Salute 32 in the books with plenty of looks. Didn’t I tell y’all life was going to be given at the St. Louis American Foundation’s 32nd Annual Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship and Awards Gala? And because I love so much to tell y’all “I told you so,” I’m going to jump right into letting you know what went down last Saturday at America’s Center. The most pressing positive news was that I didn’t pop out of my glorious gown like a cannister of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. The Devil Is a lie! The pain of my compression undergarment was a small price to pay for the lewk I served the girls. But enough about me, because I wasn’t the only one serving sophisticated slayage this year. Dr. Kacy Seals, that burgundy gown fell right in line with your reputation of setting the bar for style at Salute every year. And so did the St. Louis American family that consistently comes through with the best in formal and cocktail wear. Pam Simmons in her black and white with a pop of color, Mary Easter in the black and gold pleated gown and Robin Britt’s hot pink item with the train that wouldn’t quit. Black and white ensembles, pleats and glamourous pantsuits were also hot fashion tickets. Tracie McKeown, Sarita Moody and Diana Hopper took the spot for best dressed crew. I’m convinced that Sarita could find the right accessories and the perfect high waist belt to slay a Schnucks paper bag. And Tracie and Diana were life and curves more abundantly in those green gowns. It was close between them and Rachel Proudie (girl, that neon blouse and African print was killing it!) and Cora Faith Walker who came through with the cape and gown combo. Darlynn Bosley did it again with the gorgeous African print cocktail dress… so much so that I was glad she won the bling door prize. 2019 Salute honoree Victoria Harris was also quite cute in her burgundy gown. As far as the fellas Al Mitchell of Bayer and Dwayne from Prime Production Choice were giving Jidenna a run for his money with their “Classic Man” vibes. The whole night was life – as it has been for more than three decades. So let me give one more round of applause to this year to the educators, stellar performer Valerie Bell, Lifetime Achievement Award recipients (and cutest couple of all time) Dr. and Mrs. Brown and the scholars who reaped the benefit of the $1.2 million-plus that was awarded through the foundation this year. And be sure to check out the paper next week for a full spread of photos, so you can see for yourself the glorious triumph that was Salute 32.
Jazzing it up and swagging out at Salute afterparties. Now y’all know it would be full Salute coverage if I didn’t at least touch upon the partying that went down after the official program ended. The Coleman Hughes Project made their Jazz Cabaret debut and they were a hit! Adrianne can sing her face off and mine right along with it. And while it felt more like a smooth soul and R&B cabaret, I am not the least bit mad about the set list. Anybody within an earshot of me knows this to be true by my failed attempts to harmonize. And DJ Sir Thurl with Bishop V Luv had the Old School Party crackin’! Some of the selections weren’t old school to everybody, but the hip-hop generation had an absolute ball – especially during the “Swag Surf.” And when “Cash Money taking over the 99 and 2000” dropped, let’s just say that folks forgot they were in classy evening wear. I loved every bit of it.
Unofficial Salute afterset at the Angad. After the after party I scooted over to the Angad Hotel for the rooftop set presented by Belvedere that was as cute as it could be because plenty of the younger folks stilled dolled up for Salute headed over to make sure everybody got a chance to check for their fresh. The bad news is that you won’t get a chance to see it because hotel security was set tripping with V. Lang about his camera and would grant him rooftop access to capture it for us. It’s quite silly to have a “no photos allowed” set unless the folks are looking an utter mess.
Birthday Goals. Let me tell y’all that some influencers in this town had me ready for a birthday do-over by the way they turned it out in honor of their latest rotation around the sun. The celebrations were polar opposite in set-up, but have me torn as to how I’m going to mark my big 3-0 milestone in three years (I said what I said). Friday night Kevin C. Johnson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a sexy intimate gathering at Bait. He had a maximum of 28 allowed for the party, so it was only the who’s who at that table. And when I looked down to see the special birthday plug on the menu with featured items in his honor, I almost fell out. The food was glorious. That snapper fish looking back at me, like “girl, please don’t do it” didn’t stop me. I thought it was going to be tough to eat through – until I tasted it! At that moment there was not a face created that could have stopped me from throwing down. The set was so cute that I forgave him for stepping away from his glorious annual bash – though I recommended that he consider serving one up for his next milestone. Speaking of birthday milestones, can we talk for a few sentences about how the grand diva Denise Thimes turned it all the way out for her big 6-0 Sunday at Majorette? Listen. It was utter slayage with that beautiful black gown and white hair that matched the black and white theme of the night. If I start naming folks, I will forget someone. Just know that anybody who was somebody came through to partake in that extravagant situation that included a live band and a catered spread that had me glad it fell on the Sunday after Salute or I would have been forced to wear my backup dress.
Pretty girls at the Pepper Lounge. Was it me or was there an influx of straight-up stunners who came through the Sunshine and Champagne Day Party Sunday at The Pepper Lounge. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen that many tens in the same place at the same time (outside of a Salute, of course). Actually, the last time I can remember was back when Eye Candy Parties were poppin.’ Since I’m on the subject of tens, let me give a special shout out to Marika Jones who made a rare appearance out in these streets to turn up for her b-day. Shout out to Jacq, Yung Ro and Triky for bringing out the beautiful ones!