Under the Charleston Fashion Week tents, things can get pretty intimidating. Sitting across a runway from the well-dressed judges, watching the Emerging Designers take their final walk with their models. These people can come off as kind of terrifying. But the luncheon at McCrady’s early this afternoon let the media schmooze with them in the light of day. Hearing Anna Lassiter admit that she didn’t even know how to sew when she entered the contest, or having Marysia Reeves gush about Barbara Beach’s children’s line while enjoying tiny ham biscuits is something CFW wanted to afford to the press.

Most of the Emerging Designers stuck to one table, while Ayoka Lucas — on the brink of losing her voice — and Mychael Knight sat in the back of the room. (I mustered up the courage to say hello to Mychael Knight, who is quite possibly my favorite Project Runwayer ever, but that was the extent of our conversation. My heart is a little broken.) We sat with representatives from Atlanta Apparel, one of the week’s sponsors who will reward the winner of the competition with a booth at their mart. Though the lunch ran long (sadly, we had to escape back to our office before they could serve the crÈme brÛlÉe), it was a fruitful lunch. Now, when I see Chelsie Ravenell, I’ll remember him as the well-mannered gentleman that held the door open for us.