STLFW Outfit Roundup x3

Because St. Louis Fashion Week is so cool, I knew my outfits had to rise to the occasion. After weeks of planning and a few hours in my sewing studio, I curated 3 looks with a distinct flavor. Which one is your fave?

STLFW Night #1
Photo by Christopher Gibbons/ALIVE Scene Team
My dress was an $8 special from Saver's! I know, right?
Dress: Milly; Jacket: Charlotte Russe; Shoes: Urban Outfitters; Socks: Macy's; Clutch: Goodwill
STLFW Night #2
Photo by Rachel Vincenz/ALIVE Scene Team
Pictured with my chic sister, Kim!
Vintage Suit: Rung Boutique; Clutch: Retro 101; Shoes: Carlos Santana (from Rung)
Shirt: C/O Shirt Kong; Clutch: Goodwill; Shoes: Ziezo; Socks: DSW; Vest: H&M; Skirt: DIY'd by Yours Truly
Photo by Amber Joivon/ALIVE Scene Team
Pictured here with my gal Carrie! Her shoes are such a cute pop of color.
One of the things that made the week even more rad is seeing that St. Louis has got some serious style! (Not that I had any doubts.) The runways were hot, but the parade of fashionistas and fashionistos in the audience was equally scorching. See ALIVE Magazine's recap of some of the most creative and fashion-forward looks here and here.

STLFW Night #3: Designer Showcase at Union Station

What an incredible end to a whirlwind week of fashion! The finale designer showcase at Union Station was ah-mazing! While the previous runways showed off the hottest Spring trends, this show felt like a top-secret Fall trend preview. Even though I am in no rush to don outerwear, the offbeat, colorful, and 80s-inspired looks sparked excitement about my wardrobe come October.

Viktor Luna: Viktor's 2014 collection reminded me why he is one of my favorites from Project Runway. There were harnesses, fringe, feathers, and lots of leather. The hardcore yet feminine outfits gave off a distinctively bad-ass vibe: I am fashion warrior, hear me roar!
Photos by Mark Schwigen for Saint Louis Fashion Week
Photos by Mark Schwigen for Saint Louis Fashion Week
Harbison: I heart the 80s and anything vintage, so Charles Elliot Harbison's collection made me smile. I loved the modern ode to shoulder pants, white shoes and socks, and menswear-inspired power suits. The blazers even had clever armholes that allowed them to be worn as a cape. I'll stop the world and melt with these designs.
Photos by Mark Schwigen for Saint Louis Fashion Week
Novis: Jordana Warmflash, the designer behind Novis, used a neutral color palette to showcase a masterful mix of textures and elegant silhouettes. I'll take one of each. And maybe two of that leather dress, just for good measure.
Photos by Mark Schwigen for Saint Louis Fashion Week
SKIF International: Nina Ganci's brand is nationally acclaimed for its deconstructed, naturally fabricated knitwear. I was pleased to see non-traditional models saunter down (and actually smile!) on the runway in toasty warm sweaters. I was especially tickled by a bright yellow trench coat that had a pocket in the back for baby's breath. A literal, refreshing interpretation of April showers bringing May flowers.
Photos by Mark Schwigen for Saint Louis Fashion Week
On a silly note, my friends and I had a blast after the show making a photo flip-book from Flipping Good Times. Cheesy video + fun props + personalized flipbook = genius. If you're wondering what yours truly wore (I know the suspense is killing you), I'll give you a hint: there was tulle. Lots of it. :)

Missed the other nights? Get caught up with my recap of nights 1 and 2 here and here.

STLFW Night #2: Rebecca Minkoff at Saks Fifth Avenue

Being a thrifty girl, designer clothing is typically something that I admire from afar, aside from the occasional amazing find at a resale or vintage store. So, it was an extra-special treat to see a runway show from internationally-renowned designer Rebecca Minkoff at Saks Fifth Avenue! The fashion show even raised over $8,000 for the St. Louis Fashion Fund. While sipping Skinnygirl Wines cocktails, my girls and I checked out a few of her designs. Even though we have different styles, we each saw pieces in the collection that we would welcome in our wardrobes. Rebecca's seemingly effortless way of pulling together inspiration from a multitude of trends made the showcase a visual pleasure. She featured tribal and floral patterns, playful jumpsuits and rompers, and sophisticated silhouettes. I've never been a fan of sporty styles, but the clever pairing of sporty accents like mesh or stripes with edgy, colorful patterns may have signing up for spring training this year! Here were my wish-list outfits from the show. Which looks are your faves?

Photos by Mark Schwigen for ALIVE Magazine and Saint Louis Fashion Week
Use code FRNFAM on the Saks web site for an extra 25% off through 4/28!
I didn't get a chance to meet her, but you can get a first-hand account of Rebecca and her designs right here.
You can just tell that she's a sweetheart.
Photo by Mark Schwigen for ALIVE Magazine and Saint Louis Fashion Week
What's up next?

APRIL 25: Designer Showcase at Union Station featuring Project Runway alum Viktor Luna, Skif International, Novis and Harbison (recap here)

APRIL 26STLFW Pop-Up Shop at William Shearburn Gallery 

STLFW Night 1: Spring Into Fashion

The calendar may say that spring starts in March, but for St. Louis stylephiles, the season officially kicks off with Saint Louis Fashion Week! The first event of the week, aptly named Spring Into Fashion, took place last night at the St. Louis Galleria. The show raised over $3000 for Friends of Wings, an amazing charity that helps children with serious medial illnesses. How cool is that? The top stores in the mall showed off their spring collections and I'm now in the mood to do a little shopping! (Not that I'm ever not in the mood to shop.)

Based on my favorite looks from last night's showcase, I spotted 5 hot trends that will wake up any spring wardrobe: crochet, jumpsuits (your girl was on this one last year, thank you LOL), so-called moody or dark florals (I think we know by now that I'm on board with this trend), tribal prints, and cropped pants. Which trend are you going to try?

Photos by Mark Schwigen for ALIVE Magazine and Saint Louis Fashion Week
Look 1: Francesca's Collections
Look 2: Bebe
Look 3: Anthropologie
Look 4: Francesca's Collections
Look 5: True Religion
P.S. -  Still don't have your tickets for STLFW? (I understand being fashionably late and all, but. . .) Get them here for the finale show and don't forget to use the code RZ20 for a sweet discount!

P.S.S. - If you're wondering what I wore to the show after my weeks of planning, there will be an upcoming post on all 3 looks. Stay tuned. :) Here's a sneak peak:
Photos from the FlippingGood Times booth. On the left, I'm with blogger buddies Yasmin and Michelle. On the right, I'm with a fun group of people I met that night!

7 Reasons I'm Psyched for Saint Louis Fashion Week

7.  Even though it's been months (!) since I've actually shopped in a mall, it will always feel like a second home. [I've obviously been shopping, just thrift and resale stores. No way can I go that long without a shiny, new-to-me garment!] On Wednesday April 23, the top stores like Francesca's and Anthropologie will be featuring their designs at the Spring Into Fashion Galleria Runway Show. I know the show will provide lots of outfit inspo. 

6. Rebecca Minkoff is coming to St. Louis on April 24. And, yours truly will be thisclose to her designs! For those of you not familiar with her, she designs luxury apparel, footwear, handbags, and jewelry that I can only dream of owning. Her stuff has been described as playful and subtly edgy. Here's a sampling:

5. I'll be reunited with Project Runway alums Michael Drummond and Viktor Luna. OK, so perhaps a brief "hello" last summer doesn't exactly call for a true reunion, but I'm really looking forward to seeing their new collections. Michael Drummond's dark, avant-garde, futuristic design aesthetic is wickedly artsy. And, although Viktor's last collection was a little sporty for my taste, his time on Project Runway still has me yearning for more.

4. The finale runway will get a welcome dose of adventurous street-style, thanks to local brand Blue Bird Apparel joining the roster this year. The flock of clothes in the online store includes leggings with cats on the knees. Um, yes.

3. I get to go to a real After Party! Since Ruby's arrival, my weekend evenings have consisted of a wild and crazy Nintendo Wii party, with a Redbox movie for "after." But, on April 25, I plan to live it up! I'm especially excited to see what amazing look and tunes local blogger/music maestro DJ TrashTalk presents.

2. Much to his devastation, Brian will be home with Ruby for the events. So, I'll have a chance to hang with fierce, fabulous ladies from the fast-growing St. Louis Fashion Blogger community. I always feel inspired after spending time with other women who don't think it's weird to spend an entire Friday night at home, peering critically into the closet putting together new looks.

1. My outfits, of course. I've been planning my looks for weeks, hoping to create my own "wow factor." Sneak peek: some the looks are among this rack of clothing. I'm working on a DIY project to take things to the next level. . . ;)

Waited til the last minute to get tix? No prob-purchase them right here! And just for you lovely readers, enter coupon code RZ20 for 20% off!

Double Take: Red-Hot Maxidress

If I were to create my own online boutique, it would look very similar to Modcloth. I love the quirky, retro clothes! Their aptly named the "Summer Night Stroll" maxidress is perfect for a day-to-night summer date. On a daytime stroll through the park, wear it with a hot-dog adorned tee and grab milkshakes with your crew. When the sun goes down, don a sexy scarf and sleek clutch. Which look do you like best?

Summer Night Stroll Dress 

P.S.-Did you know Modcloth also has vintage-inspired swimwear? Check it out here!

Floral-on-Floral Fashion Crime

"Miss, come over here! I'm going to have to issue you a ticket," a harsh voice startles me as I walk towards the restaurant.

"What?" I reply, thoroughly confused until I see the unmistakable gleam of the woman's silver badge. My heart beats a little faster as I shyly ask, "What's the problem?"

"You're wearing clashing floral prints!" she barks. "And a studded belt. What were you thinking?"

Her sneer is so disconcerting that it takes me several seconds to respond. "Well, I'm going to a really important fashion event and wanted to wear something fun." The officer scoffs. Unaccustomed to having my usually rock-solid style sense challenged, my confidence starts to falter. I had known my outfit was a risk, but fearlessly forged ahead, excited about making such a bold statement. Had I made a terrible mistake?

"You're going to a fashion event? Ha! Hopefully you can learn a thing or two," she says in a nasty tone. "The laws of fashion are clear: no clashing colors or mismatch patterns. What are you, colorblind?" She looks me up and down as if I'm a lost cause. Tears threaten to fill my eyes as I look at the outfit that seemed like a stroke of genius a few weeks ago. "Well, Officer, issue me a ticket if you must. I love my outfit, and that's all that matters." My voice gets stronger with each word.

She stares at me for a moment and shakes her head. "You know, I've never given a citation for a floral-on-floral fashion crime." Is that a hint of grudging respect I detect in her voice? "I'll just give you a warning. Have fun at your event." As she walks towards a girl wearing shorts and shredded tights, I hear the officer muttering something unintelligible about a "flower girl" under her breath.

I proudly enter the bistro. "Cute outfit!" a passerby exclaims. I think I like being a fashion criminal.

Have you ever taken a style risk that paid off? Please share your stories of risking a fashion citation!
Photo by Amber Joivon of ALIVE Magazine
Jacket: Forever 21; Dress: Material Girl; Skirt: Target; Booties: Macy's; Clutch: Thrifted; Belt: Hot Topic
Here's the outfit sans jacket. Look at my STLFW press pass-cool, right? 
I wore this to the first-ever VIP Blogger Lounge hosted by Alive Mag. It was an amazing networking event/party that featured lots of local brands and goodies.
Here are some of my blogger pals:
From left: Michelle; Sarah; Marisa, me, Felicia, Jill, and Brittany

Photo by Amber Joivon of ALIVE Magazine
P.S.-Do you have your tickets for Saint Louis Fashion Week yet? Purchase them here. Enter code RZ20 for a sweet discount! Better hurry. . . :)

Double Take: Pencil Skirt

With a structured blazer and classic pumps, a pencil skirt looks very professional.
For a date, add a simple tee, sassy heels, and a denim vest to balance the flirtiness of the look. 

Spring Cleaning, Kimono Style

In the tradition of April showers bringing May flowers, getting my wardrobe ready for spring turns me into a mean, green, fashion machine! With typhoon-like force, I toss clothes out of my closets and drawers and watch them land into seemingly haphazard piles. One side of the room is strewn with my "lifetime" clothes, like the navy blazer I'd never dream of parting with. Onto the other side, I hurl "see ya next season" duds, like my sweet foxy sweatshirt that got nowhere near enough wear this winter.

The bulk of the debris winds up somewhere in the middle, in the "what was the reason I bought that?" pile. These pieces require deliberation before they're boxed up, hung up, or donated. I ask myself (or Ruby, who unintelligibly squeals her opinions) whether the garment can be re-cute-ified with a new outfit combo. Sometimes, it just takes a couple of strategic snips to resurrect a stale piece of clothing. I chopped off the bottom of one sweater and made it a very on-trend crop-top. But, I have to accept that some garments simply don't work in my wardrobe. (My striped blazer was one casualty. Cute? Yes. But overflowing with styling possibilities? Not really.)  My strategy for borderline attire: make a clean break. Fold it up, put it in the donate bag, and don't look back. To cope with the initial anxiety from possibly parting with a valuable garment, I remind myself that I love shopping. A suitable, even better replacement is just waiting to be bought! In fact, my desire to refill my closets sometimes tips the scale on a questionable garment's fate. . .if I get rid of Shirt X, I guess I'll have to buy Shirt Y, right? One (or three) hours later, the room is leaner and cleaner. Yay!

I rewarded myself for my recent green deeds with a trip down the aisles of the Goodwill. Armed with an upcycled skirt and dress Tarjay, I spotted this amazing mini-kimono. I'm loving the gold trim, bell sleeves, and pretty oriental pattern. I paired it with skinnies and headed out to a fun dinner with my girls. So, what's your spring cleaning system?
Kimono: Goodwill; Tank: Old Navy; Jeans: Gordmans; Purse: Vintage; Shoes: Macy's
My husband calls these my "good butt jeans." I bought these jeans years ago for just $4!

Off My Rocker

My hubbie has told me on multiple occasions that he doesn't like floral prints. "They just remind me of that 'pearl necklace era' and look too 'grandma-y,'" he explains each time I sashay into the living room wearing a floral frock. I waited in vain for a different response when I paired sweet floral pants with a tough leather vest. I suspect Brian's under-appreciation of floral prints will still be a topic of debate even when we sit on the porch, old and decrepit, in our matching rocking chairs. "I don't know about those pants, babe. The flowers just remind me of a grandmother," he'll say. "Honey, I am a grandmother!" I'll remind him for the umpteenth time. "Besides, you're the one wearing skateboard shoes even though you haven't skated in 15 years," I'll add wickedly. "Hey, the boys came over to skate 14 years ago," he'll counter, as we both start to crack up. Hey, if I'm still wearing leather and floral skinnies as a senior citizen, I will so be the raddest grandma in town.
Vest: Express; Blouse: H&M; Pants: Material Girl from Macy's; Shoes: Urban Outfitters; Sunglasses: Claire's

Some cute schoolchildren watched my photo shoot, disappointed that it wasn't going to end in a performance.

What do you think - am I totally off my rocker to love floral prints?

Double Take: Cropped Tee

One cropped tank, two different looks, minimal skin exposure. How would you wear a crop-top? (Or would you wear one at all?)
The high-waisted jeans and floppy hat create a cool, retro vibe.
Mix the striped print with a springy patterned short, add a denim jacket for warmth, and slide into neutral sandals.