Earlier this summer, an amazing opportunity came my way. I was asked to help produce a fashion show by the director of the fashion merchandising department at Fontbonne, Mrs. Angie Liljequist. She knows that I want to pursue a career in event planning, so this would be a great way for me to gain more experience. I am so glad that Angie approached me about this. I have helped plan and run many events on campus, but this was my first public one, therefore a way to gain more exposure in the St. Louis area.
Janet Riehl is an artist who creates a lot of work that features women in clothing that celebrates African culture. She wanted a casual fashion show to correlate with her work, and have it run at the opening of her month-long exhibit at the Portfolio Gallery on Delmar Boulevard (the exhibit being titled Women and Wardrobe). This opening would also serve as a fundraiser for the gallery. I met with Janet earlier in the summer to discuss her vision and so that I could see her artwork. I also met with Robert Powell, the creative director of the Portfolio Gallery, in order to see the space I had to work with. The gallery is really neat place, which is a vintage three-story house. After these initial meetings, I proceeded with my work.
Angie let me borrow some clothes that the fashion merchandising department has on hand for the costume history class. They were all garments worn traditionally in African culture by men and women. I gathered additional clothes, shoes, and accessories to style these looks in a more modern way. I recruited four models to wear these looks. I had connections with each of these girls after they modeled for the fashion show this past spring that my fashion promotions class produced. In addition, I reached out to a local fashion designer, Amelia LaSalle. I thought her designs complemented Janet’s work well too. Amelia’s collection was displayed on mannequins (also borrowed from the fashion merchandising department, and somehow all fit inside my small car).
Janet wanted it to be a casual and free-spirited event. So, there was not a formal runway show. The models were each stationed in a different room, and were there to mingle with guests and give them information about the traditional use of the garment they were wearing. I am excited to say that the evening was extremely successful! So many people showed up and had a great time. I received many compliments and recognition. It was all a bit surreal. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and appreciative of all the help from Angie, Janet, Robert, Amelia, and the four models. Great connections were made that I hope to continue building on in the near future. It is thrilling for me to plan an event and see it come to life. More and more I have solidified the fact that event planning is my passion and what I want to do in life.
Myself with the models: Brittany, Alyssa, Latoya, and Quinisha
I finally went on a trip that has been on my bucket list for a long time: Los Angeles! I started planning this vacation a few months ago with two of my closest friends, Delane and Taylor. The three of us have fun together no matter what we do, especially when we visit one of the most famous cities in the world. I have family that lives in L.A., so we were very lucky to be able to stay with them. My cousin, Stephanie, also gave us rides everywhere, so we didn’t have to face the crazy L.A. traffic on our own.
In just a few short days, we packed in so many adventures that I don’t even know where to begin! We did a lot of the touristy things of course, such as reading the Hollywood Walk of Fame names, hiked to the Hollywood sign, stalk celebrity homes in Beverly Hills, a visit to Venice Beach and Canal, and shopping around Downtown Disney and Universal Studios. We considered all of these essentials when visiting L.A. We also did some things that are a little less traditional, such as a hot air balloon ride in Orange Country and browsing the Observatory in Griffith Park.
One of my favorite parts of traveling is trying new food. We considered going to famous restaurants, like having Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Instead, we ate less crowded places (well, at least a little bit) that locals recommended. I love cities like L.A. that are so diverse, so you can find such a wide variety of foods. My favorite dinner was the one at a Brazilian restaurant in Burbank. I tried plantains there for the first time. My favorite breakfast was at The Griddle Café in Hollywood. They had the largest and most unique dishes, such as Chips Ahoy French toast and Frosted Flakes pancakes.
It is has been a goal of mine to travel as much as possible before I graduate in less than a year. I like exploring a variety of cities so I can get a better sense of where I might want to move outside of St. Louis (if that’s what I end up deciding to do). Also, I know that once I have a full time job, it will be harder for me to take off work whenever I want. Something that surprised me about L.A. was how spread out everything was. It is not as compact as other major cities I have visited. Also, the weather was not as hot as I expected. Especially at night, it gets chilly there. Delane, Taylor, and I all really enjoyed our time in Los Angeles. I would like to spend more time there again someday. Who knows, maybe I will end up living there!
Recognize this sign?!
At the beginning of the summer, I moved into my first, very own apartment. It is exciting to be able to call this place my own. Although, it is also weird to think I am like an actual grown up now. After three years of living on campus, I have decided to move on. Whenever I get spare time, I have been settling things in. I will continuously be adding décor, because I tend to go overboard and don’t know when to stop decorating. Luckily, I haven’t had to spend much money on that sort of thing. There is plenty of décor, furniture, supplies, etc. that I can take from my home in St. Peters.
I live with my friend, Taylor. We met a few years ago at Gordmans. She does not work there anymore, but we continued to be friends after she left. She goes to school at Washington University, which is right next door to Fontbonne. Therefore, we were both looking for a place to live in the same general area. We live in Clayton in a very cute and safe neighborhood. The location is very ideal, because the drive to school and to my internship only takes a few minutes both ways. Also, many things are conveniently within walking distance, such as Forest Park, Concordia Park, restaurants, a vintage candy/ice cream shop, shops, and grocery stores. It’s everything I could have asked for. The only downside is the parking. There is only parallel parking, which I am not very good at. But it is good for me to practice since I have been spending more and more time in the city and that’s how I need to park at TalentPlus (my internship). That being said, I am still very happy with my current situation. I wish I could spend more time there, but I am so busy with work, interning, and babysitting. However, Taylor and I still manage to frequently find ourselves at the Kaldi’s Coffee house up the street (mainly working on homework). We also like to have picnics in the parks. I look forward to making many more memories in my new neighborhood!
My new room; an ongoing work in progress!
Each week during the summer, half of my days are spent babysitting. I guess I shouldn’t really say babysitting anymore since the girls aren’t babies. We can just call me a nanny. That sounds more sophisticated anyway. Emma is 13 and Kara is 10. I have been with them the past few summers, and knew the family well before I started watching them. The girls go to school and play softball with my cousins, so I met them through that.
Although Emma and Kara fight a lot like typical sisters, the three of us have fun together no matter the adventure. Some of the things we do are trips to the zoo, Six Flags (we have season tickets), the pool, and parks with playgrounds. If we just want to get out of the house for a little bit, we’ll grab lunch out or walk up the street to the snow cone stand. Another routine is going to the movies. Wehrenberg theatres have a good summer special. Every Wednesday and Thursday they play a movie for just $1. The movies are typically only about a year old, so they are fairly recent. I enjoy kid movies just as much as they do, so this works out well. Some days are more relaxed and we just chill around the house. But even that is fun, considering we jam to all the One Direction albums while we make One Direction collages. Or we play board games, which is most often the One Direction board game that we made out of an old Candy Land. Do you sense a theme here?
Being with the girls definitely adds a level of excitement to my summers. There is never a dull (or quiet) moment with them. I can’t completely blame it on them though. I get pretty loud myself when we are having too much fun together. We are so close that I practically consider them the little sisters I never had. It’s nice to get paid for something that I hardly consider work.