I have a strand of stories to share from Indianapolis’ first Fashion Night Out, which was crazy fun. I had a bird’s eye view of the catwalk from the mezzanine of the Arts Garden. From that spot I saw all the strutting and self-promotion you would expect to see at a fashion show.

But I wanted to lead this series with something surprising and rare, like the quiet beginnings of someone taking the first steps toward making it as a designer.

Not long after setting up my equipment, I got my wish. I reached out and introduced myself to the woman seated next to me, Verena Wartmann. She had come with a friend to see other local designers and learn more about how they started in the fashion industry.

Verena founded Forever Marieluise a few years ago after losing a daughter in an automobile accident. Since then she’s been designing accessories under the brand that bears her daughter’s name. “I sometimes feel she is channeling these designs to me,” Verena said. “I wake up in the morning and I have a very clear idea of what I want to create.”

She was delighted to learn about Pattern, a local networking group for people in and around the fashion industry. With a membership of 400 people, Pattern offers Verena a good chance to meet like-minded people who can help her advance. It’s one of the things I like best about living and working Indianapolis: people help each other.

Bravo to Pattern and all the volunteers, stylists, and designers who made the first FNO Indy a huge success. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of the highlights about local designers. But first I thought you might enjoy the best shoes I’ve seen this week.

Most of these came from the show, but I augmented with contributions from Rebecca and Sydney, two high school girls who showed up for worship Sunday morning in shoes that shouldn’t go unmentioned. (See them in the center column below.) I’m still astounded at the height of the heels. This generation is bound to keep many a podiatrist and ortho surgeon busy later on. For the shoe-obsessed reader, please remember to check out my friend Erin’s shoe auction on September 21. The Betty Jane’s Sassy Shoes and Purses Too auction will benefit Alzheimer’s research.

The link to the auction isn’t active yet, but I’m sure it soon will be!

I’ll be giving away a can of Blue Lady tea to the woman who successfully bids on the shoes I donated. Make a comment here and I’ll make sure you have a reminder the day before the auction. *Note: you’ll need to be an 8.5 medium to wear this shoe. They are the gold pumps by Nine West, located at the bottom of the page.



Life is short. Wear the good stuff.