This past Wednesday, I popped into one of my absolute favorite restaurants/bars in the city for a trunk show. Planter's House is a magnificent restaurant with a few big names behind it. Ted Kilgore of Saint Louis mixology fame (he left my adored Taste to open Planter's House) heads up the bar. Matt Obermark, a good friend of my boyfriend Nick's, works behind the bar and always keeps up company when we go. Mandi Kowalski also bartends here, and Nick and I sipped with her when she used to work at Sanctuaria. Bradley Hoffman is the executive chef at Planter's House now, and boy are we glad! Nick and I used to frequent his previous post, Salt, before it closed rather suddenly. We knew we had to follow his tasty food over to Planter's House.
The trunk show was for a St. Louis native who now lives and works in LA - Neil Bardon. He was dressed head-to-toe in his own designs when I arrived as he is now working on his debut menswear collection. His eyewear collection that I viewed, known as Saint Rita Parlor, is inspired by and a also tribute to his maternal grandmother, Rita.
Bardon's materials were laid out across the front of the bar in Planter's House's small, upstairs cocktail room, the Bullock Room. You must check it out if you stop by the location. The walls are adorned in an exquisite red velvet wallpaper. Yep, velvet. Being an art kid myself, I want to touch everything, but waited to ask permission from Bardon before doing so. All of the materials that come with each purchase from Saint Rita Parlor are crafted by hand. You receive information about the brand, its backstory, all done in a very stylized manner that feels like eras bygone. In a time where a lot of printed material and designed goods are focused on minimal imagery and clean, open space, Bardon's items feel more real in the hand and not at all pretentious.
I unfortunately appear to have deleted the photo I took of all of his frames lined up on their table, which bothers me! However, you can see all of the frames that the collection offers at the website HERE. I tried on a few pairs while sitting at a table with some friends - we spent a great deal passing frames around and snapping photos! In the below left photo I'm wearing the style 1308, and in the below right photo both Bardon and I are wearing the style 1072, which was my favorite. I've always wanted a pair of clear glasses! I really liked a lot of the styles, but I have a round face (especially when I smile), and a super tiny head with closely-situated eyes. I think the 1072 looks perfectly all right, but some of the other styles I tried on were not quite so flattering. I like the alternative look that some of the larger frames give off, such as the 1970s/trucker type style 2110, but I'm just personally not a fan of how they look on me. I do realize that these were all samples at the trunk show, and any I were to order would fit better, but my funny little face is not great with most glasses! Now I need to start saving to perhaps pick up a pair of the 1072 frames for the future...!
Many thanks to Lindsay Pattan for the invitation - I'm very pleased I had the opportunity to join in the fun. It is always very inspiring to see locals who have taken off and are doing what they really want to do in other parts of the country! And doing what they love quite well, actually. If you'd like to see a pair of Bardon's frames in action, you can see the style 602 in the commercial that introduced the 2014 Lexus IS at time :06. How cool is that!?
Thanks for reading!