KARLIE KLOSS X EXPRESS RUNWAY

As you probably followed on Instagram, I had a crazy week last week (but a good crazy!). I was recently selected by supermodel Karlie Kloss to walk in the runway show for the debut of her new capsule collection with Express

As background, Karlie Kloss has been working with Express on a new collection for over a year. When deciding on the launch event for the release, she really wanted to step out the box-- so chose her hometown (and mine!) of Saint Louis!  The venue, "The Pageant", was where Karlie walked her first runway show for a charity event at age 13. This time around, she was on the design side of the production, while hiring women of all races, shapes and sizes to walk in her collection. 

What I really liked about the show was that Karlie wanted everyday people to walk in her show. Whether it be fashion bloggers, photographers, or military women, she wanted a diverse group of boss-like ladies! I felt honored to be handpicked by Karlie, especially in a time where representation in the fashion industry is more important than ever. After the show, I was able to speak to Teen Vogue about my experience in the runway: 

"Growing up, I rarely saw anyone who dressed like I do in magazines or on television, so I feel very proud and grateful to have been able to walk in Karlie's show," Summer told Teen Vogue. "I hope to be able to bridge the gap between mainstream and modest fashion for my sisters around the world."

To explain how the two days went down, I arrived to the set up in downtown Saint Louis to meet Karlie and work with a stylist on three looks for the runway show. To be genuinely forthright, Express was extremely accommodating for my personal dressing. From providing a private room for changing, to a female stylist to dress me & wrap my scarf in between outfit changes for the runway, I really appreciated being a part of the project. 

The next day, the group of runway girls & I headed to downtown Saint Louis to tour the arch! We had such a fun time shooting with Express and their drone, and I can't wait to share future footage and videos as they go live on their site. 

After lunch at PI Pizza, we headed to the rehearsals at the Pageant. For the makeup looks, the stylist wanted us all to be in a nude face with a bold red lip (loved it!). We ran rehearsals on the runway with the famous Stephen Galloway, a top runway coach who has worked with Karlie and several models on Fashion Week shows. He was SO much fun (and funny!). 

Right before hitting the runway, Karlie gave us amazing pep talks and stood behind the runway stage to encourage us each as we walked the runway each time. She really wanted to be part of every step of the way, and I appreciate her being so active in the two day process! Also, Karlie and I actually wore the same suit for our final look, which was quite awesome! 

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 12.03.46 PM.png

Here are more images featured on VOGUE!  

This was really a one of a kind, unique experience, and especially the fact that it took place in my hometown of Saint Louis. I often find myself flying out of Saint Louis to fashion capital destinations, so when Karlie is able to bring the entire Express team and create so much hype in the city we both call home, it couldn't get better. Thank you Express and Karlie for the wonderful week, and I can't wait to rock my new collection of Karlie Kloss x Express outfits! 

Much love,

NYFW FW 17: MAD FOR PLAID

It's NYFW and I'm back in the big Apple for my fourth season of fashion week. When choosing outfits to wear to the shows, I decided to make things simpler by going with a pre-matched outfit: a co-ord. 

What I especially love about this two piece set from The Frankie Shop is that the pieces look absolutely amazing on their own as well. You can pair the blazer with black culottes, a graphic tee, & a belt at the waist. The trousers can be worn with a white bell sleeve top & strap heels. I'll share more looks in the next few weeks of how I styled these co-ord pieces individually. 

In this look, I paired the trousers with see through tights under neath, maroon glossy boots. Then, I threw a cream high-low sweater on top, and topped it off with the matching blazer and a nude scarf. I'm not wearing a purse in the images, but I would totally go with a Gucci Dionysus printed bag, or any brown toned brief case style handbag. 

If you're looking for an easy co-ord to wear this winter (together and apart), then shop more ideas below!

 

Much love,

 

NYFW FW'16 GUIDE: FEBRUARY 2016

Where to Stay: 

This Fashion Week, I stayed in the Upper East Side of New York at The Surrey. The hotel was a bit of a trip (only 2 miles) from the shows in SOHO and Midtown, but it was beyond worth it. My FAVORITE part about my trip to New York was returning to our hotel in the quiet part of town after a hectic day between shows and friends. The staff was always, always friendly and willing to help with anything. Sometimes it's nice to get away from the hustle & bustle of NYC! 

How to Get Around: 

Because of the cold, it was difficult to go long distances by foot like last season.  Instead, I downloaded the Uber app and had a ride within seconds of my location. I also recommend public transportation if you're not in too much of a rush (the NYC route map isn't very difficult to figure out!).  

What to Wear:

Compared to the Midwest, people in NYC definitely have their unique style. I took this opportunity to wear pieces I wouldn't normally get an opportunity to wear in Saint Louis between school and friends. At times, I even felt underdressed. 

The Craze:

One of the exciting parts about Fashion Week is the traffic by the shows. From spotting actors to world renown magazine editors to live TV coverage, it's a great chance to meet awesome people! Photographers are flooded on the streets, capturing outfits that stand out from the crowd. As one of the few women at the shows wearing a head scarf, it's safe to say that I was photographed multiple times-- and asked, "are you from Dubai?" (haa!). 

How to go to NYFW:

It all starts with purpose. Why is it vital to be in the audience? What can you contribute to the brand image? PR companies and brands invite celebrities, editors, reporters, photographers and more recently, bloggers, in the seek of publicity. The more coverage for their line, the greater sale opportunities. 

Here are some ideas to get into shows:

1. Be familiar with the designers on the schedule. The schedule can be accessed here

2. Begin by applying to attend the emerging designer shows. 

3. In your application, send an email to the show's PR company, describing your influence and ability to contribute to the brand's image. Make yourself stand out from the crowd! 

4. Timing is everything. The general time limit to apply is within 2 weeks of the show. 

5. Find a news source or magazine (even local ones) to host you to cover the shows! This will help greatly with PR connections and provide a professional boost to your application. 

6. Lastly, talk to friends on the same path! The fashion world is all about who you know. Perhaps your friend has a connection with a designer or a news source you were unfamiliar with. And if you find yourself unable to attend the NYFW shows, there are PLENTY of other fashion shows, events, parties and photo shoots happening that week which are very fun and beneficial to attend! 

Much love,

Summer

STLFW 2015

image.jpg

On Day 1 of St. Louis Fashion Week, I attended the Caleres Emerging Designer Competition at the St. Louis Union Station. The venue was gorgeous and I'm proud to call my city home to such amazing talent!


Outfit:



At The Vault in Brentwood!

At The Vault in Brentwood!

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
My younger sister Suzi

My younger sister Suzi

image.jpg

On Day 2, I visited Katie's Pizza & Pasta's in Rockhill for a delicious brunch with our Midwest Bloggers + the Normal Brand! Later in the evening, we enjoyed a delicious meal with Collections By Joya at Element STL Restaurant. For a brand that began in St. Louis only 3 months ago, I'm truly impressed by the amazing work they've been able to do for women around the world. Also, thank you to Trend Lee for accessorizing my outfit for the night!

Both scarves are from Austere Attire (use code "summerlove" for 10% off!)

Outfits:


On the final day, we ended STLFW with a beautiful dinner at Central Table in the Central West End, hosted by the Missouri Eating Disorders Council and Lori Coulter Swimwear. 

All photos by me + Ashley Jewels Kuenstler Photography

NYFW SS16: DAY 5

Outfit:
Coat- June 18 Fashion / Heels- Jessica Simpson/ bag- Coach / scarf- Diamante scarves

My bitter-sweet last day in NYC! I attended the Concept Korea show in the morning. I really loved the simplicity and modernity with the mix of white and grey pieces. At night, I attended Reem Acra wearing Mister Zimi skirt. It was so colorful and the gowns were beautifully detailed. Representing Middle Eastern fashion in the USA. Until next time NYC!

Love, Summer

NYFW SS'16: DAY 3

Day 3! I attended the beautiful Noon by Noor show. Everything in the collection was super elegant...and modest! I would definitely wear every piece. I loved the seeing the increasing Middle Eastern influence on Western fashion. 

Outfit:

skirt- Miella Fashion/ jacket- Macy's / scarf- Verona Collection / clutch- Coach/ lipstick- here

A little shooting at the NOMO SOHO hotel, meanwhile waiting to go out with the crew.

 

Outfit:

Coat- June 18 Fashion/ shoes- here / scarf- nordstrom / bag- here/ bracelet- Lolo & Galago 

NYFW SS'16: Day 2

First, I attended Project Runway's season finale show! It was incredible to watch Heidi Klum, Tim Hagen, Zac Posen and Nina Garcia walk live and present their designers. The show will be a part of the actual episode that will be aired for Project Runway's season finale. 

 

Secondly, I went to Custo Barcelona's show with Maria Al-Sadek. The presentation was super vibrant and composed of so many different outfit styles for the spring. I could literally wear everything in the collection. 

Outfit:

Top- Miella / Pants- Zara / Shoes, shades & necklace - Aldo's / Bag- Danielle Nicoles / Scarf- Verona Collection 

 

Later, I was invited to view Zang Toi's backstage preparation before the show. I watched models glam up with hair, makeup and nails (they did mine too!). It was super hectic backstage-- pretty much like the movies. 

 

 

We then ended the night with a ladies dinner with Maria, Sara, Camli, Leena, Samantha, Minda, Alaa, and Ascia! It was impressive to see how social media brought us all together to NYC. 

Outfit: 

Top- H&M / Feathers attached- Amazon / Heels- Fashion Nova / Pants- The Limited / Bag- Aldo's / Scarf- Austere Attire

 

 

 

Fashion Forward Dubai: October 2014

Last year, I was invited to speak at Fashion Forward Dubai Season 4! This entire trip lasted only 55 hours... so between being a blogger and a student, it was definitely a challenge (considering the week of jet lag!). However, it was such an amazing experience (and so so worth it!).


This was my first time in Dubai, so I spent Friday and Saturday touring the malls, beaches, fashion shows at FFWD and spending time with Maria and Dee over many many coffees (the jet lag was reaaaalll). 

On Sunday afternoon, I spoke on the panel titled "Modest Fashion in Modern Times", discussing my role as an American blogger in the modest fashion world. Alongside the panel were several economic and fashion influencers in Dubai including Rabia Zargarpur, Ritu Upudhyay, and Lamya Abedin. I felt honored to be speaking alongside such amazing influencers in this panel at the age of 18. 

Honestly, the entire trip was like a dream.  Enjoy the photos!

Xoxo, Summer