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Child models may have stole the show Wednesday night, but Thursday night was the night of the male models. The judges carefully surveyed each Emerging Designer’s featured outfit, the nerve-wracking first look was over and the third night of Charleston Fashion Week 2013 could get underway backstage. 

The large crowd of ladies in the Belk show lined up for last minute touch ups and some frantic nail-polish removal (bless those poor stylists on their hands and knees scrubbing away the lacquer at the last second), while the men for Emerging Designer Afriyie Poku show sat down for hair and makeup. The models for Megan Huntz rubbed their arms to stay warm backstage as the last of the Belk girls came flying down the runway. 

Several of the models from the Belk show would appear in later shows, and backstage bustled with activity as the quick changes were pulled behind a makeshift sheet screen (held aloft by the runway team) to change garments before they were whisked to hair and makeup. 

Emerging Designer Karen Hulse scrutinized her lineup while Huntz’s looks hit the catwalk, and stylists rushed about with the ever-present sheet or apron to safeguard the garments while blush or eyeshadow were applied. The male models emerged from their curtained partition and practiced their walks, strutting up and down the brick and glaring about with great intensity. 

After a short break, the men were up. Designer Afriyie Poku paused to speak with each of his models before they walked out to the runway, and in a touching show of respect, the male models all joined hands and bowed deeply to their designer before the show. Monisha Pillai’s girls cut a striking figure in their tailored looks, and her models craned their necks to watch their male counterparts strut the catwalk. The show ended with more than a few girlish squeals backstage.

Poku and his models entered backstage and huddled up for a group hug and high fives, and the men that walked in Poku’s show hovered backstage to hear the results of the Emerging Design competition rather than join their friends and families in the main tent. Pillai’s girls returned backstage to applause and the designer was all smiles as Kita Nolley’s gorgeous line made its Charleston debut. 

All to soon the night was drawing to a close, and the Emerging Designers stepped onstage to hear their fates. Poku was named both the people’s choice and Thursday night’s winner, and he was met with cheers, congratulations, and hugs from his models as he stepped off the runway. 

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