The tents are down in Marion Square and to be honest, I’ve got the post-Charleston Fashion Week (CFW) blues. Mostly it’s because after months of organizing and hyping and anticipation, the Charleston Weddings Bridal Couture Show is over! Ah well… at least it was a Big Day with a bang.
Set the Scene
If you weren’t able to join us, let me paint a quick picture. The tent was dressed in swaths of fabric that draped across the ceiling, ivory and blush pink crepe paper flowers sprouted from the walls, chandeliers and crystals hung from the rafters, and all about lounges offered respite while dainty boutique stalls displayed pretty jewelry and handbags. The shoulder-to-shoulder crowd sipped morning cocktails and nibbled on brunch-themed treats from Newton Farms Catering. (I was floored by NFC’s display cake with its sugar-paste stem of orchids.)
Then came the shows. What’s so fun about the runway is that it’s not meant to be reality and unlike an in-store trunk show, the shopkeeps and designers flaunt their imaginations with accessories, hairstyles, makeup, and more. On Saturday, that meant models sported towering floral nests (Maddison Row); sassy Vegas glitter (White); and armfuls of florals (Bella Vista Bridal). Rock tunes from the Charleston Symphony Orchestra set a tongue-in-chic tone as LulaKate shocked us all in the best way when designer Katherine stepped away from her typically preppy-fresh leanings and instead went for seriously sophisticated cuts, patterns, materials, and silhouettes ala Vera Wang and the rest of the true couture queens. Her show had me asking her sister if Katherine plans to stay here, because it can be tough to keep a talent like that in the Southland. It sounds like we’re safe for a while there, so stay tuned for more amazing things to come from LulaKate’s King Street shop. Check out the looks here, too.
Last? The crowd went nuts for Carol Hannah Whitfield’s show and left all dainty manners behind—love that!—with their hooping and hollering. The Camden, South Carolina, native had a minor family reunion sitting in her VIP section (aunts, Mom, sis, and many more), all to see what the Project Runway and CFW Emerging Designer alum had to show. Carol Hannah, who’s mother was helping her sew last-minute buttons on gowns at the Embassy Suites this past week, said her gowns—a mix of traditional high-end fabrics and pedestrian jersey, too—were all about draping. That the colors were inspired by the Main Building at the College of Charleston’s Cistern (she’s an alum) and other stucco shades here, and that each gown was named after a local street. The pieces were just that—studious and thoughtful—and our favorites? The pale blue silk number that called to mind 1940s Charleston and new couture.
Tara Lynn, from My News 2, had asked me about bridal trends last week on her show. Based on what we saw, here’s my roundup:
• One shoulder gowns
• Short frocks
• Color (smoky pewter, muted yellow, coral, blue, and ivory)
• Ruffled collars and necklines
• Mix of clean 1950s propriety and 1920s glamour
• Texture via patterns, tulle, and other materials
• Fine tailoring
• Body-conscious bodices
Check out the Bridal Blog this week for more on Charleston Fashion Week, and bridal-related looks that shimmied down the runway.