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Fashion professionals share wisdom during lecture series

April 10, 2015

Stay true to your brand, keep your chin up when others say “no” and always be strong.

Those were messages Cillah Hall, publisher of Gazelle STL, had for fashion students today as part of the Jury of Selection Lecture Series. Hall and other industry professionals are on campus this weekend to judge senior collections and other student garments for the upcoming student designer fashion show.

“I love that this college is about bold women,” she said during an afternoon lecture in Charters Lecture Hall. “We cater to strong women.”

A former news producer, Hall started Gazelle STL and Gazelle West in the St. Charles, Mo., area as a way to bring style and inspiration to the Midwest. She and fashion editor Kristy Lee also co-founded Missouri Style Week, an annual show that attracts designers to St. Louis from across the world.

The show is a platform for new designers to get exposure for their works, but also serves as a creative outlet for more experienced designers who want the freedom to explore.

“Missouri Style Week is for creative designers, those who have not lost their voice,” Hall said referring to the show’s edgy designs.

She encouraged student designers to promote their collections not only to state and regional fashion shows, but also organically on social media.

Hall and Lee capped a daylong series that also included Stephens alumnae Margaretanne Huffman, a brand analyst for Gap; Wendy Manasse, designer and founder of Quenchwear in L.A.; and Andrea Seemayer, a technical designer at Rebecca Taylor in New York.

The professionals and the School of Design’s fashion advisory board will spend Saturday critiquing student works. The Collections, the student designer fashion show, will be held at 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 in Windsor Auditorium.

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