Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I’ve been grounded for the last couple of months, and while I can’t complain (living in an amazing city like Nashville), my need to get away is approaching overdrive. Missing NYFW festivities was a limitation - I (privately) pouted a bit when seeing friends’ posts about the week.

Luckily, just as I’m strong enough to get out of the house and on the road, another annual fashion/beauty event is about to commence. The plus that it’s in a familiar place that I’ve been desperately longing to visit… my home-away-from-home in South Walton.

The view from the balcony at Sterling Shores... a glorious way to start every day of SWFW
This is only the second year for the area to host a fashion week, but based on last year’s experience…. and the incredible list of talent for 2014, it’s certain to be fantastic. Inventive designers like Mychael Knight and Jin Seo are joining 30A retailers like Willow, Alys Shoppe...and a slew of others for a schedule filled with fabulous fun. The official South Walton Fashion Week also includes red carpet glam and samples galore from Patchouli's and other beauty brand faves.

One of Jin Seo's simple, stylish designs

Getting there’s a cinch; hop on a direct flight from major Southern cities and arrive at the glorious white sand beach headquarters in an hour or less. The other option is to toss some tunes into the car (along with a couple of fun-loving girlfriends) and hit the road. Driving to the beach from anywhere in the Southeast is a fairly quick jaunt without the summer tourist traffic.

I’m most anxious to actually see our place on the beach. It’s a Sterling Resort, and the company is providing accommodations for SWFW visitors if you need a place to stay. I can personally vouch for this one. I’ll also pop over and enjoy a night or two with friends at one of the lovely Cottage Rentals of Rosemary Beach, (another lodging partner). If you’re a fan of Rosemary’s ambiance, this is the reservation to make.

Willow Boutique in Rosemary Beach
Packing for this destination isn’t usually an issue (toiletries, shorts, swimwear and sundresses and sandals live there year round). For SWFW, I'll need a couple of things. I’ve made a list of packing essentials that vary a bit from my usual beach look.

My typical ‘do’ is an elastic band. That’s not going to cut it for a stylish soiree and runway show viewing. Ocean breezes and humidity change everything, so casually chic hair isn’t totally effortless. Thank goodness for the new collection of ‘mini’ essentials from Drybar. The line smells incredible… and the components are little powerhouses for taming the most unruly mane (aka, mine). This collection is now available online. I also suggest the Drybar's new Triple Sec 3-in-one spray (dry shampoo/volume/texture). While I’m there, I can pick up some fun hair pins/headbands to change it up a bit from day to night, but having these miracle-workers will make that an option...not a requirement. 

I love everything on the Drybar menu.. and my top picks are now in mini versions, while they last...

This is always a tough one at the beach. My worn flip-flops won’t do. I’m opting for a couple of wooden wedge designs for the higher heel height I want, but more sturdy support for my just-recovered status. They’re also the best for avoiding slipping on those pesky pebbles that teeter heels at every location near the water.

I’m packing a couple of good foundation items/layering tanks and a jacket. Otherwise, I have no intention of packing a single outfit. That’s what this trip is all about. Navigating the shops is much easier than trying to create an ensemble in a big city fashion week, which is more about pre-orders. The boutiques peppered along 30A and my go-to’s in Sandestin carry incredibly stylish, quality goods from trusted designers… and at a fair price. I can’t wait to find items to get me not only through a few days of festivities, but to add to my fall wardrobe (which definitely needs a boost).

Looking forward to a little porch time between shows at this Rosemary Beach cottage (rent the one next door!)

In addition to runway events and parties, design savvy retailers are hosting trunk shows. Most include bubbly (thank you) with fab pieces for purchase you can’t find elsewhere.

The best part about this trip is making the decision to go last minute. Not planning too far ahead is completely freeing. Throw some things together and take off…. work and laundry will be waiting when you get home. Seriously,  it's the best weather of the year and possibly the most enjoyable fall week (or long weekend-- Oct 9-11 are key dates) experience in the South. Pick up your phone, text your fashion-loving friends, get your tickets and join me at the beach. Hope to see you on the red carpet at Grand Boulevard!


  1. Nice blog.Thanks!

  2. looks very nice!,l really want to have a try!


    Lovely post! The photos are amazing!