Sunday, September 19, 2010

Local designers steal the show at NV

Posted by Maggie Winterfeldt on Sun, Sep 19, 2010 at 4:00 AM

NV Dance Lounge on Market Street transformed its usually hopping dance floor into a runway Thursday evening for Fabulous Fest, billed as “NV’s fall fashion event.” In addition to showcasing the seasonal fashions available in Charleston, the event raised money for the Charleston Cancer Center through a raffle that included prizes like a VIP booth with bottle service at the club.

A tick after 10 p.m., the champagne-sipping crowd took their seats as a series of leggy ladies in sky-high Christian Louboutins took to the runway. DJ Natty Heavy spun tunes and Charleston magazine Style Editor Ayoka Lucas MC’ed, introducing a line-up of skin-hugging cocktail looks and show-stopping, sequined LBDs from Sam’s Closet on King Street. Next up, Banana Republic presented a more subdued collection of fall essentials, including on-trend workwear and a man’s weekend-chic half-zip sweater and tailored coat combo modeled with panache.

After a brief pause — during which fresh bubbly replenished flutes and the models regrouped — it was time for the local designer starlets to shine. Summerville resident and Charleston Fashion Week 2010 Emerging Designer finalist Julia Faye Davison’s collection channeled the Wild West, with suede fringe cascading down the outside of a legging, spicing up a neckline, and adorning the back of a trench coat. Highly tailored pants — like a well-executed harem style navy trouser — were paired with deconstructed knits, like a lopsided navy sweater. The palette was autumnal in muted maroons, browns, and blues.

The final designer, Alena Fede,  a 2009 Charleston Fashion Week Emerging Designer, lightened up the mood with pops of color, opening with a vivid blue off-the shoulder dress that hit just above the knee. A ruffle tank was layered under blazers and low-cut dresses to add interest to the bodice, and a black lace panel gave an air of danger to an otherwise conservative turtle-neck dress (which would have been showcased more effectively without the belt and scarf).  Fede’s most striking looks were a long, Grecian-esque gown and a draped  halter top that showcased the model’s open-back with a double strand necklace and large silk flower evocative of the Chanel Camellia, both in a cheerful yellow jersey.

When the last stiletto had cleared the makeshift runway, DJ Natty Heavy announced it was time to dance, and the runway was reconverted to a dance floor faster than you can say “strike a pose.”

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