by Kinsey Labberton
The cast of The Hills was in attendance day three of Charleston Fashion Week. Wait, no, that was a Bishop England sophomore convinced she’s Lauren Conrad. Young fashionistas were out in full force, parading so much it was difficult for the MCs to settle everyone down in their seats. Of course, that was also a product of faulty sound equipment. Sometime between Tuesday and last night a speaker must been blown out or something because you couldn’t hear a damn word anyone said. I happened to get seated next to one Bruce Murdy of Rawle Murdy fame. He seemed equally amused with the silence turning to me after each MC interlude and going, “Yeah, I got nothin’.” And then I turned to him and told him how his firm didn’t give me an internship my junior year of college and how that singular moment had smashed to pieces all my dreams of ever becoming a television copywriter! Then oh how we laughed and laughed! Good times…
[image-2]Okay, no that didn’t happen, I kept my big mouth shut and actually had a great time chatting with Mr. Murdy who for the record is an extremely nice man. (I didn’t really want the internship anyway.)
On to the Fashion. Goga, King Street’s little slice of Europe, opened the show to a warm reception. Exceptionally unique designs including a standout red dress with a halter top bow got everyone’s attention. The models looked miserable, but their clothes looked magnificent.
Next was II Brunettes, a boutique over on Mt. Pleasant’s Long Point Road. Everything they showed felt very summery, I would call it I’on Mommy Chic. There was a touch of ‘60s throwback with bold prints. It’s what I’d expect a mistress of some downtown lawyer to wear to the attorney’s child’s sixth birthday pool party — does that make sense?
[image-3]Lula Kate unexpectedly came out to Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady,” which I found hilarious. This King Street shop couldn’t be more conservative and classic, which yes, can be foxy, but foxy in the way Hendrix is suggesting? Hmm, maybe if Hendrix thought tea parties were sexy. I think not. The surprise hit of the collection was a beach-style wedding gown in white with black accents and a long sheer veil. The audience seemed thrilled with the idea.
The real golden girl of the evening was Hampden Clothing. Owner Stacy Smallwood had alluded to some shockers Tuesday night. My friend and I weren’t fully convinced. But low and behold, Smallwood held true to her word. Sexy Secretary, aka Sexetary was the look and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t working. All the models wore Roy Orbison glasses, fedoras, blazers, and long necklaces. Annie Hall meet Charleston. For the first time that evening the models actually looked like they were having fun. The collection got a standing ovation.
[image-4]MC and Charleston Magazine style editor Ayoka Lucas came out during the break to pump up the crowd and, hooray, we could actually hear her. She had the audience hold up one hand and proclaim, “That’s fierce,” and most of the crowd were drunk enough to follow her suggestion.
Next came Berlin’s for Women. The classic boutique offered Mrs. Robinson 1950s options with a few really different pieces. In particular one green mandarin collared silk blouse with flowing sleeves caught my eye.
Right after Berlin’s there seemed to be a mass exodus from the building, both parties on my left and right took off. The two sophisticated ladies to my right explained why, “Next is Brooks Brothers, that’s a national chain.” True, it doesn’t qualify as a boutique, but Brooks Brothers hasn’t been in business for years for nothing. It was old news, but good news. BB is where most men go to get that signature sports coat or suit they’ll have in their closet for years. Prior to going on stage the male models could be seen behind the scrim doing push ups. I guess this was to add a little sex appeal. The female models for their part presented traditional Sunday best accents like modest skirts and fitted blazers. Basically Brooks Brothers is to Charleston what grunge is to Seattle, the omnipresent look that never seems to go away.
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