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