Hosted at the Articulate, a hub for creative professionals, Current; A Runway for our River, felt more like a party then a traditional fashion show. A party with a fantastic showing of garments from local boutiques and designers, food, beer, a silent auction and all to fundraise for an important organization- does it get any better than that?! The event was lively and spunky and rooted in a sense of community- a fun reminder of all that makes Fort Collins a wonderful place. I’m sure it couldn’t have hurt that New Belgium was one of the sponsors. Compared to past fashion shows that I’ve been to, where the audience and the runway are largely separated with little ability for interaction, the set up for this runway was really creative. The models walked throughout the entire complex of the multi-room space, which allowed for a closer interaction and look at the garments. Throughout the night, Mindy Bryant, owner of Edge Optics, acted as a fabulously spunky MC commenting on the awesome business owners, models and audience. The show was set up where each boutique or designer showed a collection of about six pieces and after around four designers were shown there was a short intermission. This break served as a time to load up on snacks and drinks; including adorable mini cupcakes by JunePoppies, Noosa yogurt and a taco food truck. Fire dancers also performed during the intermission keeping the audience entertained and the event festive!
The first collection shown was by Edge Optics which is eye ware store focusing on providing eye ware for the active Colorado lifestyle. They presented their models in primarily in black bralettes and leggings as to allow for a focus on the eye ware. The frames were bold and hip, showcasing the trending thicker rim glasses.
Many of the boutiques featured clothing for the active lifestyle ranging from more athletic to more casual office wear. Akins, one of the athletic wear brands, had very neat granite washed leggings, and unique a hoodie cowl beanies. Their shirts, which are all printed in Fort Collins, displayed distinctly Colorado graphics with one long sleeve tee read “Just give me powder days, cold beers and warm fires.” Topo Designs featured its classic outdoor apparel, backpacks and accessories with primarily men’s clothing, but women’s as well. The pops of bright colors, primarily red and teal, that they add to their designs whether it’s in the shoe laces or color blocking on a jacket, always bring a fresh look to the designs and tie the looks together.
Madd Style, Mongolia Moon and Cira Ltd offered a selection of casual cozy chic looks that included warm shrugs and loose vests. Lots of gray and black base pieces with other deeper earthy colors mixed in, just perfect for fall and winter! A number of pieces featured fur, showing that the trend is still on the rise.
HeyDay’s collection had a playful feel featuring feminine silhouettes and fun Polk-a-doted and strip prints of day and office wear. To add a bit of whimsy to their runway presentation, they had each model carry a balloon letter for the store name and the last model carried a big balloon that was filled with oversized confetti that the model popped when she walked creating a rain of colors.
Repeat Boutique, which features vintage designer pieces from names such as Louis Vatton, Channel and more, rocked the runway with some glitter and fur. They had a lot of jackets and layers, which can offer endless possibilities for mixing and matching. They also featured an outfit that took a modern spin at the traditional poodle skirt!
Apricot Lane, Blue Harvest and Tula all offered a more refined look with pieces many day to night pieces. Their collections were made-up of more lighter fabrics in formal, yet comfortable to wear looks. Apricot Lane had a vibrant red jumpsuit with high slits in the legs forming a similar shape to an open palazzo pants. One of my favorite pieces was a vibrant red jumpsuit from Apricot Lane. The jumpsuit construction was very creative with high slits in the leg which worked to form an almost palazzo pants feel.
Stephanie Carlson showcased a plus size resort wear collection. The dresses were in soft fabrics offering a loose flattering fits with a use of both solid colors and some fun prints. It also exhibited some asymmetrical single sleeve garments with dramatic color block of white on navy.
Storm is a higher end men’s business wear. They featured a variety of sharp suits and button-down shirts.
Annebella Poletti is a local custom formal wear designer. Her collection consisted of multiple stunning wedding dress and a few dramatic floor length dresses in a contrasting hot pink and black. She also featured a more a casual jean jacket and pink pants look with a creative pleated peplum at the waist.
Lastly, it’s important to mention the hair and makeup as it was an important and unique part of the show. The hair and makeup was done by a variety of artists from local business; Jen Brawner & Van Allen of Ethereal Day Spa, Ray Hornback of Voltage Salon, Sarah Jayne Mein & Abby Martin of Allegory Salon, Murat Tercan of Enchante A European Salon and Rebecca Jay Makeup Artistry. The hair ranged from more traditional to very sculptural. Multiple models had various adaptations of a beehive hairdo, one had three hair bumps going down the back of her head. Another model had her hair split into many long tiered ponytails! The make-up was also very impressive. Many models had little “explosions” of shimmery pale pink and blue paint dripping down the side of their face for a kind of dramatic blush effect. Some other models had a metallic teal blush that was stenciled to have a scaly look. All throughout the make-up stylizing, metallic and shimmer were the common thread.
The show was put on as a fundraiser for Save the Pouder an organization whose goal is to protect the ecological heath of the river; which includes clean water for drinking, and habitat and economic considerations. The river is a special place and putting in damns up river could have a drastic effect on the rivers ecosystem, as well as the Fort Collins ecosystem that treasures being able to be so connected and accessible to the outdoors and nature based activities. This is the first time that the organization has fundraised through a fashion show, but with the success the show had I bet it won’t be the last! I for one certainly hope so! It’s really exciting to see what a thriving cohort of local business Fort Collins has, and the many ways in which they give back to and create community. Check out one of the many local business mentioned to be a part of, and help support, this creative ecosystem!
Photography: Isabella Labriola