection embodies the girl who lives a regular life, but dreams of chasing lightning bugs and running through the woods."
Models walked the runway barefoot, wearing a black ribbon around their ankle and one-of-a-kind headbands.
Standout pieces included a white, empire-waist dress with a lace neck, a multi-layered skirt, and a printed, mint-green cotton jumperskirt.
"This collection shows my love of sweetness, youthfulness, and femininity without being inaccessible to people in both the mainstream and the alternative side," Rei says. "I always try to design for the girl who will wear it for herself, not the girl who dresses for others. I've been feeling very nostalgic this year, and I want everyone to feel as happy and free as I did when I conceived this line."
Local favorite Emma Berg's collection, titled "The Yellow Wood," was named after the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.
"The polarization of our country and the paralyzing effect it has on us is disheartening," Berg says. "Four years ago we were a country of hope, looking for change in a broken system. We had hope that a system could be put in place that cared for its poor, provided all individuals opportunities, and remained conscious of where government has a place and where it does not. People forget that these types of overhauls take time. It's always easier for people to take the easy road. However, it is the road less traveled that brings us to new ideas and new ways of functioning and caring for each other as a functioning modern society that lifts all of its members up rather than throw the under-privileged to the wolves."
Berg's show opened with her adorable seven-year-old niece Tatiana strutting down the runway, followed by a collection of grosgrain ribbon jackets, leather skirts, and black-, white-, and grey-draped dresses.
"The black and white is not meant to represent good and bad, but rather our near-future selves," Berg says. "[When] we take the traveled path, the black shroud becomes our uniform. [When] we take the path less traveled and move forward with hope, our empathy grows and we drape ourselves in the optimism of creating something bigger."
Berg ended the show with two male models sharing a kiss on the runway, followed by a female model in a "Vote No" top designed by Berg. As she walked the runway with her collection, Berg received a standing ovation -- the only designer in all three nights of the shows to do so.
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