"Grab a drink and I'll introduce you to the designers," Stacy Smallwood chirped as we made our way through the crowd at Hampden Clothing this past Thursday. Smallwood and her fashionable crew festively decorated the boutique in colorful bunting and rustic greenery to celebrate the Timo Weiland and Lizzie Fortunato Jewels trunk show and party.
Sipping on a glass of La Bubbly, we spoke to Weiland about his whirlwind one-day trip to Charleston. "I wish I could stay longer," he said before inviting us to his new Times Square studio on our next trip to New York. The twin sisters, Elizabeth and Kathryn Fortunato, were also on hand to answer questions about their eclectic jewelry line. While most of the guests shopped the new wares, others caught up on the latest spread.
Most girls couldn't resist cooing over local artist Sally Benedict Read's new bundle of joy, only a few weeks old and enjoying his first fashion party. Local blogger Chassity Aull Evans insisted we try the Roti Rolls truck parked out back before leaving the party as we discussed our penchant for second dinners and local food sources. And even though you don't normally expect many males to attend a women's trunk show, Logan Lee and Brad Ball of Wine Awesomeness mingled with the crowd and spread the word about their latest ventures in wine subscriptions.
We were miffed that we failed to pick up a new dress at Hampden, because the next night we felt a bit under-dressed for the Brendan James private concert at Robert Lange Studios. Many of the attendees pulled out their best finery and high heels to witness the handsome crooner live in downtown Charleston. Before the show, we spoke to Megan Lange; she was excited to show off the studio's new upstairs gallery. Airy and spacious, the addition seems like the perfect place to hang out on the weekends contemplating paintings and new works.
Everyone scurried to their seats as Robert Lange introduced James to the enthusiastic crowd. Within seconds of the first song, most of the audience was either swaying to the sounds or singing along in the intimate setting. The lucky few that had a chance to attend the show were wholly appreciative of James and his band.
A few songs in, we checked our phone and realized we were running late to the second event of the evening and ducked out to race to St. Philip Street. Redux Contemporary Art Center was hosting an Art After Dark event in celebration of the Void to Void exhibition from artist Sinisa Kukec. Since events at Redux tend to attract the young hipster crowd, we rationalized that 90 minutes behind was merely fashionably late, but it seemed we completely missed the party. Much of the young crowd was gathered outside, contemplating their next move as we walked into the gallery. The guy carrying sound equipment out the front door was a bad sign that the party wasn't picking up any time soon.
While we didn't get a chance to practice our new dance moves, we did get to chat with Executive Director Janie Askew. She told us that we would get many other opportunities to participate in Art After Dark as she was contemplating ideas like a karaoke night or a masquerade ball at Redux. Not to be the kind of guest that outstays their welcome, we promptly scooted out before the interns turned off the lights. —Erin Perkins