Sunday, May 17, 2009

Charleston Style Swap--Full of Fashion Folks

Last Thursday I drove down to Charleston, SC, for one of the Style Swaps aMuse: artisanal finery helps sponsor with Jess James. Luckily, I had fashion designer Amanda de Leon riding with me, and we had 3+ hours to talk fashion, fashion, fashion. Charleston has become a hotbed of fashion and style in the last few years, and it is one of my favorite cities for great shopping, history, and food besides. Always thrilled to spend some time there and this was an even more exciting trip due to the anticipation of the first Style Swap there. We weren't disappointed!

Above is a wide view of the fashionistas 'tagging' the items they want to win. There is a frantic rustling of hangers to find the most coveted items of the evening. Of course, one can always tag the designer items that are donated too. More about that later.

Above are Rachel McPherson (Style Swap Develpment), Ayoka Lucas (Style Editor with Charleston Magazine and Creative Director of Charleston Fashion Week), and Jess James (Founder of Style Swap).

On the left is Archie Burkel, Founder and President of The Hat Ladies of Charleston. If you are unfamiliar with the organization, please check them out. They believe in two tenents: you must want to give back to your community, and you must do it in a fashionable hat! Can't beat that, can you? Archie is a lovely lady and I was so pleased she came to the first Charleston Style Swap. We met several years ago and it was so good to see her again. You can't miss her...she ALWAYS wears a hat.

For the most sought after items, those tagged many, many times, the most fair and fun way to choose a winner is through a round of musical chairs. As the music comes up there's a dance line 'round the chairs, everyone having a blast and as the music ends, yes, there's a dash for the winning seat! A hoot to watch...and participate in. The designer items are always hot items!

At right is fashion designer Mary Porter of Mary Porter House of Couture on King Street. She specializes in creating special occasion, bridal, suits, and dresses. She donated a fabulous black dress to the event. One that many wanted...and one took home.

Above is Amanda de Leon, wearing one of her designs, made of screen! It was to die for! On her head is a 1920's inspired metallic lace headband, one of mine.

Ahhh, and here is Amanda's donation for the evening. A slick (literally and figuratively) black swimsuit. Very high-waisted boy pants and a one-shouldered top. Stunning without being too revealing. Loved it! So did the winner!!!

Here's the lovely lady who won the item I donated, a natural sinamay free-form styled headband with yellow, green, orange, and purple coquilles, plus some matching beading.

I very much hope that we will be able to go back to Charleston soon! Besides, they are truly a hat-wearing town. After my heart!

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