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To wrap up this year's CFW, I decided to rehash a few favorite moments. The trouble, of course, was condensing all my great memories from this year's Charleston Fashion Week into a selection of 25. What a phenomenal week for everyone involved; this year was bigger and better than ever!
1. The Stiletto Stampede. Ridiculous! Can we please do that every week?! The most unexpected part? Costume contest winner Trixie Kawasaki, who became an unforgettable, colorful fixture at all CFW events.
2. The CFW Launch Party at Shine Restaurant. The food was fabulous, the music was awesome, the venue was chic, and the Modified Dress Project was incredible. It got people buzzing and perfectly set the tone for an amazing week of Charleston fashion.
3. The final runway rehearsal. “Walk like you’re stomping potato chips! Lose that dancer hand!” This was my first taste of what goes on behind the scenes at Charleston Fashion Week. Everyone was excited and ready for the shows to begin, especially the models, who rocked the runway by the end of rehearsal.
4. Being backstage before Tuesday night’s Emerging Design Semifinalists show. The energy level was through the roof, and it was a mix of excitement and pure nerves. The most nervous? Definitely the emerging designers, though every one of their shows thoroughly impressed the audience.
5. Emerging Designer semifinalist Swapnali Ahire’s show. I had no idea what I expected, but that was not it! I absolutely loved every single one of the emerging designers’ shows and could never pick a favorite, but Swapnali’s show caught me (and the rest of Charleston) totally off-guard... in a good way, of course!
6. Pet Helpers’ supermodel puppy Calvin Klein, who stole the show at Boutique NV’s Audrey Hepburn-themed show. The clothes were gorgeous, but the puppy brought a serious “Awww!” factor to the tent.
7. The way CFW loves male models. Charleston showed its men some serious appreciation throughout the week, with bountiful applause and catcalls. After all, this is fashion week, not tea party!
8. The Billy Reid show. The Southern designer’s spring collection is so beautiful and distinctive, I want it all. It’s also great to see such a variety of menswear.
9. The props and body painting in the extended Seeking Indigo show. The show brought a level of exotic mystique and drama to the catwalk that was refreshing and unique.
10. Chatting with Emmy Award-winning costume design Dana Campbell. She was so charming and had insightful commentary on the Emerging Designer semifinalists.
11. Mychael Knight and G. Love attending CFW on the same night!
12. The choreography of the Saks/Mary Norton joint show. The Saks Want It! trends and Mary Norton’s spring collection shared the catwalk with perfect balance, and the show was visually captivating—not to mention, there were plenty of male models to please the CFW crowd!
13. Mary Norton’s reaction when a model dropped one of her shoes. The charismatic Charleston-based accessories designer, not only laughed and applauded, but hopped up on the stage after the show to take an impromptu bow. How charming is that?
14. The attitude at the Hampden Clothing show. This is the first time I’d been given the finger as a photographer, but you couldn’t help but love the badass attitude and extraordinary selection of garments.
15. I’m not even going to lie, being asked to take my heels off and shoot barefoot. The photographers did such a great job of capturing every chic outfit and fashionable moment of CFW, but most importantly we worked with each other to make sure we stayed out of each other shots and still remained professional.
16. The pure energy under the tents on Friday and Saturday nights. Every night at CFW was exciting, but the air was positively electric by the end of the week. Everyone was dressed to kill, eagerly awaiting the runway shows, and ready to party afterwards.
17. The models at the Biton show. The models gave each other serious attitude, and it was so much fun to watch. The theatrics and pageantry really brought the audience alive!
18. Meeting Mychael Knight. He attended nearly all the shows once he arrived in Charleston, and was so personable.
19. Watching the hard-working Charleston magazine team relax and enjoy the shows! After all the time and effort it takes to pull off an event this glamorous, it was great to watch everyone let loose a little, look fabulous, and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
20. The Bridal Couture show. I still am in awe of the stunning tent transformation between Friday night’s retail runway shows and Saturday morning’s Bridal Couture show. Brides.com Editor Anne Chertoff’s bridal tips were fantastic, but the best moment by far was the PROPOSAL after the show!
21. Servers at Rue de Jean growing mustaches in honor of Charleston Fashion Week. Now, that’s hot!
22. Three incredible Emerging Designer: Southeast finalist shows. Every show was breathtaking in one way or another. I do not envy the judges for having to pick one winner! Congratulations to finalists Marysia Reeves, Alene Fede, and Lindsay Carter; you were all phenomenal.
23. Marysia Reeves being named winner of the Emerging Designer: Southeast competition. Her collection was magnificent, but her reaction was priceless!
24. The Finale Gala. What a fantastic party! Let’s do that again every week, too.
25. Beginning the countdown until next year’s CFW 2010! See you at the tents next March, Charleston!