After a forgettable first half, I was eager for the emerging designers to take the runway on night two of Charleston Fashion Week. North Carolinian Stephanie Mejia was first up, and her collection was one of the most interesting, though least wearable, of the night. She has an obvious love of textiles, and most of the pieces blended various textures, like velvet, tweed, silk, leather, oversized knitwear, and more. There was little consistency throughout the collection, but Mejia seems OK with that. “I don’t limit myself to one style, because that’s just like drinking water for the rest of your life — boring,��� she says in her CFW bio. A standout piece was a cozy maroon knit hat/scarf/shawl combo.
Charleston’s own Mary Labberton was up next with her biker debutante collection. Since she works downstairs from our offices (and is the sister of our freelancer Kinsey Gidick) we’ve followed her closely through the process of prepping for her show. The models were well-styled with bright red lips, bouffants, and pretty smiles. Many sported spray-painted silver shoes. From backless dresses to jumpers to shorts, Labberton’s pieces blended casual and luxe textures — like jersey camo, fur, and a silky gold — for an uptown/downtown feel. We especially loved two of the models’ horn-rimmed glasses.
New Jersey’s Anjelika Krishna says she’s all about comfort and fluidity, and she uses exclusively organic, hand-dyed materials. The first model came out in a vibrant orange gown with a white hoodie. When she removed the hoodie at the end of the runway, she inadvertently (and unknowingly) exposed her nipples, which were in full view for her walk back down the runway. Most of the other looks were very basic, including a simple wrap dress, a bathrobe-esque piece, and a sheet-like dress perfect for a toga party.
New Yorker Cody Sai Adler-McAllister, a graduate of FIT, presented a collection of green and black pieces with impressive detailing — lots of gold zippers and angular cutouts. The tactile trend continued with fabrics like fur and mohair (or what appeared to be mohair). His piece de resistance was a one-shouldered black and gray mohair gown with cut-outs around the bodice. He went on to win both the people’s choice award and to move on to the emerging designer finals.
Featured designer Lindsey Carter/Troubadour ended the night on a high note with her tomboy cool collection. She paired pretty silk and jersey dresses with more masculine pieces, like menswear-inspired pants, cutoff flannel shirts, and bomber jackets. Some of the more casual pieces had us thinking of Madewell, the J. Crew-owned company that Carter worked at previously. Models were styled with red lips, tight topknots, and fedoras.
Stay tuned for our review of night three. On the docket? Featured designers Hunter Dixon and emerging designers Eleanor Morgan Hoffman, Julie Wheat, Sasha Gil, and Michael Wiernicki.