Downtown St. Louis enjoys a consistent stream of fashion events, most often held in the Washington Avenue garment district or in the plethora of affordable venue spaces on Cherokee and Jefferson. Residents of the outlying 'burbs beware, you're signing up for a 20+ minute one-way commute to get in on the action. Until now.
Streetscape Magazine's two-day fashion extravaganza, "Romancing the Runway" is changing the game with their fashion show and night market based in St. Charles County. The event celebrated it's third year this past Wednesday and Thursday evening, September 27th & 28th 2017 inside the City Foundry Center in Historic Downtown St. Charles.
That's right. The metro-area fashionistas packed up their bags for a small commute, while our friends in the outlying counties enjoyed a reprieve from the standard 20 minute gruel.
The City Foundry Center was beautifully lit and served as the perfect atmosphere for chatting with friends, both old and new. I was fortunate enough to snag an invite from the lovely ladies at BoutiqueNAV, a local company dedicated to promoting budding commerce and helping St. Louisans connect with small, privately owned brands and boutiques.
Anne Marie Brown and Gretchen Gannon of BoutiqueNav were perfect hosts, and effortlessly coordinated our gaggle of St. Louis bloggers. Although many of us were meeting for the first time, Anne Marie and Gretchen made us feel like we had all been friends for years.
The evening started with one of my favorite local designers, Barbara Bultman. Designing leather jewelry and sophisticated womenswear with a rustic twist, there's not much this woman can't do. Beautiful hues of navy blue, mustard yellow, and ambered orange paired nicely with earthy tribal prints and textured leather.
PRO-TIP: Craving more from this one woman wonder? Barbara Bultman has her own show coming up! "Where Fashion and Music Meet 2" will pop up inside Gaslight Studios (4916 Shaw Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110) on Friday, November 17th. Doors open at 6pm with the catwalk coming to life at 8pm. Rumor has it that local performer, Kaia, will provide live music. Mark your calendars now!
Also noteworthy was a fabulous collection by local designer, Paulie Gibson, that proved menswear design is alive and thriving in St. Louis. Bold patterns and sharp as tack tailoring stood front and center, supported by a muted color palette of white, black, and gray. The styling was somewhat reminiscent of the 1970s with groovy flared trousers, everyday pinstripe, and a jean jacket to envy all.
Another Romancing the Runway highlight was a stunning collection from local formal designer, Shaunice Williams. The crowd grew markedly silent as the first model appeared onstage, and continued to "ooh!" and "ahh!" with each new look. What was trending? Her collection featured deep jewel tones paired alongside sparking metallics and sheer sexy cutouts revealing just enough skin.
Streetscape Magazine also featured an impressive collection from Lindenwood design student, Aleah Rosenau. Bright cotton-candy hues demanded our attention, while structured tailoring and unexpected textures held it. My prediction? We'll be seeing a lot more from Aleah Rosenau in the future.
Romancing the Runway featured a hefty 9 designers last Thursday evening, seamlessly transitioning between collections with the ease of a seasoned event. No small feat indeed for a show with so many moving pieces.
Barbara Bultman | Amelie Skoglund | Shaunice Williams | Q. Liu | Paulie Gibson | Livaria Lingerie | Aleah Rosenau, Lindenwood Student | Abby Mrachko, Lindenwood Student | SKIF International
After the show, vendors from across the city remained open for guests to shop fashionably local goods until closing time. The ladies of BoutiqueNav bid us adieu, having successfully endeared us all into steadfast friendship and loyal support.
The bottom line? Romancing the Runway was a lovely toast to St. Louis fashion and local commerce. Scroll more from Romancing the Runway 2017 below!
Don't miss out next year!