Fashion Night Out 2017

Fashion Night Out (FNO) 2017 made its debut Thursday, October 12th featuring styles on the runway from several local stores in the Wichita Falls area, all benefiting Faith Refuge Career Academy. Onlookers enjoy bites, sips, goody-bags, auctions and a rockin’ show; making it a fun night for all attendees for a great cause! The evening of fashion only happens every other year and this year I was so lucky to be able to walk the runway for my favorite store, Sewn Clothing Gallery!! Here’s to recapping a stylish night I will never forget — *raises coffee mug*

Per usual, planning for this huge runway event started actual months in advance. The stores involved have several meetings in advance to discuss advertising, donations, rules, and the overall lineup of the night. Then comes the fun part, ordering awesome styles for the runway! Every store is different in the way they prepare for this event, working at Sewn I am able to see nearly all behind the scenes actions taken to put the final looks on the stage – no I’m not gonna spill the beans, there is a method to the madness that is FNO! I will say the looks are a culmination of casual to dressy style, utilizing the latest trends we play with until we have 15 killer styles for our models! Since Sewn is fashion friendly to every age, the models are a direct reflection of that – in this show we had models still in high school up to models with precious babies and grown up jobs. The models do a practice run through of the show the night before, and then we are ready to go the day of!

For the models, the day of FNO starts at Tangles Salon for hair and makeup. The entire team at Tangles is all hands on deck, with every stylist doing either hair or makeup. Kandace with Kandace Burns Beauty is a freelance, published, makeup artist who was helping Tangles with makeup. She actually did my makeup for the night, once again outdoing herself with the slap of gorgeous she put on me – but honestly you guys I was obsessed with my look and had countless compliments on my makeup before the night was over! The hair for the night was done similar for all the models in the show, either down with a front-braid and curled or a slicked-back, side-braid like I had. Once hair and makeup was done, the models were free for the day until 4 p.m. when we were to meet at the Women’s Forum, where the event is held, for hair and makeup touch-ups.

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I truly apologize for not capturing a better pic than this of my awesome makeup!!

While some models touched-up their hair and makeup, the two hours before the sold-out event started was spent snacking, mingling, running practice walks, and drinking *a little* liquid encouragement! Time ticked away and soon we were all dressed in our runway outfits being hoisted into the lineup. I’m usually so nervous before doing such an all-eyes-on-me thing like this, but this time I was just so excited to get on that runway and show off my striped blazer-dress Sewn paired with a red and white striped purse with flower detailing, these lightweight blue feather earrings, and these surprisingly easy-to-walk-in stiletto booties! Two models were on the runway at a time and big screens captured each model’s whole outfit as they walked to give a better view for the audience. Sewn’s song of choice was a remix to Taylor Swift’s new single ‘Look What You Made Me Do,’ and as it played I felt cool and confident walking down the runway. My mom got this shot from her camera phone while I stopped to pose at one of the checkpoints and if you can’t tell from my expression – I was totally loving it up there!!

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It’s kinda crazy how much hard work and energy goes into this one night, all for it to start and end so quickly. I swear as soon as I got back from taking my walk, I wanted to go all over again! It was just too much fun and was over too quick to really take it all in as it was happening! After the last store’s models took their walk, all models in the show came down the runway for one last look and then finally the show was over – but the night was just beginning for shopping!

Most of the stores featured in the show stay open late after FNO to allow the attendees to shop the runway looks with big discounts and giveaways! When the show ended some Sewn girls and I went to the runway to take a few pictures, seen above, and then we hurried over to Sewn for the after party where pizza, champagne, and looks were being served to guests! As expected, the after party was a huge success! The store hadn’t been as packed since the grand re-opening of our new location in Parker Square! We stayed open until midnight, when the last of the shoppers left, and then we stripped our feet of the heels we wore all night to relax and relish in yet another successful FNO.

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my rockstar of a boss, Sarah Swanson

All props and a shoutout to Sarah Swanson, owner of Sewn Clothing Gallery. Sarah, you truly provided a fashion show to everyone who attended FNO and your hands-on hard work did not go unnoticed! I’m so thankful to be able to work and learn from you, but even more thankful for the relationship we have built over the past two years. Sewn has not only shaped my fashion sense and style, but has provided me awesome opportunities such as this show, and friendships bound to last a lifetime. Sarah I just wanna thank you for including me in the most special parts of the industry we both love. Until next time, FNO.

As always,

Ara

My outfit was styled by Sewn Clothing Gallery and is available in store now!

fashion For(war)d

This weekend I took a trip home to visit my family. The hour drive provided lots of countryside to clear my head and also remind me of little Graham, Texas in the fall. Graham will always feel homey and cozy to me. Holidays around here really feel like the holidays with lots and lots of trees turning, decoration in our downtown square as well as through the town, and special parades and festivities throughout the rest of the year. It’s cozy to me because it’s where I grew up, it’s where my family is nestled in the home we all put our hands into building. It’s where I made memories over every paved road in this town and where I come back after paving new roads.

My dad and I paved some roads of our own when he put me behind the wheel of his 1931 Ford Coupe and taught me how to drive the oldie. The remodeled car is a beauty and really makes me wish I could’ve seen it in its ‘heyday!’ My dad and great grandpa work for hours every weekend in our garage on the Coupe and an old 1950’s model Chevy (everyone agrees they are borderline obsessed with the cars). The Ford Coupe is like a time machine on the inside, only it has air conditioning and a very much so working radio. But otherwise there is only a gear shifter, and no way to read it; you just need to know that pushing the shifter all the way up is park, then down to reverse, neutral, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st year – y’all I was so proud to learn how and when to change gears in a car like this!

Since the Coupe is only a two seater vehicle, my dad taught me how to drive and then I took my mom around for a joyride, showing her I can still drive pretty dang good given no power steering or power break. We had the best time taking pictures for this blog shoot, we were on no time schedule and were just enjoying the car and having fun with each shot. I styled my outfit around these new red sock booties that were a steal from ShopRiffraff  at just $48 – plus, accidentally, they matched the car perfectly! I’m totally obsessed with them because I’ve never actually found a pair of red booties that I like, and I love a good pop of red in an outfit! Because they’re nearly sold out, I linked an even cheaper pair on sale at $29 below. I wanted to go for a cool, under-the-hood, car-girl look (if that’s a thing lol) for this blog so I paired my go-to black leather jacket with these totally cool Hudson tuxedo pants. I am so on board for unique jeans, one of my best friends gave me this particular pair and I fell in love with the black stripe down the side – the jeans make a regular outfit suddenly much more stylish!

Under my leather jacket I paired a simple, comfy white jersey tee over a strappy bralette, allowing the front straps to be seen through the v-neck tee. I played with the bandana trend again and thought it was just the right touch to this classic car shoot! To achieve this look I started with folding the bandana in half to meet the corners, forming a triangle. I started to roll the bandana from the top point of the triangle down to the bottom two points until it was a long scarf. I place the middle of the scarf to my throat and wrapped it once around my neck, bringing the ends of the bandana back to the front and tied them in a knot – super easy you guys!! I skipped a necklace and paired my red Kendra bracelet with my matching red earrings and my look was complete!

The shots we got from this blog photoshoot are definitely my favorite thus far, I just so love when the outcome is what I envisioned in my head to begin with. I’m blessed my mom helps me achieve the shots I want and puts up with me even when I’m being difficult to work with, haha did I mention it’s still not leather jacket weather no matter how desperately I want it to be?? She’s my person.

Before I close this blog post I just wanted to share with you all that I’m participating in the Wichita Falls Fashion Night Out (FNO) runway for Sewn Clothing Gallery this Thursday night! This night is the biggest night for fashion in the city and only happens every other year!! You bet I’ll be ready with a new blog post sharing the night with you guys next week! But if you haven’t done so already, be the first to know when I publish new blogs and sign up for email alerts with a direct link to the new blog – you can do so on at the bottom of my home page if you’re using a cell phone or iPad, or the side of my homepage if you’re using a desktop!

As always,

Ara

 

Red sock booties: nearly sold out, similar here | Tuxedo jeans: Hudson (similar with navy stripe here) | Leather Jacket: Jack by BB Dakota (similar style here) | White v-neck jersey tee: H&M | Strappy bralette: Urban Outfitters | Bandana: Walmart (holla its $1) | Bracelet & earrings: Kendra Scott, style now sold out