In a city seemingly obsessed with beauty and style, we were surprised by the turnout at the S.C. Style Workshop on Saturday. Perhaps it was due to the newness of the event, or perhaps it was due to ticket prices (ranging from $30-$70, benefiting Parents Anonymous), but there was a fair share of empty seats at the American Theater.

With Ryan Nelson acting as emcee, guests were treated to a variety of speakers, with fashion shows by local designers woven in throughout the afternoon. The speakers covered all aspects of personal style, from inner beauty (mindfulness and nutrition) to outer beauty (makeup, skincare, and wardrobe) to everything in between (finances and first impressions).

While some tips could have been found in your favorite beauty/lifestyle magazine, there were some definite highlights, like Marcus Amaker’s steamy poetry,  Elli Boland’s insightful and humorous talk on the importance of having a healthy relationship with food, and Andrew Peterson’s helpful makeup lesson. (Foundation doesn’t need to be applied to the entire face, people. Use it sparingly!) Ayoka Lucas also shared some great news for Charleston Fashion Week: Some special guests for the week will be Janie Bryant, costume designer for Mad Men, and Fern Mallis, who has run New York Fashion Week since its inception. A lucky guest won tickets to the week of Holy City fashion.

As for the runway shows,  a crowd favorite was the Kenneth Beatrice collection — think Billy Reid meets urban streetwear — and the male models were an obvious bonus. The final runway show of the afternoon, Lassitera, sent out a stunning finale dress of gold sequins and  petaled orange chiffon. I want it.

The event felt like a longer, more expensive, style-themed Pecha Kucha. Organizer Diana Deaver closed the workshop with promises for bigger and better future events. We’ll be interested to see how this event grows or changes to adapt to Charleston’s stylish crowd.


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