Your Guide to Surviving Charleston Fashion Week

Emerging designers putting the finishing touches on their designs, and beautiful models practicing their runway walk can only mean one thing; Charleston Fashion Week is on our heels. Marion Square will soon be filled with the hottest trends of the year. With all of the hustle and bustle during the week and the city’s most fashionable in attendance, it is important to be prepared for the fun. We’ve got you covered on how to survive and make the most out of your Charleston Fashion Week experience.

Dress the part. The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place have everything you need to ‘up’ the glam factor for Charleston Fashion Week.
The Everpurse from Kate Spade is not only trendy, but will carry your must-haves during the day. Charge your phone in the SmartPocket of this fashion-forward handbag and have enough battery to post your best pictures to Instagram all night.

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With Lou Lou Boutique’s Minimergency Kit you will always be prepared, wherever the fun may take you. The kit is packed with fashion fix essentials from dental floss to earring backs to double sided tape. You’ll be everyone’s best friend in the ladies room.

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Planning to make it a date night? Not only do you want to look your best for the week, so does your man. Art of Shaving offers shaving consultations on King Street for all of his grooming needs. He will leave looking and feeling like a new man.

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Let the details do the talking with a statement collar from Anne Fontaine. This show-stopping necklace has exactly the right details for everyone to think you are a runway model.

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Heels are always the popular shoes of choice for Fashion Week, but the secret to your feet surviving the night is flats. On your way out the door, grab a pair for Sperry’s trendy flats in your bag to slip on later.

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Keeping your skin hydrated is essential to looking your best during the week. Don’t let having makeup on all day become tiresome to your skin. Use the Shea Butter Foaming Cleanser from L’Occitane in the morning and evening to help remove makeup and keep your face soft and hydrated.

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 Throw on the Trellis Knit Moto Jacket from St. John over your shoulders; it’s the right amount of edgy and chic for cooler night shows, and everyone will be envious of your style.

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Always be ready for your closeup! Stop by the Belmond Boutique as you set out for the evening to pick up last minute mints and bottled water.

Location, location, location. Immerse yourself in Charleston Fashion Week with a stay at Belmond Charleston Place, located in the heart of the historic district. Book your stay with the Signature Spa package at Belmond Charleston Place and receive a seasonal spa treatment. Your feet will thank you after being in heels all night. A treatment from The Spa, relaxing by the rooftop saltwater infinity pool and a cocktail from the rooftop pool bar is the perfect way to prep for a fun night.

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Late night. Unwind after a fashionably long day by grabbing late night refreshments. The Thoroughbred Club offers fun cocktails, appetizers and desserts that you’ll enjoy while gossiping about the runway looks with girlfriends. If your guy tagged along for the show, stop by Meeting at Market and sit in one of the cozy banquettes for some time together as you grab a beer and catch the game.

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Make sure to stop by Charleston Fashion Week from March 14 to March 18, where The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place will be the title sponsor of the Style Lounge. Show off your accessories and see what will be trending this year. To reserve the Signature Spa package at Belmond Charleston Place call 1-888-635-2350 or click here. 

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Tastemakers at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival

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Get ready to sink your teeth into the annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival March 1-5, 2017. From the first cork popped to the last drop poured, the chefs, sommeliers and personalities of Belmond Charleston Place create a passionate group dedicated to great food, amazing wines and of course, Charleston. Read more to learn where you can find the Belmond team members at the 2017 CWFF this year.

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Join Steven Manall, Executive Chef of The Palmetto Cafe at the Culinary Village. Here, you’ll enjoy favorite foods and beverages, delightful tastings and an Artesian Market that will be stocked full of incredible local and regional makers showcasing their masterful creations and unique flavors. Chef Manall uses classic dishes as an inspiration and adds unique flavors, preparations and presentations. You’re in for a wonderful treat when tasting what Chef Manall has cooked up.

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Known for redefining Southern cuisine, you’ll find Executive Chef Michelle Weaver of the Charleston Grill at the Culinary Village and Iron + Oak. Enjoy a trip to the stunning private venue, RiverOaks, for an intimate lunch amid grand live oaks and European-inspired elegance. The menu is veggie-inspired, prepared in cast iron skillets and cauldrons, and will be served alongside a collection of magnificent wines. Don’t take our word for it.

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You’ll see Femi Oyediran everywhere at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. A member of “The Faces Behind the Campaign” for CFWW, he loves that the festival brings great talent to Charleston. Femi is an Advanced Sommelier at Charleston Grill and someone you don’t want to miss this year.

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The consummate host, Mickey Bakst, General Manager of the Charleston Grill, will welcome Daniel Boulud back to Charleston for a namesake Legacy Dinner. Mickey will bring the dinner to life, along with acclaimed chefs from all over the world, with the table being set at the city’s most elegant private dining room. The dinner is sold out, and partial proceeds benefit Teach the Need, a program that pairs professional mentors with at-risk high school students to learn front-of-house employment skills.

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Be the judge of who takes home the ultimate bragging rights at the Sumo Sommelier competition. Rick Rubel, Wine Director at Charleston Grill will show off his palate by pairing the best white and red of the year with two wine-challenging dishes. Taste the pairings on your own, then you decide.

You’ll be able to experience the best of the Southern food scene while wrapping yourself in luxury at Belmond Charleston Place with the “Beauty and the BBQ Beast” package. Enjoy two nights’ luxurious accommodations in historic Charleston and two of the premiere events of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Enjoy Iron + Oak and Toasted, the festival’s Southern BBQ finale event. This epic bash features fourteen chefs, a pit master, wine and beer, cocktail pairings as well as rocking live music. Call 843-722-4900 to book.

Charleston Wine + Food is a can’t miss festival that champions the region’s unique foodways through world-renowned culinary experiences. Fueled by a contagious passion for the people and places that make Charleston worth celebrating, the annual festival infuses homegrown flavor with top chefs, winemakers, authors and more from around the globe for a five-day event.

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My Sparkly Valentine

As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, thoughts of enchantment and romance swirl about. Flowers, quiet dinners and jewelry are all popular and beloved and cherished. We interviewed Rhett Outten of Croghan’s Jewel Box , the oldest family owned jewelry store in town, for the inside scoop on sparkly gifts to give your Valentine this year.

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Croghan’s Jewel Box has such a storied legacy. Please tell us about the history of the store. 

My grandfather, William Croghan, started Croghan’s Jewel Box just before World War I and when the War broke out, he closed up shop to be a foot solider! He was trained at the Philadelphia School of Horology as a hand engraver and apprenticed in jewelry repair and bench manufacturing. The beginning of Croghan’s consisted mostly of my grandfather taking in and performing jobs at his bench. My mother graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Journalism and wanted to be a writer. my grandfather asked her to come help a little bit in the store after graduation and she never left. She created the atmosphere that exists today with an interesting collection of jewelry, estate finds and gifts. We are still known for our hand engraving and have four bench jewelers in a studio on the second floor where we do repairs and create custom made pieces by hand. My sister, Mariana and I are the third generation to operate the store and my nieces, Kathleen and Mariana (Mini) have just joined the business. It is so thrilling to have youth, enthusiasm and knowledge that the fourth generation brings to the table!

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Croghan’s has been in business for more than 100 years. What do you think endears shoppers to your store?

We are truly a family business. We grew up with our customers as my mother and grandfather did. Back in the day, Papa used to close up for 2:00 dinner and as he left the shop he would take whoever was there home for a proper lunch a few blocks away on Church Street (think postman, customer, visitor to Charleston, salesman!). Our mother taught us how important it is to contribute to this community that we love so much. We are deeply involved in many city activities and non-profit organizations. With the surge of visitors to Charleston, we find ourselves often playing the part of concierge , as advice of a local is cherished. We have made restaurant reservations, booked tours and even given people rides back to their hotel if their bags are too big to carry or if its raining! We truly want people visiting to love Charleston as much as we do. We feel lucky to have grown up in this magical place and we like to share that with people.

The Jewelers Circular Keystone Magazine reports that over 981 jewelry stores nationwide closed in 2016. So often visitors do not have a family owned store in their hometown where an owner is present and has a passion for their graft. 48 percent of our business consists of out of town customers. We find that exciting! We get to be a part of the most meaningful events in people’s lives… engagements, weddings, christenings, graduations, anniversaries! It’s an honor to have served four generations during such occasions. Of course a Social Media presence and website have brought us into this century and make it easy to stay in touch with customers.

You are known for your estate collection. What makes it special and how do you curate it?

We love estate jewelry and silver. We like to say it has a soul. It is special because so often the techniques used to create it are no longer used in the industry. Like diamonds are no longer cut by hand ad rarely do you see hand filigree work on the inside of a ring. Plique de jour is a French application that looks like colorful class but there are very few people in the world who can create this now. We have each piece of estate jewelry examined by one of our four gemologists on staff before it goes in the case! We literally shop the world for our inventory. We have wonderful contacts in London, the far east and all over the country that we have partnered with for generations.

It seems that estate and vintage pieces are very much in demand – why? And what should a buyer look for?

Estate Jewelry is very often one of a kind! It is for the person who wants a special piece of jewelry that they will not see on anyone else! It is also for the sentimental customer who has happy memories of seeing antique jewelry on their grandmother or the history buff who has a thirst for everything Georgian. Antique jewelry is unique, and it is fun to sell in a jewelry store that is more than 100 years old and set in a 1790′s Charleston building. People who visit here usually love history and the charm of estate jewelry is usually appealing. In terms of what to look for you have to be careful because this jewelry has usually been worn and “loved” as we like to say. So you need to be sure that clasps work properly and prongs have been checked so that stones stay secure.

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Every day you help select gifts for special occasions. Which piece or pieces would you recommend for Valentine’s Day?

Anything engraved on Valentine’s Day make a gift extra special! And of course we have beautiful heart lockets and charms as well as crystal amulets by Temple St. Clair.

What items or collections are you most excited about right now?

We have just refilled our estate case after the holiday season. Our selection of antique diamond rings is fabulous and includes lots of enameling and filigree settings. We also have a whole new lot of estate gold lockets that are unusual. These start as low as $200.00! Also… our Goldbug collection is so fun and exciting! My niece’s collection of gilded palmetto bugs has taken us all by storm!

What is your ideal romantic evening in Charleston?

I like things pretty simple! After all of the parties and hard work involved over the holidays at Croghan’s, a quiet easy dinner at home, or if its good weather, something grilled outside in the courtyard sounds ideal to me! I just helped a client plan a 30th wedding anniversary dinner though, which included a horse drawn carriage ride to champagne awaiting them in a cupola atop one of our beautiful historic buildings at sunset and a dinner at one of our wonderful restaurants… which happens to be in a courtyard as well. There is something about hidden spots in Charleston behind historic brick walls and iron gates that is so very romantic! Don’t you think?

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Learn more of our exclusive Valentine’s package that will bring the bling.

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