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I Am Fabulous! Celebrates Advanced Style


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Four of the women featured in the 2014 documentary "Advanced Style"

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Producer and stylist Sarah Edwards is known around town for her signature “I Am” events: I Am Mpls, I Am St. Paul, and I Am Kindness. This weekend, she introduces her latest production, I Am Fabulous!, a day of beauty and fashion geared toward women of all ages. Inspired by popular style blog Advanced Style and a 2014 documentary of the same name, the event includes pop-up shopping, makeup touch-up stations, live music from a jazz quartet, photo booths, a brunch-and-mimosa buffet, giveaways, and a red carpet entrance. It culminates with a cross-generational fashion show and a screening of the Advanced Style documentary, which follows a day-in-the-life of seven stylish and vivacious New York women of-a-certain-age.

I chatted with Edwards about the concept behind her “I Am” events, what inspired her to produce I Am Fabulous!, and why she’s inspired by stylish older women.

I Am Fabulous! producer Sarah Edwards

Photo by Irv Briscoe

Q: You’re known for your signature “I Am” events—I Am Mpls, I Am Kindness, and now I Am Fabulous! What’s the idea behind “I Am”?

A: It’s a funny story—it was when I was trying to brand myself years ago. My name is really common, so I was trying to find a way to differentiate myself from the other Sarah Edwards on the internet. I wanted something that was warm and inviting—an invitation to collaborate. “I am Sarah Edwards” seemed like a confident and inviting way to introduce myself and what I was about. The concept translated well to the events—it was a little bit of a happy accident with how it all worked out.

Q: What inspired you to create I Am Fabulous!?

A: I’ve been following the Advanced Style blog for a long time. It was really refreshing to see someone highlighting the older demographic and how you can still have great style and enjoy fashion as you get older. Sometimes it seems people are scared of getting old. Especially in the blogger community, you always see young girls. It was empowering. I kept following his blog, and I knew as soon as I saw the documentary that I wanted to do a screening or event to bring it to Minneapolis. I thought it’d be fun to use the film as the foundation of the event and build other things around it, and make it a whole experience so it wasn’t just going to a movie together. Plus I thought it was a great opportunity to get local businesses involved. Why I care about things like Advanced Style is sometimes fashion can be an intimidating thing and can make you feel bad about yourself, and something like Advanced Style can make you feel confident and better about yourself.

Women featured in I Am Fabulous! social media campaign

Photo by 2nd Truth Photography

Q: We’ve seen a lot in mainstream fashion about the concept of “advanced style”: the Advanced Style blog, brands—such as Kate Spade using 93-year-old Iris Apfel, Céline using 80-year-old Joan Didion, Saint Laurent featuring 71-year-old Joni Mitchell as models—and now the documentary. What’s your take on this newfound interest in stylish women of a certain age?

A: I think because everyone can relate to it. Even if you’re young now, you’re going to get old eventually, or you might have a grandma who'll reminisce and tell you stories about what she wore when she was younger. So we’re celebrating those people more often, and we’re not scared to become them as much, because the women in the film are so full of energy, so full of life, it makes me excited to get old in a way. As you get older, it seems easier to not care because you realize you have this one life, why should you spend it worrying what everyone thinks of you? So I find some security in that.

Q: Give us a run-down of the event. What can people expect from the beginning until the end?

A: The doors open at 10 a.m., and depending on whether it’s nice out or not, we’ll have a red carpet entrance with photographers, they’ll be a jazz band playing, and there’s going to be a big brunch buffet for everyone. Blush Beauty Room is doing makeup touch-ups, there'll be multiple photo booths and a ton of different pop-up boutiques from June Resale, Arc’s Value Village, Babes on Legs, Silver & Stone, Moth Oddities, Litany Jewelry, and My Sister’s Closet. And then at 11:30 a.m. is when the fashion show is going to start. Right before the fashion show we’ll do a ton of giveaways of $50 gift cards from boutiques (including Proper & Prim, Primrose Park, and Silver & Stone) as well as eyelash extensions valued at $300 from LashesBy Pang, and GoGlow is doing spray tan giveaways.

Women featured in I Am Fabulous! social media campaign

Photo by 2nd Truth Photography

Q: Can you tell me more about the fashion show?

A: It’s going to be a generational fashion show, so models will be anywhere from 8 years old to 90 years old, the models will be from the Goodman Group senior living facilities, which is a key sponsor of the show. Looks are coming from Rewind Vintage, Arc’s Value Village, Everyday People, Scarborough Fair, and Roe Wolfe, and the film screening will end the event.

Q: What do you hope people get out of the event?

A: My ultimate goal is people leave buzzing with positive energy and feeling good about themselves, and exciting about fashion and style and embracing their unique style, I like when people try new things and go out of their comfort zones, too. When I see people try some new things, I want to high-five them.

Q: So are men invited? Or is it a women-only event?

A: Of course! There will be some men in the fashion show, and men are invited to celebrate their style, too.

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sun., $40-$75, Varsity Theater, 1308 4th St. S.E., Mpls. Tickets and info at eventbrite.com

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