Fashion Week

Kingdom Model

FNO Galleria 2012

While attending Fashion's Night Out at the Galleria mall in Dallas, my friends and I gathered together along the runway and eagerly anticipated a fall fashion show showcasing the latest trends. As the show began, we gazed carefully at each model's attire from head to toe and pointed out those which we liked the most. We quickly snapped photos and continued our observations of each model's representation of their designer brand. The show was fun to watch, and the models did a great job, but as I headed home I couldn't help but ask myself this question:

After the hair comes down, the makeup is wiped away and the clothes are hung back in the closet, what remains?

As a culture, it's safe to say that we put a strong emphasis on outer appearance. While there's nothing wrong with enjoying fashion and style, which I do very much, we must remember that our identity is not based on what or "who" we wear. We must find our greatest joy in things that are unseen and our identity in Christ alone.

If you're anything like me, you can relate to a time when you bought an item that seemed irresistible in the store. You just had to have it. And yet, once you bought it and tried it on again at home, it didn't have the same affect. Away from the bright lights and thumping music in the shopping store, it just wasn't...well...worth it.

That's what it's like in life. We have to be careful of "believing the hype" and getting caught up in things that don't matter. We've got to keep first things first and focus our attention on the eternal rather than the temporal. Our goal should be to dress well outwardly and inwardly alike.

Did you know that as believers we are God's kingdom models? Our assignment from our Designer is to represent His "brand" in the earth and model His lifestyle. God has called us to wear His custom-made "labels" and display His kingdom to others. To model His love and joy on the catwalk of life. To model His peace and wear our blessings well. Colossians 3:10, 12-14 in The Message translation says it like this:

Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

When we wear the wardrobe that God has picked out for us, we will always look our best. His love and kindness will never fade or go out of style. So, if you're wondering what the fall-must have items are for this season, these are our Designer's top picks! Let's confidently and boldly model His way of living. His wardrobe will never grow old...and there's nothing more beautiful and flattering to wear than that.

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

Fashion's Night Out: Dallas Style

FASHIONS NIGHT OUT RED CARPET SOUTHLAKE

Fashion's Night Out 2011 here in the DFW area was a great success. From Northpark Center to Galleria Dallas, fashion enthusiasts across the city united for a fun night of shopping and entertainment. Here's a recap of how I spent my night! What I wore:

Honestly, I had the hardest time deciding what to wear for the night. Fun tee and feather skirt? All black? Color blocks? Dress? Pants? Skinny jeans? I looked at pictures of what people wore last year and even checked out a few blog posts on what to wear. Finally, with the help of my husband and mom, I decided on this simple, classy outfit. Stylish and modest are always my style goals.

The venue:

I did some research on each venue and chose to attend the FNO festivities at the Southlake Town Square, an outdoor shopping center in Southlake, TX. The location was close to home and my mom and I wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather, so we knew it would be a great place to spend our night. Upon our arrival, I must admit that I was slightly surprised by the small crowd and lack of "hype". As we drove farther into the center, we saw that a crowd had gathered to see a fashion show that was going on. We parked and watched the show and then I took a picture on the FNO red carpet. Loved that.

What we did:

We started at Sephora where they were doing some makeup tutorials and offered refreshments from a local restaurant. We spent some time talking to the makeup artists and I was able to snag a pic with the lovely Stila cosmetics ladies. (Hello, Dani, if you're reading this!) I love Stila's Brown Sugar Lip Glaze, by the way. It's a little pricey for my taste but it's the perfect nude color for my skin tone. I usually request a new tube on my Christmas list each year.

After Sephora, we walked to Lemongrass Salon & Spa. On the way there, since they laid out the red carpet all throughout the shopping center, I snagged a fun photo of mom!

Now, I must say, my experience at Lemongrass Salon & Spa was the best part of our night. We both received a complimentary neck & back massage and were treated like queens. The staff was incredibly friendly and Nikki (our massage therapist) did a fabulous job. I had no idea how bad I needed that! They also had great refreshments including chocolate-covered strawberries, grapes, cheese and crackers and water with fruit floating in the jar. It was delicious. They also had hair care demonstrations and gave a goody bag of makeup and beauty product samples to each shopper. Well done, Lemongrass.

Our final stop for the evening was at Vera Bradley, and man is that place decorated to a T! I could live in there! Anyways, we saw some shoppers throughout the event carrying Very Bradley eco-friendly shopping bags and they told us that they were giving them away for free at the Vera Bradley store after you complete a handbag design sheet. So, like any free-stuff-loving shopper, we headed over fast. We sat down at the style workshop center in the store and spent at least 30 minutes working on our handbag designs using the colored pencils and rulers that they provided. After our designs were complete, we admired each other's creativity and went to the register to hand in our designs and get our free bags. Sadly, the associate notified us that they had just ran out and gave us some compact mirrors instead. We were disappointed to say the least, but the compacts were cute and featured patterns from this season's new designs. Here's a look at the handbags we designed.

My final verdict on FNO:

All in all, we had a great time together and were able to mingle with other ladies throughout the night. This was the first time that we had a mother/daughter night out as just the two of us since the baby was born! We got massages, free goodies, ideas on what to wear this fall from the fashion show and walked the red carpet. I would definitely suggest marking your calendar for next year and planning to go out with the special ladies in your life for FNO. It's a great opportunity to get dressed up and have some fun! Although there are some exclusive offers in the stores, you don't have to spend money. You can just browse around, get ideas for your fall wardrobe and make it a fun girl's night out with your Bible study group! My mother and I look forward to making this an annual mother and daughter tradition, and one day take Grace along with us!

Ideas/ Suggestions for next year:

Here are 7 tips that I formulated based on my experience at FNO and what I plan to incorporate into and consider for next year's plans:

1. Go out to eat before or after the event

Make a night of it! This year, I cooked and ate at home. Eating out would cost money, but if planned ahead of time it would really make the night fun. It would also keep you from devouring the refreshment platters!

2. Plan your outfit ahead of time

Try on various outfits and consider the following:

a. It's an evening event so incorporate colors/fabrics/patterns that are appropriate for night

b. What will the weather be like?

c. What styles are in for fall?

d. What do I feel most stylish & comfortable in?

3. Wear comfy shoes (I suggest wedge heels) or pack a pair of flats in your purse.

Keep in mind that no matter where you're spending your night, you are guaranteed to be doing a lot of walking.

4. Review the event calendar of the venue that you will be going to.

Select the top stores/ events that you want to attend and find out where they are located. This will save you a lot of time during the evening and ensure that you do the things that you really want to do.

5. Carpool!

Depending on where you're going, there may be a lot of traffic and difficulty parking, not to mention the possible parking fees! You're not always guaranteed parking spots near each other so this will make things so much easier, plus it's good for the environment! Turn up your favorite car tunes, sing and dance, and make the car ride one of the funnest parts of your night!

6. Arrive at your venue early.

Consider the fact that you may need to park far away and walk to the events. Give yourself time to attend the events at ease without rushing.

7. Have fun!

Take pictures! Get your makeup done! Buy a cute top if you see one! Just have fun.

So, how did you participate in FNO in your area? Do you have any suggestions for next year's Fashion's Night Out? I'd love to know! Share your thoughts below!

Emonne Markland: Leave YOUR Beauty Mark

1 Peter 3:3-4