Highlights from Saturday Night's CFW Emerging Designers Party

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This past Saturday night, I was invited to celebrate the Southeast's newest class of couture talent heading into Charleston Fashion Week 2013. This weekend's Emerging Designer Party, held at the old Boathouse building downtown, offered a sneak peak at their collections (via slideshow of sketches). It was an awesome night to give us a taste of the designers who will be competing at Charleston Fashion Week in March.

 

Needless to say, a fashion event like this draws a plethora of stylish guys and gals. Scroll down to see who I thought were the standouts of the night. 

 

Awesome spread of treats catered by Jim n Nick's BBQ

 

A group shot of the 20 semi-finalists

 

The one and only Ayoka Lucas

 

 

Chelsie Ravenell, founder and designer for Kenneth Beatrice

 

 

 

KJ, writer of H1gher Learning, with one of 2011 Charleston's Most Stylish Jasper Brown

 

 

 

Matthew McLaughlin

 

 

 

Here are some quick interviews with three sets of semi-finalists:

 

Emerging Designer Semi-Finalist Afriyie Poku (right) with KJ

 

1. What are you most excited about presenting at Charleston Fashion Week?

Poku: The opportunity to share my vision of menswear with the world.

 

2. What was the inspiration for your collection?

Poku: The foliage in my neighborhood. The leaves and flowers, and their color changes, can be seen in the collection I plan to present in Charleston. The rest is my aesthetic, in terms of the cut and details of each garment.  
 
3. Why do you want to be a designer?
 
Poku: Style is your HELLO; it's a non-verbal introduction of yourself. 

 

 

Emerging Designer Semi-Finalists Clarissa Arocena and Bryan Datinguinoo

 

1. What are you most excited about presenting at Charleston Fashion Week?

Arocena & Datinguinoo: The fact that it's our first collection as a duo at Charleston Fashion Week!

 

2. What was the inspiration for your collection? 

Arocena & Datinguinoo: The Industrial Revolution and the clothes that men and boys would wear working in factories. Craftsmen such as blacksmiths, tailors, cobblers, and weavers also inspired us.

 

3. Why do you want to be a designer?

Arocena & Datinguinoo: It is our platform to present a creative vision.

 

 

Emerging Designer Semi-Finalist Jazsalyn McNeil

 

1. What are you most excited about presenting at Charleston Fashion Week? 

McNeil: Sharing my creative vision with the city that introduced me to the fashion world as a model two years ago. 

2. What was the inspiration for your collection?

McNeil: To inspire. I want to create an ethereal land, a haven for the audience to escape to. 

 

3. Why do you want to be a designer?

McNeil: As humans we tend to take the world around us for granted, we make our lives larger than the universe. I aspire to reverse that. 

Charleston Fashion Week and the Emerging Designer Competition will be held March 19-23. Tickets are available.