Sunday, March 24, 2013

CFW 2013

Cho ensemble - hand painted textiles
Charleston Fashion Week 2013 is over. The emerging designers were even better than last year, though my favorite designer did not win. The winner was amazing, and the obvious winner, but not my personal choice.

Last year's winner, Hannah Goff, just happened to be my favorite. She designs her own prints and uses Spoonflower to create the fabrics. Her silhouette is H-shaped, a shape that appeals to me. The graphics have a hard edge with vibrant, sophisticated color.

Goff's looks are multi-layered, yet maintain a slim column. She is able to accomplish this, in part, with airy fabrics, sheers.

My 2013 choice is Hyemin Cho, who also designs around the H-shape. Her fabrics are hand-painted with a distinctively Korean perspective. The textiles are more structured that Goff's, almost a 60's vibe. The perfect combination of wearable and art, to this sewist.
Another look from Cho

Cho, for all her charm and artfulness, never stood a chance against Afriyie Poku. Poku, a resident of Atlanta, born in West Africa, had it all this week.

Poku designs menswear. I believe that this is the most difficult category for a number of reasons. First there are fewer degrees of freedom with men's wear.

Over-design and it becomes a costume. Add too many tiny details, and it's too feminine. Somehow, he managed to successfully avoid both of these pitfalls.

His looks are masculine, edgy, rough, and yet beautifully tailored. I would love, love, love to look at these pieces up close. The show included a big-screen video that highlighted some of these amazing tailoring details.

Afriyie Poku ensemble
He is charismatic. From the signature sculptural hair (his, not the models), to his infectious smile, and his self-effacing and happy outlook, he seems to be all set for success. It's hard to believe he is simply emerging.

2012 winner Hannah Goff
Hannah Goff look 2012
His runway show had broad and enthusiastic audience appeal. Set to 007's Skyfall, the models were perfectly paired with each distinctive look. It was no surprise when he received a standing ovation. And it was no surprise that he won both prizes - audience favorite and judges choice. I'm guessing it was nearly unanimous among the judges. The judges do have ample opportunity to look at the pieces closely.

Poku is a bit enigmatic to me. His website seems to be a placeholder. He is listed as self-taught. I would love to know more about his path to this place. And I'd like to know where he sells his pieces. Would DH care to join me in snoop-shopping. Probably not.

For now, for me, for real, I'm inspired by Cho and Goff.


  1. Thank you for this recap on Charleston Fashion Week. What you've shown here is very inspiring. It must have been a fun event to attend!

  2. How cool to be able to attend this and thanks for sharing all the inspiration. Love the Cho pieces.