Before the Show: Gabby’s View from Other Side of the Curtain
I was so grateful to have been selected to be a part of La Bratique’s first runway show, “La Femme, La Fashion”. I arrived at the doors of Bella Salon at about 2:30pm for hair and makeup; I was immediately struck by a super funky, contemporary piece of artwork behind the receptionists’ desk. As my eyes wandered to the rest of the space, the vibe felt relaxed, professional, and distinctly warm. Being a little early, I was able to sit down and enjoy Bella’s comfortable waiting area for their guests, complete with a fireplace and refreshments. It was my pleasure to have my hair styled by Katie; anyone who has traveled far and wide for the right hairdresser can agree with me when I say there’s nothing like a hair stylist that makes small talk easy, fun, and enjoyable. I highly recommend seeing Katie to anyone who is interested in checking out this salon!
Between the lifting, tucking, and pinning of our hair and last-minute bra fittings, talented Susan Swanson turned me and the other ladies into runway-ready boudoir babes. Once the outfits had been finalized, our Miglio’s sandwiches eaten, and makeup complete, our looks were made whole with beautiful jewelry creations from Realia by Jen. At approximately 5pm, the stage (or a series of three platforms, in this case) had been set, and Richard Moody and fellow model Beatrice gave us a quick runway lesson in how to strut our stuff. Just to be sure I was ready, I went through a few practice runs by myself; even though I was feeling too stubborn to show it at the time, I was becoming really nervous! Time passed quickly, and soon we found ourselves listening to the soulful sounds of duo Wenso Ashby Contemporary Jazz with Soul. As 6pm drew nearer and nearer, all the ladies gathered in the back of the salon. I was probably the most nervous of the bunch, being the only one without previous modeling experience. I was lucky to get some words of encouragement from Kristina Mohlin, who had been a model for 22 years. Needless to say, she made me feel a lot more relaxed and ready for the show. Before I knew it, the chatter from the other side of the curtain subsided, and I heard Richards booming, cheerful voice begin. The show had begun, and it was almost my turn to go…
Part Two: The Fashion Show
“La Femme, La Fashion” was probably one of the most fun events we had the opportunity of covering! Gabby Navarro, my co-author, was one of five models who got to strut what their momma gave them on the runway! When I got to Bella Salon early to support Gabby, she was busy getting her outfits prepared for the show. While I was waiting for her, I got to chat with the other models while they were getting their hair and makeup done. They all seemed very at ease granted that they are about to take their clothes off in front of 75 people.
There were many family members and friends supporting everyone involved in the show. Since Gabby and I have been friends since we were 16, my mom came to support her and watch her walk. When my mom arrived she got lost, so I had to run outside and direct her. Finally, we got her to Bella and when we walked up to the doors we were greeted by an adorable man looking dapper in a tuxedo, who kindly opened the door for us. Music by Wenso Ashby enchanted the crowd upon entering. Mingling was at all-time peak tonight, with familiar faces all around. Red and white wine was served along with delicious hors d’oeuvres. The runway was set up in the middle of the salon and the on-lookers were able to sit and enjoy the show in the salon chairs.
After everyone got settled Richard started off the show by introducing Tracy, letting her talk about the store and the upcoming spring lingerie collections. When Tracy was done speaking, Richard introduced Jen of Realia by Jen, who designed all of the jewelry that was used in the show. After the participants had been introduced, the music started and the first model stepped out on the runway. Watching the entire group of models feel extremely confident in their La Bratique lingerie was really inspiring, I’m not sure if it was the bright spring colors that made them feel that way, but they worked it. It was easy to lose time watching beautiful ladies walking in fine European intimates, and soon the show had come to an end. After the show, attendees were invited to Beaujo’s Wine Bar for an after-party special. On the way out all of the guest received a “swag bag” including gifts and coupons.
One thing that is very special about this event is how La Bratique chose to use many different body shapes. Their styling displayed an array of sizes tastefully and beautifully, making the “real-women” bodies glow even brighter with the selection of luxurious fabrics and details. After seeing such an alluring collection of lingerie, it was hard to find our top three most desirable pieces of the night. Our first fave was a vanilla colored bra from Countrelle. The sheer, floral, scalloped lace made this bra especially unique; definitely a piece to wear for a special occasion of any kind. Our second favorite of the night was the Freya balconet. The elongated band and the playful polk-a-dot print make this a piece you don’t want to hide; instead this would be a great to use for layering as a true part of your outfit. Our final favorite was a young and fun Evolove bra and panty set in a light blue and purple bird print that spoke to the part in us that never really quite grew up; the print felt youthful, but not so youthful that a woman wouldn’t feel unsophisticated wearing it. If you want to see our favorites for yourself, make an appointment with Jackie or Tracy as all of these things are currently for sale!
La Femme, La Fashion” definitely kept up with our high expectations. We anticipated viewing a beautiful selection of European lingerie, beautiful people, light, happy music in the background, and tasty refreshments. Not only did they deliver the latter, but the genuine, friendly, and professional level of service blew us away. We’d like to thank Tracy and Jackie at La Bratique once again for their kindness and hospitality, and also a big thanks to Bella Salon, we had such a great experience and you ladies are so much fun to work with!
You can check out La Bratique’s website at: http://www.labratique.com.
If you want to learn more about Bella Salon and services they offer, you can find their website here: www.bellaedina.com
Local jewelry designer Realia by Jen, we highly suggest stopping by her page here: http://www.realiabyjen.com.
Wenso Ashby - Contemporary Jazz with Soul: http://www.wensoashby.com/home.html
Authors and Editors
Jordan Nentl & Gabby Navarro
Musical performances by Heatbox, A. Wolf & Her Claws Hosted by Jade Tittle of 89.3 The Current Comedic performances by Nate Abshire and Ben San Del I AM MPLS! is an annual variety show celebrating and connecting passionately creative people from Minneapolis. Now in its third year, the multi-facted event integrates comedy, music, fashion, and art to form an entertaining evening based on locally grown creative pride. IAMMPLS! is about celebrating who we are, what we do, and the common bond that ties us to our fair city. IAMMPLS! was conceived by local fashion stylist, Sarah Edwards, a Minneapolis transplant, who, within a few short years of living here, has become an inspiring advocate for the city. She sees Minneapolis as a place brimming with possibility, passion, and artistic energy. After recognizing and embracing the potential within the Minneapolis creative community, Edwards took leaps and risks to make something new happen…and IAMMPLS! was born.