Envision Artopia


No plans for the weekend? No worries! If you enjoy being a part of the local fashion/music/art scene, we suggest checking out City Pages Envision Artopia this Saturday. Anticipate a night of mingling with Twin Cities’ urbanites to the sounds of DJ Bryan Gerrard, a runway event with a plethora of local designers and boutiques such as Martin Patrick3, Marissa Bridges, and Cliché, and a chance to participate in a silent auction of several paintings to benefit Free Arts Minnesota, a non-profit organization that teaches at-risk children how to use artistic expression to externalize their emotions, boosting their self-confidence. Here’s the details you’ll need to make it, hope to see you there!


Envision Artopia

Saturday, April 13th

9pm-12am (VIP Entry at 8pm)

Graves 601 Hotel, 5th Floor Ballroom:

601 1st Avenue N, Minneapolis, MN55403


Tickets will be $25 (advance tickets are no longer available)

To learn more about what Free Arts Minnesota does and for donation information, click the link here: http://www.freeartsminnesota.org




Hot to Trot: Athletic Wear Must-Haves

I’ve thought many a time how lucky we are to be living in 2013: we’re able to contact our loved ones from any location worldwide with Skype, we can network and maintain relationships with important people we may never have had access to in the real world, and one of my personal faves is the fact that we can dress with little-to-no “fashion rules”; we are free to mix those prints and combine our blacks and navy’s with no shame! In the world of fashion, 2013 promises to be an innovative and exciting new year for many reasons, and the fashion focus is being broadened. Versatile, trendy athletic wear is becoming more than popular, both in and out of the gym. Thick, tailored yoga pants that fit the body to a tee may not fully replace a coveted pair of designer jeans, however, they are quickly becoming the grab-n-go pant of choice. How can we stay on-trend both in and out of the gym without changing clothes? Fortunately, with labels like Athleta, Lululemon, and local duo MAI, keeping a once-neglected part of our wardrobes current is a breeze. While there are tons of options for you to mix and match sporty separates, here’s a few of our fitness must-haves for the coming year:



Photo From http://shop.lululemon.com/home.jsp

Photo From http://shop.lululemon.com/home.jsp



1: The Lululemon “Forme Pant”  

When the term “active wear” gets brought up in conversation, men and women active-lifestyle brand Lululemon is rarely left out. Known best for their leading-edge materials and flattering cuts, one of their staple and most identifiable pieces is their Forme Pant. These pants are made of their original, signature Luon® blend. This material makes the pant incredibly versatile: having a high percentage of LYCRA®, there is no need to worry about the garment stretching out and becoming unwearable. Luon® also offers a 4-way stretch to ensure your pants are moving along with your body, which plays hand-in-hand with the smooth banding that keeps your pants in place through even the most intense yoga session. Don’t take yoga? These pants are so soft and comfortable that once you try on a pair for the first time, you’ll see why even the least athletic (myself included) folks are happily making the 98$ investment. It might not be easy to fully grasp the idea of spending 98$ on a pair of black slim yoga pants, but here’s another reason why it’s well worth the money: it’s a one-time cost for a piece in your closet that will last for years to come.



Photo By: Rhea Pappas

Photo By: Rhea Pappas


2: The MAI Criss-Cross Bralette

While the Lululemon Forme Pant is a fabulous basic that every woman should have the pleasure of owning, sometimes we want to feel like we’ve one-upped the public with a not-so-basic basic piece. MAI created a crazy-cool, contemporary, and refreshingly affordable line of clothes for Spring/Summer 2013 during MN Fashion week last September for the woman on the go. The amazing thing about these clothes is just how much they look like regular day-to-day clothing; you would almost never know that they can withstand a hearty workout! From a laid back maxi skirt and dress to funky tank tops with hoodies and back zippers, there are tons of less-than-ordinary pieces to choose from. One tank in particular stands out, however: the ever versatile Criss-Cross Bralette. From the front, this top looks like a regular cropped black tank top; but when you turn to the side and to the back, the criss-cross back detail is exposed. This top could be worn as a regular cropped tank with a pair of high-waisted pants or shorts in the summer time for a flirty look that’s still a bit edgy; and at only $25, you may want to buy two!



Photo From: http://athleta.gap.com/

Photo From: http://athleta.gap.com/


3:  Skidless® Premium Towel by Yogitoes® 

As many people know, yoga is an excellent way to get in shape by increasing balance, strength and flexibility. Maybe you’ve made a New Years’ resolution to start a new workout routine, or maybe you’ve decided for the first time to exercise regularly. Whatever the circumstance, during any particularly sweaty yoga classes, you may catch your palms and feet slipping on your mat. There’s a solution to such a problem! On the Athleta website, there is an incredible Skidless® Premium towel by Yogitoes®. All you need to do is slap this bad boy right over your yoga mat when you feel like you’re slipping and sliding, and the back of the towel grips to your yoga mat while the absorbent Polyester/Nylon top stays dry and keeps hands and feet in place, balanced. At $64, this is recommended most highly for any individuals who are looking into or are currently practicing Bikram, or Hot Yoga, as those sessions make the body sweat much more profusely. This towel is well worth the purchase because it allows you to maximize your time in your practice; when you aren’t being distracted by slipping limbs, you are able to focus on what really matters: your practice, your body, and your being as a whole.


For more information about the brands mentioned above, you can check out their clothing at their websites below:

Lululemon: http://shop.lululemon.com/home.jsp

Athleta: http://athleta.gap.com

MAI: http://www.fashionbymai.com

From Runway to Broadway


This event was one that caught the two of us a little bit off guard with just a few hours notice, but we were just as excited to be in attendance nonetheless! Luckily, we are well-practiced professionals at getting ready in a time crunch, and knew exactly where to go to get fitted. We kicked it into high gear and hustled over to our favorite last-minute shopping destination Second Début and

Photo By: Gabby Navarro

came out with some amazing items. Once we arrived at the Lundstrum Center on the north side of Minneapolis, we learned that the event was called “Broadway Meets Runway”, their 5thannual variety show fundraiser that not only benefits student scholarships and the many programs that the center provides, but also showcases the very special talent that the Lundstrum Center cultivates. This event is important for them because over 40% of students who attend are receiving various forms of financial assistance funded by donations from local donors. The recipients of these programs and scholarships are predominantly children who live locally, and there are even a few classes for adults.



Photo By: Gabby Navarro

Walking through the door, the Lundstrum Center is undeniably a warm, positive place. There was an excellent turnout for the event; tons of people got acquainted to each other over refreshments from the bar that was provided. After the social hour had ended, we moved into the adjoining room and found our seats just a few rows from the runway. The host of the night was award-winning journalist and founder/CEO of Rox Jewelry Robyne Robinson, who had also at one point attended the Lundstrum. After a few words, we watched a short video that highlighted some of the students’ and teachers’ personal stories of accomplishments and learning experiences they’ve shared together. After the video, Robyne closed the introduction, and the performances began!


Photo By: Gabby Navarro

Photo By: Gabby Navarro


The show was kick-started with a small chorus of children who came out to perform a delightful tune about the arriving snow, which blended into a small excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s ballet the Nutcracker, performed by a blend of Lundstrum students and Ordway professionals. After the performance, the predominantly-menswear boutique BlackBlue sent a few dapper looks down the runway, followed by a selection of leather and fur coats by Ribnick. The stage emptied and quickly returned to life with a fun skit. Actors in Grease-like 50’s garb sang and danced across the stage, and after they boogied down the runway, they were replaced by a 3-woman chorus. After another great performance, Primp Cheap-Chic Boutique sent down a small collection of evening attire that women of all ages could easily wear. June

Photo By: Gabby Navarro

Upscale Resale was up next with a great mix of pieces; leading the collection was an ultra-cozy and one-of-a-kind sweater dress, followed by an array of unique evening dresses and separates. There was one piece in particular that screamed out for our attention, an incredible, diva-liciouis cobalt blue bead and sequin jumpsuit;

Photo By: Gabby Navarro

this piece alone made us feel obligated to come check out the boutique to see what we can find for ourselves! After June had shown their selection, Ribnick Furs sent a few more unique shearling coats down the runway, which concluded the second fashion portion of the night. In

Photo By: Gabby Navarro

a few moments, the stage light up once again with a large womens’ chorus, with a short childrens’ skit after. When the performances were done, Lundstrum students and participants walked the runway. The final fashion portion of the show  was kick-started with more contemporary eveningwear from Stephanie’s; From an emerald green mini dress  to a half-sheer pleated maxiskirt, you’re sure to make an entrance with any piece from Stephanie’s  Designer consignment boutique. Rodeo Drive tempted and teased the crowd with an interesting selection of separates. It was clear they chose only the most unique garments for the show, as told by the textured gold dress pants and bubblegum pink swing jacket. Ribnick gave us a

Photo By: Gabby Navarro

final glimpse of there leather and fur selection, and the stage cleared once again. After a few moments, several ladies dressed in glamorous Arafina, Emma Berg, and Brides of France evening gowns stood on the side of the stage, chatting among themselves. Slowly, more men and women entered the stage, and when a young man dressed in a sharp tuxedo entered the end of the runway, it was apparent that a wedding was about to begin. A young girl and boy walked down the “aisle” together as a ring bearer and flower girl, and Brides of France showed a portion of their bridal selection. After the last bridal looks walked off of the runway, everyone in the nights show did a final walk-through to finalize the fifth successful Broadway to Runway fundraiser performances.

Photo By: Gabby Navarro


After the crowd left the theater and entered the main room, we enjoyed a variety of tasty sweets and reviewed the highlights of the night. As we made our way through the people, we noticed there was a large table set up in the next room. As we got closer we saw it was Robyne Robinson displaying and selling her exotic pieces from her jewelry collection, Rox. We were blown away by all of the one-of-a-kind pieces and also by the materials that they were made of: silver from Bali, African brass,Tibet agate, and carved jade to name a few, many from her travels around the world. Her knowledge of natural materials and places was incredible, and is clearly shown through her work. We are so glad we chose to take a closer look!


We feel so blessed to have been invited to this event. Everyone involved in

Photo By: Gabby Navarro

making this happen has a true passion for what they do for the children and the community around them, which reflects on the Lundtsrum Center’s compassionate history. The original Lundstrum Studio began in the 20’s when Dorothy and her sisters Lorraine and Marion took over the Ascension School of Dance. Dorothy taught local students all the way into the late 90’s. In 1998, Dorothy passed away and left the Lundstrum to Kerry, Sue, Janie, Laurie, and Amy Casserly, daughters of friend and former student Lois Casserly. In 2000, the Lundstrum Center reopened, and specialized in training for Broadway Musical Theatre. In 2004, The Lundstrum expanded and moved into their current location at 1617 North

Photo By: Gabby Navarro

Second Street. The Casserly sisters take pride on maintaining Dorothy’s guiding principles: “Respect the dignity of the individual, true beauty is a reflection of God, it is uplifting and comes from within, nurture children in mind, body and spirit to release their artistic capacity, and our philosophy is: I can, I am, and I will” This sense of accomplishment was clearly displayed as excited looks on the kids’ faces after the show, telling us all that they were proud of their performance and of themselves. The Lundstrum Center is more than just a performing arts school; it is a symbol of hope and what is to come when you work just a little bit harder, and believe in yourself just a little bit more.

To learn more about the Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts, visit there website here:   http://lundstrumcenter.org/

To check out all of the participating stores and designers, visit there websites as listed below:

BlackBlue:  http://www.blakblu.blogspot.com/

Ribnick Fur & Leather: http://www.ribnickfurs.com/

Primp Cheap-Chic Boutique: http://primpyourself.com/

June Upscale Resale: http://juneresale.com/

Stephanie’s: http://stephaniesshop.com/

Rodeo Drive Designer Consignment: http://rodeodriveconsign.com/

Arafina: http://www.arafina.com/

Emma Berg: http://www.emmaberg.com/

Brides of France: http://www.bridesoffrance.com/

Rox Minneapolis: http://blackbettyposters.com/



Authors and Editors

Gabby Navarro and Jordan Nentl

“La Femme, La Fashion”: The Show

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

The Shows: Night Three

The Shows Sept. 27th 2012

Featuring Emma Berg & Samantha Rei

      After going to the Atrium at the Grain Belt Bottling Company for three days, you’d think it would get repetitive and boring, but oh no! MNFashion continually brought in a generous sized crowd, but tonight was even more packed, and fellow fashion lovers were dressed to the nines. People watching alone would have made this night spectacular, which we did on our little breaks in-between collections. We each took turns giving stories to the elite and fashionable members of the audience, from their prestigious day jobs to glamorous night lives and how they might be connected with the designers.

Compliments of City Pages

Compliments of City Pages

Samantha Rei was first to hit the runway. Her collection consisted of pastel colored baby doll dresses in yellow, mint, violet, and classic white. There were ruffles and lace galore that made everything feel very youthful and innocent. It made you reminisce about dressing your favorite doll as girl. None of the models wore heels and had ribbons tied around their ankles; this small detail really helped create a dreamy carefree vibe. One thing we love about Rei’s designs is that they seem to be channeling the early 19th century era, but their hair was futuristic and big, with bright colors. Feather headbands and clips will definitely will be making their second debut this spring and summer, put to use in a more tame and classic way.

Compliments of Russell Heeter

      When Emma Berg’s first model stepped out onto the runway you could tell she was nervous and it was her first time on the catwalk; within 10 seconds the crowd stood and applauded her. This was the cutest little girl you have ever seen and a pretty fierce model, with a little flowing white dress, and black biker boots. Berg’s looks are edgy, empowering, and expensive looking. She brings a fresh insight on how women should dress, with bold asymmetrical lines that would flatter any body shape; which makes each piece look one-of-a-kind. She kept all of her pieces very modern and contemporary with the lines and fabrics she used, which consists of silk and two key leather pieces. The end of this show was by far one of the most inspiring and exceptional things that took place this whole week: two men were walking and met in the middle of the runway where they locked in a passionate and oh-so-sexy kiss. Then a tall African amazon princess of a

Compliments of Russell Heeter

woman glided down the stage wearing a black “Vote No” sequin top with a long cascading high-low white skirt. Since most of you don’t know her that well, Jordan is very sentimental and she was fighting back the tears. What a strong message.
      Overall, the two collections were on the polar opposites on the spectrum of femininity; Emma Berg presented more hard and calculated ensembles, while Samantha Rei’s designs created a spirited and carefree ambiance. We wanted to express how appreciative we are of the MNFashion staff for welcoming us in such a way that made us feel like we belonged and were a part of the experience. It was our first time in attendance at MN Fashion Week and we were so impressed by what our local fashion community can create. Minneapolis is an up and coming area for the fashion industry and MNFashion made that point hard to ignore.
Authors and Editors
Gabby Navarro & Jordan Nentl   A special thanks to Russell Heeter for the amazing photos from the Emma Berg website: http://www.emmaberg.com/
Also the City Pages:  http://www.citypages.com/