Reflections on the Little Black Dress Exhibit in St. Louis

I’ve been so excited about the opening of the Missouri History Museum‘s latest exhibit—Little Black Dress: From Mourning to Night. The exhibit is now open and will run through September 5, 2016. I went early and I already want to return with all of my girlfriends. Why? I was so blown away by the dresses and stories of the women who wore them. I was particularly intrigued by all the information I took away from the little black dress exhibit.

In today’s post, I’m recapping four of my most memorable takeaways from the little black dress exhibit.

1. While black remains a popular choice for mourning at funerals today, I learned that during the Victorian era, how a woman mourned was guided by strict social norms; and her attire, particularly the style of black dress she had to wear, was a huge part of that. For example, a woman who lost her husband was expected to wear dull black crepe dresses for about a year and a day. Say what? If you visit the exhibit, definitely give yourself time to absorb all the details in this section. Be sure to look out for the jewelry made with human hair too.

2. The shade of black you wore in the early 1900’s was quite symbolic. Women in mourning wore dull black dresses. Women who worked outside of the home also wore dull black. Women with wealth, however, sported deep and luxe-looking black. Their black dresses boasted elaborate designs to reflect their riches.

3. Wars had a major impact on the normalization of wearing black for women. Black dresses essentially became little black dresses during World War I when so many women lost loved ones and hence wore black everyday. During the Post World War II baby boom, black maternity dresses grew extremely popular.

4. St. Louis was a fashion mecca and could be again. I felt like I was in heaven browsing the selections by Chanel, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Halston in the exhibit. But, I was equally thrilled to explore the creations by St. Louis designers throughout history, including current designer Michael Drummond.

I enjoyed this exhibit much more than I could’ve even imagined and I know you would too. So, round up your girlfriends and stop by the Missouri History Museum. It’s FREE. Did I mention that it’s FREE?

Cease the opportunity to actually be a part of the interactive portion of the exhibit as well. By simply using the hashtag #LBDProject, tag an image on Facebook or Instagram of you rocking your favorite LBD, and you just might see yourself in the exhibit. How cool is that!?!


All images by Emily Wiseman Photography

This post is sponsored by the Missouri History Museum. I was selected for the opportunity as a member of the Midwest Influencer Network. As always, all of the opinions and ideas are my own.

A Night of Delight: Opera Tastings in St. Louis

I enjoy taking advantage of new opportunities. Last night, thanks to Opera Tastings by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, I got to do just that. Howard and I, both opera newbies, attended the second show in Opera Tastings, a five-day concert series aimed at introducing new audiences to the art form.

The event was held at the Jefferson Ballroom of the Moulin Building, a historic brewery malthouse. It was the perfect intimate setting for Friday night’s event. The setup encouraged dialogue with your seat-mates. I benefitted so much from that since the people at my table were veteran opera goers and enjoyed sharing their excitement about the art form with us newbies.

What’s most unique about the Opera Tastings experience is the seamless union of food, drinks, and musical performance. The drinks for the night started out light with a Campari champagne cocktail followed by an Angelic Teardrop (seen below), a sweet and tasty mix of raspberry vodka and melon liqueur. The drinks got heavier with a Sudwerk Brewing Big Dipl, a double India pale lager, followed by my favorite of the night, the Valckenberg 2014 Dornfelder, a lightly sweet, medium-bodied red.

I was so intrigued by the drinks that night that I spoke with Jason Arnold of The Moulin Building about the process of pairing drinks with music. According to Jason, some of the pairings were easy, like the use of the Italian champagne cocktail to mark the celebratory mood of a scene from The Marriage of Figaro. And, for the not so obvious pairings? Jason says,

We had to take some liberties. For example, we picked out the German-born composer and the beautiful night of love from The Tales of Hoffmann and are pairing the Sudwerk Brewing “The Big DIPL” (Double India Pale Lager). Lager is a traditional German style beer and the beer’s name is a play on the night time sky and includes the Big Dipper on the label. 

The food pairings were as fascinating as the drinks. Here’s a peek at the final course of the night, a lemon patta cotta.

Of course, in addition to the food and drinks, we also got a diverse sampling of music, which prompted similar responses to the eats and spirits. Some of the musical performances were playful and made me laugh with joy while others were sad and so eloquently conveyed heartbreak that you could see a few tears in the room.

Scene after scene, the performers—soprano Katherine Jolly, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Sanchez, tenor Geoffrey Agpalo, and baritone Robert Mellon—kept us captivated with their vocal expertise and their abilities to convey the spirit of the operatic scenes.  We were given just enough of a taste to make us want more.

Another unique feature of the Opera Tastings series is that it literally brings opera to the people. Last night’s event at The Moulin Building was held in the perfect space for date night or a girls’ night out. Today’s afternoon event at the Alphabeta Club at Central Print, featuring chocolate and non-alcoholic beverages, seems family-friendly. It’s never too early to introduce young ones to opera, right?

My husband and I catching up with Elena of Cheetah Talk Y Mas and her partner.

New experiences are always fun with old friends. It was wonderful to have my fashion blogger gals in the house. It made the night even more enjoyable.

Laura of Weird Culture | Me | Jill of Stilettos on Sunday Morning | Elena of Cheetah Talk Y Mas

If you haven’t experienced Opera Tastings, or perhaps you have, you don’t want to miss this year’s events. See the complete schedule: Opera Tastings Schedule. Somehow, tickets are only $20!

All images by Elizabeth Wiseman

This post is sponsored by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. I was selected for the opportunity as a member of the Midwest Influencer Network. As always, all of the opinions and ideas are my own.

Onyx Bridal Affair Fashion Showcase

Last Saturday, I attended the Onyx Bridal Affair Fashion Showcase at the Sheldon Concert Hall, and I was blown away by the experience. Fashion shows are always exciting, but this one was special. The Onyx Bridal Showcase somehow captured everything we love about weddings and packaged it neatly in an upscale runway event.

The mood. Kenny DeShields and his soulful band were integral to the Onyx Bridal experience. With a repertoire of original songs and a few covers, the band provided live music while models walked the runway.

The style. Attendees got a glimpse of what it means to be a fashion-forward bride today. The gowns provided by Mia Grace Bridal showcased some of the top trends in bridal fashion. We saw lots of tulle, beading, drop waists, cutout details, illusion backs, and even non-traditional colors.

The details. Everything about the Onyx Bridal Affair seemed intentional. The models’ faces, done by Nettie Kelley Studio, flaunted the latest beauty trends. The bridal bouquets, provided by Personal Touches by Jeanetta, were so artsy and creative. And, that striking floral wall? It was created by PK Paper Art.

Here’s some of what you missed.

The grand finale was a mini wedding featuring two-time Olympic Medalist, Dawn Harper-Nelson, and her husband, Alonzo Nelson, as the bride and groom.

I hear that a fall event is already in the works for Onyx Bridal. Stay in the know by following:

Onyx Bridal Facebook | Onyx Bridal Instagram | Onyx Bridal Twitter

Your Perfect Winter Skin Care Regimen

La Mer. Arcona. GlamGlow. Chanel. Kiehls. Wondering if there are products out there that could address your winter skin care needs? Head to Nordstrom at the St. Louis Galleria for “Winter Beauty” on January 15th and 16th to find out. This free beauty event, no appointment required, will allow you to experiment with the latest skin care products available with help from on-site skin care experts.

I got a special preview of the experience yesterday with a few blogger friends. By the way, this is a fun get-together for girlfriends. I learned so much at the event that I’m about to shake up my entire skin care regimen. For example, I finally understand all the hype about the Clarisonic. I used the Clarisonic ‘Mia 2’ yesterday, and my skin became visibly smoother. Here’s my homegirl, Latoya Elnora, trying the Mia 2.

After my preview of the beauty event, I think I’ll be adding the Arcona Cranberry Toner to my regimen. This toner had my sensitive skin glowing. I learned that the skin may occasionally need a boost, like the Elizabeth Arden Superstart, prior to moisturizing. I also learned that my skin especially loves the pricey but skin-soothing and super-moisturizing Crème de La Mer Moisture Crème. “Ouch,” says my wallet. I’m also really excited about trying a GlamGlow mask at home.

Planning on exploring your skin’s needs at the beauty event this Friday or Saturday at Nordstrom St. Louis Galleria? Mention Economy of Style for an exclusive chance to win a special gift. Also, if you spend $125 or more on beauty products, you’ll receive an exclusive cosmetics bag (filled with samples) as a gift.

If you attend, come back and let me know what you think.

Watch Economy of Style on Show Me St. Louis!

Let’s go thrifting! Tune in to Show Me St. Louis on channel 5 (NBC) today at 10 a.m. CT to go thrifting with me. Dana Dean, Show Me St. Louis reporter, and I hit the aisles at Savers Thrift Store recently. Wait until you see the treasures I found!

Not in St. Louis? No worries. Watch online: Economy of Style on Show Me St. Louis.