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It’s time for another night of CFW runway shows! I’m back at the tents, and the first thing I notice is how many people there are. The seats are already packed, and I have to carefully maneuver my way backstage through masses of exquisitely dressed Charlestonians. The first thing I spot once I get backstage is Ashley Perryman rapidly applying silver, sparkly body paint onto the models with a star-shaped stencil. Looks like we’re in for more drama and pageantry tonight!
The CFW models in Teal’s show are lining up backstage. Everyone looks confident and focused, there’s no evidence of any pre-show jitters. I make my way through the throngs of people to the photo pit, which is equally crowded. It quickly becomes clear that we are going to have a bit of a problem staying out of each other’s way. “You’re too tall! I can’t shoot over you,” the photographer behind me points out. “Then it’s a good thing I’m not actually this tall,” I respond. I lose my 5 inch heels, and we’re good to go! Yes, I will be shooting barefoot tonight.
The Teal show has just drawn to a close to loud applause. The models rocked the runway in a variety of adorable, vividly colored dresses for spring, but my favorite was the last look: a short, coral dress with an eye-catching turquoise belt.
The V2V show is over, and it’s time for the first break of the evening. I’m still thinking about the variety of hot spring looks that have come down the runway, my favorites being the selection of short, printed dresses. As I strap my shoes back on, a fellow photographer give me a nudge. “It’s a totally different crowd tonight. The energy level is through the roof!” It’s true. The crowd has been responding visibly to each garment that has come down the runway, and the air is positively electric. I catch up with some extremely well dressed guests in the bar area, most of whom are buzzing about tomorrow night’s Finale Gala or trying to catch glimpses of Mychael Knight.
The iheart spring show has just begun, and we are in for a wild ride. The Bond girl themed show features big haired, sassy, martini and gun-wielding models. It’s a strange sensation to see the barrel of a plastic gun staring back at me through the lens, but the crowd is loving every second of it. The most surprising moment? When a bikini-wearing model strutted out onto the runway... covered head to toe in gold body paint!
The Biton show starts, and it’s bringing some major attitude. Models stomp down the runway, sneering at the photographers... and each other! As models pass each other on the catwalk, they stare each other down or give each other major sass, and the CFW crowd absolutely loves it. Suddenly a male model whips his shirt off, and the tent is filled with applause and catcalls. Like I said, Charleston loves some male models! The most surprising moment by far was an unexpected, super hot public display of affection between two models. One thing is for sure, the Biton show packed a serious punch and has taken the night’s energy to a whole new level.
It’s another break, and time for me to put my heels back on (barefoot won’t cut it in a crowd this chic!). This time I sneak up to the Sponsors’ Lounge to catch up with some Charleston magazine editors. The constantly-on-the-move staff members are taking a moment to relax and enjoy the show, and I catch up with Associate Art Director Camilla Nilsson. “It’s so great this year! The models are doing such a great job, they look amazing out there.”
I’m about to head back to the pit, but I spot emerging designer Emily Bargeron and have to say hi. “How did you feel about your show?” I ask her. “It went so smoothly, it was fantastic,” she says. I ask her how she’s been enjoying the other shows, and she replies, “The Hampden Clothing show was great... and I loved Shan Keith’s show! Every one of his garments was so great. And Caroline Baker, too. I love her work!”
The Mary Mojo show starts off, and dresses of all shapes, silhouettes, and colors are the look to watch for spring. The models all look gorgeous and so glamorous, and they seem to be enjoying sashaying down the catwalk in ultra-feminine looks. The final looks is a striking black and white bathing suit, which draws a lot of attention from the enthusiastic crowd.
The Gwynn’s show is in mid-swing and the audience is loving it! The hot spring styles draw a lot of attention, but when the male models return to the runway the audience lets loose a round of applause once again. But if you thought they were excited about seeing some hot men stride down the catwalk, you should have heard the response surprise guest model and Stiletto Stampede costume contest winner Trixie (alias Fuschia) Kawasaki received! The supermodel stomped it out in knee-high platform boots, tights, and a fur coat for her delighted and rowdy fans.
I’m about to head to the CFW official after-party at Music Farm, but I catch up with Charleston magazine’s Marketing Director Misty Lister for a short runway show of our own on the unoccupied catwalk. We hop down and are heading for the exit, and I spot Mychael Knight. He stops to talk with Misty for a moment, and I stand there staring awkwardly before grabbing a quick picture. Best. Night. Ever!