ff: What has been the highlight of your journey as a designer so far? “I think the thing I enjoy the most is always being surprised by what people are looking for! I recently had three British guys order “Disco Indian” tutus for Burning Man. One of them I met at a party at the Fountainebleau in Miami on New Year’s Eve several years back. A British guy wanders into the kitchen looking for a drink, I chatted him up and now he’s one of my best friends! He sentme pictures of their headdresses and I took it from there. I was inspired by the paillette from their headdresses and added vintage cochabons from ebay and adorned the tutus with leather and disco balls of all different sizes.”
ff: Please share one of your favorite and most stressful experiences preparing for Charleston Fashion Week.
“Most stressful? (laughs) Well, I was getting a sample of the jacket made for the show and ended up having to wait and leave New York City on 9:30pm on a Saturday night in the snow, by myself, an drive to Charleston for my model fittings at 10:30am the next morning. Kinda sucked.”
“As for my favorite part, just getting to be with the other designers. Everyone is so nice and so talented. It’s a competition but you’d never be able to tell. It’s a communal situation with a summer camp feeling where we start off as total strangers and by the end, we are all really close.”
ff: Any surprises in store for the runway this week?
“I do, really! We will just have to wait and see if they will let me do it! For all the other elements in the show besides the clothing, I reached out to my friends here to showcase their talents – bowler hats from Julia Pagan, music by Mado Smith and shoes from Rowen by designer Blake Vaigneur, the son of the owner of Copper Penny (downtown Charleston boutique).
ff: How do you think living in Charleston or the South in general has shaped your design aesthetic or personal goals as a designer?
“Living in Charleston is the reason getting into tutus was even posssible. Everyone here is so supportive. Having mentors like Deirdre (Zahl of Candy Shop Vintage) and fashion designer Rachel Gordon to help nurture your dream and prop me up along the way. It also doesn’t hurt living somewhere so beautiful. It really makes you want to create something beautiful incorporating the cobblestones, sunsets and historical silhouettes.”
ff: What look from your collection are you most excited to wear this spring and how will you style it?
“I’m most excited for jackets! They asked us to create a fall line so I have a velvet oxblood jacket. I just love velvet and it has a bit of a peplum on the bottom. I’d wear it over an evening gown or with a tutu. It would also be just as great with jeans and heels.”
ff: What’s your favorite style “trick?”
“I’m giving away a really big secret here. I get more compliments on the shirtdress idea. You take an oversized men’s shirt (thrift store find, $3), button it in front like it’s a tube top and tie the sleeves around the waist (in a knot or a bow) as a belt.” Viola!
Fashion Designer Chelsie Ravenell of Kenneth Beatrice with Jess James
Love this shot of Charleston Style Editor Ayoka Lucas
(second from left)
L:Featured designer Hannah Goff with accessories by Jewelry Designer (formerly of Wilmington) Sarah Tector
R: Look from Emerging Designer (People’s Choice Winner) Callie Nichol
L: Formerly of Wilmington: Ben & Jen
R: Haskell Harris and friend in awesome jeans & bodysuit
R: Hampden Clothing owner Stacy Smallwood
Accessory spotting at the Hampden Clothing party
Love, Love, Love!
To see more photos from Charleston Fashion Week,
Please Click HERE
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