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This holiday season, StyleBlueprint Louisville gave back to the community in a big way. We ran our $5,000 Charity Giveaway sponsored by Papa John’s Pizza, and readers voted to select Louisville’s top charities. One of these great charities was voted the winner and was the gracious recipient of the cash prize.

We gathered amazingly smart and beautiful women from the top six charities for a day of beauty and fashion and they graciously modeled some amazing looks that are perfect for the holiday season. Stylist extraordinaire Shannon Kessler of Primp Style Lounge worked with each woman to find looks to match her style aesthetic and body type, while the talented hair and makeup artists from Primp were on hand to touch-up these local representatives. This unique fashion photo shoot took place at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. It was the perfect setting for these women to bathe in the limelight they so deserve. Take a look …

What to Wear Louisville December

Representatives from our top six charity finalists from left to right: Nikki Collins of Volunteers of America Mid-States, Kelley Kennedy of Dreams with Wings, Kathy Mullen of Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Kate Brackett of Family Scholar House, Diana Merzweiler of Down Syndrome of Louisville and Jennifer Lamkin of Blessings in a Backpack

Jennifer Lamkin

Advisory Board Chair, Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack works to provide food on the weekends for elementary school students in America who would go hungry without this organization. The number of children is more than the populations of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago combined. “Locally, Blessings feeds a little over 4,000 but there are 64,000 children in Louisville that qualify for this program, so 60,000 still need our help,” says Jennifer Lamkin, Advisory Board Chair of Blessings in a Backpack. “For just $100, you can send food home every weekend to a child during the school year, which is 38 weeks. For approximately $8.33 per month, you can make a difference in the life of a child and the future of our great city.

“My favorite thing about the photo shoot was getting to meet all the amazing individuals that are so passionate about our community and effecting change,” says Jennifer. “These individuals are inspiring for seeing a need in our community and working tirelessly to help make a difference for their specific causes.” Jennifer was also adamant about thinking Papa John’s for this amazing opportunity to provide a platform for the charities to raise awareness in our city.

Shannon’s Style Tip: Corporate holiday party attire decoded: This chic lace-trimmed two-toned jumpsuit with flared legs is a stellar choice for your corporate party. Bonus — it has pockets!

Louisville What to Wear December

From Peacock Boutique: Black and white jumpsuit, $729

Shannon’s Style Tip: Winter White is always in style. Effortless and elegant, this all-white ensemble makes this snowy hue white-hot!

What to Wear December Louisville

From Peacock Boutique: Cream v-neck top, $355; cream straight leg Rag & Bone pants, $299; grey necklace, $335 | From Work the Metal: Silver bracelet, $24

Shannon’s Style Tip: New Year’s Eve means feathers, sequins and fun earrings! We’re loving this black dress with all our favorite festive elements, and it’s under $100!

Louisville What to Wear December

From Work the Metal: Black sequin feather cocktail dress, $99 | From 6PM Outlet: Black pumps, $375; black earrings, $18

Kate Brackett

Director of Strategic Initiatives, Family Scholar House

Family Scholar House helps single parents and adults who have aged out of the foster care system with financial assistance to get the college education they desire. “Family Scholar House served 3,296 families with 4,451 children in 2016, with a small but mighty full-time staff of 12. This would not have been possible without the 1,976 volunteers giving of their time, talents and treasures!” says Kate Brackett, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Family Scholar House. “We have celebrated 371 college degrees, with 63 of those celebrated last May. With the support of this amazing community, these single-parent families are graduating from college and achieving full self-sufficiency for themselves and their children.

“The fashion shoot was so much fun. Getting hair and makeup done is always such a confidence boost! Another favorite was getting to take photos at Papa John’s Stadium and meet the dynamic representatives from the different nonprofits,” says Kate. “Louisville has so many amazing nonprofits and to spend time with the individuals that help make them happen, was such a pleasure.”

Shannon’s Style Tip: This metallic jumpsuit from Work the Metal makes it easy to make a statement this holiday season. The perfect mix of shine and comfort, this one-piece will be your go-to look for all your holiday gatherings.

What to Wear December Louisville

From Work The Metal: Silver metallic jumpsuit, $44; dangling silver earrings, $24; silver bracelet, $24 | From 6PM Outlet: Black pumps, $275

RELATED: Southern Brands You’ll Love for Your Holiday Gifting Needs!

Shannon’s Style Tip: A ruffled, strapless neckline gives a sophisticated touch to this satin jumpsuit! It’s perfect for any holiday gathering this season.

December What to Wear Louisville

From Work The Metal: Scarlet ruffled off-the-shoulder jumpsuit, $49

Nikki Collins

Graduate of the Freedom House Program, Volunteers of America Mid-States

Volunteers of America Mid-States‘ services address everything from family homelessness, addiction, developmental disabilities and HIV infection to many other issues facing individuals and communities. “I would like to mention my gratitude for the VOA! They help so many people, including myself, better their lives every day in so many ways! With all the services that they offer, the VOA is truly helping our community in ways we so desperately need,” says Nikki Collins, Graduate of the Freedom House Program of Volunteers of America Mid-States.

“The photo shoot for me was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I am so thankful to have been able to take part in! It was such a treat,” says Nikki. “I’d have to say my favorite part was not only getting my hair and makeup done, but getting to meet and chat with the other girls and learning more about their organizations!”

Shannon’s Style Tip: Give your little black dress a rest and opt for this wine-colored sequin dress. It’s perfect for a cocktail party or holiday gathering!
Louisville What to Wear December

From Work the Metal: Dark berry sequin cocktail dress, $59

Louisville What to Wear December

From Work the Metal: Black pleated skirt, $34; silver high neck top, $32; purple crystal earrings, $26

Diana Merzweiler

Executive Director, Down Syndrome of Louisville

Down Syndrome of Louisville (DSL) helps to enable individuals with Down syndrome to reach their full potential, providing support, information, education and advocacy for their rights and concerns. As Executive Director of DSL, Diana Merzweiler encourages people to support the program by attending the Gallop Gala on April 13, 2018, sponsored by Churchill Downs. “Reserved tables and sponsorships are now available. We would welcome volunteers to serve on our Gala Committee too!

“As a lifelong UL Cardinal fan, my attempt at the ‘Heisman’ pose while wearing a luxurious fur cape in the center of the field at Papa John’s Stadium is definitely a memorable moment! I appreciated sharing this experience with the leaders of the other community charities,” says Diana. “Every day these ladies are giving their talents to enhance the children and adults they serve. It was nice to see they were pampered for a few hours.”

Shannon’s Style Tip: Keeping warm is not a problem with this faux fur wrap from Liv Boutique. When searching for the perfect legging this season, choose a thicker pointe knit for the most coverage in a versatile color like forest green.

Louisville What to Wear December

From Liv Boutique: Faux fur-trimmed wrap, $68; olive green leggings, $86

Kelley Kennedy

Director of Community Support Services, Dreams With Wings

Dreams with Wings supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a variety of different ways. They provide residential options, supported employment, adult training, behavior support, one-on-one community support, youth summer camps and therapy services. “The focus of all our programs is really ensuring our individuals are leading meaningful and purposeful lives. Encouraging integration and involvement in the community is really important to us,” says Kelley Kennedy, Director of Community Support Services of Dreams With Wings. “We know each of our individuals possess unique abilities, and we want to help each of our clients recognize those strengths within themselves and share those talents with our community.” Kelley invites Louisvilllians to attend their Annual Dreamer’s Ball coming up on February 10, 2018, at The Gramercy. This year’s theme is ‘Let the Good Times Roll,’ and it will begin with cocktails and carnival fun, followed by a four-course meal, silent and live auctions, live entertainment and dancing!

“The fashion shoot was a really fun experience! I was definitely a bit out of my element, but it was a great team we got to work with — everyone from StyleBlueprint, Papa John’s, our photographer Christine and stylist Shannon, of course,” says Kelley, who echoes the sentiments of the other models, saying she especially enjoyed the opportunity to meet representatives from other agencies that are doing great things for our community.

Shannon’s Style Tip: Celebrating with friends is a great reason to wear these comfy, on-trend velvet jeans from Peacock.

Louisville What to Wear December

From Peacock Boutique: Satin tie-sleeve top, $325; burgundy velvet Rag & Bone skinny jeans, $255

Shannon’s Style Tip: This floral cape is a dream come true. When paired with a denim top and mocha-colored joggers, this look will take you the distance this season.

Louisville What to Wear December

From Work the Metal: Denim top, $45; mocha pants, $44; floral embroidered cape, $58; berry-colored, tiered tassel earrings, $12

Shannon’s Style Tip: Take your holiday look to a new level with an elegant twist on the little black dress. This velvet cold-shoulder dress has an embellished trim that provides a hint of sparkle.

From Peacock Boutique: Black velvet, cold-shoulder cocktail dress with crystal detail, $575

From Peacock Boutique: Black velvet, cold-shoulder cocktail dress with crystal detail, $575

RELATED: 24 Louisville Events & Happenings: December 2017

Shannon’s Styling Tip: Be a neutral knockout in this season’s hottest hue. This blush-colored sequin dress gives the right amount of glitz to your holiday wardrobe.

What to Wear Louisville December

From Liv Boutique: Blush-colored sequin dress, $98 | From 6PM Outlet: Blush-colored sequin pumps, $99

Kathy Mullen

Director of Education, Visually Impaired Preschool Services

Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) provides education to children who have some form of visual impairment. “An important aspect of our organization that we’d like to highlight is the fact that we are the only organization that provides quality educational services to blind and visually impaired children, from birth to 5 years old, throughout the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky and the entire state of Indiana,” says VIPS’ Director of Education Kathy Mullen. “90% of what a child learns is through their vision, and 85% of the foundation of learning happens in the first five years of life. So, when a child is born or diagnosed blind or visually impaired, VIPS provides crucial early intervention services to help these children reach their highest potential.” VIPS’ services include evaluations, in-home visits, a full-time preschool and access to resources that help parents and caregivers better understand and support their visually impaired child.

“I really liked the dress I got to wear for the photo shoot and was grateful that I got a vote in the one selected for me to wear,” says Kathy. “It was comfortable — really comfortable — as well as modest for someone my age, while still being young and stylish. I could definitely wear it to a special gathering over the holidays or to a fundraising event for VIPS or another nonprofit in our wonderful community.”

Shannon’s Style Tip: Adding a fun detail like an exposed zipper in the front of your dress can take your little black dress to the next level. This designer dress is a perfect look for your office holiday party.

From 6PM Outlet: Black dress with gold zipper, $295

And the winner is …

Congrats to Visually Impaired Preschool Services, the winner of the $5,000 Charity Giveaway!

Louisville What to Wear December

Congratulations to Visually Impaired Preschool Services!

Louisville What to Wear December

Thank you to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium for this day of glamour and fun!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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