Photo by Jon Strayhorn/Media Arts Collective
Charlotte NC Fashion Week (CNCFW) concluded Saturday night at Founders Hall in Uptown, and the Queen Bee had the Queen City buzzing. Hip-hop icon Lil Kim was in Charlotte headlining events all weekend in promotion of her new hair salon.
While CNCFW was three days filled with workshops in the afternoon and fashion shows at night, as expected, Saturday night’s event drew the largest crowd. Several hundred people filed into Founders Hall, which had been transformed into a perfect setup for a fashion show, complete with bright lights and a catwalk.
The purpose of the night was to put the spotlight on the featured designers: Foxx Skynz by Design, Jen Jessica S. Designs, Green Label Designs, Huckle and Gatsby, MEI Designs, Gini by Elizabeth, Bill Evans, and Alana B. Couture. And while many of these designers showcased lines that drew applause from the crowd, it was Lil Kim who most people left the event talking about.
After an hour-and-a-half reception, the fashion show was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. But with lots of chaos going on behind the scenes as models were styled and dressed, and in the front of house additional chairs were brought out to seat guests, the show began at about 8:40.
About 15 minutes later, Lil Kim quietly arrived through a side entrance with entourage in tow. Much to the eyes delight, included in that entourage was actress Meagan Good. Also in the large group were Katrise Jones, Kim’s cousin and partner in their new Charlotte hair salon, Salon Se Swa; Meagan’s sister and fellow actress La’Myia Good; teenage R&B/pop group Lil Ms; a few of Kim’s family members and friends; and security guards.
Lil Kim and company were escorted to the back, where all the models, stylists, and designers were moving at the frantic pace that’s needed so that a fashion show goes off smoothly on stage. But that didn’t stop several of the participants from whipping out there camera phones. Lil Kim was ushered over to a corner to meet with her team and discuss last-minute details of the presentation of her clothing line, 24/7 Star: Goddess Collection, onto the runway.
While the fashion show went on, Lil Kim never made it to her reserved, front-row seat. After a brief intermission, the show resumed with two more designers presenting their lines, and then 24/7 Star: Goddess Collection went up. Event host Erica Bryant (of WSOC) introduced the line as being Lil Kim’s and you could see the audience perk up and become more attentive. Such the way it is, a celebrity-backed clothing line garners more attention than one created by more-established but lesser-known designers.
Lil Kim’s line was worn by about 10 models on the runway, and it was comprised of embroidered dresses and skirt suits, many with high shoulders — reminiscent of what you would see Rihanna wearing. When the models came back out for their curtain call, Lil Kim walked out onto the runway with Good by her side. She thanked Charlotte for making her feel so welcomed. And then she made an even more gracious statement: she complimented all of the people who work to try to create fashion and acknowledged how much effort they put in.
Next up, Lil Ms performed. They got this special slot (a last-minute addition) because one of the girls in the group of teenagers is Good’s little sister. They performed two pop-influenced, dance-heavy numbers.
With the last of the two designers’ lines presenting on the runway, and most of the models and stylists done for the night, Lil Kim and Meagan Good became a spectacle backstage as people surrounded them in hopes of taking pictures. The two celebrities took several photos with the anxious fans. Then around 10:45 p.m., Kim and crew exited Founders Hall to return to their hotel, before heading to her after-party at 5th Element.
— Jarvis Holliday
Here's a video clip from Lil Kim's runway show.
Here, the writer stalks Meagan Good (and Lil Kim) backstage.