The Designers of Saint Louis Fashion Week

 In Culture, Feature

Spring STLFW is in full bloomthanks to these talented local designers.


Saint Louis has no shortage of buzz-worthy fashion, and the local designers presenting at GLOW during Spring Saint Louis Fashion Week on March 23 are no exception. We caught up with the three diverse talents presenting at STLFW to hear what they’ve been up to, and get a taste of what’s ahead.


Designer Amy Johnson of KayOss Designs is no stranger to publicity. After holding her first pop-up shop in the Central West End, she found herself spending two days with a TLC film crew for an episode of “Big Tiny.” And Johnson, who is thoroughly enjoying living the dream, doesn’t expect to slow down anytime soon. Not only will her upcoming lines feature sexy, yet timeless silhouettes and an artist collaboration, but the designer is also working a unique angle. “This spring, I will be adding color options to the line to go with the different energy points of the body,” she explains. “I can help clients choose what colors to wear based on the areas of their life they want to improve.” Johnson will be on the forefront of color therapy, bringing yet another niche service to both fashion and holistic lifestyles in St. Louis. This new endeavor might also push the artist to meet her own personal growth goals. “Every year, I challenge myself to experience a new culture and learn a new art,” she says. High-quality, on-trend materials will complement Johnson’s refreshing approach to design to be presented on the GLOW runway. We have a feeling this will be one for the record books.


Tremendous talent and experience lend themselves to growth, and no one knows this better than STL’s own Paulie Gibson. His natural ability to translate surreal silhouettes from runway to real world has not gone unnoticed. Since 2009, Paulie has graced the glossies, runways and awards ceremonies of the fashion elite. He was also invited to present in LA’s most recent Fashion Week, a big “get” for the determined designer. So what’s next? A full-fledged PR campaign, manufacturing contracts and Blueprint (fall 2013), to start. According to the seasoned designer, Blueprint will be his largest, most impressive collection to date. “I’ve been focusing all of my energies, creative and otherwise, on Blueprint,” he says. “It’s by far my biggest collection, and I’d venture to say it’s the best one yet.” The line will debut on the GLOW runway, and promises to be both cutting-edge and unexpected—even for Gibson himself, who says he looks inward for inspiration. For him, Blueprint is a metaphorical map. “You can have whatever you want in life; you just need to design a way to it,” he says.


Knowledge, skill and uniquity meet in the capable hands of Michael Drummond. Unmarked by his time on television, the Exquisite Corpse designer is revisiting his roots. In his next collection, Drummond is crediting his loyal supporters. “This feels like a love letter to them, a thank you for supporting me even before I was on TV,” he says. Paying tribute to his craft over trends, Drummond locked himself in his loft and let his favorite artists inspire him. New Baroque composers like Philip Glass, his peers at the Regional Arts Commission (where he has plans to revisit his identity as an artist via a carefully curated show) and his experience with European couture challenge him to grow as a designer. “Disconnecting from the world usually helps me hone in on something that feels honest and distinct; it’s a dark and a neurotic process that I really enjoy,” Drummond muses. We can already tell you: What hits the Spring Saint Louis Fashion Week runway will be thoughtfully designed and full of emotion. In true Michael Drummond style, we suggest preparing for an Exquisite Corpse show with a night of vintage horror films, stargazing and maybe a glass or two of fernet.



KayOss Designs

KayOss Designs


Paulie Gibson


The Exquisite Corpse

The Exquisite Corpse


Photo credit: KayOss Designs and Paulie Gibson photos courtesy of the designers. The Exquisite Corpse photo by Jake Hamilton.

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