The red carpet was rolled out at Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge as Charlotte’s local celebrities and fashion insiders came to the 25 Most Stylish of Charlotte event this past Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 6:30pm. This event was to be the unveiling of Charlotte STYLE Magazine’s first print issue and the introduction of the 25 people chosen as Charlotte’s most stylish. It was also a chance for local companies in the industry to showcase their product offerings.
As guests began to arrive, they were greeted with red carpet photos, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Vendor booths were setup, and loaded with drawings, free gifts, and products for sale. As a main sponsor of the event, the American Heart Association had a booth to create awareness about its purpose, and distribute invitations to its upcoming Go Red for Women Luncheon. Reign Fine Apparel boutique, Cookie Lee Jewelry, and Charlotteseen.com were also amongst the many vendors displaying their products and services.
Around 8pm the guests were escorted upstairs for the Charlotte STYLE Magazine program, which included a fashion show featuring two local boutiques and two local designer’s collections. As Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance blasted through the speakers, four vivacious ladies, of the EleKtriK Dance Company, bolted down the runway with powerful yet flirty moves, proving their name was well deserved.
The dancer’s energy cascaded through the audience, creating the perfect mood for the first designer, Beth Pilger, to present her Spring collection. Earth tones and wide-leg shorts and trousers were staples in Pilger’s collection. As she did in a previous show last November, Pilger ended her show with a short Baroque-style dress in red and white with black lace details. Though intricately designed, the dress had no real association with the rest of her collection.
Scarlett Boutique was next to show their Spring pieces, confiming that the trend of fashion-forward plus-size clothing is not fading. Gorgeous plus-size models gave the looks from Scarlett much grace and a little attitude! Lots of color and animals prints were used in the show. Favorite looks included a leopard print jacket with an enhanced collar and belted waist, a pale green shirt dress that created a great figure, and a washable 100% silk blouse in sky blue. The finale look was a stunning gown, which could be used for several different occasions, with a high pleated neckline and gorgeous train in a rich brocade fabric. It was made evident that Scarlett Boutique is THE destination for plus-size fashions.
Though a small portion of the audience was lost after the 20 minute intermission, those who stayed were in for a treat as Flow by Tara Davis was next to show the latest designs for Spring. Davis’ show included lots of carefree frocks with texture, draping, and tiers. Unconventional uses of denim added extra flair to the show. Favorite designs include a one-sleeve denim dress, and a yellow and white printed dress that embodied the essence Spring. Though they were the models’ own, the incorporation of Spring boots connected Davis’ show to the universal trends of the season. Tara Davis, a designer of progressive evolution, is definitely one to follow.
The evening grew later, but the Jordanos Mens and Womens Boutique show had no problem keeping everyone’s attention. The audience giggled and blushed as the bare-chested male models flirted with their alluring female counterparts. The show alluded the perfect mixture of Rock n’ Roll and cool Southern Californian style. The females were glam rockers in metallic tights, studded belts and vests, hip-hugging dresses, and fitted jeans. The guys were ready for a stroll down Venice Beach outfitted in fedoras, casual button-up shirts, madras shorts, cool jeans, and sneakers. Jordanos Boutique has defined its niche for cool, contemporary hipsters.
Similar to the Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection show, modeled by celebrities at New York Fashion Week; Jameka Whitten, in accordance with the American Heart Association, presented the Celebrity Go Red Show, which was modeled by local Charlotte celebrities including Mrs. North Carolina International 2010 and Chris Aaron of the Charlotte Panthers among others. All proceeds from this event were donated to the American Heart Association.
As the anticipation had grown throughout the evening, the time came for Bridgette West, founder and editorial director of Charlotte STYLE, to reveal the first print cover of Charlotte STYLE Magazine as well as the top five most stylish in Charlotte. Even at 6 months pregnant, West looked stunning in a red dress created by Tara Davis. The cover showed the top five most stylish in red ensembles. The other 20 most stylish were announced periodically throughout the evening, and the top five were as follows:
Brooke Gibson: Founder of trendsetting site www.waxMAMA.com
Rachel Sutherland: Founder of boutique public relations firm, Rachel Sutherland Communications
Tasha Strong (T. Strong): Fashion blogger, host, style reporter. www.stylemayvin.bogspot.com
Jennifer France: Librarian, mentor
Mike Minter: Real estate entrepreneur, invested in ministry and mission.
In the first print issue of Charlotte STYLE Magazine, expect to see "lots of fashion!" Says Bridgette West. "And the best thing about it is it's all local! You may pick up an issue of Vanity Fair and wonder 'Where do you go to get this stuff?'"
Charlotte STYLE Magazine...Go Get It!