This lucky girl was invited to attend rapper Nelly's annual Black & White Ball on December 21st in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Gotta say, I was really excited. I've always loved Nelly's music but I was truly thrilled at the idea of going to a glam event that would surely bring good vibes to a recently damaged city and it's people following the events of Ferguson. I've touched on the topic a little HERE.
I needed a dress and I had no time to shop for one! A stylist-blogger friend of mine by the name of NYCPretty (who knows more about fashion than any person I know) mentioned Rent The Runway to me. I'd heard of it but the idea of renting a dress was really foreign to me. Then again, the idea of spending hours--maybe even days--shopping for the perfect dress was something I just couldn't do ESPECIALLY during the height of Christmas-time shopping. Nope. So I headed to Rent The Runway's NYC Flatiron boutique after booking an appointment for a personal stylist session and fitting.
Now that was easy! I spent all of 1-hour there and quickly narrowed my choices down to 2 dresses based on the information I had provided to my stylist about the Black & White Ball in Missouri. Basically, Nelly's Ball requires that all guests wear black or white or a combination of both. I figured I could get away with this getup--a gradation of black and white--and frankly, I just loved the fit on me.
I would never have been able to afford the Hervé Leger bandage dress ($1650) at a store! I rented it for $165 and got to use a first-timer promo code. But the biggest thrill was that I've always wanted to wear one (why should Kim Kardashian have all the fun?). I didn't even have to bother carrying the dress home that day because Rent The Runway had it shipped to where I'd be staying once arriving to St. Louis (a free return shipping envelope and return date reminder came with it too). It was a colossal score for me and spared me the huge dress hunt that can be a nightmare in a city like New York.
The only things I ended up having to pack for the Ball were my clutch, jewelry, Stylette Emergency Kit and NuBra Seamless Adhesive Molded Bra.
Oh yeah, and SHOES! But since I didn't have the dress in my physical posession while packing, I was a bit nervous about picking a heel to match my Hervé. What if I grabbed a pair from my closet that was off-color or not the right height ratio to the fit and style of my dress? Girl panic ensues...until I realize that my wisest solution is OneClique. OneClique heels are engineered to let you customize the perfect heel and to diversify your shoe closet.
I selected 2 tops and 3 heels so I could play around with my combinations (literally clicking tops and bottoms together and apart) and decide on the best pairing for my gorgeous dress. This is the shoe that won my dresses' heart: silver patent leather upper with a black suede stiletto heel.
OneClique is currently SOLD OUT but if you're curious to try their heels, I know they're selling gift cards for their upcoming Spring collection. You will not be sorry! My feet didn't hurt one bit all night even though I was wearing the stilleto bottoms. I got tons of compliments and the best part is that I can wear them again with a different heel in a whole new way. Play around with the OneClique Styler to get a feel for all the heels you can create! It looks a little like this...
I really didn't have to do much work to pull my Black & White Ball look together. What do you think?
It was an eye openning experience for me because now I have a new, effective approach the next time a dressy ocassion like this pops up. Had I not rented I would've spent double the amount on a dress that had a 50% chance of being worn again. I can't praise RTR and my friends at OneClique enough for making me feel like a million bucks at the Ball. Thanks to Ulta Beauty as well for styling my hair (which can be a pain since I have so much). Did you know they have a salon in many retail stores?
Check out my pics from the event. I was in the company of some serious VIP's starting with Nelly, of course.
I met his girl and co-star on his show Nellyville, Shantel Jackson. Saw Nick Cannon but I'm too much of a Mimi fan to have bombarded him for a pic. Got my loyalties!
And I snagged this shot with reporter Casey Nolen who covered everything that happened in Ferguson on Channel 5's local news.
I even sat at a table with Cardinals baseball player, Jon Jay. Later in the night Nico & Vinz performed and yes, Nelly eventually got on stage to sing his hits, too.
(Nelly photo courtesy of Alive Magazine)
I had so much fun and really respect what Nelly is doing for the STL community and for local youth education through this annual event. A young man from Ferguson was awarded a scholarship on stage during the event. Nelly also announced a new Michael Brown scholarship for the local Vatterott college. Michael Brown's mother was in attendance and received a huge applause when Nelly thanked her for coming. The message Nelly ultimately drilled home this night was that it doesn't matter whether we're black or white or what side [of the issue] we're on, we've got to come together and educate our children so that years down the road they can come back and lift up our communities and prevent a tragedy like Ferguson's from repeating itself.
I told Nelly how moved I was by his words and he thanked me for listening. But how could anyone not listen to this very real and "proud" St. Louisan. He's been telling the world about us for years but now he's saying so much more in light of Ferguson. "It takes a movement to wake people up," he said, referring back to Rosa Parks. I found it poetic that his Black & White Ball brought together black and white hearts for a night of sheer fun, music and dancing.