Charleston Fashion Week 2012 starts today

Image by TheDigitel

Charleston Fashion Week officially kicks off today, and we've got everything you need to know about what's going down underneath the tents (and then some).

Held March 20-24th in the heart of Charleston, the runway scheduleincludes nightly entertainment, more than 45 runway shows, new daytime shopping, a charity luncheon, and various design competitions.

Emerging Designer semifinalists have been hard at work producing their debut collections and you can meet them all before seeing them rock the runway for a chance to win the grand prize and career-changing title. Judging the Emerging Designer competition this year will be fashion designer Chris Benz, fashion designer Lindsey Carter, fashion designer Mychael Knight, fashion talk show host Fern Mallis, model-actress Vanessa Lachey, founder K. Cooper Ray, Founder of Decades and Decades Two.1 Cameron Silver and ELLE magazine fashion news director Anne Slowey.

As an added bonus to this year's event, there is a pop-up shop which will be open March 20-23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a $5 entrance fee, step inside the Marion Square pop-up shop and browse through fashion from seven designers/shops. If all the shopping makes you hungry, look out for the food trucks which will be on hand during the shop's hours.

As amazing as all the fashion is, let's be honest - it can be all about the after-parties. Score tickets to the runway shows and get instant access to some of the hottest parties of the year. You can check out the where and when here.