See our full coverage of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2012.
When Red Carter's models took to the runway yesterday, it was clear that the designer, who launched his brand in Miami in 2004, had achieved "hometown hero" status.
We're gonna level with you: After Sunday's downpours, nobody appeared particularly enthused to be wandering around the Raleigh pool in advance of another day of fashion shows -- ourselves included.
But then again, we didn't know we were about to see the most Miami-style runway show thus far.
Outside the tent, the scene was soggy and sparsely populated. Early afternoon thunderstorms had frightened off a noticeable number of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim attendees, it seemed, and those remaining stepped gingerly around puddles and congregated around tables draped in soaked tablecloths. A hotel housekeeper swept a broomful of water off the floor of the second-story restrooms beside the pool -- directly onto the backpack of a reporter below. No, The Raleigh did not seem like a terribly glamorous place to be.
Inside Red Carter's tent, however, the energy transformed. When the first look strutted down the runway, the audience applauded and cheered -- a definite change of pace from the silent, judgmental appraisals we witnessed during most of the Swim Week shows. And the disco beats, though perhaps a bit cheesy, still managed to keep things lively.
That's not to say these looks were flawless, of course. It takes a certain level of ballsy-ness to look at a rainbow-hued, metallic print like one on the model above, and say, "You know what this needs? A giant disco ball purse." But this opening look certainly did set the tone for the rest of the show: Wacky accessories, wackier hairpieces, and shiny, busy prints galore.