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Best Madeline Moment 

Barbara Beach's Charleston Fashion Week show

by Erica Jackson Curran

March 22, 2011 
After debuting as an emerging designer at Charleston Fashion Week 2010, Barbara Beach returned as a featured designer at the 2011 event. Beach's show stood out in large part because few of her models were more than four feet tall (she's a children's designer), but more importantly, her line was truly one of our favorites — cute, classic, and clean. Beach channeled a colorful kid's birthday party with her line of swingy dresses, well-tailored coats, and fur collars. The only problem is we couldn't possibly squeeze into these adorable designs, but when we become parents, we'll know who to call to make sure our kids are the best-dressed ones on the playground.


CHARLESTON WEDDINGS MAGAZINE FALL 2011
 Photographs by Jorg Meyer

 
















                                                                                                          photos: Kelly Roper


                                                                           photo: Kelly Roper
  
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Sailing Away with Advice from Barbara Beach


by Megan Abigail Chandler
Published:
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 4:47 PM EDT
The summer is calling, and that means school is out! What are you going to do with your children when eight hours of their day is not occupied by math and recess? Well, we live in Charleston, so you’ll send them to sailing camp, of course. But the question remains, what will they wear? It seems like a small decision, and the answers seem to be “something that can get dirty” and “something washable,” but really the answer is more complicated than that. It has to be something a picky child will indeed wear, and it has to be something conducive to a day in the humid summer sun of Charleston. So, we asked local design sensation Barbara Beach to advise local parents, grandparents and child care givers on what will make your child comfy and what will make a memorable photograph when the summer has been framed and hung on the wall. 

When dressing children for a summer day outdoors, what are your go-to staples?

Children are funny about choosing their own clothing. They like pieces that are special and have meaning to them and/or they are just choosing the opposite of what you want them to wear because they just want the final say. The best staples in a child’s summer wardrobe are things that they can easily get on and off, such as a simple pair of sandals (that go with everything), cotton dress and/or shorts and shirt, and have them choose a hat that they like to wear in the sun.

When children spend a day on the water, what is most important for them to wear, pack and eat (next to the hat of their choosing, of course)?

I can answer what to wear out on the water because that’s exactly what I love to design for children. A Marysia SWIM Bumby suit fits perfectly under a soft Bb tee. You might pack a long-sleeved tee in case the breeze on the boat gets cool.

What is the best day-to-night transitional item for a child?

For boys, khaki shorts are great for day and night. Dresses always make nice transitional pieces for girls, and Salt Water Sandals by Hoy (for boys and girls) are great for day and can go into night wear.  They come in adult sizes, too (I’ve been living in mine since April).

For you, as a designer, what is the most innovative way to dress children for the heat of Charleston summers while still having them look polished and be comfortable?

When it comes to children’s fashion, it is best to be simple and not get caught up in trends and too many accessories. I have found that young children like to dress simply, especially in the summertime. Choose the lightest materials. Sometimes, you end up spending more for the softest fabrics, but with a child’s wardrobe, quality vs. quantity can be a good thing. In other words, think like the French.

That is so funny! I’ve never heard that advice before, but I love it. What is the biggest challenge in children’s summer fashions in the Lowcountry?

There is a challenge when it comes to children’s fashions in the Lowcountry, and I always LOVE a challenge! Lowcountry designs are full of feeling and mood. I suggest fabrics that feel good and make children laugh. Isn’t that what it is all about, feeling good?

You’ve got that right! Have you ever been sailing?

Sailing is great! I have been and enjoyed it very much.

Take away what you will, folks. The truth is, the Lowcountry is becoming a hub of sailing aficionados. It is a fabulous hobby to introduce to your tot, and the Charleston Yacht Club offers summer sailing programs for children as young five and as old as 18. It is a lifetime hobby, and it is never too soon to jump on the boat (so to speak). Visitwww.charlestoncommunitysailing.org/category/programs/summersailing for more on this fabulous endeavor. 



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                 SKIRT MAGAZINE 2008
            

                                            



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Most people will admit that they had their 
doubts about including a children’s designer in EDC. 
I for one wondered how she could
compete with the other “grown-up”
designers.
But the talented 24-year-old, 
based in Charleston, 
answered that question really fast.
The first few kids were just so dang cute,
it was almost too much to bear, 
and my instincts rolled their eyes. 
But then the well-crafted clothes came into focus. 
Crewcut’s got nothing on Barbara Beach. 
Cute party dresses,
fun prints (like unicorns!), 
and playful tees abounded, 
and her use of props 
was the most impressive of the night —
she suggested a classic birthday party vibe with-
metallic hats and big balloons. 
written by: Erica Jackson

Charleston Magazine Summer 2010


My Faves: Barbara Beach


The Charleston Fashion Week Emerging Designer finalist
 talks about her children’s clothing line, inherited style,
 and Parisian dreams
PHOTOGRAPHS BY
 BETSY SHRADER



Wardrobe Wars... Charleston Magazine 2008