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Very few would argue that Hampden Clothing has their finger on the pulse of the fashion universe. The latest manifestation of this delivered designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of rag & bone to the Holy City. It all kicked off last Thursday evening with a very private Lowcountry Boil party, welcoming the designers to Charleston, at owner Stacy Smallwood's parent's home on the beach. The decor combined with the landscape looked like an editorial with perfectly placed mason jars, medicine jars that displayed the Hampden/rag & bone name and crest as well as a flag that read the same, pulled pork, La Bubbly, Firefly vodka and the list goes on. David & Marcus graciously chatted with everyone, posed for photos and even played a little bocce ball with Stacy's young and fashionable nieces. Everything about this evening felt like a family affair.
No stone was left unturned in creating this chic and down home gathering and the short list of guests (many dressed in rag & bone), media, and photographers mingled for hours beneath a gorgeous sunset at least until the mosquitos an beetles took over. I even managed to bring a souvenir beetle home that somehow latched on to the tulle in my multi-layered tu-tu-esque skirt. SCREAM! However after eating both of my Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts that came with the gift bag, I was totally and completely comforted.
The next day Hampden hosted the rag & bone Spring 12 runway show and personal shopping with the designers, cleverly held at noon at the Westbrook Brewing Company. Inside the scene felt like Charleston Fashion Week (CFW) all over again and the ladies and gents came dressed to the nines enjoying the pre-show cocktail, beer tasting and hors d'oeuvres hour. There was sea of coral colors around the room (similar to the night before) which proves to be a rag & bone influence.
True to a typical fashion show the runway began a tad late but to very little complaint as we all took our seats in an elaborate industrial room transformed into a fashion presentation with an impressively organized seating arrangement. The show was a marathon of spring trends for men and women and heavily emphasized separates that walk the line between classic styles with clean lines and neo-prep urban gear.
My happiest moment was seeing all of the CFW models working the runway like it was a NYC presentation. Post show I gave them a special 'proud fashion mama' speech. Then came the shopping! Ladies were lined up with colorful denim, mesh shirts, classic button downs, shoes and the works. I ran into David Neville in the midst of it all and asked him how he is taking it all in and he responded that though it is very rare for them to connect with regional boutiques in such a way, they have endless admiration for Stacy and how well she interprets their aesthetic. So there went my Charleston Fashion Week withdrawals all cured by a two-day style fix which leaves me chomping at the bit to see what's next on the horizon in our fair and fashionable city!