Last Weekend, Destination: Fashion

This blog post comes to you straight from….Amish Country! Not exactly the capital of the fashion world (by any means) but I’m spending my Thanksgiving break away for the hub-bub of St. Louis and in the heart of Ohio with relatives. I don’t know how long this “borrowed” internet connection will hold out but I so wanted to update about last weekend.

It was another busy one! My work-weekend really started on Friday. I missed my CAD class to model at the Creve Coeur Camera Expo on Friday afternoon. I’m with a small local agency in St. Louis that hooked me up with the gig. I had the pleasure to assist an internationally-renowned photographer, David Guy Maynard, with a free class he hosted. I have to say, the logistics of photography was mostly lost on me. Photography is something I haven’t caught an interest in yet. The idea of capturing your own, beautiful images is intriguing but the costly equipment and complexity of so many electronic devices has scared me of so far. Seems like something I might delve into one day when A. I have money and B. I have time. Ha! Both are not in my immediate future.

Saturday morning started bright and early around 8:30 am with another shoot with Elizabeth Wiseman and company. Attached are some preliminary images. More to come. Ashley was a bombshell! But the look was Juniors, due to her age, so we played down her innate Victoria Secret Angel look. The shoot went great, albeit a few chilly moments for a couple city-sleek pics.

Saturday afternoon I modeled again for Maynard after the early shoot. And oh yeah, it was my anniversary weekend too! Matt, my husband, successfully surprised me for the first time ever! I’m usually pretty good at figuring out what he’s up to. And I don’t even try to find out stuff, it just happens : / So I got all fancied up and went out that night. After a scary little drive up towards North St. Louis (I’m pretty sure we saw a drug deal or two) we finally stopped at the Bissell Mansion for a fun and interactive, murder mystery dinner. The play was “It’s a Wonderful Death” and it was a great 1 year celebration!

Then on Sunday I had the opportunity to secret shop. Secret shopping is basically doing just that-secretly shopping at a store and reporting back to an agency about your experience. It wasn’t the first time for me but it was my first time to secret shop a movie theater. I highly recommend secret shopping! What is better than seeing a movie with a friend for free (after reimbursement for 2 tickets) and then getting paid an additional small fee on on top of it?!
Answer: Not much.
I’m a believer that the best things in life are cheap or free. So, I enjoyed a free afternoon Twilight showing with a good friend while Matt was working at SLU, where he is a PhD candidate. When he got home we celebrated our true anniversary (11/20/10) and popped some champagne and thawed our anniversary tier from our wedding cake. The cake was surprisingly delicious, maybe better than the first time we ate it! I have to recommend Gwenn with Exquisite Cakes in St. Louis.

Thanks for taking the time to read. I want to put up some more pictures later, including an interesting outfit I wore to Bissel and maybe some celebratory pics from the anniversary.


The (Last Weekend) Warrior: Part Deux

The Weekend Warrior: Part Deux

I know, I know, I know! I should have posted this earlier in the wekk. Because now it’s the weekend again and I’m warrior-ing on once more and with more stories to tell. But I promised Pakistani Haute Couture! So here we go….

This is a tale of 1 pale, white girl (me) surrounded my 19+ beautifully bronzed Pakistani ladies. Long story shortened, my grandma used to work for a Pakistani woman doctor who helped organize this charity fashion show and asked me to be in it. Short and sweet. She knew that I had done my fair share of runway events in St. Louis so of course I obliged when asked. The show is sponsored by PAAS (Pakistani American Association of St. Louis) to raise money for HDF (Human Development Foundation) which, among other things, helps build schools for girls in Pakistan. Good cause + a chance to wear glittery, ethnic wear? Of course I’m in. It didn’t hurt that I got to model for designer Hajra Hayat who has shown in Dubai Fashion Week. That’s like, the Middle East’s New York Fashion Week. Supa’ cool.

So I sacrificed a precious weekend day to head to West County to get my hair and makeup done by donated services from Jon Thomas Salon. The hair was teased back and put up in a sleek ponytail . I have fine hair and I recently cut my hair shorter so I was totally jealous of all the beautiful, thick, luscious ponys on the other girls. Oh well. The makeup was fun. We all had false eyelashes and a kohl-liner look with greens and golds on our eyes plus some fire-red lips. We even got pedicure and manicures. Score!

Following the pampering, everyone headed to a nearby hotel to rehearse. It was some serious rehearsals too. And I want to give credit where credit is due-the designer was organized, level-headed, punctual, and had a clear vision. Great characteristics for any designer running a whole show by themselves, practically. And her clothing was beautiful! Very traditional, Pakistani wear. Much of it was formal outfits for weddings and parties. Probably the only time I’ll get to wear anything like it!  You’d never guess, but a lot of those heavily beaded dresses were crazy itchy! The delicate wire thread poked through thin, silk lining. Ouch, ouch, ouch! I have sooo much more sympathy for those blinged out brides!

In the end, the show went very well for just an afternoon’s worth of practice. The choreography wasn’t easy and the models weren’t professions, so I think it went off very well for what it’s worth. Below are some pics, plus a scanned copy of a promotional handout.

The Weekend Warrior: Part Une

The Wine-d Up

I’m a graduate assistant at Lindenwood University…which means I am a poor person. My school credits are paid for by my 20 hour-a-week assistantship. But with no extra stipend, constantly buying fabric, notions, books, and lab fees really add up! So for a lil’ extra cash I continue to work  promotional gigs whenever I can. I’ve actually been working through talent agencies as an Independent Contractor for marketing campaigns (aka “promo” work) for 3ish years now. When I was in my undergraduate I worked in the summers primarily. My SEMO major in Merchandising and minor in Marketing really came in handy in all the application processes. I say processes because you have to apply individually for each job and send in paperwork for each agency. I estimate that I’ve worked for at least 30 agencies and 100 promotions in the last few years. Quite possibly more. I did jobs like handing out free samples at box stores and promoting products in various ways at St. Louis events. One time I was Tony the Tiger and held babies and had geriatrics sit on my lap (both against my will, which made it the first and last time to dress up as a costumed character). People constantly ask me about how to get into this field. And I don’t blame them, because if you’re willing to wait 30-90 days after an event for payment then you can make anywhere from 2 to 5 times minimum wage, just starting out. If you’re interested and I know/like you, I might be able to hook you up.

Lately, I’ve been getting into wine demos. It’s steady work and it always seams to fit into my schedule. I market a variety of wine in stores at Dierbergs or Schnucks by giving out small, free samples. I educate the public about tasting notes and how to pair what wine with which food. It’s fun. Although I would characterize myself as a introvert, I’ve grown to really enjoy interacting one-on-one with shoppers. It’s a nice gig-I get to learn about wine, work on my people skills, and sometimes I get the remains of a bottle : )

Here’s a pic from the last gig!

If I look a little wonky, it’s because it was taken at the end of a 6 hour shift where I stood the whole time. Yeah…

Stay Tuned for Part Deux….featuring some Pakistani Haute Couture. Yes, you heard me right.

An Introduction to CAD


Today I’m sitting in CAD I class waiting around for it to start. Looks like I have time to blog! CAD (or Computer Aided Design) is a way to render fashion designs in a highly technical format. Using Adobe Illustrator you can create these things called garment flats. Flats are digital 2D “sketches” of what a design should look like. CAD garment flats are the basis for garment production. It’s kind of like an architectural plan for a house; a flat is literally a draft of a garment. Everything on a flat has to look perfect-proportions are important as well as design details like zippers, seams, and hems.

After a flat is produced, a designer might send it to production in a far off land. The flat acts as a guide for the producers (aka the Chinese factory workers). It is a way to communicate visually when you can’t communicate through a common language. I’ve included some basic CAD work below.Just a boring trench, not much of a design… but you will get the idea.

Thursday 11/10-A Blog is Born!


G’morning world! Errr….or the one person reading this.

Today is going to be a busy day! I’m up early (yes, 9:30 is early for this girl). I’ve got a lot going on that I want to let you all know about. This morning I’m styling a photo shoot with the oh-so-talented St. Louis-area headshot photographer, Elizabeth Wiseman. Elizabeth times 2 today! Two Elizabeths are better than one, no? Not sure who the model is yet, but Elizabeth almost exclusively works with agency signed girls. So I’m assuming someone from West or Centro.

Got some inspiration pics from her early in the week and the tone seems to be fun,Editorial Juniors. Think Teen Vogue. I’m envisioning a lot of color blocking perhaps. Spent a couple hours last night going through my closet of goodies (as well as some borrowed pieces from my model-sized sister,). I threw in a little bit of everything into the to-go laundry basket, including sparkleys, patterns, high-fashion labels (Prada sweater my mom found w/ tags at a garage sale), low-fashion labels (aka stuff I found at Goodwill yesterday). Some items I had to alter a tad last night. So yeah, the bedroom is disaster but this shoot is going to be great!

This is actually only the second shoot working with Eliz W. My schedule is so busy with school and marketing work and normal life that it’s been a couple months since the last shoot together. The first shoot was a portfolio session with Amanda from Centro. From what I understood, she’s a college Fresh-y from the Midwest hoping to make it in a bigger market (NYC?LA?). We styled her in a cornucopia of looks and below are pics from that first shoot:


Elizabeth Wiseman’s photography including my wardrobe styling work and Emily Miller of Delicately Bold’s makeup artistry. Cred to those talented ladies! Heck of a collaboration!