Kids steal the fashion show

One shy model was escorted through her walk by one of the show’s older, bolder models Wednesday during Emerging Designer Lulu Long’s runway show.

The child models and fashions on Day 2 of Baker Motor Co. Charleston Fashion Week were all anyone was talking about at the close of the show Wednesday.

“They were so adorable, and they had so much fun, “ said Sally Vernon, spokeswoman for Benefitfocus, sponsor of the Emerging Designer Competition: East. “One of the designers said (in an introductory video) that they wanted to make the clothes fun to wear, and you could tell they were.”

Kids on the runway were a theme throughout the night as three of the runway shows featured tiny tykes.

After a turn around The Belk Tent and Style Lounge pre-party, where Top Cocktail winner Sarah Martin of Fish Restaurant was pouring her “sweet-tart” Grey Goose vodka concoction, the runway shows opened with retailer JLINSNIDER and featured designer Ike Behar.

Jamie Lin Snider, a top-three finalist in the 2010 Emerging Designer Competition: Southeast, showed a series of gowns that were a big hit with the crowd. Featuring lots of pieces with cut-outs, a number of shear overlays with sequin work, and a few nude netting gowns with strategically placed appliqués, the audience showed enthusiasm for the detail.

The Ike Behar collection caught attention. It was the first all-male collection to be shown, and highlighted suits, tuxedos, loungewear, sleepwear and robes.

But it was the kids who stole the show. Two child models took to the runway to show off in suits, which had everyone in the audience laughing and cheering.

Children have won the Fashion Week crowd over year after year, so it came as no surprise that organizers called on neve / hawk design duo Kris and Bob Galmarini, 2012 Emerging Designer Competition: East semifinalists and People’s Choice winner, to be the Featured Designer of the night.

With functional-yet-fashionable pieces that were all about letting kids be kids with comfortable fabrics and fresh prints, the audience was on their feet from start to finish.

Lulu Long of Seabrook Island is the only semifinalist in the Emerging Designer Competition: East showing children’s wear. And while her designs were well-received, the day’s two prizes went to others.

Serena da Conceicao, Hyemin Cho, duo Clarissa Arocena and Bryan Datinguinoo, and Cassidy Elizabeth-Mae Brown were the other Emerging Designers battling for a finalist spot, an honor that went to da Conceicao.

She described herself as being more comfortable with her sensuality because of her Brazilian heritage, and it showed through in her designs, which featured shear fabrics with leather detail and fitted pieces.

The People’s Choice for the night was Brown, who wowed the crowd with her “Tribal Royale” line, which combined bright colors, graphic prints and volume, topped off with traditional African headpieces.