Charleston Fashion Week is less than a week away, and if you haven't gotten your tickets yet, you'd be smart to act soon — we hear that Thursday, Friday, and both Saturday shows will definitely sell out soon. Choosing between the six shows can be difficult, especially if you've never been before, so we're here to give you a little guidance.
We're most excited about Tuesday night, because it features the most local designers. The night, like every other weeknight, starts out with shows from two boutiques: Poe Studio (which should be cute and might include some local designers) and Palm Avenue (which is usually pretty generic). Following the break, we'll see lines from emerging designers Mikasa La’Charles (Chesapeake, Va.), Samantha Michele Hyman (Brooklyn), Tsvetelina Gerasimova McAuliffe (Concord, N.C.) Adrienne Antonson (Asheville but formerly Charleston), and locals Gil Tisdale & Dominique Verona. Between the five, we're most eager to see Antonson's line — she says she approaches her romantic, utilitarian pieces from a sculptor's perspective. The featured designer is Charleston's own Emily Bargeron, whose Mamie Ruth line debuted at CFW 2009.
A highlight of Wednesday's show is JLINSNIDER; Jamie Lin Snider was an emerging designer finalist in 2010, a featured designer in 2011, and now she's representing her King Street boutique with a new line. We got a peek at it last week, and it includes some really interesting vintage fabrics. The emerging lineup includes local children's designers Bob and Kris Galmarini, New Jersey's Jessica Patricia Krupa, New York's Angela Sum, New York's Ra Jang, and Maryland's Nina Awasum. Krupa, whose swimwear is loosely inspired by the vampire craze, and Sum, whose textural collection is inspired by winter, both look particularly promising. Charlestonian Michael Wiernicki, who was a finalist in last year's emerging designer competition, is the featured designer.
Thursday kicks off with shows from Copper Penny and V2V, then features emerging designers Nancy Faw Crowell (Murrell's Inlet), Vartika Vikram (Charleston), Jordan Lee Brooks (Rock Hill), Kelly Elizabeth Ruehlman and Amy Cochran Quinn (Raleigh, N.C.), and Hazel Bae (Pineville, N.C.). SCAD grad Brooks has us intrigued with his tea party dresses, and Vikram's line looks thoughtful and lush. The featured designer slot will be filled with a collaborative show featuring Sarah Parrott, Luciana Scarabello, and Nikki Pouls from the NBC show Fashion Star.
Friday night should be a bit longer thanks to the addition of the Rock the Runway competition, which always seems a little redundant after watching models walk the runway all week. Then the emerging designer lineup includes Raleigh's Keely Lauren Cansler, Virginia's Emily Pollard, Savannah's Ashley Newsome, Charleston's Shelly Lucille Smith, and Savannah's Hannah Goff. We're excited for Pollard, another SCAD grad, who was inspired by an image of a snake eating the Earth and talk of doomsday, asking, “How would one dress for the end of the world?"
Saturday's bridal show is great if you're a bride-to-be, or if you just love super girly events. There's always plenty of complimentary cocktails and snacks, making it a great value, and there are shows from boutiques White, Modern Trousseau, LulaKate, Maddison Row and Bella Bridesmaid, plus designers Calvin James Bryant, Rachel Gordon, and Mychael Knight.
Then Saturday night, you can get the most bang for your buck with shows from the top four emerging designer finalists along with featured designers Charlotte Hess (the winner of last year's competition) and gown designer Faith Thornburg.
If you're still on the fence, take some time to peruse the CFW website. They've got pictures and statements from each designer, which should help you narrow things down.