South Walton Style: Fashion Week proves Northwest Florida is a catwalk contender

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 12:06 PM.

Stephanie Carter, local designer and owner of Deja Vu, chose to make South Walton home for her family and her fashion line after receiving a positive response from the community at Rosemary Beach's West Indies Market.

Carter, along with several other Walton County boutiques added local flare to last week’s South Walton Fashion Week.

"It was a collaboration between Cultural Arts Alliance and Monark Events in an effort to fill a much-needed gap by placing South Walton on the fashion map and providing an opportunity for regional emerging designers to participate and elevate their burgeoning careers," said Jennifer Steele, Executive Director of Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County.

Lessening the guilt of materialism, the first ever South Walton Fashion Week (or #SWFW as it was regularly referred to on social media) wasn't solely about showcasing pretty clothes. While the event did include trunk shows and late night shopping, it also benefited the community by donating proceeds to the Cultural Arts Alliance.

"This area is already brimming in fashion with talented local designers living, working and creating in our backyard, not to mention an abundance of incredible boutiques reflecting true South Walton style," said Hillary Fosdyck, co-founder and event designer of Monark Events.

The long weekend event at Grand Boulevard hosted celebrities such as Mychael Knight, from "Project Runway." You can see him enter the designer's work room once again in the "Project Runway All-Stars," beginning Oct. 24. Joining Knight on the judges’ panel was Cassie McConnell Kelley of the fashion blog, Womanista and singer/songwriter Holly Williams. Hosting was Heather Roop, whom some might recognize from the soap opera, "All My Children."

"Creativity and wear-ability is very important when you are a designer," said Kelly before the runway shows started. "Everything can look good on a model, but I want to feel good and look special in what I wear."

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