A champagne-lovin’ crowd showed up to the Memminger for the Sale Soiree on Thursday. Tempted by the promise of major sales and unlimited bubbly, plus the chance to raise money for People Against Rape, more than 200 fashionistas showed up to sip and scour discount racks from Charleston boutiques like V2V, Biton, K. Morgan, iheart, and Butterfly Consignment. Ten stylish ladies (including City Paper’s own Sabrina Heise) were plucked from the crowd as finalists to walk the runway and compete for best outfit — the trend du jour seemed to be fur, and lots of it.

Just before the fashion show was set to start, organizer Tara Mills dropped a bombshell: the champagne had run out. “You went through 150 bottles of champagne!” she announced. The ticket-holders, who had been promised an evening of libations, did not seem amused. The crowd watched the first half of the fashion show sans beverages, but after an uneventful 20-minute intermission, most attendees snuck out, missing the fashion show’s last three acts.

Krista Beth Huff’s fun pastel designs hung on models who looked like porcelain dolls with red cheeks, wearing lacy bootie socks with nude-colored heels and creative concoctions of tutus, satin, and lace. Suite 33, while a crowd favorite because of its wearability, made for a slightly drab runway show. Metallic silvers with a touch of zebra strutted past over and over again. Mew Designs livened up the place a bit, with sassy models who rocked out some peace signs and a ’70s lovechild vibe. The first model out wore moccasin boots, a headscarf, elastic-waist shorts, and a T-shirt. Another model wore yoga pants. After a while, the Pocahontas variations began to bore.

By the end of the night, we got the feeling that the designers spent too much time with one outfit prototype, and themes within many of the shows became redundant. Perhaps more alcohol could have demolished the grumpy murmurs from the crowd.

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