Tag Archives: charleston fashion week

Charleston Fashion Week – Day 3 (or Sloth)

Many Thanks to guest writer Elizabeth Bowers for her coverage and candid copy.  Images by Karson Photgraphy.   Enjoy! -SH

See that guy with pink hair? That's designer Chris Benz, and we can't wait for his show tonight!

Wednesday’s locals would have been hard to top here in Charleston, so Thursday is going to have to be Sloth.  Not that I was put to sleep, but the runway shows were just slow and underwhelming in comparison.  JLINSNIDER and Michael Wiernicki maybe should have been saved for WOW later in the week.

The third night of Charleston Fashion Week 2012 was devoted to the new hit show FASHION STAR on NBC.  CFW alum Sarah Parrott was featured on FASHION STAR Wednesday night, and her open-back, cocktail dress design, which was picked up by H&M, sold out in stores within 15 minutes. Ayoka Lucas wore the bright blue number well last night.

Three dancers dubbed Sweet Dreams by DanceFX and a chair mid-runway started the show. Very talented and very “halftime at the Lakers game.” They were a great way to get energy up under the tents.

This led straight to the retail showings of the evening, Copper Penny and V2V. The boutiques this year seem to be sending lots of brightly colored jeans and wedges down the runway, and these two were no exceptions. There were a couple dresses—a bright yellow, strapless one in particular—that screamed, “Wear me to the Spring Bridal Show, please!”

Emerging Designers

Nancy Faw Crowell

After a refreshingly short first half—the norm now, it seems—the third night of the Emerging Designer competition began, again, with kids. And squeals. And gasps. And lots of happy clapping from the crowd.

Nancy Faw Crowell

As one of the oldest competitors I can remember, Nancy Faw Crowell channeled Sweden in both design and music choice. Of the Emerging Designer competition, she said, “It’s been challenging, but a big joy for me to participate.” Primary colors and red buttons made in France accented her classic designs. She, of course, won People’s Choice for the night.

Vartika Vikram

Vartika Vikram

Vikram’s show started with a white dress, its buttons slightly off-center and certainly interesting. She continued with a cold color palette of white and green, and then went on to become a semi-finalist for her pretty, sheer, simple designs.

Jordan Lee Brooks

Jordan Lee Brooks

Think bubble hems and bumble bee color blocking. His golden flowered print made sense with his color palette, but on the runway alone was rather reminiscent of curtains in a piano parlor.

Amy Cochran Quinn & Kelly Elizabeth Ruehlman

This show was very conceptual. In their opening video Quinn and Ruehlman described a character named Dalia who liked to “go to museums,” and who was “quiet and pensive.” Dalia also seemed to like nude make up, leather gloves, and vintage belting. With two designers’ visions coming together, there was a lot of juxtaposition of textures, patterns, and colors in this show.

Hazel Bae

Bae’s knit accenting was reminiscent of last year’s Emerging Designer Competition winner Charlotte Hess. Her best use of knits was as a ruffle on the skirt of a cocktail dress. She also made dress sleeves out of white yarn. She stuck mainly to white and black—her white looks were her most dramatic—but she also threw in some neon colors for fun.

Gratuitous picture of beautiful girls Erin Perkins, Caroline Millard and Jess James

Featured Designer

Fashion Star

The featured designers of the night were three of FASHION STAR’s designers: Sarah Parrott, Luciana Scarabello, and Nikki Poulos. Showed quickly, in order, without breaks, all lines were cohesive and wearable. This makes sense, because the point of the television show is to have buyers outbid one another to sell a line or design the next day. A pair of leather trimmed trousers were a stand-out, and I wish I hadn’t been covering CFW the night before, so I knew which store picked them.

images : Karson Photography

words: Elizabeth Bowers 

Many thanks to Ms. Bowers for covering.  Follow her on Twitter @bowerse and check out her new publication, You, Yes You, a collaboration with writer and poet Marcus Amaker.

Charleston Fashion Week – Day 2 (or Pride)

So we’ve survived another day of Charleston Fashion Week, and while mentally reviewing the evening in all its glory, what came up was Pride.  Why that particular Cardinal Vice?  It was pride for the locals.

Local Designers JLINSNIDER and Michael Wiernicki came to the CFW runway with their A game last night, and you could feel the love for them both.  Emerging Designers Bob and Kris Galmarini, also of the home team, were the People’s Choice winner and I’m super proud to say that we’ve featured all these bad a** designers in the pages of Art Mag in the last year.  (I may or may not have had a distinct ‘proud mama’ kind of moment as they came on stage last night!)

SHOUT OUT to the folks making this all happen, on stage and behind the scenes: Ayoka Lucas, Shari Knight, Joe Quinn, Misty Lister, Vail Duggan, all the volunteers, models, makeup and hair stylists, EVERYONE.  Bless you all.

Will Willis and Josef Myers of Visualive, Jess James and the King Sing guy

King Sing opened up the evening with a sweet song and dance (moves provided by Visualive‘s own Josef Myers!!) backed up with the instrument of love, the saxophone, and a pretty girl strutting down the catwalk.  Josef was easily my favorite part, just between us.

Retailer Runway Shows

Tommy Bahama



Jamie Lin Snider is a Charleston Fashion Week success story.  She’s been an Emerging Designer, a Featured Designer and now with her own shop at 539 King Street, she’s back as a retailer.  Her designs have evolved into a more wearable, yet still stunning presentation.

Kudos to the team behind the video that welcomed everyone back to the tents, featuring perennial CFW model and local thespian Peter Galle…a super seductive scene involving a phone booth and a cigarette and some really red lips.

Emerging Designers

Bob and Kris Galmarini got the first standing ovation for their adorable kids line Neve + Hawk.  Seriously, I have never seen people go so crazy.  I thought the Beatles or Elvis Presley entered the room… (can you guess who was People’s Choice??)

Jessica Krupa makes sexy swimwear with an ode to vamp…as in vampire…you know, True Blood, Twilight, people go batty for the winged seducers of the night, and she’s capitalizing on it.  Smart woman.  Good suits.  Very ‘I’m classy and I know it,’ more composed than cutesy as some want to go.

Angela Sum sent elegant, structured, detailed dresses, tops and bottoms down the runway.  The White Witch of Narnia gets an upgrade–she would totally kidnap this lovely, diminutive lady and make her design clothes for all of Narnia.  (SPOILER ALERT: Angela Sum was the winner!  well deserved)

Ra Jang had some interesting looks, I particularly liked the layered tulle skirt in the second look down the runway, but hated the skirt that went over it.  The ladies looked slightly stymied by their Geisha-like shoes.  One lass was swathed in a gold lame skirt and some sort of animal choking the model.  It was great.

Nina Awasum, a Cameroon native, had a limited palette of navy, white/cream with pops of peach, lots of pants, tribal prints, smooth, sleek fabrics that served as a base for knitwear with depth.

Trends I’m noticing:

Giant, Frankenstein-like platform heels.  I’m just waiting for a model to go flying.  Already seen several gals stumble, due to too-large shoes.

Long in the back and show it all up front.  Dresses and skirts with a mini-length in front and dramatic train in back are showing up everywhere from runway to local boutiques like House of Sage.

Featured Designer

drama, drama, drama with Michael Wiernicki

Michael Wiernicki made a dramatic entrance with a slow, methodical beat and model in a burqa…could easily have been the opening scene to a really great doomsday film.  The new line stays true to Wiernicki’s aesthetic and his vision, and his construction has improved greatly.  High fabric quality, lots of tribal prints and images, snakes, lizards, sarcophagi, ankhs, sphinx…a restrained palette and a challenging collection.  I say challenging because most of the audience needed more time to absorb it.  However, Wiernicki fans were all abuzz on Twitter, and your truly among them.  AMAZING.

Score 3 points for the home team.  Kudos to JLINSNIDER, Bob and Kris Galmarini and Michael Wiernicki.  You’ve done us proud.

words: Stacy Huggins

Charleston Fashion Week – Day 1 (or Lust)

Lust?  Why Lust, you ask.  Well my darlings, Charleston Fashion Week, is something akin to the Cardinal Vices, better known as the Seven Deadly Sins, for any fashion-loving lass or lad.  Why?  Because we’ll experience nearly every vice this week, and by Saturday night, we all be nearly dead as well!

So what about the Lust?  Let me tell you.  Emerging Designer Samantha Hyman‘s first look down the catwalk literally made me say, “Yes, please, oh my God, NOW!”  I wanted to jump on stage and steal that jacket right off the model.  As she was only the size of an elongated pixie, I probably could have gotten away with it.

Daniel D

Remember Daniel D?  Crazy-awesome violin boy?  Yes, that talent was back.  It didn’t wow me quite as much as last year, seemed like there was more back up music than necessary, but whatevs.  He can fiddle anytime he wants.

Another musical note.  Holy Bass, Batman.  Turn it down please!  The whole place was vibrating, I thought we were at PURE Theatre for a second.

Style Lounge:  Was great to see Angie of rosita jones in the tent…snagged another bottle of nail polish–make sure you 1. read my profile on her and 2. go visit her in the back of the Style Lounge, conveniently near the bar!

It’s all about the kids this year.  There’s like, quadruple the amount of children’s clothing this year.  Barbara Beach clearly started something in 2011.  (check out this video from last year!)

Pint-sized model for Poe Studio

Retailers Runway Shows

Poe Studio‘s kiddies were cute enough to almost make you want to have children.  They used copious amounts of tulle to make “cotton candy” and “popcorn,” as the circus theme is getting some serious play in Charleston lately. (time for something new, whatdaya say, folks??)

Palm Avenue was decidedly less Lilly print and more color block, with hints of Lilly.  Very wearable clothes.  The bathing suits were killer.  I will be getting one soon.  Nice work ladies.

Emerging Designers

Mikasa LaCharles wants you to own who you are, and she sure does.  This sparky gal from Chesapeake Bay, Virginia won the crowd over with sheer enthusiasm and ownership.  Rock it, girl.

As  I mentioned already, Samantha Hyman was by far and away my favorite.  She had a Victorian look, with a slight Helena Bonham Carter flavor, which gave the clothes just enough sinister to walk the line between staid Victorian and sleek, chic modern.  Why she didn’t win is beyond us.  Truly.

Tsvetelina Gerasimova McAuliffe of Concord NC won the night, and while the images of her clothes look great, the details from the front row left me a little less wowed.  For instance, this fantastic blue gown was sullied with some silver chain that looked like an afterthought.  Sans that, we have a solid A+ Winner.  Congrats Tsvetelina.

Locals Gil Tisdale & Dominique Verona were the People’s Choice winner, with some obvious crowd support in the audience.  Nothing like cheering for the home team.

Check out Olivia’s favorite emerging designer, Adrienne Antonson:

I had to peace out before the Featured Designer show, for the Faces For Radio show at Voodoo, but The Digitel’s Katie Thompson has a good run down of the rest of the evening here.

Okay, loveys, I’m heading to Marion Square to pick up my media badge for tonight’s madness.  Stay tuned for videos, pics, interviews…what will the Cardinal Vice be tonight?????

Follow me on Twitter for up to the minute musings and more: @chasartmag (follow @shuggins1229 for more snark)

words: Stacy Huggins

Charleston Fashion Week: shop, prep, primp and strut

Okay my darlings, real talk time.

We love you, but its time for everyone to swap the cheeseburger for a turkey burger and get some cardio in by doing a mad dash down King Street.  Why?  Charleston Fashion Week is almost here!

The CFW madness, image: Karson Photography

We are particularly excited to:

1. Plan some crazy outfits.  Charleston Magazine Style Editor Ayoka Lucas promised me that this is THE week for ANYTHING in your closet that’s too crazy for Charleston…you can wear it for Charleston Fashion Week!

Adrienne Antonson

2. Emerging Designers.  Olivia is particularly stoked to see former Charleston resident Adrienne Antonson, now of Brooklyn, NY, and her sculptural designs.  She also spent some time raising llamas.  Yes, llamas.  We met Mikasa LaCharles at the meet and greet last night, looking impossibly fresh after a 6 1/2 hour car ride to get here.  She’s got some gumption, ladies and gents.  You know how we like gumption in the South.  Also looking forward to Bob and Kris Galmarini, of Neve Inspired, who will send their precious children’s looks down the runway on Wednesday.  Check out our profile on them!

Designer Chris Benz

3. Fashion Industry Stars.  CFW is calling them Special Guests, but when you are talking about Fern Mallis, Industry Star is more appropriate, me thinks.  Heard of New York Fashion Week?  You can thank Fern for that.  Chris Benz is another Special Guest, Parsons alum and winner of the 2004 CFDA Emerging Designer Award.  Check out his website.  Me like.

4. After Parties.  Camille Key and Lamar Bonaparte know how to throw a party.  The brains behind Charleston After Dark and 26 Industries team up to bring you RAIN, the grande finale of CFW after parties.  Get your tickets and head to the Aquarium.  It promises to be a swanky, sexy night, judging by the promos.

Charleston Fashion Week®2012 Announces Emerging Bridal Designer Competition!

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CFW 2012 Is Looking For Undiscovered Bridal Designers To Debut Their Collections On March 24th, 2012

For the past five years, Charleston Fashion Week® has served as a platform for emerging talent to showcase their designs and collections to industry experts, press, and the public. In addition to five nights of shows, CFW, along with Charleston Weddings magazine, also hosts a standing-room-only daytime bridal event featuring established, high-end regional and national designers. Next year, the white gloves will come off when the Spring Bridal Show debuts its first-ever Emerging Bridal Designer competition.

The winner will headline his or her own fully produced runway show during the Charleston Weddings magazine Spring Bridal Show, with a collection of 10-12 bridal gowns and/or wedding party wear on March 24th. Aspiring bridal designers interested in submitting should apply online by visiting www.charlestonfashionweek.com. The competition will be open to residents of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Submissions are due Friday, December 16, 2011.

Get REDy: Meet Veritee Hill

One of the best things about the American College of the Building Art‘s annual Red Party is the pre-event, the Get REDy to Wear Party.  This year, Veritee Hill, Charleston Fashion Week Emerging Designer alum, will be donating a fabulous custome couture dress for it.

This is the perfect chance to get your mask for the big party, as there will be masks by local artists up for auction.  The party is taking place at the swanky Cocktail Club, upstairs above The Macinstosh, on Upper King Street, from 5:30 – 8 pm on Wednesday, October 12.  RSVP to wallace@buildingartscollege.us or call 843.577.5245.

Charleston Fashion Week 2011: Day 2

Here are some clips of the runway shows from House of Sage, Emerging Designers Stephanie Mejia, Mary Labberton, Anjelika Krishna, Cody Sai Adler-McCallister and Featured Designer Troubadour.  More to come very soon!!

See you under the tents!

Charleston Fashion Week, Day 1

Check out our coverage of the Charleston’s hottest featured and emerging designers!

Why You Should Always Put Your Name In The Hat

At Charleston Fashion Week we were impressed with the fabulous jewelry, bags, hats, and other accessories offered by swanky vendors at the Style Lounge.

Nicholas Lane Handcrafted Jewelry by artist Currie Boyd had some eye-catching displays that drew us over to their table.  While Stacy browsed, I dropped my business card into the fishbowl for their drawing to “Win a Pair of Earrings!”

Low and behold, I did!  Check them out

My New Nicholas Lane Earrings!

The moral of the story: you can’t win the prize if you don’t put your name in the hat, so always show up & do it.

Thank you, Nicholas Lane!

Love, Olivia

Art Mag listens in on Project Runway talent

Project Runway talent, local Carol Hannah Whitfield and the West Coast’s Logan Neitzel, sat down yesterday with local media to talk about CFW.  Amidst all the camera flashes and questions, Carol Hannah glowed how “surreal” it is to “come back to where it all started.”  Carol Hannah has been around the fashion block since her last appearance as an emerging designer at CFW 2008.  The South Carolina native is back to debut her first wedding collection at tomorrow’s Bridal Couture event.  Look for “fun details, draping, and the fabric manipulations that I love so much,” she says with a smile.  And what’s most special about this anticipated collection?  Each dress has the spirit and name of a street in Charleston!  We can’t wait to see Cistern-Peach and Haint Blue walk the runway (or is it the aisle?).

This is Logan Neitzel’s first time in Charleston.  He feels “a big sense of community,” and “something real, an understanding,” for fashion brewing here in the Holy City.  This Project Runway veteran will be channeling Tim Gunn’s personality as he coaches the Emerging Designers as they race against the clock for tomorrow’s catwalks.  And what’s next for Logan?  He’s cultivating his market, and looking to develop a “cult following.”

Both designers advise yet-to-be-discovered talent to get out there.  Caral Hannah says  “find what’s special about you, and stay true to it.  The world doesn’t need another designer, but it wants something exciting.”  Practically rules with Mr. Neitzel who urges budding designers to be multitalented, “you have to be able to put your head down and work.  Design is fun.  Answering 40 e-mails a day is not–but that’s real life.”

Cheers to the Charleston Fashion Week 2010 finale this weekend!

Logan Neitzel speaks on Project Runway, his career goals, and his first time in Charleston.