Fashion lovers and those with a bit of red carpet curiosity are in for a big treat as Denver Fashion Weekend transforms into Denver Fashion Week with eight days of runway shows, industry workshops and special events in 2018. After 10 years of hosting, 303 Magazine is partnering with Denver Arts & Venues, VISIT DENVER, Denver Art Museum and The ONE Paper Fashion Show to take it up a notch with an impressive schedule of happenings at some of the city’s best venues during Denver Fashion Week, March 18-25, 2018.
“For a decade, hundreds of designers, stylists, models and volunteers have worked to uplift the Denver fashion scene,” says Brittany Werges, editor-in-chief of 303 Magazine. “Finally, after several sold-out seasons, we feel the city is ready to embrace an entire week of fashion. We couldn’t be more excited.”
Going from weekend to weeklong
Denver Fashion Week (DFW) is Colorado’s largest fashion showcase, featuring emerging designers, local boutiques, national brands, hairstylists, makeup artists and models.
A population hungry for fashion in tandem with a growing local fashion industry provides the perfect combination for event expansion. “A lot of new Denver residents from coastal cities and other places around the country are used to fashion weeks,” she says.
“As Denver grows, so does this event! We will feature an even wider range of sartorial offerings than ever—from kids clothing to weddings and special occasions to designs straight from New York City and the best local designers,” adds DFW Runway Producer Charlie Price, who along with many on the DFW team is also involved with New York City Fashion Week. “And of course, as always, we will end the week with our signature 303 Hair Show and Southwest Hairstyling Awards, which has become one of the finest independent hair events in the hemisphere.”
8 days of runway shows and workshops
Already, nearly 1,000 auditioned for a chance to walk the DFW runway, with 241 models from age 6 to 50 and petite to plus-size selected for the opportunity. There is a flurry of additional activity underway behind the scenes getting ready for an action-packed week that kicks off on Sunday, March 18, at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum with an afternoon Children’s Fashion Show followed by the first-ever DFW Bridal Fashion Show and the magazine’s 303 Awards in the evening.
A total of six runway shows begin and end the week, with Monday through Wednesday devoted to industry workshops at McNichols Civic Center Building for models, designers and fashion-related businesses. “One of the biggest reasons we expanded to a week was the desire for DFW to have an educational component,” Werges explains.
For example, at the designer workshop on March 21, U.S. Patent and Trademark Rocky Mountain Regional Director Molly Kocialski is leading a conversation with a local fashion designer and a local intellectual property attorney regarding how to leverage copyrights, trademarks, trade dress, patents and trade secrets to protect fashion brands and how to protect and enforce intellectual property rights for designs. New York City designer Stevie Boi also will be on hand to discuss his book “Shade Built My Empire” and for a Q&A session.
Known for creating iconic eyewear, clothing and accessories for Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Rihanna, Elton John and more, Boi also is presenting his exclusive new line during DFW’s Non-Traditional Night fashion show on March 22 that begins with a segment featuring nontraditional models and local designers.
Three additional runway shows wrap up the last weekend of DFW, including the Paper Fashion Show on Friday; a National Designer Fashion Show on Saturday featuring Velvet Wolf and Kouture of Denver and Mimi Prober, Manfredonia and Xuly Bet of New York City; and the Hair Show and Southwest Hairstyling Awards on Sunday.
All fashion shows are being staged at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, other than the Paper Fashion Show which is happening at the Seawell Grand Ballroom within the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
“Our main venue is Wings Over the Rockies. We did a show there this summer and had a great response. It’s a beautiful, large space that is really interesting with the massive planes,” Werges says.
2 great events for fashion lovers, inquisitive souls
Even if fashion really isn’t your thing, The ONE Paper Fashion Show and avant-garde Hair Show are sure to impress.
“The Hair Show on Sunday night is always my favorite. The teams of hair stylists pour their hearts and souls into the creations,” she says. “The Paper Fashion Show is incredible, with people making wonderful creations out of paper. It is a beautiful, entertaining event whether you are into fashion or not.”
This is the first time in its 14 years that The ONE Paper Fashion Show is scheduled in tandem with DFW. Inspiration for the show struck when Jimmy Diffee, founder of the Art Directors Club Denver (now The ONE Club for Creativity Denver), went to a body art show in Dallas where artists live-painted models who later walked the runway. He wanted to replicate that feeling of art in a raw and vulnerable way while showcasing the talent in the Denver design community and raise money for the youth program DAVA (Downtown Aurora Visual Arts). To compete, creations must fit the show theme and be made of at least 90 percent paper, which is provided by Spicers Paper and various paper mills around Colorado.
Denver Fashion Week at a glance
March 18 – Children’s fashion show, bridal fashion show and 303 Awards
March 19 – Models workshop
March 20 – Fashion industry social media workshop
March 21 – Designers workshop
March 22 – Non-Traditional Night fashion show featuring local designers, nontraditional models and Stevie Boi’s new collection
March 23 – The ONE Paper Fashion Show
March 24 – National designer fashion show
March 25 – Hair Show and Southwest Hairstyling Awards
“We recognize Denver Fashion Week as a well-primed step in supporting our fast-growing fashion industry in Denver and Colorado,” says Lisa Gedgaudas, program administrator for Create Denver, a Denver Arts & Venues initiative. “The diversity of Fashion Week programming and dialog exchange will help to amplify Denver’s reputation for design on a national scale, while continuing to attract the attention of new audiences and growing the fashion industry through career development.”
Tickets for DFW fashion shows and workshops are available for purchase at www.denverfashionweek.com.