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Reflections on Charleston Fashion Week

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Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week, was the guest speaker at the Fashion Group International luncheon. Charleston Fashion Week Style Director Ayoka Kucas introduced her. Rosanna Lucia Krekel, founder of La Vita E Bella marketing company and Charleston trendsetter conducted, the interview.

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Ms. Mallis began her career in fashion as an intern at Mademoiselle Magazine. The magazine, famous for its “college issue” was published from 1935 to 1993. She awed the luncheon audience with her amusing and informative stories about her fashion career. Her advice to young, upcoming designers was “be nice”.

The Belk Tent offered cocktails and one-on-one media interviews with Belk featured designers Anna Belle LaRogue, Anne Hughes Windmuller, and Steve Madden.

Clothing designer AnnaBelle LaRogue has a boutique in Columbia. The influence of Lilly Pulitzer is obvious in her floral print dresses. Jewelry designer Anne Hughes Windermuller believes that jewelry is more than bling. It is an extension of one’s personality. She works with semi-precious gemstones, sterling silver, and 14K gold fill to create unique one of a kind pieces. Steve Madden, a quintessential New Yorker, is founder of the footwear company that bears his name.

Afriyie Poku, who stole the show last year, presented his line Oberima Afriyie at the Tivoli Studios on King Street. Like his clothes the show was unique. Instead of the typical runway presentation, it was a fluid interaction of models and audience. It was a scene that could have been staged by the late Merce Cunningham.

Charleston Fashion Week continues to push the fashion envelope. Charleston fashion is no-longer ten years behind but is a fashion leader.

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