Charleston Fashion Week - Behind the Scenes, Part One

What dreams may come

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The real thing is only one rehearsal away. - JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago
  • The real thing is only one rehearsal away.

On Monday, we got a sneak peek at the final rehearsal for Charleston Fashion Week, which officially began its five-day run in Marion Square on Tues. March 15th.

This last practice session brought together 300 models, attired in form-fitting black as they practiced hitting their marks on the runway for CFW Model Coach Michelle Wood and Production Director Jacqueline Lawrence, a trial by fire accompanied by applause and shouted encouragement from comrades waiting their turn to shine. Gracefully holding a straight line strut down the center, keeping up the correct pace, and making it all look effortless is, well, anything but that. Therefore, practice.

It was the last day to attend some other tasks as well. CFW Hair and Makeup Director Ashley Brook Perryman stepped in front of the camera to record special video segments on some of the products she and her team use to create and maintain the look for each model.

Nine years ago, Perryman signed on as an intern with the CFW hair and makeup team. Two years later, she took the reins herself: designing, coordinating, organizing, supervising, and generally making certain that she and her staff send every model out to meet the CFW audience looking their best. She’s a woman who clearly loves her work and speaks of it as a dream come true.

This year Perryman realized another long held dream as she launches her own line of ABP Makeup Lip Sheers, lipsticks custom blended to her own specifications and, as she proudly points out, "made in the USA."

Monday's final rehearsal was also time for the throng of models to receive the week's general operating procedures: admonitions mostly, to make staying hydrated a priority, keep out of the skin-tone destroying sun for the next few days and always, always let someone know where to find them. ’Nuff said. 

CFW founder Ayoka Lucas stopped by to offer her own words of encouragement and congratulations to all the participants. In relating how this tenth anniversary Fashion Week is both the culmination of their combined endeavor and a personal dream fully realized, Lucas may have touched on the core of this experience for many of the experienced staff as well as the hopefuls among them. This week's final efforts, in fact, may speak to dreams each of them may yet dare to realize.

Video, audio — check. - JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago
  • Video, audio — check.

Ashley Brook Perryman begins makeup on a model. - JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago
  • Ashley Brook Perryman begins makeup on a model.

JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago

All set up for the video shoot. - JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago
  • All set up for the video shoot.

Take One. Production Director Jacqueline Lawrence gets them ready for their closeup. - JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago
  • Take One. Production Director Jacqueline Lawrence gets them ready for their closeup.

JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago

JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago

JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago

JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago


JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago

Ayoka Lucas (left) and Ashley Brook Perryman - JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago
  • Ayoka Lucas (left) and Ashley Brook Perryman

On deck. Backstage, heading for the runway. - JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago
  • On deck. Backstage, heading for the runway.

Runway rehearsal, keeping pace. - JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago
  • Runway rehearsal, keeping pace.

Runway moment - JON SANTIAGO
  • Jon Santiago
  • Runway moment



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