Silver Space
A Collaborative Creative Network in St. Louis, MO
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Pins and Needles

Pins and Needles is a St. Louis based fashion competition where emerging designers compete to win the grand prize.

pins and needles 2017

Written by Marina May


In a spectacular night full of craftsmanship and innovation...

The 2017 Pins and Needles Emerging 6 Competition presented collections from the most talented young designers from around the country. Housed within the confines of the stunningly renovated Majorette, the fashion show celebrated these emerging young stars. 

Opening the show was Smith II, who debuted his collection for the first time in St. Louis. The designer, originally from Harlem, moved to St. Louis last January to participate in the St. Louis Fashion Fund Incubator Program. This highly anticipated release of his duo-chromatic collection was a spectacle within itself. Dramatic stage lighting illuminated each model as they walked, then remained on the runway, forming two parallel queues.  Sleek lines coupled with the bold graphic words “DO NOT TOUCH” are the touchstones of the collection, and in its presentation, the clothing opens a line of inquiry into the elevation of fashion into the sphere of art and the compromise many Americans have to make with their safety while navigating daily interactions.

Following Smith II, the six designers who were chosen to compete in this year’s competition presented their work.

Raven Pulliam, a designer working from Springfield, IL, was named the Peoples Choice Award Winner. Her confectionary pieces utilized a combination of vibrant pastels and tulle to produce an ethereal body of work that mezmorized the audience and appeared to float up and down the runway.

The overall winner of the competition, Kat Gaume, describes her collection “Pretty Grungy” as something different with “a razor sharp edge.” Electric purple stars, lace up corsets, and chunky heels dominated her collection, generating a post-punk fairy wonderland in the middle of the runway. The dramatic looks (like the jaw-dropping quasi-militant lavender quilted cropped top adorned with multicolored spikes paired effortlessly with skin tight hot shorts) were completed with bold lavender lipstick and elaborately constructed braids and ponytails.

Hosted annually, the competition brings awareness and exposure to local and national designers and brings creativity and fashion to the St. Louis community. This is the 9th year Brainchild events has organized the Pins and Needles Designer Competition and it will not be the last. Stay tuned for more from Brainchild on Men’s Fashion Week 2018!

Banner photo: Brian Batista for Kat's Original Designs
Model: Katie Key
Makeup: Shani Gailbreath