By  on April 8, 2008

The second annual St. Louis Fashion Week had a bit of West Coast flavor, with California-based designers Rachel Pally and Laurel Berman of Black Halo among those presenting their fall lines.

"St. Louis was a natural extension for us," Berman said of fashion week, which ran from March 24 to 30. "It gives us more exposure in an area that doesn't get a lot of attention. There are tons of potential customers here."

Pally is known for her work with Modal jersey and the fabric was dominant in jewel-tone shades of basil green, Corsica blue and mulberry. For fall, Pally is adding ponte, a wool-blend knit that was used for cropped jackets and pencil skirts.

Berman's signature Jackie dress was back for fall in a jade green, one-shoulder mini version with a skinny belt. Her show also featured high-waist trousers and pencil skirts with sexy tops and two-tone double crepe sheath dresses in black, charcoal and cinnamon.

Emerging designers were also a focus of fashion week. Jamie Phyl of Phyl Couture showed a Jackie O-inspired line with a tailored dress, skirt and jacket with large, covered buttons in lemon sherbet. Yana Khromova of Yana K showed dresses in bold, graphic prints and colors ranging from mustard yellow and orange to purple and turquoise. Other featured designers included Lyndsy Walker, Katie Kantley, Zeto by Nami Ogawa and Tiffany Alana.

Laguna Beach, Calif.-based designer Amahlia Stevens of Vitamin A presented her 2008 summer collection of swimwear and resortwear. Vitamin A's summer collection featured bold shades of sunny yellow and cherry pink as well as the signature gold-lined bikini.

Local boutique owners approached designers about participating in fashion week and served as hosts during the event. Laurie Solet, owner of the eponymous boutique in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, Mo., asked Stevens about participating in fashion week and both women found the event worthwhile.

"I was pleasantly surprised by how professionally it was put together," Stevens said.

For Solet, it was a way to introduce a new line to St. Louis. On Friday and Saturday, her boutique was packed with women ordering swimwear during a Vitamin A trunk show.

Attilio D'Agostino, editor in chief of Alive magazine, a monthly focused on style, shopping and entertainment in St. Louis and the main sponsor of fashion week, said cultivating the relationships among designers and area boutique owners was a key goal.

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