cover shot for the program by David Despeaux
So Why Fashion Week in Charleston??
1. New experiences that feed my soul.
2. The tents were right across the street from my son's condo. I LOVE free places to stay!
3. To have a reason to visit Charleston ~well, do I really need one? After all, Conde Naste just
named it the No. 1 city to visit in the country and I agree! Great food, rich in history, and
never lacking in something to do.
4. Now, here is the reason that is the starting point for this post ......
Do I have expectations of seeing a runway show with designers the likes
of Dianne Von Furstenburg? Or Marc Jacobs? Or Karl Lagerfeld? No,
definitely not. Better still, I am going to see creations of up and coming
designers that have the fire in their belly to challenge themselves each
and every time they pick up a bolt of fabric. Designers that perhaps,
at this stage of their dream, they have a day job but at night they
come to life creating garments that have swirled around inside their heads.
They strive for recognition wanting to get to the next level and
this is one fabulous way to do that.
I can relate to that creativity. I can relate to feeding a passion that
hasn't dissipated with time but only grown stronger. After all, it is
why, once a week, I hole up in my studio writing this blog. Hoping
that there are people reading it. I love to write! When I was little,
I occupied myself at my aunt's house by pounding on the keys of
this typewriter. Creating stories that could be completed by the time
our visit was through. When the lights were turned out at night and I
was tucked in bed, ideas and words that rhymed came to life and
needed to be written down so that I wouldn't forget them by the time
morning arrived. You should have seen them meandering on the paper
thinking that I had written them down in a straight line! And I'm
not limited to just words as the only way express myself. There's paper,
both new and old, vintage fabrics, notions from time gone by, blingy
rhinestones, crumpled ribbons and.. and... so much more!! I have LOTS
of ideas for things I want to create. And I am always wired to reach out
for inspiration. It comes in so many forms. Fashion Week is just one!!
Let's get started in the basics of what I experienced......
180 applicants from the eastern seaboard
20 chosen to show their fall/winter line.
Each night opened with five minutes of entertainment that strutted
(or, as in one case, break danced) down the runway. Daniel D. with his
fiddle was awesome! He rocked it out!
Next came the interview of the designer who would be showing just
half of her line. If she, or he, won that night they would show the rest
on the finale night. By the way, this is the young woman whose father
I sat next to. A designer whose details were prairie-influenced!
Models strutted down the runway with a few having their totally unique
approach to walking. Music pumping loud.. photographers at the end
of the catwalk... strike a pose, girls!! Work it!
And the children's designers? Disregard the guy on his cell, please.
Because the crowd was going crazy for these little ones! Notice the
geek chic glasses on this child. She's given me courage to wear
mine with confidence!
Self-taught children's clothing designers that describe their style as
edgy-cute. Oh... and their label is neve/hawk.
Now, who judged these collections?? Big names, people, like...
Fern Mallis ~ widely credited as the creator of New York Fashion Week.
To quote her, "I see CFW as an off-Broadway debut where designers
gain the experience and produce a great show before debuting their
collections in bigger markets." To have her support speaks volumes!
Anne Slowey ~ Elle magazine fashion news director. Huge!!,
Chris Benz ~ fashion designer from Seattle; showed at Bryant Park,
2007, interned at Marc Jacobs and for the J. Crew design team.
Mychael Knight ~ fashion designer out of Atlanta.. I first saw him on
Project Runway, Season 3, where he showed in Bryant Park.
Vanessa Lachey ~ married to Nick Lachey (sorry, but I had to say that!)
model, actress and deeply involved in the entertainment industry.
(Forgive me for omitting names of prominent people there to judge but
this field is not a common one for me. Some of the names were not
familiar so it's my ignorance to leave them out.)
After a 30 minute break, where I received that lovely chilled glass of
champagne, the winner was announced before an anxious crowd. Among
other things the winner receives, there is the East Coast title; $10,000
online marketing and promotional package; professional look-book
images of their 2012 collection; and more recognition next year as
they will be featured in the 2013 fashion week. One more step up on
that all important ladder!
I saw .... I learned .... and I fed the creative being in my soul. I had
affirmations that self-taught is good... that you sometimes have to
manage two careers at the same time, making sure that your dream
doesn't become second banana in life ... that everyone seeks
inspiration from somewhere or someone. With eyes wide open, I will
always being looking for that "something" that clicks with me, that
nudges me on, letting me know.. Oh, baby, you've got it!!!!