Events: Charleston Fashion Week with Belk

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. The best kind of whirlwind but a blur none the less. I’m still trying to get back in to my routine after getting the chance to take a quick trip to Charleston, thanks to the team at Belk.

When I was first asked by the brand to attend Charleston Fashion Week as part of their Southern Style Summit, I had two thoughts: 1. Sweeet. 2. Wait, do we have a Belk in Louisville and I’m so clueless I didn’t even know?

After a quick google search and a question to the PR team, I was assured that I haven’t been missing out and that, in fact, we don’t have a Belk here in Louisville but there are locations throughout the state including in Elizabethtown. After visiting their store in Charleston, I’m about to start a letter writing campaign to bring one to the 502. But let me back up a little bit.

Last Wednesday I skipped out of town and was surrounded by bright buildings and palm trees by noon. There wasn’t much time to just soak in the surroundings though because Belk had planned out a pretty killer trip for us that kept us moving. The us I’m referring to was a group of nine bloggers from around the south of which I was very lucky to be included.

We were welcomed to our rooms with a bonanza of great dresses and welcome goodies – think beauty products for days and some South Carolina treats. It was definitely the first of a handful of pinch me moments. Before I could spin around though we were off to get the lay of the land from Arlene Goldstein, the VP of Trend Merchandising at Belk. A quick note about Arlene. She is a boss. An enviable mix of knowledge, experience, style and most importantly, warmth and kindness. Arlene made us feel immediately welcome and she spent the next three days introducing us to everyone and sharing her expertise.

CarolineCTan_CHSFW_Thursday_Midday_0041The Belk Southern Style Summit Crew with Arlene Goldstein and Fern Mallis – Founder of NYFW 

Our first night, we went to an amazing dinner at The Grocery with Trina Turk and her team. I was lucky enough to sit next to Arlene and caddy-corner to Trina Turk so I spent half the meal just listening to them tell stories. (She had just returned from a trip to Cuba, is celebrating 20 years in business and is also a boss lady with so many cool stories.) I was also lucky enough to meet members of her team while trying to convince all of them to come to Derby. I could go on and on about this dinner but we’d be here all day so I’ll just cut it short and say it was certainly something I’ll remember as one of the coolest opportunities I’ve had while doing the blog.

Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0688
Saturday we kicked off our day with a fun style challenge at the Belk in Charleston. We were given a $250 budget and 30 minutes to throw together a look based on Belk’s spring/summer trends. It was kind of like Mall Madness/Super Market Sweep (can those shows come back?).

Romper: Eight Sixty Ella Romper c/o Belk | Blazer: 1 State Peplum Blazer 

I left the dressing room looking like the Tasmanian Devil ran through it. Tried on about a million things but in the end, I went with this Eight Sixty Printed Romper and a 1 State White Blazer, finished off with a pair of French Connection heels and my belt. It was fun seeing what everyone put together. Arkeedah had her fab look styled up in about a half second and I still can’t believe Chelsei’s complete look was only $220.

From left: Tara Belle {Northern Lights-Southern Belles} | Arkeedah {It’s Arkeedah} | Cris {Styleanthrophy} | Molly {A Piece of Toast} | Me | Bethany {B Soup} | Chelsie {A Killa Life} | Erika {Fashion Chalet} | Megan {Lush to Blush

Saturday night was the Belk show so we all headed over to the tents cocktails and mingling. If you see me and ask me about this trip, the one thing I will go on and on about is the people involved with the company. Everyone was so welcoming, friendly and great to talk to. It was a cool way to learn more about the way they think about branding and partnerships while sharing our side of things.

Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0695The show was a wash of color that epitomized Belk’s motto of Modern Southern Style. The models all looked like they were having a great time which was infectious. Beyond just the Belk show, we got to catch some of the Emerging Designer shows which all got a solid two thumbs up. Especially loved the little boy style in the Preparatoire show. No chance D3 would let me dress him up in that but a mom can dream.

Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0693The Trina Turk Team: Claudine, Trina Turk, Lauren 
Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0690 Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0692Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0691

We celebrated the night with some bar hopping with our tour guide Chelsei and finished it with a giant pizza. All in all a solid day.

IMG_20150326_233100The quick trip ended with a round table brunch with the Belk executives who picked our brains on their brand perception, ways to improve their social media presence and other randomness.  I wish it had lasted twice as long because, I think, it was something we all learned a lot from.

friday roundtable

I left with a huge respect for the company and a wish for a Louisville location. Seriously, it would be huge here. It’s not your grandmother’s store anymore. Think brands like French Connection, Kate Spade, Lily Pulitzer, Michael Kors, Trina Turk, MAC and more, more, more. I talked up Derby big time so I’m hoping to do some Derby dress features with them in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more from them.

It was also a lot of fun to spend time with Molly {A Piece of Toast} and Bethany {B Soup}. There wasn’t nearly enough time for all the shopping, eating and exploring so maybe a trip back is in the future.

 

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 All photos by Terrence Edwards and Caroline Tan 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Belk. All opinions and random thoughts are my own. A big thanks to Nunez PR, Belk, Trina Turk, the Charleston Visitors Bureau and more for an amazing trip.

Louisville + Events: Valentine’s Party at Dandelion

Valentine’s Day is next week but let’s all be real. Do you really want a bunch of cheesy presents? No. Maybe a nice evening out with your honey but when it comes to the gift part, I’m guessing we’d all rather a little happy than some big, over thought gift. Something like new perfume, a fun piece of jewelry, thoughtful trinkets and one of those amazing smelling giant candles that you never want to splurge for, “This smells delicious. {Turns candle over to check price} Oh, $24, nice. {Places back on shelf} Yeah, I’m just gonna get earrings instead.”

This is why I think Valentine’s Day is better suited to celebrating the friend loves in your life rather than the romantic kind. I’m down with celebrating both but you know your bestie is going to get you want you something you didn’t even know you wanted but love so much. And dudes have way too much pressure on them on Valentine’s Day.

In an attempt to make Valentine’s the fun holiday we all know it can be, I’m teaming up with my favorites at Dandelion (located in the Vogue St. Matthews – 3729 Lexington Road) to host a girl’s night out party next week. Mark your calendar for February 12 and stop by with your gals between 5:30 and 7:30 pm for champagne, sweets from Cellar Door Chocolates (yes please!) and a fun night of shopping. There will also be swag bags full of goodies for some of the first guests.

You can also create a ‘wish list’ with items you’d love to see wrapped up on the 14th. Then your date can stop in and pick one of your favorites. You’ll still be surprised but it will be something you truly love. It’s the perfect combination if you ask me.

Just like at Christmas, I stopped in and picked out some of my favorite gift options. And after catching a peek at all of their new arrivals, there are a lot of favorites. I’ve rounded up just a handful of them below but stop in the store and you’ll be able to see how many things I was slapping my seal of approval on(which basically just means: on my wish list).

Side note: If you’ve ever been in there and tried the k.hall Peony lotion, then you know it smells divine. Well they just got the candle of it in and of course, I bought one and it may be the best candle ever. Just throwing that out there. So so good. 

Hope to see a bunch of you there on the 12th!

Dandelion Boutique 
Valentine’s Party
Thursday, February 12th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
3729 Lexington Road – in the Vogue Center

 

* Charleston is Always a Good Idea *

 

Popping in for a quick hit this afternoon to share some exciting news. Thanks to Belk, next month I’ll be flying south to Charleston for the city’s Fashion Week alongside a group of bloggers I’m crazy honored to be included with. I’m looking forward to sharing lots of behind the scenes details from the event (which includes a meet and greet with Trina Turk!) as part of the first Southern Style Summit. And yeah, I’m obviously looking forward to the warm weather.

I haven’t been to Charleston in ages but there’s something in the water this year because with this, a wedding and a possible bachelorette weekend, I may be heading there three times in three months. Hopefully I’ll be full of travel tips and recommendations by mid-summer.

I try to keep it real over here so I will say this is one of those pinch me moments I never expected to have when I started this blog. And as much as I’d like to think I’ll have my act together composing amazing print-worthy instagram snaps,  let’s all be real, you know I’ll just be a mildly composed fan-girl sharing the scoop as I see it. The countdown to March 18th is on!

Image/Print: Society 6

 

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