At a downtown festival this summer, 1,300 people signed up to walk the runway at Denver Fashion Week. When auditions were announced, 800 of them actually showed up.
“To walk, for free,” says nationally renowned hair stylist Charlie Price. “Begging to walk for free. We are inclusive, so we have models of all ages, transgender models, even a model in a wheelchair.”
Price, co-creator of the semiannual event, remembers when Fashion Week was Fashion Night. Then it was Fashion Weekend. Now, for the first time, it’s five nights, spread over eight days (Nov. 9-17) that include workshops for models, stylists, budding designers, and even would-be photographers.
Just as Denver’s population is booming, the fashion scene can hardly contain itself.
“There’s the in ux of new people, more designers to show, and more people that want to see them,” Price says. “That’s great for us. I call it underground, because you get a lot of new designers, who might be super young. It can be a little raw, even experimental, with an anything-goes feel.”
It can also be familiar, with internationally known fashion names filling out the Nov. 14 show featuring local boutique Garbarini and Denver commercial successes Rachel Marie Hurst and Steve Sells anchoring the Nov. 17 finale, “Denver Originals.”
Hurst specializes in feminine fabrics, cuts, and colors, and has a boutique on Kentucky Avenue in Glendale. Sells hand-dyes fabrics—usually silk—and then turns them into distinctive, easy-to- wear, and often owing garments such as dresses, tanks, and wraps.
They’ll be joined on closing night by eight other local designers, some of whom design clothes most of us aren’t wearing yet. Look for futuristic pieces by Nicholas Anthony Clothing and black dresses featuring metal accents from Menez.
“Denver’s Fashion Week goes with the pioneer spirit of the city,” says Price, who created an opening night “Street Fashion x Art” collection from photographs he took in Spain made into collages and imprinted on organza. “We are the Wild West and anything goes. People here don’t like to be told what to do, so there’s any- thing and everything. You will see people from all walks of life, from someone in full cowboy regalia to someone in a gown to a club kid.”
Denver Fashion Week Nov. 9-17
McNichols Civic Center Building, and other locations