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Julie Wheat channels Bettie Page with her debut show

Cavortressing at Aloft

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Despite being a relative newcomer to the Charleston fashion scene, Julie Wheat has already garnered a significant amount of fanfare. The designer debuted her Spring 2010 Cavortress line on Friday night to a raucous crowd at Aloft in North Charleston. Attendees spread wall to wall in the downstairs of the hotel, bewildering guests who were unexpectedly forced to squeeze their way to the elevators.

After a cocktail reception filled with local artwork, models began strutting down the center of the room to the cheering delight of spectators. The collection is a throwback to 1950s Bettie Page style pin-ups, obviously parlaying another of Wheat’s passions: collecting vintage wares.

One of the best parts of the show — aside from the covetable one-piece bathing suites and sexy red romper — was the unabashedly voluptuous models covered in real and temporary tattoos, not a standard on traditional runways. Another stand-out piece was a result of a collaborative effort between Wheat and local artist Julio Cotto. Cotto hand-painted a fish on the back of a sheer black blouse. Based on the warm reception, it appears Wheat is on her way to becoming a staple in Charleston's burgeoning design community.

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