We flew out there to set up the day before mushers started arriving, pitched our tent, pulled all the espresso equipment and generator out of the plane, put up the table where we'd be slinging 'spro, and settled in for the night. It'd frequently dip well below zero, so my dad had built an insulated box to surround the espresso machine so it could keep the water hot enough in the tank. We lit up the kerosene stove in the tent and heated ourselves some beanie-weenies for dinner before settling in to sleep. Depending on how fast the mushers were running some would get in to the checkpoint in the wee hours of the morning, so my Dad tracked the front runners and woke up early to catch the first mushers in. I, on the other hand, have always been a night owl and a sleeper-in, so I usually missed the first few and dragged myself out of my sleeping bag much later.
We did this for a few years and it's still one of my favorite memories from childhood. I was hoping to get out to Finger Lake again when I was up in Alaska for the Iditarod this year, but I wasn't able to swing it. Maybe Dad and I can bring back Airborne Espresso now that Airborne Express doesn't exist anymore. It sure would be fun to do it again, and there are still some mushers running that ran 20 years ago when we first started our crazy idita-espresso scheme. And hey! Now I can totally barista. Back in the day I was on coffee delivery duty and my dad was the barista. Maybe someday.
Last Thursday I was invited to a lunch and presentation for
at the designer,
, beautiful home in St. Louis. I went with a group of other bloggers who were also in St. Louis for St. Louis Fashion week, so it was nice to be there with other ladies I knew, and it was truly one of the most wonderful events I had the pleasure of attending during STLFW. The event started off with a bit of mingling and some drinks with a mini introduction, during which Fern Mallis (creator of NYFW!) said a few words. I have to say, I felt a bit like a wedding crasher. I'm at an event with Fern Mallis? It was a bit surreal.
We were lucky enough to get good weather, since the forecast called for thunderstorms all week, so we got to have lunch out on the back porch. The tablescapes were so gorgeous. Everything I aspire to when I have parties in my, relatively, tiny home. Lovely fabric napkins in pretty prints, gold chargers, fresh flowers. The food was equally as amazing, created by local chefs, and absolutely delectable. I probably would've had four helpings if we hadn't been whisked away to check out the collection.
After we'd eaten, we headed upstairs to Anjali's workspace, which is probably the size of my entire house. I can't imagine what a pleasure it must be to be able to create in such a light and inspiring space. We got to flip through racks of Rungolee items and I was impressed with the sheer volume of pieces she's created, as well as the level of detail in each and every piece. So many were covered in beautiful embroidery, which is one of my favorite details in clothing, however sorely underrepresented in my current wardrobe. Much of her design work draws inspiration from her Indian roots, and she does it in a sophisticated and attentive way. Much of the creation of her clothing is actually done in India by couture artisans who create the hand sewn, embroidered, beaded, and woven elements in each piece.
After we explored the workshop and pawed our way through racks of Rungolee pieces, taking care not to
drool over them. We went back downstairs and were met with impeccably styled models lounging about, modeling Rungolee pieces. Having only been to the standard runway type presentation, this was new for me, and I actually liked this way of presenting clothing items more. I've seen photos of similar presentations but have never been to one myself. It's a great way to see the clothes up close, rather than on a model stomping by at breakneck speed. I do love runway shows and getting to see the clothes in motion as the model walks, but this was a much more realistic way of showing how the clothes would be seen in real life. The models quietly cycled out of the room one by one to go put on a new outfit and reenter without fanfare, returning to their station, acting "natural." Anjali's incredible home was the perfect backdrop for the clothes, and while most of the outfits were much too fancy for my own everyday personal style, the individual pieces were very versatile and definitely something I could see myself styling.
Before we left, Anjali gifted us each a scarf in a fabric
(mine is white and green). As scarf season is upon us I was pretty excited to have such a lovely, and practical, token from the afternoon's festivities. Huge thanks to
for inviting myself and the other bloggers in attendance! You can check out some of the Rungolee items we saw
, and they're also on