The Fall ‘18 season of Denver Fashion Week (DFW) presented by Mile High Luxury Real Estate has come to a close leaving us energized by the level of talent this city’s fashion community has. In true DFW style, the week brought a variety of firsts, including a show by DFW’s youngest designer — Dalton Bidula of Shape Streetwear — a full night dedicated to Denver streetwear designers and a partnership with Denver Film Festival for a special discussion with costume designer, Courtney Hoffman, who is best known for her work on Quentin Tarantino films like Django Unchained.
At a brand new location this season, Day One kicked off at Lumenati Productions with the Children’s and Teen fashion show. Cherry Creek Dance pumped up the energy in the crowd with a runway full of ballet and hip-hop dancers. Afterward, Pleiades Designs and Peach & Penny created a brief escape into a land where cherub-like girls wore dreamy dresses and gowns. Beauty Underground spiked the setting with punk rock — yellow mohawks and aviators edged out the fantasy the runway saw before and warmed up the crowd for Shape Streetwear by 18-year-old Dalton Bidula. His line blended streetwear with athleisure and a varsity touch that translated into wearable looks for all ages.
Duane Topping began the local designers’ shows on Day One. His tribute to music legend, Prince, balanced the graceful movements of the ballet dancers who began his show and the flowy, feminine pieces he created. Rachel Marie Hurst’s looks also brought the power of femininity to light with her signature ruffled pieces while Steve Sells created wearable two pieces that were equally at home on women of all ages. In her true style, Allison Nicole combined feminine silhouettes and flowered details with sheer fabrics for an ethereal show, while Tyne Hall took the grunge look of the ’90s as inspiration for modern, edgy pieces set to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Mondo Guerra closed the show with a brazen take on a combination of western flare and the ’90s rave scene with feathers, sequins, denim and neon fabric.
On Night Five, local designers Darkm0th Industry, Rebellelion, Electric Bubblegum, Station, A Vintage Frame of Mind and Interracial Friends came together for DFW’s first streetwear night, bringing dark and mysterious, flowy and free, girly and cute and ’90s cool to the runway. Darkm0th kicked off the night by bringing on avant-garde, unisex, unconventional and deconstructed looks. Sheer fabrics created dimension and soft movement juxtaposing the pops of bright pink, red and yellow. Rebellelion was next on the lineup and was a 180 from the styles displayed by Darkm0th. The first look was the epitome of freedom through a breezy sunny yellow dress with ties at the sides with the model holding a red rose with a white star covering half of her face.
Inspired by lip gloss and those liquid glitter phone cases, Electric Bubblegum showcased plastic pieces filled with liquid glitter creating unique movement and sparkle. Station brought us back after the intermission with denim on denim with light wash fading into dark. The attitude shifted from the prior bubbly themes into moody yet carefree looks. Felicia Benavidez of A Vintage Frame of Mind displayed her vintage vibes throughout each look. White bell bottoms, berets, umbrellas and hoops the size of a fist brought on nostalgia. A brown leather baker hat paired with a mustard yellow suit dress and knee-length heeled cutout boots was a modern take on ’70s style. Interracial Friends closed out the night with bold colors and rhinestone-studded faces. One of creator Mowgli Miles’ signature statements, “Fuck Racism,” was displayed proudly on a tee. Accessories tied the looks together with scrunchies on the upper arm and industrial studded belts with fuzzy handcuffs attached.
Day Seven presented by iconic Denver boutique Garbarini brought national designers to the DFW runway in a cohesive group of collections that celebrated the power of ‘70s fashion. Camilla began the show with globally inspired rompers, flowy dresses and kimonos that reminded us wanderlust is a beautiful thing. Divine Heritage showcased signature pieces like their black lace trench coat and leather jackets paired with dresses and suit pants that give women the ability to be sexy, day or night. Elisabetta Franchi’s Fall/Winter ‘18 collection empowered women to go beyond the traditional rust and mustard colors and wear bright turquoise and pink fabrics and fur in ‘70s silhouettes. New York-based company, MILLY, closed the night in bold fashion. Sequined tops and tight leather pants not for the faint of heart were paired with shocking fuschia jackets and aviator glasses.
Day Eight, a true favorite of Denver’s fashion enthusiasts, showcases the ability of fashion, makeup and hairstyles to come together to tell a story. 303 Magazine’s 2017-2018 Colorado Hairstylist of the Year, Joe Denny, created baby pink and powder blue looks for the models who stiffly walked the runway in dresses created by local designer, Allison Nicole. Denny’s team painted hinges on the model’s elbows, making it seem as though real live dolls were among us. After, Charlie Price brought us into the darkness of ghost stories told by flashlight. Seven-foot-tall models skimmed the runway dressed in all black, often with faces hidden by fabric or hair and only lit by a small flashlight that hung at each model’s chest. El Salon brought a BDSM-inspired show to the runway with models dressed from head to toe in black fishnets, vinyl and head-to-toe leather. 303’s 2017-2018 Colorado Makeup Artist of the Year, Cha Cha Romero, finished the night with her tribute to Alexander McQueen and his ability to create haute couture with an unbridled sense of creative freedom. Her models walked the runway draped in all black tulle, lace and leather with pops of red, including precisely lined cat eyes. The final look was of a statuesque model whose face was shrouded by beads, jewels and fabric. She wore an elaborate Victorian gown that concealed red balloons she released at the end of the stage. It was an intermingling of light, airy objects and a dark, moody aesthetic that perfectly ended a week full of delight and surprises.