We had the pleasure of attending 303 Magazine’s Denver Fashion Week 2018, the first full fashion week in Denver history. DFW is “Denver’s largest fashion showcase featuring emerging designers, local boutiques, national brands, hairstylists, makeup artists and models.” It ran from March 18-25, 2018 at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. And yes, there’s something amazing about a DJ booth with a fighter jet right behind it. While much has been written about it (hint: we suggest the coverage 303 provided. Absolutely stellar), we thought we’d say a few words and let the pictures do the talking.
All engines were go and Denver showed out both in showing up to pack out the venue, but also in the styles on display and the models walking the runways. The Children’s Show started the week off on a cute note, featuring Dimple For Kids, Heloise Children’s Boutique, Peach and Penny, and The Secret Boutique. Also on day one, the Bridal Fashion Show featuring Femme Fatale Intimates, Nuorikko, Marie-Margot Bridal Couture, Gino Velardi, Bloom, Denver Bespoke By Machete & Son. We love kids that dress up, let’s just start there. All I have from my childhood are pictures in wing tips, slacks, and suspenders. We were destined to love this.
Days two through four were industry insider events. Day two was the model workshop, day three was social media, and day four focused on designers. While we didn’t attend these events, we applaud the organizing effort to not just showcase fashion but to help take our local fashion industry to higher levels. At one point, on day five, we ran into two French girls on study abroad who stopped in to check out our local fashion scene. We asked, tongue in cheek, if they were here to make a little fun of Colorado’s efforts. They said they were not, “not at all” and were really enjoying the show.
Day five was a favorite for us. We love the idea that this show upends the eurocentric beauty model and highlights what “high fashion” often ignores or others. Non traditional models and local designers night was a feast for the eyes and for those hungry for representation in mainstream fashion. Black and brown bodies. Short and tall bodies. Thin and thicc bodies. LGBT bodies. We were in heaven and really didn’t take as many pics as we wanted. How could we? We were staring. We applaud the organizers for this very inclusive evening.
Day 6 was the infamous Paper Fashion Show and, even if we did walk in late because we got lost (this was the only night hosted not at the Air & Space Museum, but instead at the Denver Center For Performing Arts Seawell Ballroom in Downtown), this was mindblowing. Imagine high school students making origami into high fashion (ok, not really, cause they definitely used scissors). As fashion forward – or at least fashion loving – reporters, we’re excited to know the next generation of Colorado fashionistas are ready to go.
Day 7 was National Designers night and whoa, did things get serious. Divided over the first and second segement of the night, Velvet Wolf, Denver, Kouture, Denver, Hogan McLaughlin, NYC, Manfredonia, NYC, and Xuly.Bet, NYC showed up to show out. The models were on point; they sparkled, glided, and walked it out to a surprisingly tame audience. We loved it. We also love the bartender who recognized me and my tendency to tip well and poured my TinCup on the rocks very tall. Just as an aside, one of the photographers on the riser with us was super hype for Manfredonia. Apparently he’s a fan. #FashionPhotogs
The final night – aka, the night everyone was really waiting for – was also the most packed night at Wings Over the Rockies. A few photographers were discussing new angles and positions given the amount of people in attendnace. The Hair Show + South West Hairstyling Awards were truly something to behold. This night, akin to Non Traditional Models night, highlights unusual aspects putting the brilliance of hair (texture, length, adornment, design) on display. We were unable to stay for the second segment, which we regret, but we were thoroughly in love with the first half.
To close up this short recap, I must say: it would be way to easy (and premature, and wrong) to write off Colorado’s fashion scene. No, we’re not New York, but that’s a good thing. Style is created from diversity, nurtured in unusual and unassumed places, and grows into what it always will be: beauty. Locally grown, nationally known, 303 Magazine’s Denver Fashion Week was a moment to revel in the growth of our state. Colorado is growing up and putting its most fashionable foot forward. We’re just glad we’re here to take the pictures.
Photo Essay: Days 5 – 8