Charleston Fashion Week: Spring 2017

Fashion’s future emerges at Charleston Fashion Week Emerging Designer Competition

By Millie Sims
Photos courtesy of Charleston Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis, left, with Viviane Carvalho Hamilton, winner of the Charleston Fashion Week Emerging Designer Competition.


Lexus Charleston Fashion Week is an excellent platform for up-and-coming designers to showcase their work, and a great exposé for followers to see some of fashion’s future. One of the most exciting facets of the event is the annual Emerging Designer Competition. This March, Viviane Carvalho Hamilton was named the winner of the 11th annual Lexus Charleston Fashion Week Emerging Designer Competition with her playfully sophisticated collection, “The True Color of Shadows.”

Inspired by the culture in her home country, Brazil, Hamilton’s collection features vibrant color and a well-curated balance of flowing silhouettes and structured tailoring. Her pieces are intricate and rich in texture without neglecting clean lines. From an uber-tailored mini vest dress to an ethereal, flowing maxi dress, the collection is dynamic while maintaining cohesion through the vivid palette of warm colors.

A recent graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, this is the first professional design competition Hamilton has entered. To be selected to participate from among thousands of applicants, and in turn titled the winner, is truly a testament to her talent. While she feels that her style is ever evolving, Hamilton describes her aesthetic as innovative design that makes a statement but is also versatile. The woman she designs for is feminine, strong, modern and confident. Her aspiration for future collections is to make the designs a cultural crossroads, a way of blending history with modernity. She will be showing her collection at New York Fashion Week in the fall and is beginning to develop concepts for her next collection. Hamilton’s focus, drive, tenacity and talent will surely yield more inventive and artful creations to come.

Designs from the collection, “The True Color of Shadows,” by Vivane Carvalho Hamilton, winner of the Emerging Designer Competition. (Photos by Jason Benjamin.)

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