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Fall Fashion Hits and Misses 

OK, after the heatwave we've experienced this summer, we know you can't wait for that crisp, fall air to descend. But what are you going to wear? Lucky for you, the fine folks at CL consulted Charlotte's fashion gods to uncover the season's biggest "must-haves" ... and "must-drops."

?MYK (aka Michael Pate)

BACKGROUND: Tastemaker. An Army brat born in Jamaica Queens, N.Y., and raised in Germany and California, he's lived in Charlotte since 1996. He started skateboarding in 1987. "Skateboarding is the root of everything I've done artistically. I think it lead into fashion. I had a job at Footlocker, so I've always been into sneakers. With the influence of women, I decided to dress a little better and came into my own style. Now, everyone is dressing like skaters. It's the cool thing."

PERSONAL STYLE: High-end skateboard wear

MUST-HAVE: "For me everything is revolved around the shoe" -- a pair of Clae sneakers (available at Niche).

MUST-DROP: Shants (long shorts that stop at the ankle)


BACKGROUND: Co-owner of J.T. Posh, a consignment boutique. A fashion merchandising major at East Carolina University, she worked in the design office for Belk, then did retail management. "I've always loved clothes and fashion growing up."

PERSONAL STYLE: Trendy -- "Always whatever's new; the newest, hottest thing."

MUST-HAVE: Skinny or wide-leg jean; the "bootie."

MUST-DROP: Baby-doll dresses; low-rise jeans showing underwear.


BACKGROUND: Senior stylist/wardrobe consultant for Harris & Barnes Image Consulting. She currently works in two sectors: design and styling. Her new clothing line (Lineage) is due to drop this coming spring. "I work at [N.Y.'s] Fashion Week [and] lately I've been doing a lot of freelance work with publications. When I was younger, I used to design clothes for my dog. It kind of began for me in my adolescent life with my senior prom. I [had] a dress made and I designed it and worked with the lady [who] made the dress. She said, 'You know you really have a good eye for this. You should consider taking it up.' I got into fashion when I went to college and got a few things made. My older brother and sister kept trying to talk me into doing it 'cause at first I was supposed to be a law student."

PERSONAL STYLE: Classic contemporary, but different pieces with an ethnic touch -- "I enjoy a lot of influences from all over the world. I love a lot of color. I pick body-conscious silhouettes a lot, and I like really long skirts. Some part of the outfit is going to be extreme, and the rest will be put in place.

MUST-HAVE: "Accessory-wise, a great pair of boots. Ankle boots are coming back with another twist. Better fabrication and a lot more structure with different details that make them look really hot."

MUST-DROP: Oversize blouses -- "It was kind of a romantic feel, but if you were over a size 2 or 4, it just didn't work."


BACKGROUND: Makeup artist/hair sylist/owner of Glamour Puss, a boutique combined with a salon. "I was born into [fashion]. I was a child growing up in a beauty salon and started cutting up outfits and pasting together hairstyles and drawing up things, just kind of creating my way. I've been around it my entire life, from all aspects."

PERSONAL STYLE: Glam/urban/chic/diva -- "all-over-the-place," eclectic, depends on the mood.

MUST-HAVE: A "Mad Bag" handbag (available at Glamour Puss).

MUST-DROP: Thick, high-waisted belts.


BACKGROUND: Style director for Lotus. "Fashion really started around [age] 16," says Shankle. "A major influence was because I'm originally from Denmark, Europe; they're very much ahead of us fashion-wise, and I picked up on that. The limited access to fashion here in Charlotte really [moved] me to get out there and more into it. There's not a lot to choose from and people really don't take as much risk here with fashion. Fashion can be a part of who you are. It can reflect your personality."

PERSONAL STYLE: Versatile -- has an appreciation for different types of styles, bold colors. "With fashion, I think you have more fun when it's not consistent."

MUST-HAVE: Knee-high flat boots (available at Aldo, Nine West, Neiman Marcus).

MUST-DROP: Mini skirts -- "That kind of length is out; it's not classy or very form-fitting"

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