Last week I was casually checking my inbox and to my surprise I received an invitation to the Saint Louis Fashion Week VIP Blogger Lounge put on by ALIVE Magazine at Scape American Bistro. Of course, I excitedly accepted!
Walking in, the room was electric. And it only intensified as the night went on, fueled by the beats of DJ TrashTalk and, duh, the open bar. All the bloggers were looking their best as they chatted and browsed the booths. With prosecco in my hand, I made my rounds. This is what I found:
“Give life the bird.” –bluebirdapparel.com
I’d say I frequent The Loop. Well, for someone who lives in St. Charles at least. It’s one of my favorite spots for music, food and shopping. Unfortunately I had never ventured into Blue Bird. And damn, I wish I had heard of them before the blogger lounge! The Blue Bird babes, Anna and Skylar, were chill as hell. Anna Friss, Blue Bird designer, showed me some funky cool kimonos, adorable hair bows and the coolest southwestern camera strap. Let’s just say I will be making my way down to The Loop very soon and my first stop will be Blue Bird.
Born out of their love for girls trips and the inspiration they bring to each other, Suzanne Lay, Shannon Dougherty and Maggie Bourne bring bright colors, bold looks and enviable style to St. Louis. After looking at their designs online, I was really excited to see them in real life. Their Spring 2014 collection was on display at the lounge, which Dougherty explained was inspired by and shot in New Orleans. I was drooling over the sheer Doris top, pictured above, and the Helen overlay, which had amazing movement, both perfect for a summer festival look. Oh, and did I mention Suzanne Lay, designer, is a fellow Lindenwood University alumni? Get it girl!
The worst thing you can do is go into something with preconceived notions. It changes your whole experience. I must admit going into the lounge I wasn’t as excited for Glik’s, mainly because I had shopped there in high school during my dating-skater-boys days. But wow, I was impressed! They have completely changed their clientele and thus their brand. They no longer sell skateboards. Instead, you can find affordable big city fashion with small town service. Jenna Miller, Glik’s social media & e-commerce specialist, had on an amazing white crop top/maxi skirt combo on that I hope would look as good on me. My recommendation: give Glik’s a second chance.
“I like to do things a little unexpected” –Cameo de Bore, designer
Clutches are a staple for special occasions and going out. The problem with clutches, though, is that they’re lacking on room for all the crap you need to bring with you to events. Cameo de Bore, designer, brings ladylike, oversized clutches to the game. It all came “out of necessity,” Cameo said. She could never find a cute clutch to fit all of her things, so she made her own and her business took off from there! Cameo hand selects all the fabrics and makes the clutches herself. The Spring Collection is available now. Check it out!
I walk up to the Shirt Kong booth and browse from a far, as people in front of me are getting the SK details and sweet goodie bags. I hear, “Who’s the Weird Cult person?” I’m a bit taken aback for a second because I’m surprised that people are actually reading/talking about the blog! Delightedly, I say, “That’s me!” Then, Chelsea Deptula, social media specialist, gave me the lowdown and hooked me up with a very cool St. Louis tee and a colorful printed tote bag full of goodies! Shirt Kong is a big supporter of local artists and currently has a design contest going on. You’ll be able to see and vote for the top three designs at the STLFW after party. I love Shirt Kong, not only because they do great work and support local artist, but also because they have fun doing it! Definitely check them out for your screen-printing and embroidery needs. (Pictured above: Blue Bird, Suzanne Lay, Glik’s, Glik’s, Shirt Kong)
I just recently discovered Chicago style popcorn when my roommate brought some home. If you don’t know what that is, let me fill you in- cheese and caramel popcorn mixed together for the perfect sweet and salty snack. When I saw samples of the gourmet Chicago style popcorn at The Hive’s table, I immediately snapped up a bite. Mmmm! But The Hive doesn’t just do tasty popcorn; they also do confections and have a boutique of vintage and up-cycled clothes. I don’t find myself in Alton very much, but I may need to make a special trip just to check out The Hive. Their website coming soon.
Upon arriving at the Soft Surroundings table, I was immediately drawn to their at home collection. Inspired by the patina of age and romance of history, Soft surroundings has you dreaming about summer days in Provence. Soft Surroundings is mainly a catalog-oriented operation but all of their apparel and home goods can be found online.
You’ve probably seen the signage for Bronx Diba driving westbound on 70 in Earth City, but did you know that isn’t just a distribution center? They have a large showroom of all their brands at their headquarters on Corporate Trail Drive. The disco ball-esque babies above memorized me. Bronx Diba was one of the only booths showing menswear, specifically handsome suede boots.
Vogue Footwear designers were showing their latest at the lounge. There I found, what I like to call, the black beauties. I’m a sucker for anything in black. Just look at my closet! I really liked the collection of black leather + mesh heels, specifically the all black peep toe sling backs in the top middle, pictured above. (Pictured above: Bronx Diba, Vogue Footwear)
From Miami to Los Angeles and finally ending in St. Louis, Heather Krako creates jewelry inspired by art around the world. I saw pieces from the Spring/Summer ’14 Futa Collection, inspired by the Futa River in the Los Rios Region in Chile. I was drawn to the pendants and delicate gold & crystal bangles. I’d have to give Belle Style the award for best looking table at the event because it was curated so well! I picked up a flyer that noted the Fall/Winter ’14 Atomic Tangerine Collection, so look for that to come out soon.
A St. Louis based jewelry brand, Jenny Present has been seen in People, Real Simple and most recently on Giuliana Rancic. Jenny Present brings inspiration into your life everyday with their pieces. I see the Proud Mama collection going over really well for the upcoming Mother’s Day. (Pictured above: Belle Style, Jenny Present)
The 2013 Arch Grant recipient, Trflare is about to be big. They recently signed a deal with the USA Synchronized Swimming team to design their suits for 2016. And I can see why. The Native American inspire suit pictured is vibrant and beautifully crafted. Andrea Robertson, founder, said the prints on the pieces are strategically placed in order to compliment a women’s shape. If I were ever to do a triathlon, I would do it in style with Triflare!
Somewhere between Triflare and Dimvaloo, Jessica Leitch may have convinced me into doing a triathlon. Dimvaloo is an active living wear store that exclusively carries Lorna Jane. The Lorna Jane Chromatic Tights were on display and the color was just so bright and great, you could definitely run at night in these…no problem. Dimvaoo is celebrating their one-year anniversary with a Live Active promotion where you could win some Lorna Jane wear. Congrats to Dimvaloo on their anniversary! (Pictured above: Triflair)
ALIVE Magazine did a wonderful job putting the VIP Blogger Lounge together, complete with a beauty bar by Thirteen and Washington. Kristen, Nina and Laveenia were doing hair and makeup for attendees. Thirteen and Washington is a salon and creative space for beauty, fashion and design entrepreneurs. I think I’m going to have to give them a try for my next salon visit.
Body by India’s World specializes in all natural body care products including, lip balms, body butter and soaps. India Hearn, creator, let me sample the citrus body butter. It smelled of lovely summer citrus and had essential oils to nourish my skin. Hearn invited me to The Unique Boutique where she will be selling her handmade body care products, along with other vendors. (Pictured above: Body by India’s World)
I was a little nervous going into ALIVE’s STLFW VIP Blogger Lounge as my first blogger type event. But, once I got there everyone was very kind and welcoming. I’m so happy to have met the vendors and other bloggers and look forward to the rest of STLFW. A special thanks goes out to the people at ALIVE Magazine for inviting me, hosting a great event and the awesome gift bags!
See you soon!