A visit to PINNED! A Designer Chess Challenge

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Olumuyiwa Olabanji Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Charles Smith II Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

If you are into fashion and haven’t as yet visited Pinned! A Designer Chess Challenge at the World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave., you’re in for a big treat.  The exhibition opened on October 6 (when these photographs were taken) and closes March 25.

The $10,000 design challenge was created in partnership with the Saint Louis Fashion Fund, located at 1533 Washington Ave.  The challenge for each member of Saint Louis Fashion Incubator’s inaugural class—Agnes Hamerlik, Emily Brady Koplar, Allison Mitchell, Audra Noyes, Charles Smith II, and Reuben Reuel—who was paired with a Grandmaster from World Chess Hall of Fame, was to create an ensemble for today’s chess player. It had never occurred to me that dress codes for professional chess players were a topic of conversation, until I read Macauley Peterson’s article in Chess News.

Each class member’s work is shown on the 2nd floor of the World Chess Hall of Fame. The winner of a $10,000 prize was Audra Noyes, who was paired with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, for the gorgeous dress shown in the photo above. More of Noyes’ designs are shown in the photo below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Olumuyiwa Olabanji Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Charles Smith II Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

For the challenge, each designer was asked to complete 2 designs, one for a chess player and the other more avant-garde.

Audra Noyes exceedingly charming illustrations and poetry are shown above.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Olumuyiwa Olabanji Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Charles Smith II Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Seeing what St. Louisan Emily Brady Koplar created, above, it’s not surprising that she won the People’s Choice Award. She was paired with Women’s Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade. Learn more about the designer on a blog post here, and about her successful career on the Fashion Incubator’s website.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Olumuyiwa Olabanji Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Charles Smith II Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Brooklyn native Reuben Reuel designed the imaginative fashions shown above. Read more about Reuel on the Incubator’s website here. (A couple of neighborhood friends have been spotted looking absolutely smashing while wearing Reuel’s custom-made dresses made of his signature African cloth, example far right).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Olumuyiwa Olabanji Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Charles Smith II Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Allison Mitchell, a Dallas native, was working in digital marketing when she made her first handbag that everyone wanted. Her success led her to St. Louis to further her career while participating in the Fashion Incubator. You’ll enjoy her story here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Olumuyiwa Olabanji Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Charles Smith II Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Charles Smith II, far right, a former model, is originally from Harlem. He was residing in Dallas when he was chosen for the Fashion Incubator. For the design challenge Smith was paired with Grandmaster Olumuyiwa Olabanji, middle. Also shown in the photograph is Lauren (last name unknown). Read more about Smith and his clothing line “Do Not Touch” here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Olumuyiwa Olabanji Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Charles Smith II Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Chicago-native Agnes Hamerlik, whose dramatic creation is shown above, was paired with Grandmaster Alejandro Ramerez. Hamerlik followed a more traditional couture path, which you can read about on the website.

The video takes you behind-the-scenes as the designers describe their creations for the PINNED! challenge, followed by the moment when the judges’ winner was announced.

World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave., suggested donation $3 per person, $5 per family.  Mon.-Tues. 10 to 5, Weds.-Fri. 10 to 9, Sat. 10 to 5, Sun. 12 to 5.

Saint Louis Fashion Incubator, 1533 Washington Ave., is open to the public Saturday, February 7, from 10 to 4 for a day of shopping the designers’ collections.

Owners of Retreat Gastropub to open Yellowbelly in Citizen Park

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

photo courtesy of Post-Dispatch

Tim Wiggins and Travis Howard, above, proprietors of Retreat Gastropub, a popular restaurant located at Laclede & Sarah Avenues, plan to open a 2nd restaurant in the CWE the middle of this year. The seafood restaurant, Yellowbelly, will occupy a corner space in Citizen Park at Lindell Boulevard and Euclid Avenue.

 

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

In reporter Ian Froeb’s recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Travis Howard described Yellowbelly as having a “West Coast or California approach to seafood with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits and grains.”

Tim Wiggins, who is also the bar manager, plans to “push the envelope with rum drinks,” taking his inspiration from classic tiki drinks, though not “super tiki.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

Another business that opened recently in Citizen Park is Orangetheory Fitness. The photo above shows a patron crossing the cleverly-designed plaza as he heads in for an early morning workout.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

This photo of the plaza was taken last summer from Citizen Park’s 2nd floor pool deck. I love the new sidewalk area which offers a much prettier and more user-friendly access to the busy intersection of Lindell & Euclid.  As the plantings mature it will be even more attractive.

The winter landscape in Forest Park

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park Urban Gardens  Forest Park Central West End

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park Urban Gardens  Forest Park Central West End   Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park Urban Gardens  Forest Park Central West End

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park Urban Gardens  Forest Park Central West End

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park Urban Gardens  Forest Park Central West End

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park Urban Gardens  Forest Park Central West End

For years, the City of St. Louis has had a recycling program for Christmas trees, see instructions here. Until January 12, bare trees can be dropped off at the lower Muny lot, above, (other drop off locations are mentioned on instructions) where they will be turned into mulch, which will be available to city residents. Please do not place trees in alley dumpsters or recycling containers. If the trees are left in the alley, they will be picked up during the monthly bulk pick up.