After a brief pause to regroup, MV Fashion Week returns this year. Anticipation and excitement have been building in the months leading up to this year’s event, which will be held on Saturday, September 28.


Anyone who has ever attended a fashion show can attest to the fact that people in the industry are notoriously known for never being on time. Hence the term fashionably late. But Trena Morrison is not only on time, she arrives early. Dressed in a pair of dark denim with a lily-white oversized top, black classic slip-ons, and oversized Jackie O sunglasses perched on top of her head, Trena looks every bit the fashionista as she is. Founder and editor of Dressed MV, Trena Morrison launched Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week in September 2011 and carried on the tradition for 4 years. With every year, MV Fashion Week grew bigger and better. After a brief pause to regroup, MV Fashion Week returns this year. Anticipation and excitement have been building in the months leading up to this year’s event, which will be held on Saturday, September 28. Constantly in motion, on the phone, and texting away, Trena slowed down to talk about this year’s event.

Designs by Lauren Morgan

DMV: Why did you now decide to bring back MV Fashion Week?
Trena: It’s a funny thing when you do something like put on a yearly event and then stop. You don’t realize the impact those events had on people. Bringing back MV Fashion Week after all of these years was because time and again people would stop and ask me if I was going to do the “fashion shows” that particular year. My answer was always, “No, but then again maybe….you just never know.” I stopped doing the week’s worth of events and the shows because I was burnt out and I needed to find something a bit more lucrative for my family living on this island. So, I took a break and started up a publication called Dressed MV magazine.

DMV: What are some of the biggest challenges in pulling off Fashion Week?
Trena: Oh boy! It’s been really hard to get back into that groove of planning a full-scale event. In the past years, I’ve rented spaces equipped with a fully stocked bar and operating as a restaurant. This year, I’ve rented a space without any of these luxuries and it is a total game changer! I now have had to apply for a permit, purchase insurance, hire a catering and beverage company, rent tables, chairs, lights, and secure a lot of staff. I never had to worry about all of this in the past because it was already included. This is all completely new to me and it is a bit challenging. Further, there’s the challenge of competing with stores schedules. This is the time where most store owners, designers, and managers go on their buying trips and are thus not able to show. It is disappointing, to say the least, but I completely understand. Next year, I will move the date back to get those in who couldn’t show this year.

1375839_604998406217520_1696942462_nDMV: What can we expect at MV fashion week this year?
Trena: There will be one Incredible fashion show held at the Vineyard Arts Project (the back building) in Edgartown. The night will showcase about 10-15 stores with about 10-12 looks per store/designer. This is an event where you can get dressed up, nibble on some delicious bites, have a few cocktails, and venture out to view the island’s diverse fashion and styles, all while supporting a local charity through a portion of ticket sales. Come for the food and drinks; stay for the fashion and style!

DMV: What will be new? What stays the same?
Trena: New this year is the space. It’s a beautiful space with lots of natural light, tall ceilings, and exposed beams. There will also be a few stores that have never shown in the previous MVFW events. The space only holds up to 150 people, so crowd attendance will be on a much smaller scale, and I am happy about that. It will keep things more exclusive and intimate. I have the pleasure of working with a few new people this year, including Sandy Brooks of Timeless Event Planning, the event coordinator and designer. And, Scott Mullin who has been a huge help with advice and planning this event as well. Both of them have been helping me with every aspect of the shows and they are a blessing! The fashion show will operate as it has done in the past: a few intermissions and a few surprises. Back this year is Dj Pretty Ninja, who will be providing music throughout the evening. I am so happy to have her back on board. Alaina Rastelli, who I have worked with before, will be the backstage director. Alaina runs a smooth, tight ship ensuring that everything runs on time. I’m so grateful and excited to have both ladies on the team.

Look from the Green RoomDMV: What is your favorite part of Fashion Week?
Trena: The idea of picking out my outfit and getting dressed up. I love seeing all of the men and women dressed up as well. It is at these events where everyone’s style shows itself, and wow, do they deliver. It is truly like being at a fashion show in a major city, albeit a much smaller scale. I also, love the thrill, stress, (yes, I said stress) and excitement of putting on the fashion show– from setting up the space and seeing it come alive to when the doors open and people start to come in with a look of excitement and big smiles on their faces. It’s pretty magical. And let’s not forget the show itself – beautiful models, most of them local, walking the catwalk wearing looks from island stores and designers. The Vineyard has such a diverse array of style. What’s not to love?

DMV: How has fashion grown and evolved on MV and why?
Trena: I’ve noticed the stores on the island are becoming more and more conscious of the fashion industry’s bad practices in relation to their workers, pay, and the effects on the environment. They have leaped forward in buying more sustainable brands through companies that are conscious of the environment, paying close attention to where they source fabric and materials from, and creating closer relationships with their employees by paying fair wages while working under safe labor practices.

DMV: How do you stay up-to-date on fashion news and trends?
Trena: I read a lot of magazines: Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair, to name a few. I also follow a slew of Instagram accounts. Collectively they give me plenty of information as to what’s trending in the world. I also like to visit stores on the island to see what they are currently carrying and how it compares to what I’ve seen from magazines and social media. It’s interesting to see what the rest of the world’s style and fashion is trending compared to the island. On the island, the style is comparable, yet different. Living on an island and having a short season, trends move fast. But each store has its own unique style and individual taste. When you get to know the stores and what brands they carry, you kind of make a list in your head of where you can go to find that certain piece or accessory.

542085_437989979585031_1411452933_nDMV: What excites you about fashion?
Trena: It’s knowing that more and more companies and brands are moving towards creating a sustainable product and seeing what they are doing to ensure safe and ethical practices. It’s also interesting to read about new designers and seeing the growth of their lines with each new season. For well-known designers and brands, it’s always exciting to see the looks coming off of the runway shows, how they style each look, and the elements that are incorporated within a design – all while staying true to the brand.

DMV: What do you think are the most important facets of the fashion industry?
Trena: Change. Clothing and accessory companies must cross over to create a more sustainable piece while incorporating ethical and moral practices. It’s important these days to know how that piece of clothing and accessory has been created, where the parts are from, and who is making them. Fast fashion practices must stop. Now’s the time to start buying brands who are creating a quality product, all while trying to take care of the earth and its workers.

DMV: What does fashion mean to you?
Trena: Fashion and style are completely personal and ever-changing. To me, it’s a part of who you are as a person and a glimpse of your personality. It took me a long time to realize my style was something that wasn’t being shown in magazines or store windows, and that it was ok to try out a different look. I’ve tried out a hundred different styles and looks but never really felt completely comfortable with myself until just a few years ago. I now know what looks good on me, what doesn’t, and what makes me feel good about myself when I’m wearing something that is completely me. My style, my taste, just me.

Look from The Great Put On

More Information:
For inquiries, email
For ticket purchases to the FEARLESS fashion show and more info on the show, go to this link: 70374725699
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