High fashion in the Holy City

Fashionistas around town have no doubt been suffering a champagne-induced hangover since Saturday night’s Charleston Fashion Week finale. The week of fashion shows, which took place in a cluster of modest-looking white tents in Marion Square, made clear what we’ve known for awhile: Charleston is a fierce little fashion hub.

CFW, hosted by Charleston magazine, kicked off on Tuesday night with six shows from shops like K. Morgan, StylExchange, and Putumayo. Continuing through Thursday, numerous local shops showed off new looks from national and local designers, from Brooks Brothers to LulaKate. Friday night’s Emerging Local Designer showcase was a definite highlight of the week, with impressive shows from six of the city’s very own. The City Paper-sponsored after-parties kept the revelry going late into the night, every night.

On Saturday the shows started early, with the newly-added mimosa-heavy Bridal Couture Show kicking things off. That night the red carpet was laid out for the finale, and the search lights were turned on. The week definitely brought the most stylish, beautiful Charlestonians out in droves, but the gala was almost ridiculous — statuesque, studly models were everywhere I looked. Thanks for intimidating a 5’5″ girl in a boring black dress. Fortunately, the open bar and dance floor brought everyone closer together. The only complaint I heard concerned the lack of food. The oysters and veggie plates were good, but disappointing, especially when they were removed altogether early on in the night. I guess that’s what you get for hanging out with models.

We can hardly wait for Fashion Week 2009, but if local designers keep churning out world-class clothes, and the city’s stylish keep strutting down King Street dressed to impress each week, we might be able to hold out until next March. —Erica Jackson

Above: Is that the elusive Finesse Mitchell?? Pictures courtesy of Stella French.

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