My Night at Raw Fusion – Fashion for a Cause
By Joe Steck – Mankato Times
MANKATO, MINN. — The fifth annual Raw Fusion Fashion Show “Dark Forest” hosted by the Minnesota River Builders Association was held Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato. Many in the audience were dressed to the nines for the event which is dedicated to bringing attention to the local building industry while at the same time raising funds and awareness for a local cause. This year’s benefactor is Partners for Affordable Housing.
I was invited to attend the Fashion show by Amy Sinning who had designed a dress with the Boys and Girls Club out of Saint Cloud. This was a big night for her and the kids and I thought it would be a great story for people to read (article to follow).
For those who have never attended a high end fashion show (myself included), this is an event that you need to experience at least once in your lifetime. Hopefully my experience will prepare you for your first Raw Fusion experience.
Not knowing what to expect, I decided that I had better dress up more than I normally do – I left the sandals and baseball cap at home and wore my best jeans and a full button shirt.
When I entered the Verizon Wireless Center I could instantly feel the electricity of an excited crowd. Almost everyone was dressed to impress with guys wearing suits and women wearing their most fashionable dresses. I instantly realized that I had WAY under dressed.
I worked my way through the lobby and entered the main floor of the civic center. The lights were dim, and half of the room was filled with trees – it hit me like a sledge hammer – the Dark Forest. The room was divided by a big black curtain so I had no idea how many people were in attendance.
With the lights down low, I thought it would be difficult to find Amy and the kids from St. Cloud, but not impossible.
I worked my way through the crowd of fashionistas, saying my hellos to those I knew while they were smiling and in conversation – everyone looked to be having a great time.
Having worked my way through the forest I came to the half of the room in which the fashion show was to be held – it was packed. I knew at that instance that there was little chance of finding the Sinning family during the show so I decided to settle down in one spot and observe what was about to take place – A fashion show.
I am sure most have seen photos of fashion shows, but the photos I have seen never captured the raw, unadulterated energy that comes with being in attendance.
The crowd started to cheer as HGTV star Amy Matthews entered the stage to emcee the event. She spoke about the importance of the building trade and a little about Partners for Affordable Housing.
Once Matthews left the stage the lights went down and the music started thumping – model after model took their turns walking down the runway to the cheers of those in attendance.
With the theme being the Dark Forest, 31 models worked the catwalk adorned in one of a kind garments designed specifically for this show. The fashion designer utilized raw building materials as the inspiration for their outfits and was judged for their uniqueness and flair.
The outfits were crazy – all with a forest theme. Although not wearable outside of the show, they were all amazingly designed by and a feast for the eyes.
The models made one final walk down the runway, and while the judges tallied their scores, the crowd was entertained with a beautiful performance by the Mankato Ballet Company.
Once the winners were announced, the lights came up and the models came out into the audience where people could get an up-close look and talk about the evening.
I worked my way through the crowd and finally found Amy – she was in the forest area with the Boys and Girls Club kids surrounding model Grace Tucci for whom they designed the dress. The kids all had huge smiles and were closely examining their work.
Kelli Christianson Jones said it best when she told me “This night is the best. It is a chance for us girls to get dresses up and go out and have fun for a great cause.”
Single guys, not saying this is a dating service, but if you are single, I would plan on getting tickets for next years show – just remember to dress up better then I did.
To see more photos from the event, visit the Mankato Times Facebook page
To learn more about Raw Fusion, visit their web page.
To learn more about the Minnesota River Builders Association, visit their web page.
To learn more about Partners for Affordable Housing, visit their web page.
To learn more about the Mankato Ballet Company, visit their web page.
Original story posted here: http://mankatotimes.com/2015/05/14/my-night-at-raw-fusion-fashion-for-a-cause/