Above: Groceries Apparel tank and Elemente Clemente crops, both from OSO: a style lab.
Walk thru the doors of OSO: a style lab and you’ll get a bit of a fashion tutorial. And by that I mean that owners Jen Rieger and Chris Rubin de la Borbolla pride themselves in sourcing small, unique, and (sometimes) local labels for their new store in the heart of University City’s Delmar Loop. The duo know their products inside and out and are more than willing to tell you about the history of a brand or how an item wound up on their shelves. I always feel a little wiser and more inspired after hearing them talk.
The store feels more like something you’d find in Brooklyn or Shoreditch, rather than St. Louis, MO. There are graphic tees from Love Nail Tree, vintage-esque items from L’ecole desFemmes, and great staples from Suki and Solaine. St. Louis designers Trang Nyugen and Victrola also have rack space, as does (St. Louis-born eye wear designer) Neil Bardon’s line, St. Rita Parlor.
Above: Suki and Solaine maxi skirt, from OSO: a style lab.
Above: Elemente Clemente ombre midi skirt.
One of the first questions I asked Rieger when I visited the store was “Why style lab?” Her response was something like this: because we view this as a style laboratory, where we are constantly experimenting and testing new products, brands and trends. We don’t want to limit ourselves to being a clothing store, because we also find cool things for the home and source great accessories. Everytime you come in you will find something new. We don’t aim to be that store that’s going to supply your entire spring wardrobe and/or dress you from head to toe for every ocassion. We envision our customers coming in and finding a few great pieces that pair well with items they already have in their closet. Case in point: I tried on an awesome Elemente Clemente skirt and when I went searching for something to wear on top, Rieger said, “You know, you might just be able to style that with a top you have at home.” Very refreshing words given our current more-is-more culture.
Aside from the clothes, the attention to detail in the store decor is noticeable too. Up and coming St. Louis furniture maker, Anew Nature, created the custom fixtures composed of metal pipe and bright orange tires. Cardboard shelving units display the folded clothing. The dressing room curtains are made of fabric that Rieger and Rubin de la Borbolla had screen printed with images they designed. And then there is that pink velvet couch with yellow trim near the dressing rooms, that I’d be happy to have in my house.
Bottom line? This lab OSO hip.
OSO : a style lab is located at 6321 Delmar Blvd., directly across form the Tivoli Theater.
Inside views of OSO: a style lab