Charlestonians migrated to North Charleston Saturday night for a pre-fashion week soiree hosted by Aloft Hotel, Eye Level Art, and Cavortress. Aloft’s urban-chic lounge was packed with a trendy set, ranging from familiar downtown faces to greater Charleston hipsters. Guests perused original art by Christopher Dotson, Julio Cotto, Brian Bustos and Scott Parsons and enjoyed a live graffiti installation in Aloft’s courtyard. The climax of the event was the presentation of local designer Julie Wheat’s Cavortress Spring 2010 collection.
Sensuous models playfully strutted across a makeshift runway that snaked through the bar's plush sitting areas. The spirited Marilyn-meets-Elvis collection was realized in a palette of hot pinks, reds, geometric black and white combos, and sassy leopard prints. In true rockabilly style, red lips, big breasts, and tattoos were the accessories du jour. Scanty swimwear—sure to raise more than a few eyebrows along the Sullivan’s Island shore—included one-pieces with plunging necklines, décolletage baring sweetheart tops, and ample butt cleavage. Standouts included curve-hugging, stretch-satin jumpsuits in long and short lengths, that seemed straight out of a romantic 1950s song and dance film.
Satin pencil skirts—perfect for posing on the hood of a vintage Fiat—were updated with exposed zippers and popped when paired with a flirty belly-baring flutter top made of a floral 1940s silk blend. A full skirt made of black and white stripped vintage silk was overwhelming and dated in the full-length version, but proved seductive in a shorter length, where the translucency in the delicately shimmering fabric became more provocative. Perhaps the most wearable piece was a show-stopping gold bias-cut halter dress made of glistening 1970s leopard print silk lame—the filmy fabric seemed as if it would dissolve in the rain. The only things missing from this supremely fun night were roller skates and a car rally!
Cavortress garments can be purchased online at: www.cavortress.com and start at $30 for tops, $90 for bathing suits and $285 for dresses.