Welcoming Warby, Stars, and Exhibition A 

Starry Eyed

Even though LASIK exists, we still welcome an excuse for another accessory. Eyeglasses can make for a very pricey addition to one's wardrobe, but the folks at Warby Parker have found a way to offer stylish glasses at $95 a pair. Until last week, our only option was to order them online, but the company has paired up with local men's shop Indigo and Cotton to set up a miniature boutique on Cannon Street. On Thursday, they threw a party to celebrate. Guests were encouraged to wander the shop and try on glasses, and photographer Ben Williams was on hand to snap attendees in their new looks. Owner Brett Carron was excited to have the new addition to his shop, and we were elated that ladies would have something to buy there other than gifts for the men in their lives. Artist Nathan Durfee and many of Indigo and Cotton's regulars dropped by to support the store.

After trying on one too many pairs of specs, we rushed home to make ourselves black-tie ready for Charleston Stage's 17th annual dinner and gala. The Memminger Auditorium was draped in rich garnet fabrics, veiling the dining room for the evening. Guests mingled while eying the items up for silent auction and snatching up small bites like fried chicken in miniature cones, truffle deviled eggs, and pimento cheese. It was smart to keep the guests sequestered with the auction items, as it gave everyone more time to raise their bids. After a second glass of wine, we even pondered bidding on a Barbour jacket that was out of our price range.

When the silent auction ended, guests were ushered into the dining room. Each table was beautifully decorated with fresh hydrangeas, roses, and votive candles. Several local restaurants participated in the gala, and it was like playing roulette, trying to figure out which chef would be serving which table. We had our fingers crossed for the Ocean Room, but our meal was from Muse. The Mediterranean menu turned out to be perfectly delicious, and the service was superb. The evening's highlight was a performance from a few of the younger members of Charleston Stage.

We were still full from dinner a day later, but with the promise of an open bar and food samples, we headed to the premiere party for Stars Grill Room and Rooftop Bar on Friday. We toured the massive new dining room on King Street and marveled at the 12-person chef's table banquette. The weather was perfect for taking in the scene from the rooftop bar overlooking the city. An attentive waitstaff offered spoonfuls of goodness from the kitchen. We started with a bite of dino kale salad dotted with almonds and a shaved ricotta salata and had several samples of the leg of lamb. Chef Nathan Thurston joined the guests to answer questions about opening night.

When the doors to Stars opened to the public, we decided to go down the street in search of more free champagne. The newly relocated Cynthia Rowley boutique was hosting an event to showcase works from Exhibition A, an online retailer that sells prints from artists like Olaf Breuning and Parra. The art walk was in full swing, so plenty of guests had wandered from other galleries into the clothier space. Even a small tiara-topped girl snuck in to grab a brownie from the dessert spread. The shop girls greeted grown-up guests with a tray of bubbly. We left the store in a quest for more gallery-hopping, even though our heels were worn down.

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