The fashion tide rolled into Folly Beach Sunday night with the Surfing the Runway event at Blu. An eclectic crowd comprised of surfer dudes, fashionistas, and families affected by autism, gathered to enjoy live music, yummy finger foods, tropical drinks, and four runway shows. Guests were invited to partake in a silent auction raising money for Surfers Healing, a charity that seeks to enrich the lives of autistic children and their families through surfing.

The runway show opened with a laid-back presentation from the surf label Quicksilver, featuring wide-brimmed straw hats, board shorts, and men’s graphic tees. Barefoot models with soft, windblown curls recalled steamy coastal Carolina summers in made-to-order bikinis from Coral Swimwear Charleston. The evening’s undisputed highlight was the debut of the Spring 2010 collections from event hosts — and former CFW Local Emerging Designers — Emily Bargeron of Mamie Ruth and Megan Waldrep of Mew.

The runway MC, local radio DJ Brooke Ryan, opened the show with a special treat: the recognition of Bargeron’s grandmother, the original Mamie Ruth, in the audience. Mamie Ruth, the collection, featured an overtly nautical theme, realized in a palette of red, white, and blue and accented with gold. Maritime touches, such as chain straps on a printed silk halter top and anchor appliqués on a stand-out fire engine red micro-mini, came off as more charming than kitsch. One model patriotically strutted the runway in a sailor hat, while another sported a blouse with Navy uniform-style lapels.

The second half of the show introduced rich marigolds that looked yacht-ready splashed across lithe silks and preppy prints. Understated metallic piping ran down the seams of a short, boat-neck ’60s-inspired dress, which recalled Jackie during the “O” years. Seersucker, the southern classic, looked contemporary on beachy, fit-and-flare sun dresses. Mamie Ruth’s balance of country club fabrics and retro cuts revealed Bargeron’s impressive talent, and left the audience craving a few on-shore styles and a more well-rounded look at her abilities. 

Mew, Waldrep’s rocker-chic label, turned up the volume with a collection of inspired rock ‘n’ roll-meets-hippie women’s and children’s wear. Tees from the likes of the Rolling Stones, ACDC, and the Beatles were reworked into tunic-length tube and halter tops, and accented with suede cord-laced backs, ribbon fringed edges, and lacey collars. Vintage, over-sized band tees diced into sexy, spaghetti strap tanks with dangerously low backs seemed suited for the likes of groupie Penny Lane. Denim dominated the runway, and old pairs of “Bofriend” jeans were manipulated into an impressive variety of skirts, dresses, and tops.
The most striking of which was a corset-shaped top covered in delicate, undulating chambray ruffles. Subtle details like exposed zippers balanced with girly trim rejuvenated the ’70s looks and were most charming in the hip kids’ fashions.