The Kentucky Derby…the fashion, the fillies, the fun…and the philanthropy!!

The first Saturday in May is quickly approaching which only means one thing in the state of Kentucky…

The Kentucky Derby!

It is a bucket list event for many and a yearly tradition for even more. The Run for the Roses as the race has been affectionately nicknamed due to the garland of more than 400 real red roses the winner is given, is the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. It is followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Twenty horses and jockeys enter the Derby…and as many as 150, 000 fans pack into Churchill Downs to see the famous race.

What’s just as exciting as the the Derby itself is the list of incredible events and activities leading up to it! As a model during this time of year, there is access to ENDLESS opportunities…from television appearances focused on Derby fashion and trends, to dozens of runway and fashion shows showcasing looks for all of the upcoming Derby galas and parties. And of course all of the gorgeous hats, fascinators, dresses, and suits for Derby and Oaks! The months of March and April are chock full of these events…so if you are a model in the city of Louisville at this time, break out those heels and your best smile because you will be BUSY!

I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in several of the runway shows last year. Turns out, I’ve been asked to walk again this year! I thought it might be fun to give a little taste of the 2018 shows in time to peak your interest and give you plenty of time to purchase your tickets for the 2019 shows which are coming quickly! All of these events benefit different wonderful charities and feature many of today’s up and coming local designers, as well as incredibly talented seasoned designers and stylists. This, combined with local boutiques and stores create awesome runway shows that won’t soon be forgotten. Here are just a few that I was a part of this past Derby season and am looking forward to participating in again in the next few months:

Down With Derby Fashion Show & Charity Auction

Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

The Gillespie

421 West Market Street, Louisville, KY 40202

This incredible 2018 Derby fashion show, featured gorgeous fashions by local Louisville and online boutique Nic and Kat, owned by Louisville’s own Nicole Volz, as well as hats and fascinators by Denise Yates. All proceeds were donated to Down Syndrome of Louisville. Models with Down Syndrome strutted their stuff along with professional models wearing this Derby’s season’s hottest trends. This was the 2nd annual fashion show for this cause and it was WONDERFUL! Please join us in 2019 for an evening of fun, style, and dancing at this year’s show including a charity auction! The funds raised by this event will support our award winning and nationally recognized Lifelong Learning Programs which focus on the educational and social growth of individuals with Down Syndrome. The fashion show will include style selections for women, men, and children in sizes XS-3X. You don’t want to miss it! To purchase your tickets, donate, or sponsor, go to www.downwithderby.com/

Here are a few photos from the 2018 event:

The Style Icon Derby Fashion Experience

Saturday, March 23, 2019, 7 pm

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

Louisville, KY 40203

In 2018, this diverse and entertaining fashion show benefitting Fund for the Arts showcased gorgeous Derby looks for everyone from males, to females, to children and as always was a ton of fun! Produced by local stylist Andre Wilson of Style Icon, LLC, the show has everything from giveaways, to shopping, to vocal and dance entertainment, to an incredible runway show featuring models of every size, shape, color, and age reminding us all that beauty is indeed in each and every one of us. The children in their Derby best are always a huge hit and in pure Andre fashion, the show finale is always a surprise! For 3 years, his finale was to gain excitement for the real rose dress that is worn on the Derby red carpet and at Unbridled Eve by yours truly! Amy Streeter of Susan’s Florist and Andre collaborated on the dress for the last 5 years. With Amy designing the dress in 2018, Andre, with the help of talented seamstress Maddie Callen created a finale piece for last year’s runway show that definitely made the crowd pay attention…with a 15 foot cape and covered in roses, you couldn’t get much more “Derby-esque”! What’s in store for his 2019 show? Buy your tickets and stay tuned…

This year’s show will proudly benefit the Unbridled Charitable Foundation, Inc.

Tickets go on sale on Friday. Link to come.

Here are a few photos from the 2018 event:

GRAFFITI – Louisville BeSpoke Fashion Show

Friday, April 12, 2019, 6 pm

Speed Art Museum

2035 S. 3rd Street

Louisville, KY 40208

Louisville Bespoke partnered with Blessings in a Backpack in 2018 for an incredible Spring fashion event. In addition to the highly-curated fashion show and shopping experience, local designers made specially designed backpacks to be auctioned off with proceeds going to Blessings in a Backpack. The gorgeous Speed Art Museum was the venue, as art and fashion are intricately mixed. Yamilca Rodriguez, founder of Louisville Bespoke put on a beautiful event for a wonderful cause! The 2019 show will be the 3rd annual featuring some of the very best fashion designers, models, makeup artists, and hairstyles of Louisville. Tickets includes a signature drink, appetizers, and a deluxe swag bag. To purchase your ticket, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/louisville-bespoke-fashion-show-spring-2019-tickets-54044566754?aff=allevents/

Here are a few photos from the 2018 event:

KMAC Couture

Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:30 pm

KMAC Museum

715 W. Main Street

Louisville, KY 40202

KMAC Couture is a wearable art runway show presented by the KMAC Museum of Louisville. This event offered a unique way to experience the museum by featuring artists, costumers, designers, and milliners and the extraordinary presentation of original couture pieces of wearable art and conceptual fashion designs.

Main Street in downtown Louisville became our runway…our 176 foot long runway! The 2018 show was crazy, fun, and the closest thing I have ever felt to New York fashion week! Some incredibly creative and talented artists were featured, including my own….Ms. Sheila Ferguson of Jealousy Jane Couture created a stunning piece I was lucky enough to be chosen to wear that she titled “butterfly whimsy”…I am sure from the photo you can tell why!

All of the proceeds of this event go to support the educational and exhibition programming of the museum throughout the year. It is the signature fundraiser for the KMAC Museum. The 2019 show will include a pre-show cocktail hour, the couture runway show, and an after party immediately following. It is unlike anything you’ve ever seen…you can purchase you tickets for the show and/or the after party at www.kmacmuseum.org/kmac-couture/

Here are a few photos from the 2018 event:

I am truly honored to get to walk the runway again in 2019 for all four of these AMAZING shows. If you haven’t been to any one of them, click on the links, purchase your tickets today and have a wonderful night out in our great city getting a jump start on YOUR Derby look for an awesome cause! You truly can’t go wrong!

My thoughts? Catch them ALL if you can! Hope to see you there!!!

Hugs,

Shannon