With New York Fashion Week currently in action, last week Fargo held its own Fashion Week. Over a span of four nights, 27 runway fashion shows were held at the Avalon Events Center. Local and regional designers, as well as boutiques, showcased their designs and current styles. Each night had a theme, around six retailers, guest performances, live music from local musicians and booths set up by vendors and local independent businesses. I myself got to experience each night’s show up close backstage, which was a truly fun experience.
Tuesday, Sept. 5th kicked off with a “Hometown Heroes” theme honoring veterans. It was a natural and relaxed themed show in terms of styles. However, it wasn’t just all fashion at Tuesday night’s event: St. Paul-based artist Jake Nelson performed live country music for attendees.
An average of six retailers, including LulaRoeLive and Mainstream Boutique, showed outfits. Also, this night featured designs
from the top four local designers selected in Project FFW, which took place a month before Fargo Fashion Week. The designers were: Trai Pratt, Emily Bloom, Hope Johnson and Sarah Olson.
Pratt is a senior at NDSU majoring in visual arts and a fellow classmate of mine. He also minors in apparel studies, and I have actually gotten to see him work on some of the gowns he featured in the show. His collection featured elegant avant-garde dresses.
For Bloom, vintage patterns inspired her collection. Bloom incorporated modern design elements into classic looks. Johnson, who is a high school student, was also inspired by vintage styles for her collection. All aspects of life inspired Olson’s designs. Bloom was later selected as the winner from the four and took home $500.
Wednesday, Sept. 6 was themed “Urban Chic RAW” with a mature vibe. The Black Frame, Primrose Boutique and more featured runway looks inspired by hip-hop. Going with the hip-hop inspiration, there was also O Tha Don, a hip-hop/rap group that performed live.
Devise Rise Apparel, a Minneapolis based brand that offers innovative quality clothing in limited quantity by Shaunda, also took over the runway. La Shaunda Malone, who is a self-taught visionary designer, showcased a collection featuring urban/street brand and innovative elements.
Also, Zero Gravity, a group that specializes in pole and aerial fitness, put on a performance.
Thursday, Sept. 7 was themed “Retro Pop.” It was all about throwbacks. The show invited NSYNC fans to come out and enjoy throwback tunes from the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s.
Around six retailers walked the runway, including the up and coming Dac and Co. Additionally, a project led by Rachel Stone, Fashion Girls Club, livened up the audience with young girls modeling t-shirts they designed and decorated themselves.
Friday, Sept. 8 was themed “House of Rock.” The final night was a night of rock-n-roll. Retailers, including Kittsona and Forever 21, rocked the runway with fun and edgy looks. They created a strong atmosphere by having a local rock band perform classic and original hits. Lastly, the show wrapped up with a final showing of Dac and Co.’s collection.
Overall, Fargo Fashion Week was a great experience. Everyone was welcome, which I thought was nice as well as a great way to get people to come out. People were able to have some fun, enjoy live music and much more. The show was really designed to showcase local retail and independent businesses. However, it also gave people the opportunity to learn more about what is out there in the world of Fargo fashion. I got to meet a lot of wonderful people with all kinds of positive energy. With Fargo growing so fast as a city, I hope this project continues to next year and the next.