Let There Be Fashion
We’re not New York. Nor are we Paris. But Charleston is a style maven in its own right, which you can see any day by simply looking out your window at the impeccably dressed locals walking by. Or peering into windows of King Street’s boutiques, where you can buy and be confident to avoid the mass production devil that results in the horror of appearing unoriginal. And now, on this final week of March, you can see it on the runway under the tents of Marion Square.
Get ready to see style creativity run wild this week for the third annual Charleston Fashion Week. Five days of trend spotting, people watching and reveling in our city’s growing fashion community. CHARLIE assesses the week ahead…
Hampden Clothing, who brought the punch last year with their combination of impeccably edgy styling and well-placed accessories (tell us you remember those bold glasses on all the models), intrigues CHARLIE this time with the runway theme “Decades of Adaptation.” Hampden Clothing’s owner and local style icon Staci Smallwood (who, when we spoke, wore a fabulous pair of distressed jeans paired with patent peep-toe pumps) was tight-lipped on the details of the collection this year, but promised to bring that innovative styling the King St. boutique is known for during their show Thursday night.
Other shows sure not to disappoint are K. Morgan, Saks/Mary Norton and Biton, to name a few. Although the best part of Fashion Week is to glimpse the never-before-seen designs of the Southeast emerging designers who fought tooth and nail for a spot on the runway. Expanding on last year’s Emerging Designer competition, there are several names to watch out for:
Semi-finalist Amanda deLeon’s avant-garde and highly structured style will please on the runway. Especially cool is deLeon’s use of models in her style concepts with drastic hairstyles and makeup, and it should be interesting to see this attention to aesthetic translate from her smart modern photography to the runway. deLeon shows her collection Tuesday night.
Designer Swampnali Ahire, also a semi-finalist in the competition, intrigues with her influence fusion of Indian culture and electro music. Our attention was caught by her magnificent illustrations before we even saw the collection. Ahire, and her line, seems both mysteriously deep but simple, expressed through rich jewel tones and untraditional lines. And how will her choice of music connect with her electro inspired line? We’ll find out Tuesday night.
Alena Fede, one of three finalists in the Emerging Designer competition, will be a stand out with her use of soft colors and fabrics to create a sensual but contemporary femininity-think Pride and Prejudice meets A Perfect Murder. Fede’s use of materials like lace and silk, combined with luxurious layers and folds, creates a look that is uniquely feminine and sexy. Watch for a standing O Saturday night.
Charleston Fashion Week begins Tuesday night and continues through Saturday. Doors to the Marion Square tents open at 6:00 p.m.
Word to the wise: don’t be fashionably late.