Wilmington Fashion Designer Casey Crespo (whose amazing leggings you may recall seeing in the FASHION FIX (read profile here) showed at Charleston Fashion Week on Friday evening two weeks ago. I had hoped to be front & center cheering her on, but alas was stuck in the Miami aiport (I will refrain from complaining since I was coming straight from Puerto Rico Fashion Week!). I made it under the tents for the finale night (see some other highlights below) but was excited to catch up with Casey back in Wilmington in the midst of her “fashion hangover!” for a little FASHION FIX Q&A:
ff: What prompted you to apply to Charleston Fashion Week this year?
“Anything to help propel me forward in my design career, I am going to do it! I’m trying to move away from making costumes for movies and focus on my business. And although I appreciate that people love my leggings, I felt it was time to show what else I can do. When I began my line, I never expected that leggings would be the thing people wanted from me. I just responded to what my customers wanted more of. Getting accepted to show my collection at CFW has been a personal goal of mine for years. Just being accepted to show was an amazing compliment, but then the pressure was on to deliver an interesting yet accessible and well-crafted show that describes my viewpoint as a designer. This was my chance to really venture outside my comfort zone and let everyone see what I am capable of as a designer.”
ff: Tell us a little about the process.
“In January, I went fabric shopping in NYC and had model fittings in Charleston and since then, I pretty much stopped every other aspect of my life to focus on designing. I was extremely laser-focused. The designing process was totally magical. If I did sketch something, it was just for a general idea. From there, it evolved into what it was really meant to be.”
“Over planning kills magic.” (love this)
ff: How would you describe your collection?
“My collection can be described as dark and ethereal with an element of lunar reverence. I was thinking: space girl on a mission but still wearable on earth. If you look closely, you can pick out crescent, half-moon, and full moon shapes in the silhouettes and actual pattern pieces. The simple color palette of black, white, and grays lent itself to playing with a lot of different textures and shine. I wanted to add an element of anti-gravity, so I incorporated high necklines, wispy fur, flowing sheer fabrics, and bouncy hems. I had weekly meetings with Kristin Wood of Kopious Jewelry, where we talked about styling the pieces. We both had lunar/space inspired collections so collaboration happened very naturally.”
ff: How would you say your kickstarter campaign helped bring you to the “next level” of where you wanted to go with your line?
“The level of support I got with my Kickstarter campaign was out of this world! People I hardly know or even didn’t know at all were contributing to my project. Even though I was doing the project alone, it made me feel like I wasn’t alone, like I was going in the right direction because people believed in me. It was really the moral support that meant more to me than the money. The money was extremely helpful of course. It allowed me to buy some extra yardage of the (expensive) beautiful fabrics so I can offer the clothes for sale after the show. It gave me peace of mind so that I could design. It was extremely difficult to design while worrying about money problems (I tried!). With this show being the most important step in my career so far, everything had to be perfect and I wasn’t going to let a lack of money stand in my way – so I reached out.”
ff: What was your most thrilling experience as an emerging designer?
“The day of my runway show was the most exciting! A few minutes before the show, when I had all my girls dressed and lined up, I got a little emotional. It’s one thing to see my designs on a hanger but it’s amazing to see them come to life on badass models! I poured my heart and soul into the collection and as with any art form, it becomes a very personal thing when you put your creativity out there for all to see. My models and friends/family in the audience were telling me how people were oohing and aaaahing and gasping at my designs and that really made me feel amazing. I was also so happy to make friends with other designers that are at similar stages in their career, and was honored to show next to such amazing talent.”
ff: What valuable insight or advice did you take away from the emerging designer luncheon with Fern Mallis?
“One person asked, ‘Do you think you have to live in NYC to make it as a designer?’ Fern replied: ‘Absolutely not; you should live wherever you feel creative and just travel wherever your business needs you to go.’ That made me feel better because I almost moved to NYC a few years ago but I just like the easy living here! I also learned that my next step should probably be a trade show rather than another fashion show.
And now I have a fashion hangover.”
Highlights from Charleston Fashion Week!
Gold brows backstage before Emerging Designers Daniel Velasco & Ryan Workman’s show
by: Wilmington Makeup Artist Chelsea Sule
Finale Night Crew hanging inside the Gwynn’s VIP Tent:
Chleb Ravenell, Audrey Myers, Raleigh Carter, Jess James
Favorite new accessory designer
discovered at CFW:
I picked up this incredible lime green snakeskin
handbag for a lucky styling client.
Stunning hand-painted floral bridal gown
from Kate McDonald Bridal
Photo: Jess James
Brothers and Craft :
This band has their style dialed in.
Photographed in the Gwynn’s tent with Designer Carlos Campos
Photo: Jess James
Femme fatale in the sharpest shade of emerald
cowhide from Designer Sydney Smith
Photo: Lauren Sykes
Reuniting with my Charleston Fashion Week sidekick
Chelsie Ravenell – year 8! – in the Gwynn’s VIP tent.
Perfectly balanced silhouette and texture from Designer Roy Blake Smith
Photo: Lauren Sykes
My favorite gray hued bridal gown from Designer Carol Hannah
Photo: Jess James
Photo: Jess James
L: Provonias peekaboo bridal
R: Provonias full feather ballgown skirt and sheer blouse Both from Gown Boutique of Charleston
The beautiful Rachel Gordon of One Love Design
(in cowboy boots and fringe)
Photo: Jess James
Bridal designer Amsale (in the finale bridal show)
sent a crimson wedding gown down the runway
Photos: Jess James
Till next time, Charleston Fashion Week!
+ Pound Fit (only available with Karson in Wilmington!)
Tuesday 6:35pm and Saturday 10:15am at BFAB Studio
Click above for more details.
STYLE GIRL VINTAGE
Thank you so much to all my friends, vintage lovers and my family who came out to my new Style Girl Vintage studio/showroom at 21 Market Street (2nd floor) Wednesday night. I will be open by appointment, so please hit me up if you’d like to visit on your own or with some friends. It’s gonna be fun! Thanks so much for your support. It really means so much to me. xo
Wine, Women & Shoes
“BEST IN SHOE”
I had the pleasure of judging the “Best in Shoe” contest at the annual Make a Wish benefit Wine, Women & Shoes last Thursday and the fabulous Oz Nichols was the hands-down winner in her bejeweled Fendi stilettos!
More photos coming in the next FASHION FIX.
San Fran bound!
I received this vintage suitcase from my new friends at AirBnb full of San Fran treasures to kick off my trip tomorrow.
California, here I come 🙂
Stay tuned for some West Coast adventures…
Last Minute Garden Party
Wed April 8
@ Blue Hand Home
Exclusive to FASHION FIX Readers
Shop Style Girl Vintage Garden Party dresses, + curated Garden Party (selected by Jess James). Garden Party Hats & Headpieces by Milliner Jan Wutkowski, Jewelry from Blue Hand Home Sweet Treats + Bubbly. Trish McEvoy makeup artists will provide Garden Party makeup trials + will set up your appointment for Garden Party day (Friday April 10th)
You must RSVP to attend:
Photo: Bella Rose Photography
Hat: Handmade by Jan Wutkowski of aMuse
TopShop Garden Party Dress: Style Girl Vintage
Makeup: Amy Kennison
Hair: Tyler Kent
Spring Fashion Preview returns with a Mad Men theme (in honor of the last season premiering April 5) Presented by Wilmington Dermatology Center
Wednesday April 22nd
@ Bakery 105 (105 Orange Street)
TICKETS for sale now!
Jess James / “FASHION FIX” along with Wilmington Dermatology Center are hosting the highly anticipated bi-annual Spring Fashion Preview event with a high-style Mid-Century inspired “Mad Men” event, in honor of the show’s finale season (which debuts April 5).
The Spring Preview features the latest trends for spring at any age with a nod to the late 60’s, the current setting for the last season of MAD MEN. Each must-have look will be modeled on the runway by local celebrities in their 20s to 80+. Beauty experts Celebrity Hair Stylist Steven Ward & top international makeup artists from Trish McEvoy will curate hair and makeup looks to correlate with looks styled by Jess James. The night will also include shopping & deals you won’t wanna miss from Wilmington’s favorite boutiques & designers.
“Style Girl” Jess James (FASHION FIX & Style Girl LLC events founder, wardrobe stylist and Focus on the Coast Fashion Editor) + Dr. Rosalyn George of Wilmington Dermatology Center.
Beauty Experts Celebrity Hair Stylist Steven Ward / Steven Ward Hair
& Top International Makeup Artists from Trish McEvoy
* Runway show featuring local celebrities in their 20s to 80+ in the latest trends for Spring
with a nod to the late 60’s, the current setting for the last season of MAD MEN.
* Shopping with your favorite boutiques & designers.
Mid-century furniture & home decor by Decades of Decor.
* Delectable tasting + sweet treats from 128 South catering
* “Silver Fox” signature cocktails by Mixologist Joel Finsel of Astral Craft Cocktails
* The YouBooth cheeky photo booth curated by James Zisa Attorneys.
* Music by DJ Brian Hood
* Coveted Silent Auction Prizes for Make a Wish.
$25 – Limited Space.
Get your tickets today – CLICK HERE!
First 25 guests to purchase tickets online
will be entered to win the “FALL FABULOUS” grand prize.