Story by: Katie Pusateri
Photography by: Nino Silva and Vy Pham
Fresh, white snowflakes danced to the ground outside of Denver’s historical McNichols Building, perfectly preluding to the event inside. As guests entered the runway room, adorned with white banners and subtle chic lighting, they were greeted with a unique cocktail from a fashionably dressed server or a friendly smile from one of their fellow fashion-enthusiasts. Local shops, fashion boutiques and restaurants sold apparel and offered delicious samples of sweet treats and snacks to anticipating guests. All were gathered for the same reason, to celebrate local designers at Westword’s second annual Whiteout Fashion Show.
At show time, Hostess Michelle Baldwin, also known as Vivienne VaVoom, took the stage in a white dress and fancy feathered fascinator to introduce the lead act: A burlesque performance by Cora Vette and the Vavavettes. Cora Vette’s booming and beautiful voice amped up the crowd, while the Vavavettes, adorned in white sparkling outfits and large feather headpieces, teased the audience, building the energy for the nights’ main show.
Each designer added their own taste to the runway, from urban trends to sporty styles, reflecting the diverse variety of fashion throughout Denver.
Simple, black outfits topped off with colorful head dressings by local hat designer, Kitty Mae Millinery, donned the runway first. The dark, minimalist slip dresses and black patterned tights accentuated the larger-than-life, bright and eclectic hats.
With relaxed hairstyles, natural make-up and a plush bouquet of white hydrangeas in hand, models in B.Shigley Designs and Plum Sage Flowers offered an ultra-chill yet girly street vibe. Black leggings paired with cropped graphic tees on top of trendy lace-up wedges made the perfect comfortable and laid-back look for springtime.
Easy-going street style returned to the runway with designs from Akomplice Clothing, owned by Mike and Patrick Liberty. The designer brother duo paired tight, micro shorts with fitted sweatshirts and flat-billed hats, occasionally adding a burst of bling in the neckline and other flashy accessories.
Local designer boutique, Goldyn also featured dark, urban designs with sophisticated styles that were meshed together with blacks, metallic and leather accents in clean cuts for both men’s and women’s attire. The men’s outfits mixed comfort with urban trends in the form of beanies, hoodies and denim. Goldyn made the dark, sleek trend its own with the addition of practicality and everyday wearability.
Beautifully tailored, sophisticated pieces with stunning metallic details and leather accents were the highlight of Common Era’s runway appearance. Neutral color pallets and classic cuts were freshened with modern patterns. Debra Mazur, owner of Common Era, threw in a few pleasant twists, while clean lines tied this wide variety of styles together. With a gold chain belt, wide-legged pants in primary colors and bold neon accessories, one of Common Era’s unexpected outfits seemed to take a modern approach on 70s fashion, while the next outfit’s crop top stole a cut from the 90s.
Pops of primary colors reappeared in Mona Lucero’s sporty, pop art collection. With daring graphics in red, yellow and black, each outfit added its own flare to a similarly boxy but fitted shape. Looks were topped off with boldly colored sunglasses.
Featuring a combination of grunge and modern-day urban style, local designer Equillibrium made uncommon cuts look good. Equillibrium combined perfectly clashing black and gray patterns with leather details and exposed zippers for a rebellious look in everyday comfort and style.
In a powerful change of ambiance, the Westwood Whiteout Fashion Show ended on a surprising and beautifully appropriate note: Wedding gowns. Veils and trains from D’Lola Couture swirled along the runway while sparkling belts dazzled the dresses’ waste lines. D’Lola’s final dress, featuring a mermaid shape and an awe-inspiring sea of tulle at the bottom, emitted gasps from the crowd, who then drowned the designers in applause to end the show.
After a bit of mingling, snack sampling, and cocktail sipping, guests headed back into the white wintery night to attend the official after party at Chloe nightclub.