The Denver Art Museum’s fashion curator hails from Paris, and brought her killer fashion sense with her
Denver has gone up in style points since the 2015 arrival of Florence Müller, the Denver Art Museum’s Avenir Foundation curator of textile art and curator of fashion. The renowned fashion and art historian has worked with the likes of Dior, L’Oréal, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and Céline and has curated numerous fashion exhibitions, including the exclusive Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at DAM in 2012. Now the Parisan transplant hopes to make our art museum a must-visit for fashion historians. Meanwhile, we’ve been enviously eyeing her elegant personal style. Here, Müller shares what’s in her closet and what she loves about Denver.
My style is very eclectic. I like to go from very minimalist to very colorful and extravagant. When I was younger, I was much more extravagant. Now, I prefer to go a little more simple, but I still like very diverse style and designers; sometimes I like to follow the trends and sometimes I like to be totally away from them. Very often I like to be overdressed, but I also like to wear sneakers. For me, getting dressed is like a game—it’s a lot of fun! In the variety of my style, I can express the diversity of my personality.
I love being dressed in all black, as well as mixing folkloric pieces with very fashionable ones—or high-end designers with cheap pieces. I have a pink dress that I bought for $10 and, when I wear it, everybody thinks it’s a designer piece. Right now, I like to pair masculine pieces with very feminine makeup. I also like very extravagant, edgy evening gowns.
I had no idea what Denver’s style was like before I came here, but I’m always curious about discovering new places, new cities and new people. I was very excited because I had no idea. I have been to New York hundreds of times so it’s not exciting anymore, but Denver was something really new. And what I discovered is that it’s a very young city. You have many newcomers arriving every month, and you can see it in the streets that people are very fashionable. From my point of view, they are really similar to the people you would see in the streets of Los Angeles or San Francisco. There is a West Coast feeling. Denver is very cool, very hipster and very bohemian chic. My friends in Paris were surprised I was moving here and are still very surprised. Everybody wants to have lunch and dinner when I go back to hear all of the adventures and the new stories. They call me “the American.”
I shop a lot in Denver. I’ve found a lot of things from stores like Neiman Marcus and boutiques like Goldyn or MAX. I’ll also go to Uniqlo, H&M and Forever21 on the 16th Street Mall. I think there’s every kind of designer here. When it comes to shopping in a new town, I think it matters more what mindset you are in: You always have to be open minded to see great things. For instance, I was at the Santa Fe Indian Market to see what the young Native American designers are doing. There was a new art gallery where a designer was showing her collection and I immediately bought a dress from her. Bethany Yellowtail is her Indian name and the dress is a little bit like the style of Yves Saint Laurent and is very fluid, but it’s decorated with prints and motifs that are inspired by a textile that we have in a collection at the Denver Art Museum.
Don’t try to imitate everybody, especially fashion models and young actresses. Look in a mirror to see the best things you have and the worst things you have. Fashion, clothes and accessories— everything you find in stores—have to say what is nice about your body and your face. What’s not nice, know how to hide or transform in a better way.
I love to walk on trails, which is great because Denver has so many. After two years, I’ve probably just discovered a quarter of the possibilities. I love to ski, swim, travel and discover new things. I also read a lot and have artistic projects I work on with my husband, who is an artist.
My favorite designers: Yves Saint Laurent, Céline, Gucci, Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Jacquemus, Chanel and Dior.
WORKS OF ART
Two upcoming fashion exhibits at the Denver Art Museum:
“DRAWN TO GLAMOUR: FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS BY JIM HOWARD”
A showcase of the award-winning editorial work by Denver artist Jim Howard, March 25-July 22
“DIOR: FROM PARIS TO THE WORLD”
A selection of 150 couture dresses, as well as accessories, costume jewelry, photographs, drawings, runway videos and more from the iconic fashion house, Nov. 18-March 3, 2019
MÜLLER’S FAVORITE DENVER SPOTS …
Sushi Den, Linger, Izakaya Amu (Boulder)
Art Hotel, The Source
TO GRAB A CUP OF COFFEE
Tattered Cover Book Store, 2526 E. Colfax Ave.
Evergreen, Eldorado Springs
TO LOOK AT ART
Robischon Art Gallery, Black Cube, Rule Gallery, Gildar Gallery, David B. Smith Gallery, Tansey Contemporary Gallery, K Contemporary, Red Gallery
TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWN VISITORS
Red Rocks, Garden of the Gods