INSPIRE Fashion Show - Runway Debut!

This September, my little bump and I made our runway debut at the 4th Annual INSPIRE Reception and Runway Show, benefiting the United Way of Greater St. Louis! The aptly named fashion showcase co-sponsored by Monsanto is truly inspiring because it celebrates style in all shapes and sizes. Individuals typically absent from high-fashion runways (myself and my "too short" legs included) have the opportunity to wear innovative designs and take center stage. So, at 8 months pregnant, I happily signed up to strut my stuff.

My afternoon started with a makeup transformation by an artist from by Paul Mitchell-The School. I then bonded with some of the other models over our mutual love of fashion as we lined up for the show run-through. As I got dressed in my outfit, I prayed for two things: that I wouldn't go into labor and that my outfit would still fit. Thankfully, my daughter stayed put and we fit snugly into our maxiskirt and tank top. (I think she wanted her time in the spotlight too, and had no intention of going anywhere!) After waiting anxiously in the holding/dressing room for what felt like hours, we finally got our call to line up backstage. Showtime! 

The evening's entertainment kicked off with Diversity Models in authentic cultural outfits. Next, over 70 male and female volunteers rocked the runway in eclectic designs. Much to the delight of the models and the audience, no one had to adopt the aloof, slightly angry, no-teeth-allowed runway "look." At INSPIRE, smiles were standard, laughs were not uncommon, and cheers of support erupted. I have officially scratched "model in a fashion show" off my bucket list. But, I had so much fun that I'm already planning to model again next year!

The show featured designs from BachrachBanana RepublicExotic Skin FootwearHoney’s Child Boutique, Kenzie Young, LB by Lauren Bander, Mesha!, Ola Style, Shukuru2 and Vuvu Stone Collection. My outfit was designed by Katie Kantley Shibori Fashions. Katie's garments are all hand-dyed using ancient Japanese techniques on natural ingredients like berries and plants. (Think: boho-chic tie-dye in sophisticated silhouettes and colors.) She is extremely talented with textiles, so it was a treat to wear her one-of-a-kind garments and jewelry.
In the dressing room with some of the other Shibori Models
Photo courtesy of the United Way of Greater St. Louis
Wooden Bracelets designed by Pam Gumper
A sampling of Katie Kantley's Designs


  1. Thank you for posting these wonderful photos of the fashion show! I have to say I'm very partial to the photos of Katie Kantley's designs, as I am the creator of the wooden bracelets. I'm still new at seeing my creations photographed and on the net so I'm feeling all important and stuff right now! Pam.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! The wooden bracelets are so creative and pretty - they were the perfect finishing touches to the outfits!

  2. Nice article. Fashion always important for women and men. Women and Mens Suits stuff always famous.