This Three-Part Fashion Competition Holds a Mirror to St. Louis’ Garment District
It’s been generations since Washington Avenue bustled with the steady foot traffic of seamstresses, designers, and shoemakers from dusk to dawn. But St. Louis’ Garment District—and its identity as a fashion hub that once rivaled its counterpart in New York—remains an integral part of the city’s history. Now it’s also poised to play a role in the city’s future—if the Saint Louis Fashion Fund‘s Fashion Anarchy competition is any indication.
Composed of four events, Fashion Anarchy pits emerging local designers against one another, tasking them with developing a complete look using donated materials in just 48 hours. From initial sketching to the final swipe of lipstick on each model, these challenges are a race to the fashion finish line akin to global sensation Project Runway—and also an opportunity for creators to interpret themes closer to home.
This year’s challenges center on snapshots of Downtown‘s Garment District through the years, from its golden age in the ’30s and ’40s, to fantastical visions of what it might become in the future. The first event, which was hosted in conjunction with Brainchild Events on May 9, yielded artful interpretations of the district’s heyday from the three competing designers, with Barbara Bultman‘s swingy fringe and damask look taking first place. (She, as well as the winning designers from the two forthcoming events, will advance to the final round and compete for the overarching title on Nov. 9 at newly minted fashion hub The Last Hotel.)
For the next event, held on July 18 at the Saint Louis Fashion Fund headquarters, participants Anna Leigh, Trhonda Edwards, and Amanda Casarez will be asked to create a look that embodies the Garment District as it currently exists—the “present” portion of the district’s past, present, and future.
Guests will enjoy sips and bites while watching fresh talent complete the finishing touches on their designs before presenting their models for judging. VIP and general admission tickets are currently available, with a portion of all proceeds benefiting the Saint Louis Fashion Fund in its mission to revitalize the fashion industry and provide up-and-coming creators with the support and resources they need to bring a flourishing fashion scene back to St. Louis.
Images courtesy of Eric Nemens.