This weekend was Gazelle Magazine's Missouri Style Week publisher Cillah Hall and fashion editor Kristy Hall at West Port Plazza. This was their 3rd annual fashion show but first under the name Missouri Style Week as last year there was a legal issue with the St Louis Fashion Week and naming rights. Luckily the issues have been resolved and St. Louis has 2 fashion weeks show casing local designers that are either still in college or have just graduated as well as more seasoned emerging designer on their way to hopefully finding a place at NYFW or even Paris. General admission was free with seats first come first serve while assigned seating tickets were available whether you were looking for a VIP front row experience at 50.00 or second row at 35.00 For me and my daughters it is an opportunity to attend a cultural enriching event that typically was only for the elite.
I have had a love of all things fashion for decades which was passed down to me and now to my daughter and step daughters. Coming from a larger city, Chicago, I had more opportunities to become exposed to the art of fashion, nothing like NYFW or PFW but definitely more than Missouri. Over the years I have tried to explain to my oldest step daughter, an artist in her own right that the runway and haute couture are more about art then what people typically think fashion is. We have all seen images of fashion week and wonder who would ever wear that, the answer is simple no one (except Lady Gaga, Madonna or Rhiannon) because that is not the point. This is art, fashion designers are artists and although they do make RTW (ready to wear) that will be showcased in Saks they have a passion for their art.
At Missouri Style Week and St Louis Fashion Week you will see a mix of high fashion, not really haute couture (there are several detailed techniques and guidelines to be considered true haute couture) but it has the feel and RTW lines. I told my step daughters to not take what they see on the runway too literal but to enjoy the story that the designer is telling. To truly enjoy a fashion show you need to let go of the concept of RTW fashion and enjoy the fantasy, the mythical world that the designer has created. You will see a more 'watered down' version of the designers vision in their RTW, it may be hard to see but it is there. They saw the art in the show and have fallen in love with fashion, not trends but fashion.
I have been trying to explain to them what I love about fashion, the ability to express yourself and stand apart from the crowd which was a difficult concept for them which I think is for a lot of people. We live in a society that is driven by pop culture, trends and 'it' bags, displaying logos whether it is the classic LV or the more affordable CC which is absolutely driven by pop culture. The thing is that being a walking billboard or taking a second mortgage on your house has very little to do with true fashion and has nothing to do with style. To master fashion/style you need to know who you are, what you like and how you want to convey this to the world. The girls gained a new respect for fashion and may be started on a path of finding their own fashion voice whether it is loud or more like a whisper.
I watched mothers out for the night with their daughters bonding over an experience that they will remember for a lifetime. Women with their girlfriends drinking wine and celebrating womanhood whether they are masters of fashion or fashion illiterate. Each night their were vendors of local St Louis businesses' showcasing everything from snow cones to unique handmade jewelry. One of my favorite concepts is Boutique Nav which helps promote local boutiques as well as helping us find local boutiques we may not know and making it easier to locate these treasures. We celebrated women, I made new connections and was inspired to see what I can do to help charities like the Angel Band Program or Dress for Success. My daughter's found inspiration for their journey to becoming women as well as opening their eyes to a new world that they may have previously felt wasn't a world they fit into.
I am still sifting through hundreds of photos, my youngest took over 500 pictures on Friday alone so it is quite the task but should have a full article detailing the event this week. Look for the article which will detail the designers from local to premere designers as well as an amazing guest, I will give you a hint: she is the stylist from Empire. Ok not a hint but still amazing! Thank you Cillah for the press pass I really did have an amazing time at Missouri Style Week.
Upcoming St. Louis Fashion Events:
October 17th Fashion Boutique Bus Tour hosted by Alive Magazine tickets ranging from 52.69 to 80.12 for details visit STLFW
October 22nd STLFW hosted by Alive Magazine and STLFW Kickoff Party at West County Mall tickets are on sale for 16.82 for details visit STFW
November 4th STLFW hosted by an amazing organization, The St Louis Fashion Fund which helps fund new designers. One emerging designer will recieve 25,000 to help their line get to the next level. This is an amazing fashion show featuring some amazing designers, fashion industry leaders and fashion legends like Iris Apfel, yes Iris that amazing style icon and force of nature on all things fashion and style will be at the event. Tickets are available from 16.82 to 264.47 for more details on the event go to STLFW