Fashion Week Flashback: Charleston Edition

Relent, fashion lovers. Like a chilled Gatorade to the parched lips of an out of shape gym dad on the treadmill, I’m here to quench your thirst.

Image from www.quickmeme.com
Image from http://www.quickmeme.com

I had the pleasure of working Charleston Fashion Week recently, and I have to say I did not expect to see such cutting edge work in Charleston. All week I was immersed in a pleasant polymerization of Charleston and New York style; with VIP’s present like New York Fashion Week creator, Fern Mallis, the pressure to look nothing but on fleek was imminent. Here are two of the looks I donned during the chic week:

Image from @outre_mode via Instagram
Image from @outre_mode via Instagram

I wore this look on Wednesday Night, and I think it was my favorite. Because menswear is so limited in comparison to women’s fashion, I decided to play with textures to give my otherwise mundane outfit a twist. My satin pants from Zara, velvet blazer from H&M, and patent leather loafers from Saks Fifth Avenue inspired more visual interest.

Image from @smilethomsmile via Instagram
Image from @smilethomsmile via Instagram

This look worn on Friday Night, is the perfect example of the power of basics. By just adding a fur stole I found at a thrift store, I painted the essence of chic on this (Christian) gray canvas. However, as you can see, this wasn’t enough to cover up my anxiousness about meeting Fern as indicated by my dumb expression in the photo below. Check out the outfit details at: http://charlestongrit.com/cfw-street-style-night-four

Image from www.charlestonmagazine.com; Pictured with Outré Mode guest blogger, Rachel Spivey and New York Fashion Week creator, Fern Mallis.
Image from http://www.charlestonmagazine.com; Pictured with Outré Mode guest blogger, Rachel Spivey and New York Fashion Week creator, Fern Mallis.

As a personal assistant, one of my duties was to fill seats in the front row if any of the VIP’s were missing. Two nights of the week, I was afforded this luxury. The typical line-up for a show at CFW is as follows: retail stores from the area, then the designers competing in the Emerging Designer competition, and finally one established Featured Designer a night.

Retail establishments like Gwynn’s of Mt. Pleasant (http://gwynns.com) and Mosa Boutique (http://www.mosaboutique.com) emphasized color this season; choosing vivids in lieu of tired neons from Spring/ Summer trends of recent years, the symbiotically structured and delicate runway looks evoked a Palm Springs appeal. Likewise, the menswear looks sizzled in mixed prints and the bold colors of the season in a way that one can only describe as “Chuck Bass at the Hamptons”. Check out some of my favorite looks:

Gwynn’s of Mt. Pleasant:

Image from www.charlestonmagazine.com; Gwynn's of Mt. Pleasant

Gwynns 6 Gwynns5 Gwynns4 Gwynns3 Gwynns2 Gwynns1

Mosa Boutique:

Mosa1 Mosa2 Mosa3****All runway images from: http://www.charlestonfashionweek.com

From the high end collections of Emerging and featured designers, there seemed two vastly different aesthetics: minimal and extravagant. However, the emphasis on modern, clean lines and slimming, elongating fits was present in both.. In addition to striking design work, the concept of Social Responsibility was evident, such as Seam Siren’s (http://seamsirenmaui.com) campaign to help women around the world and utilization of green fiber from Nepal. Oh and by the way, according to Carlos Campos (http://www.carloscampos.com), navy is huge. Check out my favorite looks:

Featured Designer, Todd Snyder:

Snyder2 Snyder1

Featured Designer, Carlos Campos:

Campos4 Campos3 campos2

Emerging Designers, Taylor Kaclik and Andie Enomoto

weirdfw3 weirdfw2 Weirdfw1

Emerging Designer, Roy Blake Smith:

RBS3 RBS2

RBS1

Winner of the Emerging Designer Competition, Gloria Forehand:

GloriaForehand3 GloriaForehand2 GloriaForehand1

Designer Debut, Seam Siren:

SeamSiren2 SeamSiren

***All Runway Images from http://www.charlestonfashionweek.com


My favorite designer of the week is also the one I was assigned to personal assist: Charles Harbison. Relying on a modern aesthetic, his collection personified Parisian chic; something you would expect Carrie Bradshaw to wear on a date with the Russian. The exceptionally tailored, and wearable ensembles appealed the ever present need for timelessness and innovation. It’s no wonder Beyonce and Solange have been spotted in Harbison! Apart from killing the fashion game, the designer himself and his team are nothing but charming, effervescent, and down to Earth. It was sincerely a pleasure to work for him! Check out my favorite looks from his collection:

Image from www.eonline.com; Beyonce and Solange Knowles in Harbison.
Image from http://www.eonline.com; Beyonce and Solange Knowles in Harbison.

Harbison4 Harbison3 Harbison2 Harbison1

***All Runway Images from http://www.charlestonfashionweek.com

Complete collection at: http://www.harbisoncollection.com


In retrospect, this was probably one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had. I was able to make some awesome connections,  while getting to enjoy one of my biggest passions in it’s concentrated form. Which of these looks do you think you would wear? Tweet us @outremode and let me know!

Xoxo, Thomas

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