Spring into Freshfields

Even though it’s been chilly in the Lowcountry, spring is here and I’m looking forward to it warming up this week.  Just in time for the Spring Festival happening at Freshfields Village.

The Village is alway hopping this time of year and the festivities begin on Friday with Music on the Green from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, featuring Shem Creek Boogie Band. Then on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm their annual Spring Festival will be packed with kid-friendly activities, an interactive musician, photos with the Easter bunny and a meet and greet fire safety event with the St. Johns Fire Dept.  And there’s always something for the adults to do including taking in the art from the Seabrook Island Artists Guild.  My boys always enjoy the kid activities and us adults love popping in and out of stores and having lunch at one of our favorites – Fuji Sushi, Cantina 76, or La Tela.   And if your looking to do something different for your Easter Mass, then Freshfields Village will be hosting a service on Sunday on the green at 9:30 am. 

If your looking for new spring pieces to add into your wardrobe, then pop into Tres Carmen Kiawah.  They’re always surprising me with new brands like this dress by Misa.  They also recently started carrying Elizabeth & James jewelry which always makes a statement.  You can’t go wrong with a black bag and this timeless one by Taxidermy is something you’ll have for life.

Dress by Misa $336, bag by Taxidermy $1,495, Earrings by Elizabeth & James $125, Stacked rings by Elizabeth & James $150, bracelets by Elizabeth & James $150 each all from Tres Carmen Kiawah at Freshfields Village // Karen Ankle Strap Sandal by Pelle Moda from Nordstrom $154.95

Photography by Libby Williams, Manicure by Mylk Bar, Lashes by Simply Smitten Beauty Bar

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Saturday Night at Charleston Fashion Week

The finale night of  Charleston Fashion Week is when everyone pulls out the stops.  I was so excited to wear this Zac Posen sequined number and dance the night away in the Style Lounge.

Zac Zac Posen Leila Gown similar to mine from Far Fetch $1,590 // Chandelier earrings $250, Industrial finish 5 stack ring $275, Industrial finish 4 point textured hinge bangle $295, Vermeil thin eternity pave hinge bracelet $200, Vermeil signature bevel hinge bangle $200 all from Croghan’s Jewel Box //14k pink amethyst ring $1,350 and 14k diamond 4 strand ring $3,450 from Gold Creations // JW Micro Bag by Taxidermy $895 // Karen Ankle Strap Sandal by Pelle Moda from Nordstrom $154.95

Photography by Clifford Pate,  Manicure by Mylk Bar,  Lashes by Simply Smitten Beauty Bar

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It Takes a Fashion Village

It was a huge honor to be a judge for the Charleston Fashion Week Emerging Designer competition again this year.  The Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week, came back again and said that this is her favorite fashion week, which is a huge compliment given that she travels globe seeing other fashion weeks across the world.  Courtney Wartman, VP of Marketing at Clique, who handles clients such as Who What Wear and Byrdie, also expressed how impressed she was with the talent that Charleston Fashion Week brings together.  One of my favorites, model scout Karen Lee always comes back with the model panel.  Her mission is to scope out the fresh faces and help decide on the model search winners at fashion week.

I love that fashion designer and Charleston native Pauline Nakios is part of the designer panel of judges.  Her expertise in the design industry is immeasurable.  Not only does she have 2 brands – Leo & Sage and Lilla P, but she also has a store in New York, and is a mother of 2 sweet boys.  I always look forward to her visits back to the south.

I couldn’t have made it through fashion week without my fashion sidekick, Hillary Conheady.  I love it when man about town Jonatan Guerrero Ramirez, can help me with my shoots and Lowcountry Live.  He always bring a smile and great energy wherever he goes.

Ashley Brooke Perryman is a superwoman.  As the beauty director for Charleston Fashion Week, she works with every store and designer on hair and makeup looks for the runway shows, and directs her team on the execution.  She does all of this with such calmness and grace.

The high quality of the production at Charleston Fashion Week always amazes me and  Jacqueline Russell is the glue that keeps it together.

Female empowerment is her agenda, Shelly Young from Skirt Mag.

View more for more street style and party pics!

Photography by Clifford Pate

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Finale Night at Charleston Fashion Week 2018

The energy was thick at the finale night at Charleston Fashion Week.  With only 3 nights of emerging designer shows, us judges were able to save 3 extra designers to be included in the semi-finalist runway show.  Being a judge is one of the toughest jobs because each designer had such a clear point of view and the workmanship was incredible.  This was the hardest year to decide, the competition was very tight!

In the end Tygerian Burke of Tygerian Lace won the competition.  Hailing from Charlotte, Tygerian wowed everyone with a vibrant  collection of color and texture layered with lace and sequins.  Each outfit was a statement and so well styled with turbans and retro shades.  Her star is shining bright and I’m looking forward to keeping up with her to see what’s next on the horizon.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, designer Joan Madison electrified the audience with her collection of over the top evening wear fit for a queen.  Each model looked empowered and ready for awards season in their red carpet ready looks.  The drama unfolded as each piece stepped on the runway.  The crowd roared and gave Joan a much deserved standing ovation.

 12-year-old design prodigy Kelly Callaway  took us into the fashion future with her collection of modern dresses and separates.   The Star Trek inspired pieces popped with color and geometric shapes.  With no formal training other than her mother teaching her, Kelly has been designing and sewing since the age of 7 in her hometown of Scottsdale, AZ.  If she is capable of this at 12 years old, I can only imagine what she will accomplish in her teen years.  Watch out Project Runway Junior!

Kenya Freeman’s models boogied down the runway wearing her 70’s inspired collection from Sylvia Mollie.  I literally wanted every piece and I know most of the audience did too.  The rich fall color palette danced down the runway in playful jumpsuits, suiting, and evening wear.  Kenya was also on Project Runway season 16, which makes this the 3rd Project Runway alum to grace Charleston Fashion Week.

Brooklynite Emilie Schroeder’s wanted to express the beauty of all skin colors by showing a collection of nudes and neutrals.  The ready to wear looks showed off statement pockets and feminine silhouettes.

Paying tribute to the vanishing glaciers Patresea Pepper  showed a collection of thought provoking, conceptual designs.  Using unconventional materials such as plastic and straws, she blurred the lines of art and fashion.

View more to see more from the 2018 Charleston Fashion Week Semi-Finalists.

Photography by Clifford Pate

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Friday Night at Charleston Fashion Week

 Last week the south’s most celebrated style event, Charleston Fashion Week kicked off for it’s 12th year.  I look forward to this event every year, because it brings some of the most talented emerging designers from all over the U.S.  This year’s contestants were some of the most diverse and inclusive groups we’ve seen.  From the 12 year old designer Kelly Callaway from Phoenix, to Joan Madison from Ohio with decades of experience, to Kenya Mollie of Project Runway fame.  As a judge on the Emerging Designer panel, I have the hardest job to help decide who’s the winner.  This year was one of the toughest years because everyone was a star in their own way.  Tomorrow I’ll be featuring the semi-finalists on my blog.

This year I took the glam but comfortable approach to my outfits.  It was all about teal for me from head to toe.  This Zac Zac Posen dress was the perfect segue into Spring and the marabou slippers I picked up from Julep last year after their runway show.

In real life I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup, so I have to make sure my skin is always on point.  The week before fashion week I made sure I got an appointment at Germain Dermatology for my favorite facials – The Hydro Silk Peel and the Cryofacial.  If you want super hydrated skin and a visible reduction of puffiness then this is the combo you want to get.  I also squeezed in lash extensions with my girl Becca at Simply Smitten Beauty Bar.  It’s so nice to wear wear minimal eye makeup because longer lashes make such a difference in the beauty routine.

I love to pile on the gold jewelry and these bangles, gold ring, and Goldbug earrings from Croghan’s Jewel Box were the right accents.

Zac Zac Posen Bay Pleated Tiered Gown from Far Fetch $556 // JW Micro Bag by Taxidermy $895 // Goldbug Shining Star Earrings $135, Gold Plated Valla Ring $115, 14k Bangle Bracelets $140, $175, and $225 from Croghan’s Jewel Box // Remy Rotenier for Bella Luce 8.68ctw Remy Cut Eterno Yellow “Tournesol Ring” from Jtv $80.99

Photography by Clifford Pate,  Manicure by Mylk Bar,  Lashes by Simply Smitten Beauty Bar

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Charleston Fashion Week Streetstyle – Friday Night

The people watching at  Charleston Fashion Week is always the highlight for me.  Sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m in Charleston, and where do these beautiful creatures come from?  There’s nothing like seeing people decked out in the middle of Marion Square.

Photography by Clifford Pate

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Style Through the Decades

March is Women’s History and I’m so proud to team up with Kristen Fanarakis of Senza Tempo for Style Through the Decades.  Our love and appreciation of vintage fashion is a constant influence – her with design and me with style.  There was a time when women’s wardrobe was very concise and selective, and fast fashion wasn’t even a thought.  Senza Tempo‘s philosophy of timeless luxury wardrobe essentials that are made in America is something that more women are embracing.

We are at a pivotal time in history where women are again at the forefront, voicing our opinion and standing up for our rights.  Fashion comes in cycles and so does history.

Kristen wears necklace from Croghan’s Jewel Box, rings from Gold Creations, Andrea wears earrings from Croghan’s Jewel Box, rings from Gold Creations

In the 20’s women finally liberated themselves from their wardrobe and way of life.  Corsets and modesty were traded for shorter lengths and leaner silhouettes. The era was known for decadent parties and a carefree attitude and the wardrobe reflected that.

The 30’s – 40’s were a more understated glamour. Hollywood starlets influenced the trends and everyone wanted to duplicate the look.  The introduction of the ensemble – the matching top and skirt, was a popular style.

The ultra feminine hourglass shape reflected the idealized look and attitude of women in the 50’s.  It was a complicated mix of conservatism and glamour.  Shorts and pants were finally staples in women’s wardrobes.

Kristen wears earrings from Croghan’s Jewel Box, rings from Gold Creations

The 60’s were a varied contrast of prim and proper to another rise in liberation and style.   In the early 60’s the decade reflected the elegance of Jackie O.  The first lady set mainstream trends and became a style icon that is still relevant today.  Women were becoming more socially conscious and wanted to be agents of change.  Later in the decade women pushed the envelope by experimenting with style.  The mod, futuristic look was their nod to progression.

Kristen wears earrings from Croghan’s Jewel Box, rings from Gold Creations

Andrea wears Columbus neck collar from Jahde Leather Atelier

The rebellious spirit of the 70’s influenced everything from fashion, to music, to a more liberated lifestyle.  Music heavily influenced the styles, especially rock n’ roll and disco.   With the rise of social consciousness women began to develop a personal style rather than being dictated by the elite fashion houses.

The saying is so true – “What goes around comes Around” and what’s old is new again.  As we progressed, the 90’s were influenced by the 60’s and 70’s and now in 2018, the 90’s are trending.  I’m so grateful I am surrounded by forward thinking women and many who are entrepreneurs here in Charleston.  Ladies, we’ve come a long way, but we still have so much work to do.  At least we can do it in style and look good doing it!

Photography by Nicole Mickle,  Makeup – Elina Mille at Bellelina Studio, Hairstylist – Lauren Elise Hall at Updos for I Do’s, on location at Vintage Lounge,  earrings by Jahde Leather Atelier

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About Charleston Shop Curator

Charleston Shop Curator serves as a fashion blog and shopping guide to showcase the incredible diversity of style in Charleston, South Carolina. We continually strive to expose local creative talents from designers to stores. Here you can find all of the treasures Charleston has to offer, and more.

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