Even if you didn't attend Charleston Fashion Week this year, you could still stop by one of the numerous unofficial pre- or after-parties during the five days of fun and high style. We were determined to hit them all. Here's a little peek into our week.
Wednesday, 6 p.m. First time in heels for the week, doing just fine. The opening fête on Wednesday night was hosted to launch the Charleston branch of The Well Coiffed Closet. With a successful business in New York, Megan Evans recruited local pal Elizabeth Gumb to offer styling, shopping, and consulting services to the Lowcountry. The party was hosted at Hampden Clothing, where the boutique's goods were arranged by hue to make shopping more accessible after receiving your "color story" from the personal stylists. Sociale served mocktails (a few of them spiked) and Hamby's Catering set out some traditional fare of deviled eggs and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. The low-key evening was a nice transition into what would be a very hectic week of social obligations and fashion shows.
Thursday, 6 p.m. Though on foot, we foolishly decided on platform wedges. Thursday evening tested the limits of our party-hopping abilities. With four invitations in our pockets and an evening under the CFW tents, we had to speed around town to make every appearance. Our evening started at the Cynthia Rowley party. We were intrigued by the new CuRious Candy line and a chance to meet Rowley in person. Greeted by some very tall models wearing the Spring 2013 collection, we maneuvered around the store to find the champagne table. We tried not to look like a crazed fan when we spotted Rowley standing with Fern Mallis, who basically made New York Fashion Week what it is today.
Thursday, 6:45 p.m. Teetering on the edge of being late for the opening presentation. As those with judge's seats at CFW left for the tents, we slipped down the street to Novel for the celebration of their Pout pop-up shop. The small space above King Street was packed with friends checking out the cosmetic line and other goods offered at the store. Jess James of the Style Girl blog was in attendance as well as another favorite local blogger, Chassity Aull Evans of LookLingerLove. We didn't have much time to shop before we had to run to the shows.
Thursday, 9:45 p.m. Hunger pangs distracted us from our sore feet. As soon as the shows wrapped, we were off to the Ledbury party at the old Biton space on King Street. The Richmond-based luxury menswear brand launched a pop-up shop featuring their Charleston-inspired shirts and threw a fête to celebrate. Cocktails featuring Jack Rudy Tonic and beers from Palmetto Brewing were offered to guests as they browsed the collection. We grabbed what little was left on the catering table — olives for dinner! There was a DJ in the corner, but attendees were more interested in chatting with one another than dancing.
Thursday, 10:55 p.m. As far as we're concerned, sex and fashion go hand in hand — just look at any Calvin Klein ad. That's why Gris Gallerie's coitus-themed art show made for the perfect unofficial CFW after-party. The event was hosted at the Faculty Lounge — it smelled funky and the regulars were grungy, but we only cared about the artwork. Michelle Jewell, Nathan Durfee, and Cyle Suesz contributed provocative pieces to the show and were all in attendance to celebrate. It seemed like everyone from Fashion Week turned up to dance in the bar's laser show and look through the gallery.
Friday, 10:15 p.m. Having recovered from the late-night party on Huger Street, we made it through Friday night's shows with one last shindig to attend. Social Primer was hosting a "Winter Formal" to showcase designer K. Cooper Ray's new tuxedo and accessory collection. We sauntered up the stairs to the Charleston Library Society building just in time to catch the end of the presentation. Handsome lads worked the crowd while beats from Biggie Smalls and Britney Spears played. Raucous applause exploded from the audience as the show finished out and the first few chords of "The Charleston" were heard. The place turned into an all-out dance party. Older ladies in ball gowns taught younger patrons our namesake dance and others made up their own moves. The South of Broad crowd mingled with fraternity brothers to discuss the collection, and everyone appeared to be having a great time. As the clock crept toward 11 p.m. and noise ordinances took effect, we wondered if the cops would show up to shut down the rollicking party. We headed home before we could find out.