QC's most fashionable kept things jumping

I am still trying to recover from a marathon weekend of fashiony events. But even in my aching-feet-baggy-eyes stupor, I'm cautiously optimistic about the state of philanthropy, creativity and style in the Queen City.

In a scheduling confluence that should make the best event planner shudder, Charlotte's most fashionable were forced to choose between three events last Thursday night (photos, page 3E). I attempted to hit all of them.

The inaugural three-day Charlotte Fashion Week festivities at the Blake hotel were the smallest affairs, but promising.

Former Charlottean and “Project Runway” designer Carmen Webber was the emcee, mentor and motivator during the festivities.

“I would have given anything for something like (this event) when I was on the way up,” she said Friday night before the runway show.

The models and designers were beautiful in their style, racial and body-shape diversity.

It was refreshing to see such enthusiasm – on the runway, backstage and from the many volunteers who helped bring organizer Anthony Simons' vision to fruition.

What wasn't welcome was the cynicism displayed in the front row during Friday's show. A gaggle of women snickered, obviously disrespecting the plus-sized models and designers.

I was embarrassed for them. I fought the urge to tell them, “If you're so afraid of something different, stay home.”

Charlotte's creative community will be happy to move on without you.

It's already on its way.

Big names and a great cause

On Thursday, I began my night at the Dress for Success event at the Merchandise Mart. The fab organization helps disadvantaged women gain economic independence by providing free professional attire and support. The group honored store owner Marcia Simon with the Paradigm award and Carolinas native/actress/L'Oreal spokeswoman Andie MacDowell was the keynote speaker.

I had no time for hunger, much to my friends' dismay (I had the keys and a tight schedule – there'd be no Bojangles' in our immediate future. But I did offer up some smoked almonds while en route). We dashed over to the Blake hotel for a fashion two-fer: the Kristin Davis fashion show and the debut of Charlotte Fashion Week.

The Davis fashion show could have used an editor – it was a bit too long.

Still, the event was well attended, rumored to be around 700 people. And the “Sex and the City” star was as polished and cute as you'd expect in an ensemble from her own holiday collection, which is set to hit Belk stores later this fall.