Image by Amanda Click / TheDigitel
Expectations are high this year at Charleston Fashion Week. Not just because of the talented group of Emerging Designers, but for the high-profile fashion industry personalities that are in attendance as well. Alexis Maybank, Andrea Serrano, Anne Slowey, Derek Blasberg, Fern Mallis, Janie Bryant, K. Cooper Ray, Marysia Dobranska Reeves and Mycheal Knight are this year’s judging panel.
At Marion Square, the Style Lounge housed Atlanta DJs Joycette and K-Flo$$y at center stage. Local jewelry shops, makeup studio Cos Bar and other vendors lined the walls of the Style Lounge for fashion-goers to peruse while sipping cocktails and watching Charleston all dressed up for a night out.
Under the tents, the seats began to fill up quickly with all eyes on the front row, most notably Charleston Magazine Style Director Ayoka Lucas and Project Runway and past featured designer, Mychael Knight. Local store Rapport started the show off with a line of casual separates ranging from day to evening wear. Copper Penny and Copper Penny Shooz came out second with the current spring and summer lines full of vibrant colors in both separates and dresses. But it was Featured Designer, Barbara Beach, who stole the first half of the show. Beach was voted People’s Choice designer at last years fashion week and drew wild applause for her children’s line. These kids really stole the show.
After the break, the Emerging Designers were up. Marie Cordella from Raleigh, NC started things off. She showed flirty dresses with raw edges, lots of layers, and a floral motif. “I try to do everything in my power to be as Marie as I could with this line.”
Van Hoang was next with a line that clearly spoke to a Fall 2011 collection with comfy knits, socks worn with heels, and a neutral palate with a punch of plumy purple. The dresses floated effortlessly down the runway.
With a background in costume design, Veritee Hill, from Mount Pleasant, SC brought the drama to the runway. Hill’s collection was a mix of edgy theatrics with corsets and elaborate headpieces paired with feminine florals hand-painted on the fabrics. “I see myself as an artist, I just love to create” says Hill. This artistry wow’d the crowd and the judges, earning Hill a spot in the Final round on Saturday.
The last Emerging Designer Sarah Parrott, from Atlanta, GA showed clean lines and high waists. With a base color of black there were pops of color from teal to magenta. This separates line felt like it belonged in a chic California girl’s closet. A stand-out piece was the python cigarette capris. “I think everyone of my looks will look good on every kind of figure.” The crowd agreed, voting Parrott the People’s Choice winner of the evening.
The finale was by one of last year’s finalists Jamie Lin Snider who put out an impressive amount of very detailed pieces that contained everything from feathers, chains, jewels, bone, leather, and fringe. But the pieces worked together as an overall collection making this line every editor’s dream to shoot. There are good things in store for Ms. Snider.
And now it’s onto the after-parties at Torch and Social Restaurant + Wine Bar.