Charleston Fashion Week: There's no calm before the storm

Image by Cyle Suesz Back Stage at the Aloft, Eye Level Art, Cavortress Pre-Fashion Week Party.

This town turns electric in the days leading up to Charleston Fashion Week. It's magnificent. People seem to dress just a little bit better, storefronts refresh their window displays, and everyone turns their topics of conversation to Charleston's growing fashion and design community.

I came to this town three years ago, a Kentucky girl moving from her hometown for the first time in fifteen plus years. The concept of a "Fashion Week" wasn't the furthest notion from my head, but it was pretty close.

Three years later, and this Southern city by the sea has grown exponentially in the style community. Our designers have gained recognition in established fashion publications like Women's Wear Daily and holding their own on pop-culture phenomenons like Project Runway.

Charleston Fashion Week has grown to more than just an event at Marion Square. This year, a handful of satellite events sprung up around the city proving that the style buzz is irresistibly contagious.

Last night local designer Julie Wheat, owner of Cavortress, debuted her Summer 2010 design collection to a packed house at Aloft Hotel. For the sake of full disclose, I was also one of the coordinators for this event (for my "real job" as Gallery Coordinator for Eye Level Art) in addition to being one of the runway models. How refreshing it was to see people come together for the sake of local fashion.

And it doesn't end. Tomorrow I'll walk for one of Charleston Fashion Week's 2008 Emerging Designer Semi-Finalists Emily Bargeron at the Surf the Runway show on Folly Beach.

To be a part of this Southern style renaissance is a fantastic honor and despite not looking forward to the very few hours of sleep I'll catch in the next week, I cannot wait for what lies ahead during Charleston Fashion Week 2010.