(Photos by Monti Hill, unless noted)
This past Thursday, ten local designers competed for a $5,000 cash prize and recognition as a St. Louis superstar in the STLFW Wear It: Fashion Challenge hosted by The Luminary. The designs were totally unexpected and phenomenal, validating the evolving creative scene happening in St. Louis right now.
The local designers showcased original designs inspired by famous artwork to a panel of judges comprised of notable design professionals and a crowd of fashion supporters and influencers. Designer finalists were Michael Drummond, Nina Ganci, AJ Thouvenot, Nasheli Ortiz, Qun Liu, Destini Gamble, Barbara Bultman, Alexis Cook, Leah Babette and Tiffany Rae. Each designers’ creations are pictured along with inspired artwork.
Judges included Todd Thomas, Designer, Director, Strategic Brand Consultant and Adjunct Professor at Parsons The New School; Susan Barrett, Found and Owner of projects + gallery and Barrett Barrera Projects; Lisa Melandri, Director of Contemporary Art Museum; Laura Kathleen Baker, Fashion Designer and Project Runway All-Stars alum; Debra Bass, Fashion Editor of St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Sarah Stallmann, Fashion Editor of ALIVE Magazine.
Nasheli Ortiz went home the winner of the STLFW Wear It: Fashion Challenge, with her piece based on Sarah Frost’s ‘Built’ stealing the judges hearts. Ortiz, an Associate Design Professor for Lindenwood University’s Fashion Design Program, completed her MFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design and has worked with Hipolito Pena, Oscar de la Renta, Cristani di Roma and others. Happy to have this kind of talent teaching at my alma mater.
The Luminary was packed full and buzzing with positive energy. A few of my favorite pieces were by Michael Drummond and Leah Babette. This was a fantastic event and a break from the traditional runway show. I hope this event stays in the STLFW line up for future seasons.
Up next: London design duo Fantich & Young debut Apex Predator | Darwinian Voodoo at projects + gallery (something you seriously don’t want to miss out on)