I can officially say I have sat front row at a fashion show.
This last weekend has been fashion filled, between Denver Fashion Weekend and my school’s chapter of Fashion Group International’s recycled fall fashion show. I got to go to Denver Fashion Weekend on Thursday night, night one, of the three night weekend. My school’s fashion publication (The Fashion Report) got press passes so we were able to go down and watch on the floor, eye level with the runway. For the FGI show, I was also covering it for The Fashion Report, sitting front row Anna Wintour style, but I also had the pleasure of watching my own garment walk the runway.
Denver has been a growing fashion hub in the last decade of so, home to designers Mondo Guerra and Stephanie Ohnmacht, both making their rounds on Project Runway and Project Runway: Under the Gunn, respectively. Denver Fashion Weekend was three nights, all hosted by 303 Magazine. Thursday, the first night, showed Denver based brands Featured, Age Carriers, Jiberish and Burton. The collections were very menswear centric, so I got my fill of male models (attractive male models at that). The shows took place at City Hall, a night club in Denver on Broadway. The venue was three floors, so ticketholders were able to watch the shows from balconies looking down to the runway. The venue was absolutely freezing, since it didn’t have heat and it happened to be on the night where the high was less than ten degrees. Other than being bundled up the entire time, it was a cool experience.
The first brand to show was My Package, described as “a Wonderbra for men down there.” It featured male models walking in compression boxer brief underwear. Imagine how cold it must have been for them! Everyone ended up catcalling the men as they walked down the runway, something I saw as rather objectifying and inappropriate. But hey, they were adults with access to booze, what did you expect?
The second brand was Featured, which showed more ready-to-wear male clothing. The clothing was rather minimal, but chic. They also walked with accessories from Age Carriers, who are an accessories brand specializing in more utilitarian backpacks and other goods. The models for this segment had attitude and personality! One of them even took a selfie with the audience at the end of the runway during his walk. They made the show super fun and engaging to watch.
The next segment was Jiberish, a Denver clothing company that was started by a CSU alum. They feature higher end menswear, still in the casual category. Their clothing was similar to Featured, having a very minimal look, but their clothing offered more intricate details in the clothing. The clothing looked like it was crafted superbly. This brand was mentioned in my fashion industries class and was the only one, other than Burton, whose name I recognized.
After a short intermission, it was Burton’s turn to show. They had the owner of the company introduce their collection, which was three parts: street wear, mountain wear, and then casual wear that would be worn off the slopes. This was the first collection of the night that featured womenswear, which was a nice change to all the menswear. Naturally, the women got catcalled as they walked down the runway as well. At the end of the show, Burton premiered this video of footage collected during back country skiing adventures, but by that time, people were trickling out and heading to the after party at The Living Room.
As for what the people in attendance wore, there were a common trend of fur vests among the women, since it was rather cold that night. There were a lot of men in attendance, which is interesting given that it was for a fashion show. I guess there are a lot more fashion conscious men in Denver that we know of! Overall, it was a good (and long!) night and I would definitely want to come back in years to come.
The FGI show didn’t happen until Saturday. After having to deal with problem associated with both my garment and the show programs, I was relieved that the show came, happened and ended. The theme of the show was centered around Pop Art from the 1960s, so some of the garments were on theme, and some were not. The decor was rather simple, with the stand out piece being this Warhol’d canvas that acted as a curtain to the backstage. The majority of the looks were recycled from the design foundations class, while others were non-recycled. There was even a segment of swim suits and fleece garments shown.
I had the opportunity to sit front row (it was first come first serve) and had the best view of the garments as they walked down the runway. I felt so official with my notepad. I also felt like a 70s goddess in my black jumpsuit. It was perfect for the show. I was slightly overdressed, but then again, when am I not? The show began with the Pop Art Recycled garments. My two favorite garments from that category was this dress made out of pieces of La Croix cans, and then my friend Nina’s dress that was a ballgown made of orange and pink tulle with a layer of vinyl covering it with a screen print of our president’s face on it. It was a comical piece that got a great reaction from the crowd.
My garment showed in the Non-Theme Recycled category toward the end of the show. It would have been ideal if the model wearing it wasn’t all of five feet, so the proportion was off (it was supposed to be a crop top), but nonetheless, it was a satisfying feeling to see it walk down the runway. My dress was made as part of a group project. We chose to make it out of chicken wire and newspaper. I don’t think I would ever do it again, but it was a good one time experience.
It was a good show, even though we only got about half of the expected people there. It was also a cold and snowy night, so that could have some impact to it. I was glad I went, and I was even more glad that my garment walked. I was sad that I could only wear my jumpsuit for two hours (my outfit, hair and makeup was all on point) but I’m sure I’ll get another chance to this holiday season.
It was the perfect way to spend my last weekend before I would be going home for Thanksgiving break.