St. John for Neiman Marcus, 2012 Collection, Showcased At FDG Fashion Extravaganza

On June 9th, Fashion Destination Group (FDG), together with Working Wardrobes, hosted an all-day “Fashion Extravaganza” at the luxurious and picturesque, St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, beautifully situated on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The event featured musical performances, shopping lounges, fashion shows presenting both emerging and well-known, couture designers and a prestigious lineup of panel speakers, including, Kelly Gray.

Kelly Gray’s extensive knowledge and experience stems from spending a large part of her life immersed in the fashion industry. Her parents, Robert and Marie, founded the high-end knitwear line, St. John, and at only 12 years old, Kelly started working by her father as an intern and begin learning the ropes during summer vacations. By the age of 15, Kelly was modeling for the brand and later went on to become the face of St. John and appeared in elegant and sleek ad campaigns for over twenty years. In addition to modeling, Kelly made it a priority to learn every aspect of the business she could – from production to shipping. After becoming the brand’s Creative Director, Kelly ‘s invaluable expertise led to her being named St. John’s, CEO. Despite stepping down and leaving the company  in 2005, she returned, in 2007,  to serve as a part-time creative consultant. However, during her brief two years away from St. John, Kelly  formed, wildly successful, Royal Underground Clothing, for men and women, with Motley Crue bassist, Nikki Sixx.

In an homage to Kelly and St. John’s history, a short film was shown to audience members before the debut of St. John for Neiman Marcus’, 2012 Collection. The film highlighted the story of how Robert Gray and his then-fiance, Marie Hermann, started St. John in 1962. Marie, a model who used “St. John” as her professional last name, wanted to raise funds for a romantic, Hawaiian honeymoon. She decided to put her love for fashion to good use and designed a dress. She then convinced her fiance, Robert, an apparel salesman, to show a buyer a sample of the dress she designed. Robert and Marie had no idea how well received the design would be. What they thought would be a small business venture, turned into what we now know as, St. John. The film also celebrated, St. John founders’ daughter, Kelly’s impressive career and her current endeavors.

Following the film, Kelly Gray, was presented with The First Annual Fashion Award by Fashion Destination Group and Working Wardrobes to honor her tremendous achievements in the industry and for continuing to bring cutting edge fashion to the masses. Kelly gladly accepted the award and presented her grandmother to the audience, a very touching tribute to her family and their amazing legacy.

Kelly Gray, with The First Annual Fashion Award by Fashion Destination Group and Working Wardrobes to honor her tremendous achievements in the industry

The 2012 collection exhibited elegant, quality pieces boasting the brand’s ever-present “knit-in” hems, creating clean lines and flattering silhouettes. The exceptional ensembles shown were exquisite and flowed effortlessly. Looks ranged from classic evening dresses in various lengths, to impeccably made separates and polished suits. The color palette was perfect for pre-fall fashion, spotlighting, deep marine blues, rich, brown truffle, champagne, and of course, you can never go wrong with caviar black  and fun textures. My personal favorites – and I must say, it was difficult to choose just two – were : the divine, three-piece, black, tweed, skirt suit which was detailed with a silver chain along the caviar banded trim on the blazer and paired with a french lace camisole and lastly, the black, sequined, shift dress was breathtaking!

In short, the collection is the epitome of polished sophistication, ultra-femininity and timeless glamour. Versatile designs and  brilliant execution have proven to be St. John’s legendary trademark and the reason why they are among the highest ranked, luxury fashion designers of our time.


For more information on the latest St. John looks for Neiman Marcus, visit :


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