More than a decade ago, a group of talented hairstylists and other local creatives set out to create an event that would truly showcase the emerging fashion talent in the Mile High City, thus Denver Fashion Week (DFW) was born. Now Denver’s largest fashion showcase, the full week of events includes five runway shows, pop-up celebrations and workshops, all of which increase awareness around the fashion, design and even art communities in Denver and beyond. Weekend one took over the Forney Museum for two nights that embraced art and avant-garde then on Thursday downtown got a taste of Cherry Creek with a night of featuring Garbarini boutique and all of its luxe lines. DFW Fall ‘19 closed over the weekend with two final nights of shows at the McNichols Civic Center Building that proved Denver is full of opportunity and promise.
Saturday, November 16 – National & International Designers
Day Seven — National & International Designers night — brought designers from places like Portland, Chicago and Mexico City — from the “Made in a City” program at Zeppelin Station.
For his DFW debut, Maxwell Bresler started the night off with a collection called “Electro-Pop Space Club.” Bright flashes of purple, red, blue and green dotted the runway as Bresler’s world came to life. “The Electro-Pop Space Club is an intergalactic club floating in space. The club is known throughout the galaxy for the unique, expressive, colorful and eye-catching garments its attendees wear. The entire show is a presentation of the garments worn to the Electro-Pop Space Club,” the designer explained in an interview with 303 Magazine.
Another face new to DFW, Jasmine Lewis, also took us on a journey, melding elements from two worlds — fashion design and sports — that culminated in a look complete with football pads as dramatic shoulder pieces. O’Field Apparel drew parallels between Denver’s beginning as a wild western town steeped in history and its future as a booming, tech-filled metropolis. Models came down the runway in plaid and patterns that appeared to be a combination of classic western wear and the intricate lines of a computer motherboard.
Led by high school student, Kajuanee, Overseer Productions brought strong streetwear looks to the runway in the form of rainbow-colored sweaters, bright puffer jackets, balaclavas and neon hoodies. “Made in a City’s” Amor & Rosas and Fábrica Social showcased a minimalist approach to fashion, with neutral-toned, sustainably made styles, and thoughtfully-embroidered designs with floral patterns, hearts and other shapes, while 1.8takamura brought gender-neutral fluidity to the runway, a stark contrast to PAY’S special edition, Mickey Mouse-inspired whimsy reminiscent of work by famed pop artist, Keith Haring. Overall, the theme of the night was combining seemingly opposite concepts and creating an entirely new experience through the marriage.
Sunday, November 17 – Denver Originals Designers Fashion Show
Veteran designer, Tyne Hall, opened the final night with a sophisticated grunge reinvention. As “Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)” by Marilyn Manson blared, models in impeccably constructed leather and lace commanded the runway with the strength and presence Hall is known for. Fogg Couture brought American Horror Story: Coven to the stage in the form of lace-clad models accessorized with pearls and animal skulls. “I have always adored the darker side of things. The Victorian gothic aesthetic gives me life. I find a great beauty in death, so that’s where the skulls come. Even the smallest muskrat skull can be turned into something fashionable,” explained Mistress Fogg in an interview with 303.
Marie Margot Couture brought ethereal, bridal fashion to the runway, as fresh-faced models with angelic makeup floated in shimmery lace gowns. Each model wore a crown made of either metal, flowers or lights structured in a way that felt like the religious iconography of the 2018 Met Gala made its way to Denver. Evening and bridal dress designer, Allison Nicole, brought us sherbert-colored dreams in her signature, floral style with models in a wide age range, showing that this young designer continues to grow and express her perspective in new ways that still stay true to her aesthetic. In contrast to the special-occasion gowns Nicole designed, Gino Velardi showcased a cohesive line of outfits for all occasions, including everything from rose gold gowns to black power suits.
Mona Lucero‘s designs arrived to the runway next and included the first men’s looks of the evening. Lucero’s bold use of mixed prints and color — as well as her ability to make vintage silhouettes fresh and new — were all present last night as her army of models marched the runway, all in berets. Rachel Marie Hurst brought more structure in her first set of looks but easily transitioned into the floral, flowy designs she is known for. Models donned hairpins with words like “queen” on them, a signature message of female empowerment Hurst brings to every show. Designer, Steve Sells, impressed us all with his variety of hand-dyed garments he does himself in the Japanese Shibori technique, while Anthony Heimann of Nicholas Anthony Clothing brought a mix of textures, patterns and fabrics with his collection. “This collection is reminiscent of neo-classical structures such as the Colorado State Capitol Building, cathedrals and modern skyscrapers fused with the ideology of the mythical creatures that inhabit the towers, protecting and looking down at the city,” said Heimann in a recent interview with 303.
New to DFW this season, MENEZ closed the show with a rush of power and a true display of its growing versatility as a local design house. Structured, tailored menswear looks walked with hand-beaded gowns — a new endeavor for the duo of designers behind MENEZ.
The final night of DFW took us on an emotional journey full of glamour in a way that only these Denver designers can accomplish. Throughout the night, each moment the bass dropped, so did our jaws.
DFW is supported by the Cultural Partner Program at the McNichols Civic Center Building.