[Editor's note: In addition to regular coverage of each Charleston Fashion Week night, we give you a gal and guy take on each set of runway shows. Karen's is below; and Brian's is here.]
Despite long hours and some less than shining shows, Charleston Fashion Week- I’m really going to miss you.
Last night marked the end of the five day week with the showing of Featured Designer Marysia’s collection and the announcement of People’s Choice and Emerging Design Winners. Departing from past year’s formats, the runway tent was also host to The Fashion Finale (formerly known as The Gala). Entering the tents, large boudoir like chandeliers were hung, complete with candles, adding a sexy new glow to the space. Gone were the rows of chairs, with dance floors, a large bar and high top tables in place. Actually, we could have kept a few of those chairs while we’re keeping track, as trying to cover the shows crouched down in heels proved difficult at best, feet falling asleep and teetering to photograph and write at worst. Nonetheless, the space looked beautiful and even had sexy, lit lounge areas outside for guests to pose for the shutterbugs and grab periodic refreshers of air.
The evening kicked off with the showing of works by Emerging Designers Larika Page, Barbara Bush and Jamie Lin Snider, produced from their Art Institute design challenge. Gritting my teeth against cheesy reality show footage documenting the three day affair, I chose instead to admire the fantastic group of guests and judges including Anne Slowey of ELLE magazine; Elysa Lazar of S&B Reports and Lazar Media; Carol Hannah Whitfield in a fabulous feathered stole; and a silver metallic pant wearing Logan Neitzel.
Once over, the three pieces made from oxford shirts, in honor of Alexander McQueen, were shown in nice form indeed. Barabara Bush’s pinafore like children’s dress was absolutely adorable in shades of dark and light blue. Next out was Jamie Lin Snider’s fantastic, fitted white dress, featuring structured, fan detailing reminiscent of Mychael Knight’s work earlier in the week. Last to show was Larika Page, who incorporated other fabrics such as embroidered blue satin to accent her white frock.
With the last look shown, Ayoka Lucas took the stage, announcing Barabara Bush as the People’s favorite, winning a sewing machine valued over $1,000. Honestly, with darling kid's designs like hers, no one else stood a chance. Next up was the announcement of Larika Page as the 2010 Southeastern Emerging Designer winner. Page won a boatload of prizes including cash, a show at the Atlanta Apparel Mart, funds toward production and sampling, a free CFW show in 2011 and a brand new website.
Rounding off the evening was a show from last year’s Emerging Design winner, Marysia Reeves. Reeves styled girls in large palm frond head wreaths, complementing the tropical, jungle feel of her swim collection. Tones of khaki and white showed against pale, pale pink in very wearable two pieces, maillots and jersey cover ups. Keeping with the theme of the week, her pieces were by no means revolutionary, but were pretty and quite sellable. What I didn’t see coming however, were models performing tribal dances complete with bamboo sticks (it was all very Survivor like) as the final last walk. Well, at least it was interesting!
At the close of the last show, guests were treated to the amazing musical stylings of hip hop violinist Daniel D. for the second time this week, followed by intensely sexy chair dance performances by Atlanta based dance crew Glam Rock Soul before the Fashion Finale really kicked into gear.
Charleston, it’s been a pleasure covering the shows for all of you lovely people. I do hope you’ve enjoyed our work.
Until next year, keep it stylish.