The Sooley Summer Fashion Show 2018
The day I heard tickets were going on sale for the Sooley Fashion Show, I called immediately to make sure my girls and I would be there. The Sooley Fashion show is an event no style lover should ever miss here in St. John's. Walking into a Sooley Designs show feels like walking into a fashion fairy tail; Queen Megan and her 51 princesses.
The Perfect Outfit (at the Last Minute)
About eight weeks before the show I stopped by her downtown studio for outfit inspo. If I'm going to Megan's show, I want to wear her designs. I wasn't the only one either. It was reasonably easy to spot Sooley's unique fabrics on a lot of the show's attendees. After just a few trips, I finally decided to order a custom-made maxi skirt in a blush colour. As Robin elegantly sketched and showcased a selection of fabrics, I knew I had come to the right place.
The day before the show I picked up my skirt downtown. Long story short, I didn't pay enough attention to the fit of the skirt. Later that night, I tried on my full outfit and realized the skirt was too tight; beautiful but, Pillsbury dough boy too tight. Fast forward passed a mental breakdown and roughly 30 minutes later, I messaged Robin on Instagram explaining my idiotic mistake. Luckily, she responded right away and said she would gladly help. HUGE, HUGE, HUGE shout out to Robin for going out of her way ON show day to make my alterations. She was even prepared to bring a sewing machine to the venue for me. It was seriously the best customer service I have ever received. Words cannot express my immense gratitude for her. She is a goddess. It felt genuinely incredible to have Megan's team listen to what I wanted and go out of their way to ensure I was completely happy; even after the transaction.
Another shout out to my partner, Terry for leaving his Bonavista camping trip early to run around town to get my skirt fixed while I was at work. He's a keeper.
Where Terry was a photographer for the event, and I was asked by Megan to help out with Sooley's social media, I decided to arrive at the show somewhat early. My friend Brittany and I arrived just before 7 pm and found the seats Sooley had reserved for my squad. The seats were great; front row and situated on a turn so we'd have a perfect view of the designs (also being right next to the bar was a plus <3).
Around 8 pm the music began, and the models took over. I found the entire show to be pretty cohesive with the themes but, it was easy to depict the different collections. The sheer collection shocked me to see on the runway, but I loved it! I'm all about the booty-love, and I guess Megan is too! Each ensemble showed off the models curves, and despite being see-through, the outfits were still covered and classy. I'm not sure if a piece from the sheer collection would be my first pick for my closet; however, I am in love with the originality of the collection.
Some pieces from the show gave me real Chanel vibes; a modern twist on the 50's housewife, maybe. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but I am living for it! I will also be adding a pair of the Sooley pants to my wardrobe very soon. They look incredibly comfortable, slimming, and versatile. The best wardrobe pieces can be worn on any occasion depending on how you style them. These pants could easily be worn for sweater weather or a night out with the girls.
The formal wear collection contained the most beautiful floral fabric I have ever seen. The vibrant colours were breathtaking and made me think of a regal spring or a Vogue magazine editorial shoot. I don't know what else to say, expect: gorgeous. Simply Gorgeous.
Sooley does not seize to blow my mind every year. The Sooley Summer Fashion Show is now a tradition for me, and I honestly revolve my summer plans around it. It is not an event for an east coast fashion lover to miss. My biggest complaint is not being able to afford to buy every single piece in the show; my Sooley wish list was long AF before the show, it's now out of hand.
Sooley Designs held a casting call of sorts this year, which to my knowledge, hasn't been done in a while, if not at all. I would attribute the broader selection of models to this. Having more models to choose from meant every outfit could be delicately and precisely assigned to a model who would best attribute the ensemble. Height, skin-tone, body shape or any other characteristic could affect how flattering the design is presented. As a designer, I would want my clothes to be displayed perfectly to the world, and choosing the right models would be crucial to achieving that. I loved that there was a wider variety of body shapes and a few more curvy models added to the show this year. I find the fashion industry as a whole is starting to celebrate body diversity rather than fitting every model into a pre-determined (and generally unattainable) mold.
Considering a significant chunk of the models were local girls with little to zero runway experience, they did exceptionally well (I believe myself to be a reasonably good judge based on my unhealthy obsession for America's Next Top Model). No one fell, and there were only a couple little stumbles. Looking at the heels some of the girls were working and the uneven cobblestone runway, I was amazed someone didn't break an ankle.
Good job, ladies! You all looked like bad-ass princesses on that runway.
This year Sooley Designs and the YYT Arbonne team (including VP Rebecca Perry, District Manager Ally Kent, and Area Manager Allison Best) partnered up to provide hair and makeup for the models as well as a sweet social media giveaway. Based on what I witnessed at the show and on social media, the Arbonne hair and makeup team did a phenomenal job. Every girl looked flawless on the runway (not that I could take my eyes off of the clothing). Plus all of the Arbonne products used at the show were vegan, not tested on animals, and completely free of unsafe chemicals. That's a win for your skin and the environment. I actually keep quite a few Arbonne products in my professional kit because of their high quality, and they come in handy for clients with allergies.
Keep up the good work, #BeatbyArbonne !!
I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I heard the show would be at the Sheraton located downtown in St.John's. I know Sooley as being unique and cutting-edge, and I was afraid that the same hotel where the semi-annual bridal fashion show is held wouldn't be different enough for the Sooley brand. Man, was I wrong. Once people started filling their seats, I forgot that I was in a hotel until I had to walk past the front desk to leave. Sooley and her team did a beautiful job with decorations and the overall layout. I was seriously impressed. And her staple archway was perfect for some insta-worthy pics (I did miss the cute photo booth though).
I've watched the show's live feed on Sooley's Facebook page 6 times since last Sunday. If you want to see what you missed at the show or obsess (like me) and rewatch what you saw in person, I put a link below for both videos! You're welcome <3
The following week I stopped down with Terry and Jason of Side Hustle Photography to drop off photos and videos from the show, and while I was there, I was able to take a closer look at the pieces from the show. It's crazy how many details I missed in the rush of the event. Precious little details like pleated necklines or hand-beaded fabrics emphasized how much work Megan and her team put into every individual design. Many of the pieces from the show deserve to be in an art gallery.
Congratulations, Megan on another successful and exquisite fashion show.
I am so so so excited for the next one.
Sooley Summer Fashion Show Live Feed:
Part one (skip to 39 mins)
Terry Day Photography
Side Hustle Photography