A Passion for Fashion
The crowd goes crazy for African-inspired fashions and pint-sized models during Charleston Fashion Week’s sold-out second night (photographs by Glen Barnette)
The second night of Charleston Fashion Week drew packed crowds Wednesday night, filling the Style Lounge and the runway tent in Marion Square. And while Emerging Designer Serena Da Conceiçao won the finalist spot to move on to Saturday’s finale, the pint-sized models of Lulu Long’s and neve/hawk’s children’s wear shows became the real scene-stealers of the night.
But even before the runway shows began, another fashion show was on display outside the tent and inside the Style Lounge. Despite a chilly dip in temperatures, Charleston’s resident fashionistas were out strutting the latest in spring fashions with flirty printed jumpsuits, tribal maxi skirts, gold statement necklaces, and neon pumps. Along with purple and tangerine, white dominated as the color of the night, seen everywhere from dresses to tops to thick-rimmed hipster glasses. Fur—both faux and real—also made an appearance, from a shaggy black and white coat to a raccoon cap spotted bobbing through the crowds.
First to kick off the runway shows, Jamie Lin Snider’s JLINSNIDER spring/summer 2013 line of dresses in lace and wood-grain prints earned oohs and aahs from the crowd as The Eagle’s “Witchy Woman” blasted through the speakers. Sky-high beehives, nearly black lips, and neon platform pumps vamped up the looks, which turned from day to evening with a series of stunning sheer gowns appliqued in sequin and lace that left little to the imagination. Next, Ike Behar—which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year with a new flagship store in Charleston—showcased a dapper line of menswear fit for the Charleston gentlemen. Plaid sportcoats, button-down shirts, and suits in eggplant, soft grays, and navy dominated the runway in this first menswear collection to be shown.
The Emerging Designers were up next, with Serena Da Conceiçao bringing her stirringly sexy Brazilian designs to the runway. The 33-year-old Brooklynite describes her pieces as “power outfits” for the modern woman. Pairing corseted, high-waisted trousers and skirts with sheer tops and tough leather jackets, the overall look was feminine but strong. Although a few whites and pink prints made their way into the collection, the line stuck to a mostly black color palette in a varying array of textures and fabrics.
The fall 2013 children’s wear collection of Seabrook Island-based Lulu Long took the stage next, and the crowd loved every minute of it. A tiny tot sporting a bouncy full skirt in an oversized polka dot-print was first down the runway, followed by dresses in a variety of black and white prints, including zigzag and houndstooth check, paired playfully with knee-high boots. For the boys, Long went with a rocker-chic uniform of red and black, including skull-printed tees, fedoras, and pants covered in a giant houndstooth check.
Featured designers Kris and Bob Galmarini of neve/hawk also offered up their fall 2013 children’s wear line later in the evening, going with a color palette of earth tones and natural beiges, grays, and whites in comfortable, bohemian designs with fabrics custom-designed from Bob’s illustrations. The mini supermodels strutted their stuff in cotton and linen dresses, leggings, jumpsuits, and sweaters with wood-nymph-like crowns of flowers and twigs adorning their heads. Either barefoot or clad in combat boots, the boys sported everything from basic graphic tees to a Huckleberry Finn-inspired ensemble of suspenders and tweed pants.
After the break, Hyemin Cho, duo Clarissa Arocena and Bryan Datinguinoo, and Cassidy Elizabeth-Mae Brown concluded the Emerging Designer portion of the night with their inventive designs. Inspired by her Korean heritage, Cho’s hand-painted silk dresses, vests, cropped jackets, and tops stood out for the modern but colorful aesthetic reminiscent of Italian fashion label Marni. Following Cho, Durham-based duo Arocena and Datinguinoo introduced their first collection, which they called “rustic industrial” and “ready-to-wear for the post-modern woman.” Their tailored tweed trousers, wool coats, boxy white sweaters with edgy down-the-back details, and midi-length skirts and dresses proved that simple and well-tailored doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. Finally, Cassidy Elizabeth-Mae Brown’s African-inspired fall 2013 collection, “Tribal Royale,” ended the Emerging Designer portion on a high note. Her high-energy show of traditional African headpieces and colorful shiny prints in dramatic, voluminous shapes earned Brown an audibly positive reaction from the crowd as well as the People’s Choice nod.
Night two has certainly kept the magic going. Up tonight: L.A.-based featured designer Johnson Hartig—the avant-garde artist behind Libertine, a retail show by Belk which just introduced a line by Cynthia Rowley, as well as the next four semifinalists of the Emerging Designer Competition. Also not to be missed: shopping in the Belk Tent and Style Lounge as well as sampling the “Honey Hole,” the winning Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Next Top Cocktail by Jackson Holland of Cocktail Club.
See you under the tents!
For the schedule, click here. (http://charlestonmag.com/fashionweek/cfw-schedule)
For tickets, click here. (http://charlestonmag.com/fashionweektickets/about)