Friday, July 29, 2011

For minnefemme's Jessine, personal style is an art form

Fashion is the industry of extremes: extreme slits, extreme necklines, extreme lengths (in either direction). And don’t forget about extreme weather: Anyone who has ever stepped off a jet plane in Minneapolis probably has a thing or two to say about the climate.
“Winters here could probably make hell freeze over and summers can be scorching,” comments fashion designer Jessine, who sells her creations on Etsy under the name minnefemme. From frostbite to sunburn, your personal style shouldn’t have to suffer. “Comfort is combined with the diverse and unique personalities of its inhabitants. Minneapolis style is different from say, Los Angeles, in the sense that we seem to be less influenced by what everybody else is wearing.”
Not inclined to duplicate the images in fashion magazines, Jessine herself finds inspiration for her style and designs in Uptown. “Take a stroll down one of these sidewalks [on Hennepin and Lagoon] and you’ll get a glimpse of what Minneapolis style is all about.” Indeed, Uptown has a plethora of essential B-Listers: boutiques, bistros, and bars. Some of the Twin Cities’ best thrift finds are discovered through the doors of the neighborhood’s shops. “The people who hang out here are unique and inspiring. I’ll see a cool tattoo or a 60’s style haircut and it feeds the always-hungry right side of my brain,” concludes Jessine.
Photo courtesy of minnefemme's Etsy shop

Visiting Uptown and absorbing this effervescent aura led Jessine’s imagination to a vision of dreamcatchers. A staple in her Etsy shop, the Peek-A-Boo Dreamcatcher top (above, and another variation below)—the result of her Uptown visions—can be dressed up or down (a critical trait of any day-to-night piece of the fashion puzzle—your closet).
To the office, match it with an always-chic tailored blazer, brightly colored trousers (a huge hit this fall), and not-your-grandmother’s platform loafer heels. (Best of all, this look works in sleet, snow, or sunshine.) Lose the blazer and switch to strappy stilettos for happy hour and beyond. On the weekend, pack it in your beach tote for a chic swimsuit cover up. Styling the Peek-A-Boo Dreamcatcher top can be successful in any time zone—from Minneapolis to Prague, where Jessine will be attending school later this year.
Photo courtesy of minnefemme's Etsy shop
Prague, Jessine figures, will further nourish the right side of her brain, which should mean good things for her design future. “People who are truly into fashion seem to be in-tune with their artistic side. This makes sense, because clothing isn’t limited to protection or warmth anymore; it’s an art form.”
If we consider our closets our museums, and the clothing adorning them paintings, it highlights the importance of curating something inspiring, stimulating—that can pique the senses of even the most fastidious critic—and something that will stand the test of time.

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