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Fashion

Fontbonne University offers an amazing Fashion Merchandising major, and last semester I was able to take two classes from this program: Fashion Merchandising 101 and The Fashion Industry. I really enjoyed both courses, as they were an introduction to the fashion world’s ins and outs.

As a business major I am not only interested in finance, which is my concentration, but I also like to immerse myself in the world of fashion and look for opportunities to learn. This is the reason I volunteered for Saint Louis Fashion Week last Thursday!

At 4pm when I arrived the atmosphere at Union Station was relaxed; models were hanging out and getting their makeup done, volunteers were learning their tasks for the day and the DJ was testing the equipment. At 6pm people started arriving and that is when it turned really hectic!

The atmosphere was amazing, people were dressed to impress and they were talking and enjoying the lounge that was set up to receive all the guests. At 7:50pm we started ushering people to their seats, at 8:05pm sharp the show started.

There were three fashion designers showing that night: Yigal Azrouël, Tess Giberson and Timo Weiland. Their collections showed a wide range of pieces, from classic sweaters to edgy lace blouses, crop tops, pants, jumpsuits, etc. I was fortunate to meet Stan Herman and Fern Mallis, very influential people in the fashion world.

I really liked the experience and I learned a lot, I am looking forward to volunteering again next spring!

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A couple months ago, an amazing opportunity came my way. I was offered to be the head shoes and accessories coordinator for St. Louis Fashion Week Fall 2014. As someone that is a fashion major and wants to pursue event planning, this was an absolutely perfect position and way to combine my passions. The past several weeks, I have participated in numerous meetings, helped with model casting, and communicated with designers, Alive Magazine (the producer of St. Louis Fashion Week), and Brown Shoe Company (the show sponsor and shoe donor).

After a lot of prep work, it was extremely exciting and rewarding to see it all finally come together. I was a part of three runway shows. The other events for St. Louis Fashion Week consisted of panel presentations and a gala, which I did not help coordinate. The first show was at Neiman Marcus at Plaza Frontenac. This featured three designers that have collections at the retailer. The second, Emerging Designer, showcased six designer collections, and was a competition for a $15,000 cash prize. Lastly, Designer Showcase, featured Tess Giberson, Timo Weiland, and Yigal Azrouel. All of these designers already have established stores and live in New York City. In fact, they have even been a part of New York Fashion Week.

Emerging Designer and Designer Showcase required the most prep work. This past week, at least 12 hours a day were spent at Union Station preparing the front and back stage areas. It was one of the most tiring, yet rewarding experiences. I met and worked with so many outstanding professionals in the fashion industry, including Elizabeth Tucker, the publisher at Alive Magazine and Fern Mallis, the producer of New York Fashion Week. Also, the director of St. Louis Fashion Week (and the one to offer the position to me in the first place), Shannon Lichti, said she would love to keep me for the shows in the spring. Also, she wants to collaborate on events outside of Fashion Week. It is extremely exciting to know that I have great job connections, especially since I’ll be graduating in May.

Because this whole experience was a dream of mine, it hardly seemed real. Especially when I got a shout-out on the runway. After the final show, I was called to the stage to receive flowers. This was a very special and touching moment. It definitely makes me realize how hard work can truly pay off. Some of my dreams are becoming a reality, and I could not be more eager for the near future ahead of me. STLFW '14

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Carlyn

Casting Call!

by Carlyn on September 15, 2014

in Extracurricular,In Saint Louis

Through a connection made at my internship, I was offered a position as the Shoes and Accessories Coordinator for St. Louis Fashion Week this fall. As someone about to graduate with a degree in fashion and wanting to go into event planning, this is absolutely perfect for me. The last couple years, I have helped out backstage for STL Fashion Week as a dresser. It is extremely exciting to now be a part of the back-of-house (BOH) crew throughout the entire planning process. There are some tasks that all of the BOH crew helps out with, but my main role is to pick out shoes and accessories for the designers that will be showcasing their collections. The day of the shows, it will be my responsibility to track all the merchandise and make sure it’s all in the proper order and on the right models. All the information that people need about Fashion Week can be found at saintlouisfashionweek.com. (Look for my picture and biography on there!)

This past Saturday, September 13, the model casting call took place. People that are already signed by modeling agencies came, along with independent models. We had a very good turnout and a lot of talented people come in. I was in charge of measuring and recording all of the model’s bust, waist, and hip sizes. Because there was continuously a long line, this had to be done very quickly, which I feel as if I accomplished. It made me feel very proud when Shannon, the overall producer, told me what great work I did. With all the upcoming Fashion Week meetings, parties, and shows, I will have many more fun stories to tell. Stay tuned!

The check-in process and audition runway The check-in process and runway

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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 Myself with the models: Brittany, Alyssa, Latoya, and Quinisha

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Meet the Intern at TalentPlus

by Carlyn July 30, 2014

In order to get my degree in fashion merchandising, it is a requirement to complete an internship. And as hard as it is to believe, I am at that point in my college career. My internship is at a company called TalentPlus Universal, which was originally intended to be solely a summer thing. But, I […]

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Strut It St. Louis

by Conner May 5, 2014

You may not know it, but St. Louis is somewhat of a force in the fashion industry. As a student in the fashion merchandising department here at Fontbonne, it was my turn this semester to enroll in the “Promotion in the Merchandising Environment” course. A group of fourteen students, myself included, have been working on […]

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Spring Fever

by Marki April 30, 2014

Spring has finally sprung and I know I am not the only one saying “FINALLY!” I can happily wear my sun dresses and flip flops. The cold weather just makes me feel extremely drab, and I have no motivation to put any effort into what I am wearing, or even my school work (sometimes). The […]

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Fashion

by Marki April 30, 2014

Last week I had the privilege to walk in the Fashion Merchandising spring fashion show. It was awesome. From the beautiful clothes I got to wear to the great people I got to work with I had a blast. The girls of the promotion class had such a great idea to showcase the hot spots […]

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“I’ve Got Spirit…” even during spring break

by Carlyn March 21, 2014

Last Thursday night officially marked the beginning of spring break for me because I don’t have classes on Friday (I do have meetings, but no homework was due, so it can still count as break). This time, I don’t have adventurous stories to tell about amazing travels. Nope, I was still at school. I’m not […]

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Dress for Success.

by Marki March 3, 2014

What does it truly mean to dress for success? Now that I am talking an interpersonal communication class I get to explore what this truly means. When it comes to meeting people in regular social interactions to serious job interviews, your clothes are always communicating something. Are you trying to show you are a young […]

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