Fashion | St. Louis Public Radio


Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

A clothing library at St. Louis University is helping students find outfits that match their gender identity.

The student-led Queer Closet allows transgender and gender-nonconforming people to find affordable clothing that helps them feel more comfortable. 

“I think one of the biggest and best aspects of the Queer Closet is the idea you’re working with someone who understands what you’re going through and someone who understands the queer experience,” said co-founder Regis Wilson, a SLU business major who identifies as gender-nonconforming.

On Chess: Fashion, Climate And Chess

Oct 3, 2019
A Michael Drummond design. The St. Louis native has a local boutique and appeared on the Lifetime television series Project Runway in 2010.
Attilio D'Agostino | World Chess Hall of Fame

With his head down and the sound of a harpsichord rhythmically chiming in the background, artist and fashion designer Michael Drummond slides from one part of his at-home studio to another, masterfully and meticulously bending, shaping and attaching bra underwires to a vinyl form.

Instead of his usual layers of chiffon, knits and leather strappings, Drummond has stocked up on a variety of found materials — some typical, most not — for a new selection of works he will present at the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Tan France is visiting St. Louis for the first time on Saturday, when he discusses "Naturally Tan" at St. Louis County Library headquarters.
Marcus MacDonald

Tan France is best known for his role as fashion expert on the hit Netflix series “Queer Eye,” where he and the rest of “the Fab 5” transform people’s lives – and bridge social divides – with inspiring lifestyle makeovers.

Now France has a brand-new memoir out titled “Naturally Tan.” St. Louis Public Radio’s Kae Petrin discussed it with France during Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air ahead of France’s sold-out event this weekend at St. Louis County Library headquarters.

Mojda Sidiqi models one of her designs, a long black silk dress with an embroidered brocade bib on April 10, 2019.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Mojda Sidiqi wants every woman to feel like a work of art.

But that can be a challenge — particularly for those who want less revealing clothing that fits their personal and religious beliefs.

Sidiqi is among a small group of St. Louis fashion designers working to create more modest clothing options for women. They held their first Modest Muslim Women’s fashion show over the weekend as part of the Council on American-Islam Relations in Missouri’s third-annual art exhibition. The show featured various types of “modest wear” — a style of clothing for which demand is growing worldwide.

The triangular patterns visible in Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther suit reflect what costume designer Ruth Carter calls "the sacred geometry of Africa."
Matt Kennedy | Marvel Studios

The Marvel hit “Black Panther” was undoubtedly one of the biggest films of 2018. It brought the fictional country of Wakanda to the big screen and showcased exuberant sub-Saharan African culture – and St. Louis native Kevin Mayes was a part of that process.

Mayes is a clothing designer who served as the head tailor for the film’s costumes, helping bring the visions of designer Ruth E. Carter to life. “Black Panther” has been nominated for seven Oscars – including best costume design.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Mayes, who attended Normandy High School, ahead of the 91st Academy Awards set to take place Sunday.

(Feb. 14, 2019) Jenny Murphy (left) and Mary Ruppert-Stroescu joined Thursday's "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss how people can become more become more conscious consumers to alleviate some of the harmful effects of fast fashion.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

High fashion designs can take about four to six months to come to life and into the market. Fast fashion, however, is a term used by fashion retailers to describe the practice of making those high-fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers. A clothing design can make it from sketch to mannequin in six weeks.

Media personality Kim Kardashian criticized the fast-fashion trend last week. She posted a picture on Instagram sarcastically asking fast fashion brands to wait until she actually wears a dress before selling a knockoff version

A recent Wash U study by associate professor Christine Ekenga examined how the practice has ended up hurting the environment, workers and society. On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh delved into its effects and what people can do to become more conscious consumers.

The Fashion Incubator takes up 7,500 square-feet of a Washington Avenue building on what used to be known as Shoe Street USA.
File photo | Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

The 4-year-old St. Louis Fashion Fund is shutting down its fashion incubator. The first class of six designers in the program will graduate next month. Executive director Kathleen Bibbins said the organization has received good feedback about the incubator, but it’s time for the fashion startup to “pivot.”

“We’re transitioning to a design co-op,” she said. “We will have six fashion-related businesses reside here in a collaborative workspace.”

STL Fashion startups face tariffs on Chinese imports
Melody Walker|St. Louis Public Radio

The burgeoning St. Louis fashion industry is bracing for the impact of the latest tariffs on goods from China.

Handbags, backpacks, luggage, hats and baseball gloves are just a few of the thousands of products covered in the latest round of U.S. tariffs imposed on goods imported from China. The 10 percent tax went into effect Sept. 24 and it will increase to 25 percent on Jan. 1.

Experts say consumers should expect to see higher prices before the end of the year.

The Fashion Incubator takes up 7,500 square-feet of a Washington Avenue building on what used to be known as Shoe Street USA.
File photo | Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Aug. 28 with resignation of Fashion Fund's executive director - The St. Louis Fashion Fund is looking for a new executive director. Eric Johnson has resigned after roughly a year-and-a-half on the job. A statement from the nonprofit says Johnson is leaving to pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities.

On Chess: Fashion and chess are a natural match

Jul 13, 2017
Five of the designers selected to participate in the Pinned! competition for the World Chess Hall of Fame. The project manager and author of this article, Rikki Byrd, is second from the left. July 2017
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

From New York Fashion Week to museum exhibits and global advertising campaigns, the intersection of fashion and chess has long been a source of inspiration.

A conceptualization of what the future of men's fashion will look like, part of the "Reigning Men" exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum.
Saint Louis Art Museum

Created by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear,” is showing in St. Louis – the second and only other planned stop in the U.S., aside from L.A.

The exhibition examines the kind of men who wore certain clothing as well as the clothing itself and the culture in which it was worn.

It’s thematically organized into five galleries beginning with “Revolution/Evolution.” A big part of that gallery focuses on the French Revolution.

Emily Koplar - Wai Ming
Provided by St. Louis Fashion Incubator

Updated 11:48 a.m., Aug. 25 with inaugural class announcement -  A local designer is part of the St. Louis Fashion Incubator's first class. Emily Koplar is one of six people chosen to go through the two-year program aimed at supporting the businesses and boosting the city's fashion-related economy. She is founder of the Wai Ming women’s clothing line. Other members of the inaugural class are from the New York City area, Dallas and Chicago.

Jacquelyne Craig founded a company called Blaq Séance, which produces locally-sourced fashion shows and arts events.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Jacquelyne Craig’s company, Blaq Séance, is known for producing fashion shows that feature up-and-coming St. Louis designers. She is also the organizer of First Friday Art Walks in North St. Louis.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Craig joined host Don Marsh to discuss her role in St. Louis’ fashion and arts community.

"I see life through art," Craig said. "I see everything through art. I think it can relate to anything, even radio."

St. Louis Fashion Incubator Executive Director Eric Johnson is a John Burroughs High School graduate with experience as the leader of New York City's fashion and arts initiative.
File Photo | St. Louis Fashion Incubator

The once-bustling St. Louis fashion industry could be poised for a rebound and a native with some big-time economic development experience is playing a key role.

Eric Johnson is the first executive director of the St. Louis Fashion Incubator. He is back home after spending several years as an economic development official in New York City, including serving as head of the city’s fashion and arts initiative.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Summer Albarcha is not your typical Saint Louis University college student. She’s worried about balancing her classes and personal life, yes, but for a reason you might not expect. This 20-year-old is a busy fashion blogger who has garnered some level of international attention for her “modest fashion” blogging—which means she covers up, fashionably, while many other fashion bloggers dress down.

James Dennis "Jeigh" Singleton receives the first achievement award at St. Louis Fashion Week.
Whitney Curtis | WUSTL

Jeigh Singleton joyously accepted the “burden” of being a fashion guru. He created clothes for the country-club set, church-going folk, showgirls, theater companies and items suitable for framing, all while teaching generations of Washington University design students to do the same. Mr. Singleton died Sunday in his hometown of Plaquemine, La., one day past his 70th birthday.

His guiding design principle he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1992, was “The stuff must sell. Period.” But Mr. Singleton, never one for reticence, ignored his own punctuation and continued.

'I'm Pretty' art by Grace Kubilius
Provided by Reese Gallery

The work of emerging fiber artist Grace Kubilius walks the walk while talking the talk. The conversation is about women and body image.

Like many young women, and all women, really, Kubilius has struggled with questions of appearance and what it means to be a woman.

“How do you sort of resolve that with what’s expected or what you think is expected of you?” Kubilius said.

STL Fashion Week Returns For Eighth Fall Season

Sep 27, 2013

For the second time in two months, St. Louis is focused on fashion. St. Louis Fashion Week is back for its eighth fall season. 

The 10-day event is a collection of fashion shows, exhibitions, and fundraisers that brings together both local and national designers to celebrate the best sartorial offerings in the region.

(via Flickr/Shoes on Wires)

Today marks the beginning of the first-ever Missouri Fashion Week, which is taking place here in St. Louis.

The four-day event will incorporate the work of nearly 20 designers, and each show will help promote a local nonprofit.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Because St. Louis designer Michael Drummond got “Dressed” up and running, lovers of fashion and art definitely have someplace to go.

“Dressed” is an exhibit opening May 3 at St. Louis’ Regional Arts Commission. It features a small band of particularly tenacious local designers and artists whose work was curated by Drummond.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 14, 2011 - Self-pronounced Barbie-with-a-bite, Laura Kathleen Planck, 26, made her debut on Lifetime's Project Runway with bright colors, maxi dresses and plenty of glamour. She made it to the top five and was the last to be eliminated before the remaining designers show in New York fashion week.

Grace Berger: Small town girl, big time model

Jun 18, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 18, 2010 - Grace Berger of Springfield, Ill., says that even as a young child she'd say, "I'm going to be famous, I'm going to be a superstar." One day older sister Holly threw down the challenge.


"Actors, Models & Talent for Christ of St. Louis came to White Oaks Mall in Springfield (2007) to search for talent," says Grace. "My sister Holly said, 'Well, Grace, if you're going to be such a superstar, you better go audition.'"

Meet Emily Hemeyer, she'll travel far to talk art

Oct 12, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 12, 2009 - Emily Hemeyer's all about community. Recently, after what she admitted was a somewhat stressful day of teaching at St. Frances Cabrini Academy in South City, Hemeyer was found on the patio of MoKaBe's coffeehouse, saying she was ready to put the work day behind her. But, as if on cue, one of the kids who'd just had a rough morning with her popped up on the neighboring sidewalk, riding a skateboard, smiling and waving.

Searching for sustainable fashion

Mar 24, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 24, 2009 - Think you have to go coastal to find fashion? No, St. Louis is abuzz with Spring Fashion Week , where you, too, can attend runway shows and get the scoop on which colors will define fall and winter 2009.

Consistently, though, people are looking at fashion and asking questions that go beneath surface appeal.

Lint in the limelight at green fashion show

Oct 10, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - Pia Luchini, a fashion design student at Washington University, used dryer lint to accent her high fashion creation and won the grand prize in SciFest's version of Project Runway this weekend.

Luchini was rewarded with $1,000 as she used the lint to create swirls of roses to embellish her silk organza slip dress. The judges found her entry the one that adhered best to the contest requirements for original, eco-friendly clothing design.