OOTD: A Blazer, Boots & Bowood Farms

It seems that fall weather has finally descended upon Saint Louis for real. It's time to take advantage of my wardrobe fully because I'm a big, big fan of layers. I feel most at home with about 18 different items on my body at any given time - hence why I hate summer and its outfit-killing weather. Another thing I'm a huge fan of is a good, vintage blazer. I've been on the lookout lately for a few to rotate into my daily layers, and this Goodwill find is just the right amount of oversized.

Let's talk a little about transparency for a minute. I've mentioned before that I have moved in a direction where I personally am choosing to only purchase clothing items that are vintage, USA-made, or come from companies that focus on eco-conscious and sustainable efforts. However, that does not mean that my entire closet is full of these items. I have been living under these terms for months now, but there are still items that I wear that were purchased before this direction. 

I recently had a conversation with a friend regarding how we feel as though we must apologize for and acknowledge that a particular clothing piece came into our lives before we changed our tune. I've learned a lot of lessons this year, and one of them is that people will judge you for just about everything and a half. I worry that as I focus more and more on sustainability on the blog, someone will come crying out, "But those jeans you're wearing! You admit you bought them at Forever21!" I should not have to explain that some items are over a year old, and therefore pre-date my current direction. These boots also fall into that category. That does not mean I will cast them aside simply because they came before I woke up when it comes to the fashion industry's issues with sustainability. 

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This fun shoot happened directly after an absolutely delicious brunch at Cafe Osage in the Central West End. The Cafe falls under the umbrella of the Bowood Farms family - all in one location, you can eat an amazing, locally-sourced meal, shop gifts, or pick up plants of all shapes and sizes for your home or garden. I'd like to start being more of a plant lady myself, so you can bet I'll be back to do a bit of shopping. 

Photos: Abby Gillardi


Outfit Details:
Blazer, Sweater & Turtleneck: Goodwill   |   Jeans: Forever21 (old)   |   Earrings: Fable&Lore
Necklace: Thrifted, Unknown   |   Boots: Dolls Kill (old)   |   Glasses: Zenni Optical

STLFW's Designer Showcase and After Party Recap!

Okay, y'all, it's no secret I'm brand new to this fashion world thing. I've followed fashion and a few select designers for some time now, but actually being immersed in the whole scene has been an unknown to me until recently. I'm happy to report that I've been welcomed into the crowd with warmth and acceptance, and have been having a grand time! 

During Saint Louis' Spring 2014 Fashion Week festivities, I was only able to attend 3/5 of the events. This is unfortunate, but I can only do so much with my schedule. Retail management and also having made prior plans with family cut into STLFW attendance. But! The three events I attended were a total blast. The first event, which was the kickoff party, is detailed in a post I made HERE. The second event, which was the STLFW VIP Blogger Lounge, is also detailed HERE

I was not able to attend the Rebecca Minkhoff show inside Saks Fifth Avenue in Frontenac as I had already made plans with my family for that evening. This means that the third event that I attended happend to be the final show for the week, as well as the biggest. The Designer Showcase Featuring Viktor Luna and Friends was held at Union Station - which has officially become the current home of STLFW! The inside of Union Station is fabulous and was so wonderfully lit with deeply saturated blues and purples. With a bit of research I found that they've turned quite a bit of the interior into a hotel! What a cool concept. I crept on their website a bit and the rooms look cozy, and I love that the reception area is in the section with all the beautiful architectural highlights and stained glass. 


 

When I arrived, I got caught up in a pretty severe traffic jam at the front door. I luckily spotted Miss Lindsay Pattan - director of marketing for STLFW and blogger extraordinaire over at Heartland Underdog running about, and she snuck me in after my first attempt to follow her inside ended up with me getting kicked out by an overly-zealous bouncer dude. Thanks, Lindsay! I immediately sought out some pals to say hi to. Most of my babely blogger brigade was there, and it's always good to have familiar faces to mingle with. We snapped some shots in front of the wall that was installed specifically for the designer showcase that popped up before the runway show. Local designers and shops Michael Drummond, Blue Bird Apparel, Devil City, and Dipped & Dyed showed off pieces with live models. I adore live models! It's nice to see work actually on bodies and how the fabric moves with limbs and such. I didn't get any shots of the live models, however. See, I'm learning that I need to take pictures of absolutely everything and weed through them later! 
   


         

That beauty in the photo with me on the top left is Brittany of Love.Style.Transform! She's a sweetheart, and was one of the bloggers selected by Rebecca Minkhoff's team to receive and wear one of Minkhoff's creations to her own show at Saks! How cool is that? You go, girl! I chose to wear a 99% maurices outfit to this night. My style is never stuck in one category, so I opted to sport all work clothes. This is a pretty dang bright and spring-y outfit for sure. I have to admit I second-guessed wearing denim to a fashion event, but then I reminded myself who the heck cares what I wear! I'm just being me, in whatever incarnation that night happens to be featuring. This blazer is one of my favorite wardrobe pieces and is so versatile! The floaty camisole beneath it is the most perfect mint color and I find it supremely flattering, especially on my shape (narrow, high waist and long torso). These capris hit just below my calves but are tight enough to help show off all the work I've been doing on them, ha! Shouts to my baby muscles right there. My platforms, which can be seen in a better photograph by my buddy Theo over HERE, are some of my "babies." They only come out on special occasions and I take very intense care of them. I felt that the rose gold/neutral tone of them made them complementary choice for my loud upper half. The clutch I'm carrying also came with a chain that can turn it into a cross-body bag as well. Love the versatility! 

After Marisa (featured down below!) handed me off a cocktail (thanks girl, I still owe you one!) I headed to my seat to prepare for the show. Because I'm still brand new to the scene here, I was all alone in the third row with no one I knew. Hopefully by the fall season of STLFW I'll upgrade to at least second row! A lot of the blogger babes I know had front row seats and were able to take it all in from super up-close, lucky ladies! One more reason to stay motivated so that maybe I can join those babes up front later this year.


Because I wasn't up close and couldn't take very great photos, I opted to snag some video of the final walks of each presentation. It was a good thing I chose to sit on the aisle! Since this was my first big STLFW show, I also typed notes on my iPhone so that I could share my thoughts with you on all of the work, as disjointed as they may be. But I thought that'd be kind of fun for you to read - almost a directly as I experienced the show! 



SKIF INTERNATIONAL: "I'm thinking 'Desert Fabulous'"




SKIF is created by Nina Ganci in Saint Louis. SKIF stands for Sweaters Knitted for Freedom. You might recognize the work from the movie The Matrix! The notes I jotted include:
Loving the arm bangles dressed ONTOP of the orange sweater sleeves... Fan of the burnout and destructed details in the materials... Who doesn't love a man in a good sweater?!... More mature models (in age) making the quality of the clothes take a different feel... I'm thinking "Desert Fabulous"... Grey ruffled dress with gathered leggings underneath - not my style but digging the look... Yellow raincoat with a potter in the back! WHAT! LOVE... Her hat has a giant (probably plastic) chain wrapped around it - totally stealing this idea!!!... Lots of cheering from the crowd - friends and family of the models/designers not afraid to get involved = fun atmosphere!


NOVIS: "Plaids! Big, giant plaids!"


NOVIS, founded by Jordana Warmflash, is based out of New York City. My thoughts:
Plads! Big giant plaids!... Edges on hems on coats... Sheer dresses with detailing styled with a big coat - blacks and browns together - so in... Sweaters on top of dresses - I need to thrift some items to do this look in the fall - thinking distressed ballerina?... These young models seem to all be making some type of slightly upset face... OH MY GOD THAT'S GABRIELLE MY SISTER'S OLD CLASSMATE (Gabrielle is the model with the short hair wearing the camel-colored leather dress. She's been walking in STLFW for years now! Natural beauty!)... Lots of dresses and jackets making me miss cool weather already!


VIKTOR LUNA: "Hair poofs!"


Viktor Luna hails originally from Mexico but was raised in Los Angeles and was a finalist on the Lifetime smash hit television show Project Runway. My thoughts:
Holy moly, what is on her head?... Some kinda poof or something... Cheetah and polka dots all on one outfit I really need to get with the print mixing... Military jacket inspired details on some tops... Leg straps for shoes and garter-belt like structures... Not for the weak-hearted or fashion-conservative that's for sure... Futuristic jackets with inlays of polka dots... Cuffs made of faux fur... Loving the wild makeup - adds a nice finishing touch... Dang that last girl's booty is all hanging out of the back of that - I wonder if she did any kind of squat challenge to prepare for this...


HARBISON: "Luxe liquid latex"


HARBISON was founded by Charles Elliot Harbison and is based in Brooklyn. My thoughts:
Oooh! Big country-chic jackets with wool-like components but in cool colors... Shiny shiny buttons... Some kind of weird shawl thing tied out on the outside of the jackets - looks like just two extra sleeves - this is the kind of stuff I don't quite understand - if you took that off, what does it look like/what purpose does it serve?... Some pieces evoke a sort of power-suit feel... Oh that camel jacket is great, and has some nice luxe liquid lates gloves too... I spy that serious trend of wearing jackets on shoulders but not with arms in the holes... Michael Jackson-esque hat for the show closer!

After the presentation, acknowledgments were made, flowers handed out, and I spied my friend from college, Andrea, amongst the volunteers! I caught up with her during the after party to snap a photo. We used to be in the Webster University bowling league together and shared lots of laughs, wins, and losses! And look what she's wearing - a Shirt Kong top! You saw them in my post about the Blogger Lounge as well. Check them out HERE.


One of the other lovely ladies I spent time with during the evening include Marisa from Vogue Rhythm. Now, she's the one I always try to get a meta-gram of, but this evening I failed! Oh no! However, we did snap a selfie, because duh. She took a couple nice shots of the runway from the front row, and you can find them on her tumblr photo roll over HERE

Stolen from Vogue Rhythm
I also caught up with another pal and met a couple of her lovely lady friends too! Natalie and I went to high school together and ran with a few mutual friends for a bit. I don't see her as much as I should like, and I think that should change, especially since we both live in the Tower Grove neighborhood! She runs a lifestyle blog called Spaghetti Midwestern. I love browsing her pages because they're full of gorgeous photos. Since I'm so wordy, I love visiting blogs that are super-photo heavy. Go give her some love! We hung around in a corner and feverishly devoured a couple slices of the tasty pizza that was provided during the after party. I arrived pretty hungry but was a little saddened to see that the only snacks were way carb heavy. I go into a carb coma these days because I have cut out a lot of bread and carb-heavy products from my diet. I've been enjoying loads of veggies and lean protein made at home, so I've learned my lesson to always eat ahead!

Natalie (on the far right) and friends modeling the pizza.
The entertainment for the after party featured STLFW's resident DJ, DJ Trash Talk, who also has her own style blog Lace & Dagger. She not only DJs STLFW, but many of Alive Magazine's events as well. Find more information about her HERE. Another DJ from St. Louis' party circuits, DJ Billy Brown spun for the after party. I heard him play a couple remixes I liked. I'm a sucker for remixes! Follow him on twitter HERE. The final entertainment was Née, a live music project by local Kristin Dennis. I've heard of them before but had never seen them live. They definitely put on a good show and pulled a bit of a dancing crowd in front of their stage! Find more about Née HERE. There was also a photobooth of sorts that actually took a group of quick photos of you in movement and then made all the images into a flip booklet. That was pretty cool! Marisa and I did ours together and it is pretty goofy. There were also a few vendors present, including the aforementioned Shirt Kong, there to spread the word about their businesses and gain new customers. 

For a while during the after party, I got to better know my new blogger babe pal Kia, who blogs over at Kia's Fashion Confectionary. What a cute name, right?! It makes me automatically crave macarons... She introduced me to her friend Portia and we had a great time talking about ourselves, why we blog, why we're into fashion, and what makes our personal preferences about fashion prevalent in the "real world." You can't deny that women are always judging other women on their fashion sense. And there's no sugar-coating the fact that a lot of the world is a competition. It's good to talk the nitty gritty stuff with some really down to earth ladies like these two. I'm super excited to have them as friends now! We tried to head to our cars but have mercy it was a nightmare downtown as a Blues game had just let out. We decided to seek temporary refuge in the Hard Rock Cafe in Union Station for a drink to wait out the mess. We were bombarded with some ridiculous attention by an older gentleman whose name now even escapes me! He was certainly determined to show us his art gallery in Clayton and kept inviting us to his mansion that has no furniture because his ex-wife snatched everything up in their divorce. It was a scene! Eventually the night wore on and we snuck ourselves away to the bathroom. I'll admit it was a tad cowardly but the fellah was way too insistent, so we chose the avoidance route. He was hovering near the door so we opted to sneak out the back, which caused us to have to make it down a hill. Kia and Portia had to walk me down that dang hill in my platforms like it was a Saturday night out on the town, and I was giggling hysterically because I was actually nowhere near that state, just wearing ginormous shoes. 

All in all, the night was a fun one and I can't wait to keep up with all my blogger babes! I'm really enjoying more fully immersing myself in the fashion scene here. It's sad that I can't make all the events - being a retail manager can really cut into your social life with its weird and demanding hours sometimes - but I know that I can make it work out. 

I have a few sorta big plans coming up soon and I can't wait to share them with all of you!

Thanks for reading, I appreciate all your time!



Outfit Details:
Jacket: maurices (past season)
Lace Camisole: HERE at maurices (current)
Denim Capris: HERE at maurices (current)
Platforms: Jeffrey Campbell, "Brazen" in rose gold (purchased from HERE last year on SUPER SALE)
Handbag: HERE at maurices (current)
Bracelet: garage sale years ago
Earrings:  maurices, current but not available online any longer
Necklace: the daintiest little Black Hills Gold pendant ever, gifted to me by my Aunt Kathi. The only real gold I own! Here's a closeup of it: