Top Looks from STLFW's Designers to Watch

By Dacy Gillespie
In Style

Last night, before the Saint Louis Fashion Fund Emerging Designer Competition presented by Brown Shoe Company, the stylish STLFW crowd viewed a still modeling presentation of looks from five designers to watch: Michael Drummond, Paulie Gibson, Nasheli Ortiz, Trang Nguyen and Truly Alvarenga. Each designer showed four looks as attendees cast their votes for one to win the $2,500 award.

On the runway of the Emerging Designer Competition Presented by Brown Shoe Company, ALIVE Fashion Editor and STLFW Style Director Sarah Stallmann announced the People’s Choice winner, Truly Alvarenga of Pink Elephants Designs, as the Saint Louis Fashion Week Designer to Watch.

Truly Alvarenga, Pink Elephants Designs STLFW designer to watch

Truly Alvarenga, Pink Elephants Designs

Alvarenga’s Pink Elephants Designs collection is known for its whimsy and punk detailing. Tulle, lace and embossed leather combined for a rich textural mix during the Designers to Watch presentation last night. Pale skin and dark red lips completed the feminine gothic looks featuring Victorian-era silhouettes including long gowns and coats.

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Trang Nguyen

Trang Nguyen describes her line as flirty and feminine, and the looks she showed last night were just that. Her pieces were all classic silhouettes with delicate details: Scalloped-edge pockets, a thin belt, full skirts. The black lace appliques on a bridal gown and blouse were definite crowd-pleasers.

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Nasheli Ortiz

Nasheli Ortiz’s sleek, futuristic cuts evoked a “2001: A Space Odyssey” feel. Thick, textured white fabric with orange piping created a structured look while stand-up details on collars and shoulders added to the sculptural approach. The styling was similarly futuristic, with sleek ponytails, white face paint, geometric Lucite cuffs and earrings and white oxfords with splotches of neon.

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Michael Drummond

Michael Drummond, a “Project Runway” alum and five-time presenter of STLFW, created exquisite drama in a mostly black and white palette with silver beaded fabric and his signature harnesses. Tops and dresses were beautifully draped and paired with leggings with leather details. Another decadently beaded top, shown with chiffon harem pants, turned heads. A simple, silky blouse, signature harness and drop crotch layering look pushed Drummond’s presentation into edgier territory.

STLFW14_EmergingDesigner_DavidVassalli_98Classic and wearable was the theme of Paulie Gibson’s unique line of modern menswear. A navy suit became more than the name implies when shown in a rich velvet. A grey tweed coat was cut close to the body and paired with short-length pants for a modern update. Two other looks had a more casual vibe with comfy knits, a vest and a jacket.

Saint Louis Fashion Week continues tonight with the Yigal Azrouël, Tess Giberson and Timo Weiland Runway Show + Saint Rita Parlor Fashion Presentation. See the STLFW website for more info.

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