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Charleston Fashion Week 2014 begins

Tuesday evening began with the mood being set with music by Daniel D. What was a first last year is beginning to seem like a tradition, Charleston Fashion Week Runway shows opened with a lingerie presentation by Bits of Lace. Jewelry from Croghan’s Jewel Box and shoes from Bob Ellis accessorized the lingerie. A standout piece was a white lace corset with a wide peplum. Trés Carmen Boutique showed softly draped feminine clothes. JLINSNIDER spring collection was edgy with interesting variations of tribal prints. With her usual sense of fun she paired her clothes with hi-top sneakers.

A leather design by featured designer Afriye Poku

The main event was the presentation of capsule collections by Zachary Howell, Leah & Rebecca Plante, Anna Toth, Terese Brown, and Tenneal McNair.

Zachary Howell designs women’s evening wear under the label Zachary/Nathaniel. He describes his design philosophy as a dark paradise. Black was the only color in his collection. His designs are formal and serious with exquisite tailoring.

Leah & Rebecca Plante, winners of Tuesday’s People’s Choice and Emerging Designer Award, are a sister team designing under the label Plante. There is a relaxed feeling about their softly draped designs. They use eco-friendly fabrics in muted tones.

Anna Toth designs under the label Bow + Arrow. There is a young Mia Farrow quality about Anna. She designs mainly in denim and cotton. Her casual sporty designs are perfect for Charleston summers.

Terese Brown design under the label Terese Sydonna. She uses geometric shapes and interesting fabrics to create clothes that are feminine and chic. Terese is not afraid to experiment with color. She used unique muted psychedelic prints in her color palette.

Tenneal McNair designs under the label NOEMMI. The Jazz Age inspired her collection in particular African-American singers Joyce Bryant and Hazel Scott.
Hazel Scott became in 1950 the first African-American woman to have her own TV show.
They were powerful women ahead of their time. The same can be said of Tenneal McNair’s designs. They are feminine, sultry, sexy and confident.

The show ended with a presentation of Afriye Poku latest menswear collection. Allison Nugent, wrote in The Post and Courier, “The only solo male contestant and menswear designer last year, Poku made Charleston Fashion Week history when he won both the Emerging Designer title and was named overall People’s Choice winner, a feat that had never happened since the event’s inception in 2007.” Afriye designs under the label Oberima Afriyie. This collection is more cutting edge than his previous collection. To be fanciful it is what would happen if you combined a samurai with a dandy. The clothes, however are clothes that the average man would be very comfortable wearing. Only Afriye Poku could take a traditional white dinner jacket and make it modern, cutting edge, and wearable.

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