Saturday at Fashion Week, Marysia Reeves takes the title

Image by TheDigitelImage by 20090329-fashion.jpg You can view all of our pictures from Saturday over here, and get connected to more photo sets at the bottom.

Read more stories on this subject in our Charleston Fashion Week topic page.Charlotte Gutman and Brian Wilder offer opposing takes on Saturday night at Charleston Fashion, where designers clashed to win the Emerging Local Designers competition.

We'll be expanding this story throughout the day with links to other images, video, write-ups, and all sorts of goodness.

The Charlotte vs. Brian throw down

Charlotte Gutman

I don’t want it to be over. The entire week was phenomenally constructed and executed. Ayoka Lucas really gave it her all as she does every year. She gave so much that her voice was almost absent by this rainy Saturday night. Amidst the chaos she acknowledged TheDigitel nearly every night, which we so do appreciate.

The evening started with a shadow of doubt do to the rain. But despite weather hazards, attendees jeopardized their garments for the sake of fashion (irony much?), and came looking dapper and drenched. The place was packed like sardines in a crush tin box (not my term ... guess who?), and most people were confined to the margins of the seated few. I wish everyone could have had the same view we did. Actually, they can by checking out our Flickr page. The designers tonight were fantastic and the models to boot.

Tonight marked the end of the Emerging Local Designers competition that sought the top local designer of Charleston, and this year it was Maria “Marysia" Dobrzanska Reeves who took the cake. And boy, did she deserve it. Her specialty is swimwear, and she sent her models down the runway this evening with the most incredible looking, most meticulously crafted swim suits and clothes I have seen through this whole competition. Her collection was impeccable, and I even got choked up went she sent her toddler daughter down the runway in one of “mommy’s designs.” Great job Marysia!!

The other local designers were great too. It must have been a tough competition for those judges, one of which was Cynthia Rowley who is lovely in case you were wondering. I loved Lindsey Carter and Alena Fursova’s collections as well as Marysia’s. However, Carter’s was more my style. I love her use of textile combination. Fursova’s collection was beautiful no doubt. She managed to make very fitted clothing look very sophisticated, and the models worked brilliantly under some unfortunate conditions (one piece broke in the dressing room). Kudos to all the candidates from this competition; you all did a fabulous job!

After Marysia’s show everyone shoveled into the gala tent in the downpour. A little water never stopped anyone in Charleston from getting down. People were drinking, dancing, posing for pictures. Everyone looked like they were having the best time. I know I did. I danced the night away, so hard my feet hurt. When they announced Marysia’s victory, the crowd was so excited like they were all hoping it would be her. Her triumph, it seemed, kicked the crowd into a dance frenzy and the slippery floor was consumed with people of all ages just celebrating the success of Charleston Fashion Week 2009.

This week was so much fun. I hope you all enjoyed your fashion experiences along with Brian’s and my daily posts. Thanks again to Charleston Magazine for all of your hard work, generosity, and patience. We have loved working with ya’ll. Also, thanks to Stella French who, even in her craziest moment, is willing to snap a shot for the sake of fashion. See you all next year.

-- CMG

Follow her tweets @cowtongue

Brian Wilder

First and foremost, the energy of the final day for CFW '09 was off the charts! There was nothing in the free world that could have stifled the electricity that was coming from both the crowds and models.

Then, just minutes before the show was supposed to pop off, the sky opened up and it literally rained everything but cats and dogs ...

Fortunately, this shift in the weather did not stop people from having a good time. Albeit, a few hairdos were soaked and soggy, those in attendance had no problem getting back into the spirit of things with quickness.

Tonight was the finalist competition for the Emerging Designer contest, and the competitors did not disappoint by any means.

A Marysia Reeves look. Right out the gate, Lindsey Carter seemed like the crowd favorite and a shoe-in to win the top prize, but that notion was quickly squelched when a Ms. Maria D. Reeves took the stage as the last competitor and wowed the crowd with her extraordinary swimsuit collection.

It was most definitely a breath of fresh air compared to what everybody had been used to all week. I, especially, was most appreciative for the lack of clothing in this collection.

Once the runway shows were over, it was time to make our way to the finale gala in the tent next door. Even in the rain, people were quite adamant about securing their spot in the party of the night!

Open bar, great food and a world-class DJ set the tone for one action-packed, CFW ’09 night cap. The beautiful decor irrefutably complimented all of the beautiful people in attendance. I really couldn’t have asked for much more.

After saying my goodbyes to the incredible Ms. Ayoka Lucas and the stunning Ms. Katie Kern (among others), I promptly made my way to the tent’s exit.

In the end, CFW ’09 was a complete success. Amidst the bare feet, leaky roofs, occasional watered-down drinks and lackluster ventilation, Ayoka and her crew did the exact thing that they had initially set out to do: provide Charleston with some of the most innovative and awe-inspiring examples of what’s to come in the realm of fashion.

I can only imagine as to what is in store for us next year. Only time will tell, I suppose.

Until then ...

-- BJW

Follow his tweets @GQbound