All posts by B. shigglesworth

Dreamer / Doer / Founder of Fashion Denver

Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design Recap


source: highsnobiety

What the brand Comme des Garcons means to you, can mean something completely different to me; that is the beauty of the world that Rei Kawakubo has created. Japanese fashion is like poetry. No matter how old a piece of poetry is, the intimacy and the feelings evoked from the imagery is subjective to the reader, and lasts forever. This holds true to the way that different consumers and admirers interpret collections presented by designers such as Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake. Sometimes, a collection will fly over someone’s head. They assume that the collection is irrelevant, because they have yet to understand or experience the meaning behind the collection. For others, the collections presented may click with their psyche in a way that will changes their lives forever.

The world put proportions and aesthetic in a box. When designers such as Rei and Yohji appeared, they changed the way people looked at proportions. In the 80’s, they introduced new silhouettes that are still profound today. The well curated, vintage outfits presented years ago, at Shock Wave are historical looks that innovated the fashion world and continue to challenge the modern world.



To me, the looks presented that I admired were the ones that transformed and influenced menswear from the same designers. It showed me that womenswear and menswear can transcend beyond gender and when mixed, something beautiful is born. Yohji Yamamoto used menswear as his main influence for his womenswear(Femme) collections and created something so sensual and refined. There were noire inspired looks, punk inspired looks, menswear inspired looks, traditional Japanese silhouettes, womenswear and looks that could only come from the imagination of Rei, Yohji and Issey Miyake. These designers can take different influences from cultures all over the world and make it unique to their style of clothing, as if they were a part of that culture their entire lives. It is truly incredible what these designers have done for the fashion community. This exhibition pays homage to them, and thanks them for introducing designs that have transformed the way womenswear and menswear are tailored and worn.
I encourage everyone in Colorado to visit this exhibit. What you take away from the exhibit will differ from my experience, and the person next to you. Your perceptions can only come from the intimacy that Japanese fashion brings out individually.

Westword Artopia 2017: WHITEOUT!

The countdown is on for an unforgettable evening of fashion, music & art as Westword presents Artopia 2017, happening at City Hall on February 25th!

Purchase tickets here and use ‘fashiondenver’ for your discounted ticket!

Artopia, Westword’s annual celebration of art, culture and fashion, is taking it to the streets  on Saturday, February 25! City Hall will be the site of the artiest party of the year. While they sample cocktails and listen to the street sounds from some of Denver’s best DJs and musicians, party-goers can explore themed spaces curated by Artopia 2017 curator Jolt and dedicated to some of Denver’s most iconic streets – Larimer, Santa Fe, Federal and Colfax – and street artists.

Westword Artopia's 2017 featured artist
Featured artist at Westword Artopia 2017

Denver’s designers will show their street smarts, too, during the Whiteout fashion show that’s become a highlight of Artopia. D’Lola Couture, Equillibrium, Mona Lucero, Gino Velardi, Elyse Rainbolt, AnnaFesta, Blackberry Maverick, Denver Bespoke and Jiberish will be revving up the runway this year, working with style teams and models from Matthew Morris Salon, Well Beauty Co. and Wilhelmina Denver. The fashion show will be emceed by Brandi Shigley, founder of Fashion Denver.

Westword Artopia's Whiteout fashion show featured designers
Designs by featured designers at Westword Artopia’s Whiteout fashion show. Photo by Nathan Leach-Proffer
Brandi Shigley
Brandi Shigley emcees Westword’s Artopia Whiteout fashion show.

And once again, Artopia will include the chance to shop some of Colorado’s coolest shops and services, as well as applaud this year’s thirteenth class of MasterMinds.

For all of the exciting details, click here! 


December 8th: Frost Fashion Market {shopping & beauty}

Save the date! Thursday, December 8th 2016 from 6:00pm-9:00pm, Fashion Denver and Beautycounter team up with Matthew Morris Salon and Jaded Beauty for FROST, an evening full of shopping and beauty to raise money for Colorado non-profit Warren Village. Frost takes place at Green Spaces, a sustainable co-working space located in the heart of the RINO district at 2590 Walnut Street. This event is free and open to the public.


Shoppers are invited to get some holiday shopping done and with a plethora of local Colorado fashion businesses, there will be gifts for everyone on their holiday wish list.  Shoppers are also invited for a beauty makeover as Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare and Jaded Beauty, transform shoppers with holiday hair and makeup styles. Once transformed, they will be whisked over to one of our photographers, either Meredith Harris Photography or Everything in Focus for a portrait shot. 100% of proceeds from this beauty session ($35.00) will be donated to Warren Village.

Warren Village exists so low income, single parent families can achieve sustainable personal and economic self-sufficiency.

Beautycounter’s mission is to get safe products in the hands of everyone. Beautycounter is a disruptive beauty brand dedicated to radical change in an unregulated industry. Their mission is to create access to safe and high performing products. One should never have to sacrifice safety in the name of beauty. 

Music and holiday treats will fill the space with merriment.


Darlene C. Ritz
Eisentraut Jewelry
Park Hill Designs
Rachel Marie Hurst
Scout and Molly’s Boutique
SugarLove LLC
The Urban Angels
Topping Designs LLC
Victa Designs


Zach Burke reviews DFW

When you live in beautiful Denver Colorado, I don’t get but a few chances to go to fashion shows because our city is sort of like an oasis, in the middle of the country, culturally-deserted because of the distance to the large fashion cities of the coasts. So, when my dear friend Brandi Shigley of Denver Fashion asked me to attend one of the 303 Denver Fashion Week shows, I was excited to get out of my head with the weeks political downfall, and when she asked me to write this, I was a little mortified, consumed with how to even write something for someone else! You see, I work in the fine jewelry world, specifically the antique jewelry world, and manage a store on Larimer Square called Victoriana. I am well versed in fashion, the history of costuming, construction and fabrics, and have been a crafty, self-proclaimed fashionista most of my life, but when it comes to critiques I can be one brutal bitch, and when it comes to writing, I can be a mess, plain and simple. So, here goes nothing…

Thursday evening, Brandi picked me up, and in the traffic of protestors swarming the capital, and marching down 17th street, we made our way through town and to the show at the City Hall event center. The fact that I was attending a show, rather than showing my solidarity with other members of society, protesting the president elect, made me feel a little guilty. Larger than the act of watching and consuming clothing and the ideas within the craft of apparel, what are the larger social implications of fashion, and what am I doing here? When designer and stylists use political intention much of what is made is met with resistance and judgement. So, being a smaller city like Denver, I figured that I would not see much of that.

Upon entering we were met by 3 wonderful young women, 2, dressed in laces by Shelly Schalamon and one, Katie Hamman in a Lisa Frank inspired unicorn print – dress that framed a cute little baby bump, a matching purse and an over-all 90’s-girl inspired gay-centric look that. I thought to myself, well that was adorable, try to open your mind to the what Denver has to offer.

Much to my disappointment, inside the show, the crowd was a pretty sad affair of people with identity-less style, mall-inspired, Kardashian day-wear looks. Pastel satin dresses that are cute…in a spring-time Sunday morning, church-going way. I, straight out of work, in jeans and a work-safe shirt, defiantly lacking in any way that you can imagine, don’t really have room to talk, but a lot of these people seemed to be part of this industry, and even as consumers, I couldn’t help but think that this was more of a pageant than a show of style, trend and elegance. A few fashion forward people popped as per the usual in Denver, such as Crystal Jacquez, the atomic Sean Lacy and Jeremy Williard, who all bring a neo-punk-politico-inspired look to everything they wear. I am familiar with their irreverent style and adore their looks, and all three are always on point in their very own way.

We sat down to the show, had a few drinks and waited. Sitting behind me was a group of  5 friends who were the most friendly attendees that we met that night, however none of them lived in Denver. They had all come to celebrate a birthday, each living in a different city, and choose Denver as their stomping ground for a good old girl’s weekend! It was nice to see a few people who were not as uptight, and could have a few good laughs, rather than trying so hard to fit in. However, we all agreed that the boys in front of me had a few too many, and with the walls down, they just would behave themselves. I was embarrassed for them.

The first show began with Femme Fatale Intimates, lingerie pieces, all of which were adorable, but fairly predictable, besides the sheer red body suit with black trim, which almost looked like a sporty version of a 1920s dress without a skirt, which surprisingly really had a sumptuous effect for lingerie that made it seem more high-end than the lace that was used in the rest of the collection. Following was designer Mona Lucero who’s collection of dark prints, with bright loud pixels of color and they really stuck out to me. They were sewn well and seemed like actual pieces that people could buy and pair with a lot of things in their wardrobes. The first dress, on a beautiful, effervescent young model was really set off with her simple style; short, bleached tipped, natural dreading, with bright yellow matte lips and a small clutch, with Lucero’s adorable little potato-sack dress which was so simple yet perfect. I wondered to myself, why more of the attendees were not styled in this way, or at least following the form of their individuality rather than falling in line with their style, but we aren’t in New York or Paris, so why did I have such expectations? 

The last designer, who’s clothing I really got to look at was Gino Velardi’s group of very elegant jumpers and dresses, my favorite being a black full-length dress, with gold prints of a splashy metallic “tie-dye” motif. Gino has been making clothing for a while and the craftsmanship shows. His lines and draping are elegant and sophisticated without being fussy. I just loved the group of his work, and it was the kind of look that anyone would be able to incorporate into any look. 

After that, I have to confess that I was so distracted with other things happening that I didn’t pay much attention, except that I would say the clothing was beautiful over all. I was totally enamored with my dear friend Amy Rosenberg playing violin, and I was so relieved when the 2 guys sitting in front of me made they way out of the show, stumbling drunk towards the bar upstairs. Regardless, Amy was a knockout, and her talent defiantly lent charm and grace to the runway collections.

What I take away from a fashion show in a smaller city like Denver, is that there isn’t the overall desire to be as individual and progressive in personal style here. Denver shoppers should challenge themselves more by taking note of what designers are making locally, and support those looks, with a flare and developed sense of self within that, and not follow branding and trends for the sake of fitting in. I hope that readers take note and follow such valuable localities, like fashion Denver and 303 magazine’s style section, and push themselves to have more inclusion and support of their community rather than having that feeling of competition and uptightness that comes along with conformity in fashion. Trust in your opinions on what looks good on, and take it a step further to get outside your comfort zone and have fun with the options that are out there. 

Frost: Featured author

Besides fashion and beauty, we’re going to have a couple non-fashion people at our Frost Fashion Market and with the holidays right around the corner, many of us are in the mood for baking…. and LOVE! We are excited to feature Michelle Poirier, author of SugarLove: Broken Cookies Still Taste Good.

1) What inspired you to write this book? 

Since I love to bake and often modified or made up my own recipes, friends said that I should write a cook book. I didn’t want to write just a cook book though and knew that if, a big “if,” I ever wrote one, that it had to have a twist to it. I was hit with this idea, that each recipe would personify a particular type of guy, years ago when I was experimenting with a fudgy brownie recipe for my then boyfriend. It wasn’t your typical ‘one bowl brownie mix.’ Rather, it was complex and had an unexpected ingredient. For that recipe, the sum of the parts was so much more as it yielded a moist and fudgy brownie that I’d never had before. It hit me that it, the recipe, wasn’t dissimiliar from my then boyfriend. He appeared to be the ‘bad boy’ on the outside – bad boys are always good looking – and with attitude; however, he was so much more. He was a good communicator, in touch with his emotions, and so sweet. Boom. Idea for a cook book with a twist happened!


2) At what age did you discover your passion for baking? 

Gosh, I’d say middle school, but definitely high school. With a mom who worked two jobs, I found myself looking through her cook books and then searching the cabinets for ingredients to bake something if she wasn’t home. That’s how I started. I’d make whatever I could with the ingredients already in our kitchen. I’d even spend my Friday nights in with my best gal friend baking. We loved to surprise our mom’s with our goodies!

3) How has navigating the single life been in your 20s, 30s and 40’s. What’s been the difference in decades with your inner dialogue?

Wow, it’s so much harder now (in my 40s). In your 20s, you are just starting out in adult life and have no expectations, only hopes. Time is on your side and you have no agenda. For me, I was a late bloomer and didn’t really become the person I always wanted to be until about age 29; so, my 30s were really my time of self discovery. My social world opened up (I attribute that to the recognition that 5280 Magazine gave me when they chose me as one of their “Most Eligible Singles” for the February 2003 issue). I embraced my newly expanded social networks. I was dating multiple guys at once but not getting close to any one of them. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I got wrapped up in a social scene of people who mostly wanted to stay single and I now realize that is partly why I’m still single. Even if I did meet someone with potential (which I did), I kept them at arms distance and that caused the relationship not to develop. Now, I’m ready for the ‘one.’ I’m not worried about missing someone better that may come along. I’m upfront with the men that I meet now. If they are looking for the ‘good time,’ it’s not me. I’m looking for my special someone; someone to create history with and look back on the years together.

4) Do you ever want to get married? 

YES! Do you have someone in mind for me?

5) What’s your favorite part of the holidays? 

Christmas cookies! I’m serious. They are so much more than just a treat. They are a representation of someone’s time, love, and effort. They are unique to that the giver and can’t be found anywhere else. What a gift!


French Fashion & Champagne

French Fashion & Champagne
Meet the Fashion experts with Fashion Denver
December 12th 6pm-9pm
Alliance Francaise de Denver
Register here

Oui oui oui! We are going to have a great time as we partner up with Alliance Francaise de Denver for an absolutely unforgettable night with the experts who have worked in Paris in the fashion world. Sip on some bubbly, learn some French and be inspired!

mannequin-1223891SPECIAL GUESTS:

  • Florence Muller : Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art & Curator of Fashion @ the Denver Art Museum, regularly works with Yves Saint-Laurent, Dior, LVMH etc.
  • Leila Korn : Owner and head stylist @ The Nouveau Style 
  • Christine Oury : Former PR Director for the Federation Française de la Couture who organized the Fashion Week’s défilés in the Louvre 
  • Sabine Lerus Watson : Former Direction and PR assistant for Yves St Laurent’s Public Relations and Production Agency “KCD”
  • Terrence Timmerman : Mario Testino’s Former Project Manager in the 80’s-90’s

Watch our Facebook Live video from our meeting last week…



Live. Love. Lash!!!

Live Love LashAs some of you may know, I’ve been experiencing what it’s like to have eyelash extensions! After having contacts for over 30 years and finally getting contacts, it has been such a fun adventure to be able to play up my eyes. Not to mention that it’s become a way for me to really relax and just be quiet for an extended amount of time.

A couple of months ago, I met the beautiful and fabulous Riann Decker, instructor and manager at Live Love Lash in Cherry Creek North. From the moment that she did my first set of lashes, I fell in love. Not with just the eyelash extensions but with the conversation, relaxation, energy, and the way I feel when I leave.

Where did you grow up? 

Denton, Texas.

What made you decide  to move to Colorado ? 

Originally I was asked to help out at Live Love Lash during the busy holiday season this past year. I fell in love with the studio, the girls working there, and the state, that I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.   

Live Love Lash

HikingWhat are 3 of your favorite things about living in Colorado? 

Hard to narrow it down to just 3:

1. The weather (y’all actually have seasons here!)

2. Seeing the mountains daily (I have the best view from my apartment)

3. The endless amount of activities to choose from.   

What do you do for self care, to lift yourself up and rejuvenate? 

I like to sit in a quiet room, snuggled up to my dogs and reflect on the things I am grateful for, everything I have accomplished and the wonderful people I have in my life. I work out 3 days a week at Tease Pole Studio and take as many bubble baths as I can.


To learn more about Riann, keep up with her Instagram! Book your appointment and use  “FashionDenver” as your promo code for a little discount off your services!

Live Love Lash
2717 E 3rd Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 388-5274 

Sizzlin’ 6 with KatyBelle’s Kat Dudden

We’re thrilled to have Kat Dudden of KatyBelle, back at one of our markets! We met Kat a few years ago and she’s done a couple of the Fashion Denver markets. We always know what she’s up to in style because she does an amazing job keeping the world informed on the latest styles that she’s finding, her fashion inspirations, and much more! Come and find Kat’s booth at the 303 Magazine White Party this Thursday! Until then, here is our interview with her!


What were your obsessions growing up?

As I child I loved hats and dressing up(so basically nothing has changed).  I also loved to read, especially the Baby Sitters Club.   I always loved playing with Barbies and all kinds of craft projects.   I did ballet my entire childhood and I was always busy idolizing the elegant dancers, the beautiful costumes, and admiring and relishing in the dedication and discipline dance takes; from daily practice to point shoe preparation.  

KatyBelleHow did fashion become the symbol for your creative expression?

I’ve always loved dressing up and playing with costumes.  But I really began to apply fashion to my daily life in high school.  Everyone wore Abercrombie & Fitch and North Face.  It was so…. granola and boring.  We weren’t allowed to wear jeans in high school, so dresses and skirts became my way to differentiate myself from the khaki and fleece.  

Do you see a stylistic connection between the things you do in your daily life that is reflected into your collections?

There is a 100% connection between my daily life and my curated collection.   I have always loved wearing girly dresses and have dressed a little “fancier” than the average Denverite.  Today, that’s still my style and it’s reflected in my collection of dresses, tops, skirts, and shorts.  You won’t find any t-shirts at katybelle, but we’re all about dresses and tops that can go from day to night.

KatyBelleWhat is your research process like before starting a collection?

Really my entire life to this point has been research; living in New Orleans and Hawaii has really influenced my style; which is reflected in the more ladylike traditional foundations of katybelle and also in the easy breezy pieces that the collection is known for.  On a day to day basis however, I am reading fashion magazines and blogs to stay abreast of new trends and styles.  One of the more difficult parts of my job is picking pieces from my vendors.  I usually go directly to them in LA or meet up with them at trade shows.  There are so many amazing pieces, but I have to think of each piece and how it will work for my Denver customers.  How will this work in our casual, sporty Colorado lifestyle?  Then I have to come back to earth and think of more basic things; price, if it will work well for the Denver seasons, do I have similar pieces in the collection?  Buying is probably my favorite part of the business and it’s so easy to get carried away.  I really have to be disciplined and take in all the cues from my research and the more business based factors to carefully pick each piece.  

How has fashion impacted you?

Well I suppose fashion has shaped most of my life.  I”m always known as the girl in the dress or the girl in heels.  Aside from katybelle being my livelihood and my more than full time job, fashion has certainly enriched my experiences when traveling.  Going to visit my grandparents in rural Colorado, my grandma and I would always visit the “Rummage Room” in her town; I have so so many amazing vintage jewelry pieces and purses that I picked up for a song.  Further afield I have had such a greater appreciation for items I’ve discovered in other countries.  The lightweight woven white straw in my Panama hat makes perfect sense for their hot sunny climate and the Ikat patterns of textile pieces I picked up in Turkey can be seen in buildings from the 1400s.  I love seeing the reason behind a fashion or style.  

What is your opinion on the fashion scene in Denver from a designers perspective?

The Denver fashion community has been incredibly open and positive which was a wonderful surprise.  I’ve met so many fellow boutique owners and designers and rather than being the catty and competitive people are so helpful and inclusive.  The fashion scene in Denver is also much larger than I expected and it’s fabulous to see local designers and companies gaining national recognition!

Sizzlin’ 6 with Duane Topping

It’s always exciting meeting a new designer! Welcome to the Fashion Denver world Duane! We look forward to seeing your collection and learning more about you at The White Party! In the meantime world, Check out our interview with Duane, designer behind Designs By Topping

Duane ToppingWhat were your obsessions growing up?

I’ve always been obsessed with art. It started out with my desire to be a cartoonist, then shifted to art history as I got older. Now, I love the artistic development of fashion. Seeing my art in motion is a wonderful experience.

How did fashion become the symbol for your creative expression?

After I retired from military service I had a difficult time adjusting to my new life. Numerous combat deployments took its toll. One day I bought a sewing machine and found my niche. Now, my clothes have become an expression of who I am. I’m a soldier, a biker, a feminist, a scholar, and an artist. Being a clothing designer allows me to embrace all of that at once.

Toppings by DuaneDo you see a stylistic connection between the things you do in your daily life that is reflected into your collections?

My clothes absolutely reflect me as a person. I try and keep a cohesive line but also diversify my aesthetics with each garment to match my personality. I’m always perfecting my construction and readjusting my design which is a replication of my own life changes. Being retired allows me to devote more time to my art and the softness of the textiles and the flow of the garments is an allegory to that freedom. Having the opportunity to bring people along on my journey is important to me. Women’s clothing, I think, expresses the feminist in me, so I always strive to design with that feminine power in mind. Every woman deserves to look and feel good regardless of the hegemony of the world.

What is your research process like before starting a collection?

I study every woman I see. What they wear, and how they walk has given me insight into how I can recreate that confidence. In terms of inspiration for the lines, I love talking with real women. That allows me a greater appreciation of how they express themselves through their clothes. I then strive to capture that internal character and translate it into something that can be worn. Every day is an opportunity to be inspired.

Toppings by Duane

How has fashion impacted you?

Fashion has become my world. I’ve been able to shift from a very rigid environment to something magical. Designing clothes has opened my long dormant artist side and I’ve embraced that whole heartedly. I hope to use this new passion to make an impact in other areas of my life. Namely, I’m beginning to work towards more philanthropically focused endeavors. I’m not hoping to be rich, but I hope to share my good fortune with causes that deserve the support. Bringing my art to life, in the end, is what it’s all about.

What is your opinion on the fashion scene in Denver from a designers perspective?

Being new to the industry, I’ve got a lot to learn yet. But, I was able to attend the Denver Fashion Week and was very impressed with what I saw. The local designers were brilliant and approachable. The turnout was amazing and I sparked me to pursue this fashion dream.

Anthomania Fashion Show

13442609_10153890197327585_7399049042330129973_oThe summer fashion season certainly kicked off this past weekend at the Anthomania Fashion Show, presented by Studio Colfax. This family run artisan boutique on Colfax Avenue put on a wonderful fashion show in their very own courtyard in the back of the store.

The show featured local designers such  Minus the Dart,  Symantha Perrera,  and PUPIL Clothing. Hair was done by Jade Gordons Onsixth, and makeup by Cynthia Delgado. With yummy food provided by Extreme Pizza – Denver, and even iced tea by RL Linden & Co.

Designer: FACE Photo by: Lynn Nguyen

The show began with models emerging from the back exit out of the store on to a brick walk way which wrapped around the entire courtyard and made for a great runway. Guests were seated all along the courtyard and given perfect little wooden fans to keep cool during the hot summer night. While it was definitely warm out, the weather was certainly not the only thing hot about the evening. Kicking off the show, we saw designs from FACE aka Symantha Perra, one in particular was a bright orange and red floral dress and this dress was hot to say the least. Her designs got me feelin’ some type of way for fashion this summer season! Next we saw designs from pupil and Minus the Dart. With leggings such as “Miente Libre Leggings” and “Opius Wars Leggings” from pupil and sleek black poncho’s from Minus the Dart, topped with jewelry from Canned Good, the combined look was powerful and definitely made a statement.

From Studio Colfax's Facebook Page
Minus the Dart ended the show with a variety of beautiful top and skirt pairings. She also featured a casual striped  shirt dress that was sold right off the runway! If you’re looking to spice up your summer wardrobe or you’re just in need of a couple timeless pieces, you’re sure to find something provided by one of if not all of these designers!

The show concluded just in time for a typical late afternoon Denver summer shower and I was in serious need of one of Minus the Dart’s awesome poncho’s! For more pictures from the evening visit our Facebook page here. Studio Colfax is located at 2418 E Colfax Ave, Denver, Colorado 80206. The boutique features not just clothing but also jewelry, shoes, purses, and many other goodies not to be missed!