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Our annual Bridal Couture Show arrives this Saturday!

This weekend I had a great time visiting with gals pals. I talked Charleston Fashion Week (CFW) and the Bridal Couture Show (BCS) with three in particular—each married, each super-stylish, and each coming to various events “under the tents” in Marion Square.

Photograph by Dreamland Images.

One, however had never attended local runway shows, and the other two were vets. The CFW virgin was honestly excited about the spectacle, but not 100 percent convinced about the fashion prospects. (Don’t you love a frank friend?) Her point: Isn’t much of this in stores? And if she’s married, why go to a bridal show?

Well, the other BFFs, the CFW pros, made some great counterpoints that took the nay-nays out of the nay-saying, and in the end brought some good thoughts to mind. I thought I’d share them here on the eve of CFW and a mere four days till Charleston Weddings magazine’s Big Day: the BCS! 


Point One: A New Dimension

When you see something on a rack, you only see it in two dimensions. When a piece is on a model, a model working and walking the runway, you see how it moves, drapes, flows, and are that much closer to the designer’s vision. If you’re into design, it’s dream time. If you’re a bride, you see how the gown will move down the ceremony aisle, how it looks from all angles, and no matter how divine our bridal boutiques are, there’s just not enough room to take all that in anywhere but on a runway.  

Point Two: Gowntastic

These days, there’s a lot of crossover between evening and cocktail gowns and wedding wear for ‘maids and brides. So if you’re a fan getting your glam on, the BCS is the best stop for all-glam, all-the-time inspiration. This year promises a mix of short and sassy frocks, colorful dresses that could be worn for any dressy event, and classic big white numbers. You’re sure to get turned on to new silhouettes, styles, designers, and vendors here on town that can pair you with dream dresses for any occasion. 

Point Three: Size Matters

One of the weekend fashion panel pals weighing in is a full-figured va-va-va-voom type who knocked down talk of models not being relatable to women with her shape. She said seeing any gown or dress sashay down the runway lets her know how the piece works on the female body, and since she knows what works for her, she can pick out the winners based on how they drape and move on any three-dimensional figure. 


Point Four: Piece It Together

One of the coolest things about fashion is seeing how a stylist pairs pieces together to create a statement and a look. When it works, the end result is style—not trend hyping—and inspires. At CFW and at the BCS, look for amazing accessory pairing, whether it be ribbons as impromptu belts, headbands, or chokers; tulle transformed into veils you’d never imagined; and more, more, more. 

Point Five: Original Recipe

Jodi Moylan of White; Katherine MacDonald of LulaKate; and Marcell Steely-Judice of Bella Vista Bridal all create original designs—a real treat for any fashionista fan outside of NYC. Add that Project Runway’s Carol Hannah Whitfield will debut her Charleston-themed bridal gown line—much of which could easily double as gala wear—and BCS is a true talent show. (Oh, and other boutique owners have big-name national designer gowns flown in just for Saturday so they can make their Lowcountry debut, too!) 

Point Six: Get Your Beauty On!

For weeks, Stella Nova and CFW hair and makeup director Ashley Brook Perryman have been concepting amazing beauty ideas to pair with the fashion’s you’ll see this week and at Saturday’s BCS. For anyone into a spectacle, theater, or just craving ways to inject a little verve into their every day or Big Day look, it’ll be a prime inspiration time. 

Point Seven: Fringe Benefits

With seriously scrumptious food from Newton Farms Catering, killer cocktails from ICE BOX, tunes from the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, décor from gathering—floral + event design, it’s a party! That means you’ll score great entertaining ideas (and do the equivalent of taste-testing and trial-running new vendors) for weddings and any other event you may host. 

Final Point: Sign Me Up!

I could go on and on, but since right about here my friends and I lapsed into what we were going to wear, it might be over-the-top. So I’ll end with this: Sure hope to see you this week and Saturday especially. Be sure to introduce yourself, and cheers to fashion!

Come to the Bridal Couture Show, March 20, 2010: Marion Square, Charleston. Doors, Bridal Style Lounge, and bar open at 11 a.m.; shows run noon to 2 p.m.; lounge and bar remain open till 2:30 p.m. For more information and to order tickets, visit or call 1.800.514.ETIX (3849).