The Denver fashion scene continues to flourish and nothing makes this growth more evident than the local designers who showed their Spring / Summer 2022 collections April 3-10 at Denver Fashion Week. For the first time since it was founded in 2018 (originally as Denver Fashion Weekend), the event included seven full nights of sold-out fashion shows at two locations: Void Studios on South Broadway and the Forney Museum of Transportation in Five Points. The ensuing runway extravaganza gave us plenty of ideas to freshen up our closets with the arrival of spring, a notoriously difficult season for dressing up in Colorado (hello, layers). Here are some of our favorites.
Chic 70s jet-setter
Designer: Keti Vani
Inspired by the 1970s revival of feminine charm and travel, designer KetiVani Keti McKenna preaches the power of a timeless silhouette with functional yet luxurious wardrobe essentials that can be easily layered (think: wide-shoulder blazers, dresses tight pants and powerful suits). For spring, this takes a playful shape in pieces like her lavender pinstripe off-the-shoulder gown, a nod to purple almond blossom, and her vintage retro roundups of her trips to the Bay Area. McKenna, who teaches at the Denver Design Incubator nonprofit education center when not creating custom designs for clients or for Garbarini in Cherry Creek North, also showcased more relaxed versions of her retro ethic, such as kerchief skirts and a neck set. high short 70s. They pair well with a textured hat or headband, just like the ones she designed in collaboration with local milliner Victoria Regina for this line.
Fierce and flirty loungewear
Athleisure dominated the markets, so Denver-based designer Kanchiko Saylesa Nepal decided it was time for loungewear to take the next step. Nepal has pivoted its typically cozy, tracksuit-centric Kanchiko brand to highlight a new kind of streetwear: fitted dresses with cheery cutouts on the arms and sides, sporty two-piece sets and micro skirts and halters that reminiscent of the year 2000, comfortable enough to wear with sneakers during the day or dress in heels for going out at night. Nepal, who grew up in New Zealand and whose parents hailed from Nepal, also infused elements of her Kiwi-Nepalese identity into the collection by adding details such as elegant ties and corner collars inspired by the traditional Nepali Choli blouse. Selected designs will soon be available for purchase on kanchiko.com
Coastal-cool men’s clothing
Colorado Springs designer Taylor Draper has built a reputation for creating flawless tailored suits through his custom menswear brand, INHERENT. Because he knows the rules so well, he’s well equipped to show the Denverites how to break them. Draper brought a new and structured twist to the classics like her cool and windy white English dress; or the classic navy blue suit with a hand-painted floral pattern by Colorado Springs artist Brett Andrus peeking out at the lapel and pants. To flaunt the fashion mandates even further, encourage to add your favorite baseball cap or crewneck, or pair her unstructured Irish linen suit jacket, all tan, with a nice pair of joggers for a sportier streetwear look. . The entire collection will soon be available for purchase on inerente.com, where a portion of any purchase goes to INHERENT’s non-profit foundation focused on men’s mental health.
Bold and feminine silhouettes
Designer: Aversano Designs
Cora Aversano’s design motto, “more is more”, shines through in her spring collection of couture dresses. In this case, the goal was more joy. Inspired by the extravagant styles of the classic Hollywood era that embraced femininity in an elegant yet cheeky way, Aversano played with tons of tulle, glamorous ‘princess’ silhouettes, feathered or ultra-high necklines and understated spring pastels abandoned for bold colors. Some dresses from the collection will also be made available for rental or purchase via her website this spring. Whether you’re able to grab an original Aversano or browse the shelves yourself, the key to turning heads at your next fundraising gala or black-tie event is embracing the floating fabric.
Challenge the norm
While local high fashion designer Matilda Marginal is used to creating cutting-edge custom clothing for clients outside her City Park showroom, she has moved her spring MARGINAL collection into an absolute avant-garde statement. Hope for her? Remind people of the most important trends that lie below the surface level. Driven by ongoing crises such as climate change, mental illness and homelessness, Marginal collected all-white, recycled fabrics and other unconventional items to create the deconstructed, gender-neutral garments that paraded on the runway. The collection served as a blank canvas for audience members to reflect on their own understanding of social norms and the suffering we don’t always see. While she doesn’t expect the Denverites to carry their clothes around in a frame, Marginal hopes that fashion aficionados of all kinds will consider how they can express themselves outside of normal beauty standards through recycled fabrics, damaged clothing, or other things that lying in the house could otherwise be scrapped.