Charleston Fashion Week: Night Three

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We're on to night three of Charleston Fashion Week, the first sold-out night of the week. Get used to it. If you haven't gotten your tickets for Friday and Saturday nights, you best jump on it. So far it seems like as the week goes on, the crowds not only get bigger but rowdier and more star-studded. (We sat across from Wayne Newton, Mary Norton, and Michael Night, and we ran into G. Love in the VIP lounge.)

Seeking Indigo kicked off the night with a special extended show. This eco-friendly, ethnic-flavored store will be opening on King Street in May, and we're looking forward to it. Most of the pieces have a funky, organic, international flare, inspired by the owners' travels to places like India and Africa. Stuff like sari fabric, animal prints, beading and embroidery. Sundresses and swimwear. Simple clothes that you could explore the world in. I will note that one model had a peeling henna-type thing going on on her arms that was a little disturbing. You might want to get that checked out.

On to K. Morgan. Whether people would admit it or not, most were thinking about last year's runway fall fiasco when K. Morgan took the stage. But the show went perfectly, with great bright colors - yellow and light blue in particular - and classic shapes. At the end of the show, owner Kristin Williams stepped out at the runway entrance to wave at the crowd but didn't even venture onto the catwalk. I can totally understand, but I was just hoping for a triumphant, fierce walk. Either way, after that fun show, the memory of last year's debacle might be easier to forget.

I'll admit I'm not a big Lilly Pulitzer fan, but I did enjoy Palm Avenue's show. Lilly's celebrating its 50th anniversary, and we got some fun background on the signature prints - Lilly had a juice stand where she was always spilling on herself (sounds like someone I know) so she created easy-to-wear dresses in bright floral prints that would hide the stains. Maybe I should get me some Lilly. With bold lips and pinned-under hair, the models brought a breath of fresh air to the tents. I even spotted a white skort that got me feeling a little nostalgic.

Saks and Mary Norton was next. Very much anticipated and for good reason. Saks is all about bright colors, short sleeve jackets, bold jewelry, and relaxed crop pants right now. And Mary, as she explained at the most recent Pecha Kucha, was inspired by the five senses for her latest accessories line. Models strutted down the runway, sporting Saks clothes and Mary accessories (we lovelovelove the flower - orchid? - shoes), while a pair of hot male models in dark suits and sneaks followed behind carrying the accessories aloft on clear plastic trays. A great way to make sure the details weren't lost in the big picture. One dude dropped a shoe, but Mary laughed and we all laughed. Not a huge deal.

Pearl is another new boutique in Mt. P. Specializing in young, hip designers who are simple and elegant. I'd sum it up as boho chic. Very comfortable and a little loose, with body-conscious details. We can't wait to check them out as soon as they open later this month.

Hampden rounded out the night with undoubtedly the most fashion-forward show that we've seen. People moved up to the edges of their seats to see the great, fresh looks (at least I did). The owner spends a few weeks in NYC every year in order to "do the research for you" in terms of small, indie, emerging designers. The music was great (remixed MGMT!), the hair and make-up different and unique (giant buns and teal lipstick?), with great details throughout. Black skirt with full, hot pink tulle underlay. Cut-offs, vests, studs, layers, neon. So fun to watch and a great finish to yet another exciting night of fashion in Charleston. They even earned a standing O from many in the audience.

After the show, the tents emptied out crazy fast as everyone headed over to after-party location Fish. Luckily, there was no line to avoid like at Torch last night, and the restaurant's gorgeous expanse proved perfect for the event. People mingled on the patio, on the upstairs porch, and in the various dining rooms. Others filtered over to the newly-opened Halls Chophouse to check it out.

The last night of stores is tomorrow, as well as the Catwalk for Kids event, where you can meet Mr. Las Vegas himself. Then the night I know I've been waiting for all week is Saturday, when we'll see the emerging designer finalists go head to head. The winner will be crowned by Cynthia Rowley at the finale gala. You don't want to miss it. But if you do, I'll have everything you missed right here.

From Ben Williams:

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