ST. LOUIS – St. Louis fashion industry leaders and rising talent celebrated while showcasing the growing industry locally at a Met Gala watch party in the Central West End.

It’s the first Monday of May. Fashion lovers already know what that means: It’s time for the Met Gala! To celebrate fashion’s biggest night, St. Louis fashionistas came together to watch the event at The Maryland House wearing their best Chanel or Fendi-inspired looks, a nod to this year’s theme, the late designer Karl Lagerfeld.

“Our DNA in fashion it’s part of the city’s brand; I mean, we used to have a garment district that was only second to New York,” said Susan Sherman, co-founder of St. Louis Fashion Fund.

Many attendees were designers themselves, highlighting a thriving industry making strides once again.

“We love that there’s so much happening here, and we want more and more,” said Anjali Kamra, a Rungolee designer. “We want the business of fashion to come back to St. Louis. We had it way back when, and it went away, and I’m so excited to see young people coming in.”

As diverse and bold as their creations, Washington University fashion students arrived with models flaunting looks they created symbolizing the future of fashion in the “Lou.”

“We were supposed to create a Met Gala look, so we all have different inspirations behind them,” said Olivia Baba, a WashU fashion student. “Mine was inspired by shadows and silhouettes, so I wanted to create something that was simple and sleek but played on the idea of transparency.”

“We are blessed to have so much talent here, and to organizations like the St. Louis Fashion Fund, the St. Louis Fashion Council, FGI,” said Helene Sayad, consultant for The Maryland House and former fashion editor for St. Louis Magazine. “We really have a lot to be proud of.”