Saint Louis Fashion Week: Industry Night

Saint Louis Fashion Week’s Industry Night brought a taste of New York Fashion Week to the Show Me State. Industry Night, held last night at Windows on Washington, featured runway presentations by nationally recognized designers who showcased their latest collections.   Even Fern Mallis, the creator of New York Fashion Week, made an appearance at the event.

Industry Night began with presentations by emerging designers—Dipped & Dyed, Suzanne Lay, Paulie Gibson, and Blue Bird Apparel—during a cocktail party before the runway show.  This presentation format allowed for crucial interaction between attendees and the models wearing the clothing as well as the designers who were available to discuss their collections.  After talking with Genevieve Cortinovis, founder of Dipped & Dyed, I became more intrigued by her line because it prioritizes socially conscious production.

Here are photographs I took of my favorite looks from Industry Night:

Industry Night, Dipped & Dyed

Industry Night, Suzanne Lay

Industry Night, Paulie Gibson

Industry Night, Blue Bird Apparel

Runway Show

The Industry Night runway show followed with collections by nationally recognized designers, Jennifer Chun and Samantha Pleet, and local designers, Wai Ming and Laura Kathleen.  Wai Ming sent the first collection down the runway, a very classic and polished collection featuring black and white, graphic houndstooth prints, and leather. 

Industry Night, Wai Ming

Laura Kathleen, who also presented at the Project Runway show, sent her second collection of this Saint Louis Fashion Week down the runway.  This one was über glamourous and exquisitely tailored.  

Industry Night, Laura Kathleen

Jennifer Chun presented a sporty chic collection.  The luxe athletic pieces were both casual and sophisticated.

Industry Night, Jennifer Chun

Brooklyn designer, Samantha Pleet,  presented a collection filled with lots of dimension.  The pieces were relaxed, but far from basic because of special details like her playful prints and cutout designs.  We also got a close look at some of her new shoe and boot designs, perfect complements to her looks.

Industry Night, Samantha Pleet

Eva Franco closed Industry Night with a fun, feminine, and flirty collection.  Even the models couldn’t contain their excitement as they playfully strutted down the runway.  Her pieces featured fresh colors, fantastic prints, and form-flattering silhouettes. 

Industry Night, Eva Franco

Saint Louis Fashion Week: Project | Design!

The Saint Louis Fashion Week journey continued last night with Project:Design!, the emerging designer contest, presented by Brown Shoe and now in its seventh season.  This particular show especially embodies the spirit of Saint Louis Fashion Week, an event that provides an important springboard for local designers to dive into their careers.  Project: Design! brought six designers together at Windows on Washington to compete for a generous prize of up to $30,000 in resources to help launch their careers!

The evening started with presentations by the official and people’s choice winners in last year’s Project: Design!.  Lauren Bander, the 2012 official winner, and Elise Lammert, the 2012 people’s choice winner, made supporters of this event proud with their collections that clearly demonstrated the advancement of their design experiences since winning.

Project design, Lauren Bander

Project design, Elise Lammert

Let the 2013 Competition Begin

The 2013 competition immediately followed the runway presentation of the reigning champions.  Abaya Dake opened the competition to rousing applause to his colorful, printastic, form-flattering designs.  This collection was a personal favorite of mine.

Project design, Abaya Dake

Maria Silver followed, equally stirring the crowd with her expert use of sharp shapes, floral prints, and mixed fabrics.  Many of the pieces seemed like the perfect attire for jet-setters.

Project design, Maria Silver

Next up was Fouché.  I’ve been a fan of Fouché since seeing her collection at the Pronto Fashion Show earlier this year.  Her collection last night, though, was much darker and more dangerous than her sweet, feminine collection I’ve seen before.  I was intrigued by seeing her move in this seemingly new direction.

Project design, Fouché

The Miita collection followed.  The collection used a muted color family, yet each piece exploded on the runway because they incorporated beading, tailoring, embellishments, and exotic materials.  The combinations were truly magical.

Project design, Miita Collection

Spansen Filles then sent an avant-garde collection down the runway, with some pieces sending shockwaves through the St. Louis audience because of the peculiar placement and gathering of fabric.  This collection was surely edgy and unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Project design, Spansen Filles

Q Liu closed the competition with a bang.  Her collection is best described as wearable art.  The pieces each featured a fancy bird “print” created by a felting technique that Q Liu has clearly mastered.  This was the kind of collection that was visually striking, but also extremely intriguing.  I actually approached a model after the show to touch the fabric and investigate the piece she was wearing further.

Project design, Q Liu

By now, you’re probably as eager as I was last night to find out who wins, right?  I won’t keep you waiting any long then.  The 2013 winners of Project: Design! received a special privilege as they were presented their awards by Fern Mallis, International Fashion Industry Consultant, and the person often credited for creating New York Fashion Week.  What an honor!

Project Design Winners

Saint Louis Fashion Week continues tonight with Industry Night.

                                    Click here to purchase STLFW tickets

Master the Look at Saks Beauty Week

It’s Saks Beauty Week through Sunday, October 6!  I attended a barefaced breakfast for bloggers at Saks Fifth Avenue St. Louis and had the full beauty week experience.  I arrived at Saks with a bare face and left with a natural makeup look created just for me by Donna, a beauty specialist at the Clinique counter.  I feel fortunate to have worked with Donna who shared so many tips for working with my sensitive eyes, a major concern for me.

Barefaced Blogger Brunch at Saks St Louis 2

Shop the products that Donna (seen with me above) used to create my natural makeup look:
Clinique lash building primerClinique high impact waterproof mascara

Clinique eye defining liquid liner, Clinique chubby stick

Clinique moisture surge tinted moisturizer
*Clinique product images via*

If you’re looking to revamp your beauty routine or stock up on your favorite products, this week is the prefect time to stop by Saks.  With every $100 beauty or fragrance purchase, you’ll receive a tote (in your choice of 3 colors) filled with deluxe samples by Dior, Tom Ford Beauty, Elie Saab, and more.

Saks Beauty Week Gift With Purchase
Image via

Finally, is it even possible to visit Saks and not browse the shoes there?  During my visit, I was able to peek at some newly arrived women’s shoes by brands including Brian Atwood and Alexander McQueen.  See what I saw below:

Saks St Louis Shoes, Brian Atwood, Alexander McQueen

Disclosure:  I was invited to a blogger breakfast to preview the Saks Beauty Week experience.  I received a free tote as part of my participation in that blogger event.

Saint Louis Fashion Week: Style in the Loop

Saint Louis Fashion Week (STLFW) closed a section of the Delmar Loop yesterday to present Style in the Loop.  Style in the Loop featured a cocktail party, trunk shows at Loop stores, and a runway show headlined by Project Runway’s AJ Thouvenot.  Other designers showcased on the runway included Michael Shead, Michele Sansone, Jessica Affsprung, Whitney Manney, Mekhat, Conjetta, Scarlett Designs, Ashley Ulicni, and Devil City.

This is the first year that Style in the Loop has joined the official lineup for STLFW.  Alive Magazine, the St. Louis-based magazine behind STLFW, wanted to ensure that all talented designers, including those at earlier stages of development, receive support to advance their design careers.

Here are a few photos I took at the runway show:

STLFW, Style in the loop, Michael Shead

STLFW, Style in the loop, AJ Thouvenot

STLFW, Style in the loop, Conjetta

STLFW, Style in the loop, Michele Sansone

STLFW, Style in the loop, Ashley Ulicni

STLFW, Style in the loop, Jessica Affsprung

STLFW, Style in the loop, Mekhat

STLFW, Style in the loop, Whitney Manney

STLFW, Style in the loop, Devil City

STLFW, Style in the loop, Scarlett Designs

We now have two days to rejuvenate.  Saint Louis Fashion Week resumes on Wednesday with Project: Design!

                                      Click here to purchase STLFW tickets

Saint Louis Fashion Week: Project Runway

Saint Louis Fashion Week soared to extraordinary heights last night during the Project Runway show at the Fabulous Fox Theatre.  The evening began with a cocktail reception and a presentation by Scarlett Designs.  St. Louis was then wowed by runway presentations by former all stars from Lifetime reality series, Project Runway.  The designers included Michael Drummond, Joshua McKinley, Laura Kathleen, Casanova, Anthony Ryan, April Johnston, and Viktor Luna.  The design categories featured sportswear, evening wear, streetwear, and some styles that defy categorization.

Here are some of the photos I took at the show:

Michael Drummond’s collection is always a joy to witness and photograph.  His attention to detail and his penchant for drama is intoxicating.

STLFW, Project Runway, Michael Drummond c

Joshua McKinley’s collection was a clear stand-out and exciting to photograph because of his unconventional use of color (super bright ones) and fabric.  

STLFW, Project Runway, Joshua McKinley c

Casanova heated the Fox Theatre with his sexy designs, including his popular “naked dress.”  The details on his pieces, particularly the backs of his dresses, were impeccable.

STLFW, Project Runway, Casanova

Anthony Ryan’s collection was modern and sophisticated.  His line, completed in a muted color palette, was attention-grabbing because of his use of clean lines and sharp shapes.

STLFW, Project Runway, Anthony Ryan c

April Johnston’s collection stayed true to her mission to design wearable works of art.  

STLFW, Project Runway, April Johnston c

Laura Kathleen’s collection was all glam and dripped black and gold.

STLFW, Project Runway, Laura Kathleen

Viktor Luna’s collection drew inspiration from sportswear.  His usual vivid prints were electric.

STLFW, Project Runway, Viktor Luna c

This afternoon, Saint Louis Fashion Week invades the Delmar Loop at Style in the Loop.

                          Click here to purchase STLFW tickets