November 19, 2017 – Red, the color of the night. All different hues swept down the runway on Sunday evening. Put on by Denver Colorado AIDS Project and Howard Dental Services at the EXDO Event Center in Downtown Denver, this was an event of the year. Exquisite and innovative local designers, hairstylists, and makeup artists helped transform the event into a sparkling success.
All photos taken courtesy of Christen Weaver of Weaver Photography.
The show opened in a unique way, bringing student designers from the RMCAD (Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design) to the stage to show off their individual creations.They proudly glided down the stage with their models showcasing their hard work in what seemed like a moment of pure happiness.
Bringing on the start of local designers, Zeljka Sladovic’s designs hit the runway. In what seemed like a bridal affair, ivories, golds, and champagnes took over. The gowns were gorgeously draped and structured to fit the model’s bodies perfectly. My favorite piece from this collection was an elegant peach colored, loosely fit gown with a gold beaded halter top strap. The color was exquisite and a bold choice but looked dashing under the lights as it danced across the stage. The head pieces complimented the gowns perfectly to create the ultimate princess effect courtesy of Fleur Salon.
James Silvrants graced the stage next. I really felt formal energy from this set because of the gorgeous long gowns. They all laid beautifully on the body, most of them lacking shape but that simplicity gave them elegance. A gorgeous shapeless sheer red dress showed the right amount of skin. Its long train seemed to follow its every move so perfectly down the runway. Synergy Salon and Day Spa added to the overall look with their talented artistry.
Crazy crochet took over next with the amazing designs by Jennifer Kesewa. These intricate and carefully constructed pieces were a beach dream! A beautiful multi-colored two piece set really took the spotlight. This golden yellow, burnt orange, and burgundy red stripped set was nothing short of amazing. The long belled sleeves and tassels offered this tropical la-la land piece a perfect fit in Colorado. The extravagant makeup by the Vanity Dollz team created the perfect flow from crochet to beaut-ey.
Designs by Reanne Alise Chase were up next. Her designs opted for trend setter looks featuring a lot more leather, satin, velvets, and lace. A snug leather two piece with a zipper up the side strutted down the runway and it did it for me! Simple yet stylish, it fit like a dream. And when paired with a wine fur coat the model looked ready to take the streets of New York by storm.
Josiah Gee went for a scarce look with these flashy designs. Men in nothing but underwear, jackets, and bowties rocked it all on stage. To me, this screamed Magic Mike all the way, especially the plethora of sequined jackets in silver, black, and red. Not only did the designs scream for themselves, the show they put on had the crowd cheering.
Edwin G. Ricke II really put on a show with the entire package: crazy hair, unique makeup, and stunning designs. A black and white ball gown took up the entire stage as it seemingly glided down like a figure skater on ice. An all black top half transitioned into a white structured skirt with black roses falling from the waist. Paired with exquisite hair done by KJ Murphy and insane makeup skills, this look was not one to forget.
Bold patterns and colorful pieces were the center of Darlene C. Ritz’s designs on Sunday. I never thought that red and pink could work the way that the stunning pair of floral printed pants did. Flakes of gold tied in with the purple and blue scarf piece and the gorgeous makeup by Beauty by Wicked Bubbles. These talented artists even created a beard of flowers with fabric…wow!
The Victorian era met the Modern era with Richard Smith‘s designs. Built specifically for the trans community, his pieces wowed the crowd and so did his models. A gorgeous metallic gold dress with black lace trim and a black corset stopped the show. It flowed and flashed in the light, illuminating the room. Smith’s designs catered to the models so well and they looked amazing.
Gabriela Martinez’s designs did NOT disappoint. My absolute favorite piece of the night came from her collection – a ravishing long red gown. The center hugged the body with a satin like material that flattered the model. The bottom and sleeves stole the show – a flowy red sheer material with red floral embossed on it. This dress was a BEAUTY! I wanted to buy it right off of the model. Gabriela had the crowd on their feet as her gown took over the show, jaws almost on the floor. Vanity Dollz created more stunning looks to pair with Martinez’s designs to pull the whole thing together.
Juan Carlos Melendez’s line carried another one of my favorite pieces. His designs focused primarily on blues and reds, and boy did he make them look good! A BEAUTIFUL short red dress amazed everyone in the crowd as it took the runway. A red long sleeve sheer top had embroidered patterns and jewels that plunged off into the deep v-neck. As it flowed down the body, a brighter red satin layered skirt offered some beautiful structure to the piece. Melendez absolutely killed it with this piece. Along with Beauty by Wicked Bubbles killer artistry, everything was on point with this look.
Tonya Harris and Monique Parham brought some gorgeous designs to the stage. Yellow took over for the first time during the evening. Paired with red accessories and red hair, this yellow dress was nothing short of stunning. The sunshine yellow seemed to somehow work so well even at the end of November. The train from the top to bottom of the back half of the dress created a transfixing flow.
Cage detailing was all the rage with a piece from Megan Summerville line. Arguably one of the coolest pieces of the evening, her design blew away the crowd. A red bodysuit fit perfectly underneath a cage skirt with a thick trimmed bottom. Flared detailing at the hips gave this skirt an even more unique look. It was such an eye-catching statement piece that impressed everybody with its close attention to detail.
Similar to the other ball gowns of the night Helene (Eve) Jenkins plastered the runway with elegant designs rich in detail and color. Because of such intricate and complex designing techniques, it is hard to accurately describe these gowns. Three Dimensional flowers peaked off of the gown from top to bottom in an array of oranges, blacks, and reds. The black poofy skirt had a sheer overlaying fabric complimented by gorgeous rose petals.
Bradley Allen closed off the show with…a show to say the least. It rained men as the men marched down the runway showing off their Allen apparel. Bradley Allen makes professional dress shirts tailored specifically for bodybuilders and athletic physic. The models looked like they were ready for a meeting or client dinner, the sophisticated wear really tapped into a small niche but is on a big rise.
Red Ball 2017, thank you for a night of amazement, happiness, and fashion like none other. All the local designers and creators of all things artistic put on a show to remember. I hope to be back next year…