Tag Archives: featured

Elyse Rainbolt Interview for Whiteout Fashion Show

Elyse RainboltQ: When did you first know you wanted to be a fashion designer?

A:I’ve been sewing since I was 10. I’ve always wanted to wear something I couldn’t find so I usually end up making it.

Q:Where do you draw inspiration from?

I’m inspired by music, the 1960’s and my textile designs are specifically inspired by Peter Max, Chris Jagger and the Beatles yellow submarine.

Q:What has been the most rewarding and the most frustrating part of your journey thus far?

Elyse Rainbolt

A:Rewarding: dressing myself head to toe in my own designs that I patterned, cut, sew and paint myself.
Internet stuff. I hate email, website etc maintenance. Im an analog hands on person and I wish I had someone to handle the Internet stuff for me. I haven’t updated my website in a year and a half and answering emails is like pulling teeth. Please don’t make me do it.
Q: We see a lot of leather, silk, and fur with your designs, what do you love about working with these fabrics?
A:They are natural materials and they last 40, 60, 80 plus years and can be remodeled into a new design and passed on as an heirloom piece. I despise artificial things and absolutely love handling furs. I fall in love all the time with various skins and pelts.
For more information, visit http://www.elyserainbolt.com/

Adobe Illustrator Masterclass for Fashion Designers

Fashion Workshop: |
Adobe Illustrator Masterclass for Fashion Designers
Taught By Heidi B.
Online Anytime

One thing that inspires the heck out me is to see designers grow there business and take things to the next level. I first met¬†Sew Heidi¬†years ago when she first started out her fashion business making dresses out of vintage fabric. Now you can find her in New York City, taking her fashion experience to the next level by helping other designers grow their business. What’s even cooler is that you don’t have to fly out to NYC to take one of her classes (although that would be pretty fun!), you can take her classes in the comfort of your own home!

Sew Heidi

Designers, as you know, Illustrator is an important for fashion design and often times it can seem like a nightmare to work with. Heidi shows us how to maximize our time and really make the most of the tools that Illustrator provides.

Click on this link to get all of the details and to sign up for this online course! 

Illustrator for Fashion Designers

El Salon & Leon Design Interview For Whiteout Fashion Show

Meet Steven Trujillo owner of El Salon and creator of Leon Designs. El Salon will provide hair styling ¬†and Leon Design will be featured in the Whiteout fashion show at Denver Westword’s Artopia. This culture, art, and fashion event will be opening its doors TOMORROW at 7pm at City Hall Denver. If you’re still in need of last minute tickets, grab them¬†here!¬†And don’t forget to use promo code fahsiondenver for a discount!logo_El-Salon

Q:When did you first know you wanted to be a fashion designer?

A:I’m humbled by this question. There are so many fashion designers I admire who devote their lives to fashion design.

I have always been a designer from hair, to fashion, to jewelry, and even to my garden ever since I was young. I consider myself more of an artist who is passionate about design. My family made sure at a young age that I could and would do large scale design projects. No one said I couldn’t!Leon Design Logo

Q:Where do you draw inspiration from?

A:Wow! Everything, I would say. All my surroundings from textiles, to landscape, to food, but I’m most inspired by artists like Marilyn Minter at the Contemporary Museum, The Miro Foundation in Barcelona, The Alexander McQueen Exhibition in London. I not only look at the artist and the art but the installation, It’s about the whole process of getting to the final result.

Q:What has been the most rewarding and the most frustrating part of your journey thus far?

A:The most rewarding part is being able to share my work with so many people as well as supporting local events.

Working as a team with all the creative people that I love. I’m hoping to create a different way of looking at things. It may not be to everyone’s liking , but that’s okay.Leon Designs Steve

I rarely get frustrated only because I accept where I am, who I am, and I don’t try to be someone else. There is a plethora to draw from, so I just don’t get frustrated. The journey challenges me and opens me to new opportunities to find better results.


Q:Tell us about how you reference architecture with fashion and what that process is like for you?

A:The body is the structure, and everything outside of that is what I consider to be the architecture that I am creating as a fashion designer. I play with all the elements around the structure: texture, color, illusion, form, shimmer, and embellishment.

I’m engaged with contemporary fashion, art, and architecture as well as antiquing. I combine all the worlds, past and present, in my Leon Designs Kevin Alexanderown way. I’m a scavenger – I collect every opportunity, idea, material, and create it the vision I see fit. It can be an internal process, so I appreciate when I can share it with others and get their reactions and feedback. Life and fashion design is more fulfilling when it is a collaboration.


For more information check out the El Salon website  here!

Anna Festa Interview for Whiteout Fashion Show

In anticipation for the Whiteout Fashion Show at Artopia on February 20th, Fashion Denver is interviewing all of the designers being featured in the show. Here is our second interview with Anna Fangenello of AnnaFesta.

Q:When did you first know you wanted to be a fashion designer?

A:I started sewing as a child with my grandmother and my mother. At the age of 13, I made my first outfit from a Brooke Shields pattern that I had altered to my size 12 figure. I was hooked! Pattern making
and clothing the body in proportions that enhanced the female shape became my focus. I wanted what all 13 year olds want – to be pretty, powerful and admired by my peers. By working with numbers, shapes and colors I felt confident in my clothing, which helped me to become more confident in myself

As a teenager, I worked in theaters making costumes for the DCPA and the Shakespeare festival in Boulder. I moved to New York for the first time at 18, working at a costume company and interning withUnknown designer MaryJane Marcasiano in Soho. At 19, I lived in Italy working as a patternmaker and sewing in a factory that made furs and leather jackets.

By 24, I was working with Nanette Lepore, at her side assisting to create her brand. I helped to produce Nanette’s first runway show, open her flagship boutiques, in both NY and LA, and produced all of the clothing from concept to customer. I love what I do and am so lucky that I followed my dreams from a very young age

Q:Where do you draw inspiration from?

A:My inspiration is a marriage of math and emotion. It is all about colors, shapes and the creation of prints mixed with the shape of the body,¬†proportions,¬†and geometry. It all comes together to create¬†that distinct Festa style.¬†I study the female form and work¬†with¬†the curves and shapes, placing pieces very specifically to support and enhance¬†our curves. AnnaFesta is based around the size 10 ‚Äď 20 customer. I start with a size 16 and the curves and shapes that come with this female form make me excited to see what my next creation can do to make this figure powerful and beautiful

Q:What has been the most rewarding and the most frustrating part of your journey thus far?

A:In my early 30’s¬†I had breast¬†cancer¬†and went through¬†years¬†of treatment. I LOVED New York and¬†my career had taken me all the way to the top, working with Nanette and as COO of Zac Posen. But, after years of cancer treatment and not taking care of myself, I¬†left everything to¬†“find myself”. My priorities changed. After 20 years
away from my hometown of Denver, I decided to return to a healthier lifestyle in Colorado.

I told myself that I¬†was never going to do anything with fashion again. I left my fashion career behind and did things I hadn’t done before. I¬†skied 40 times in a year, went to Burning Man for 10 days, and spent loads of time with my family. I removed myself from the pull of the¬†fashion world¬†to find out who I was and where I wanted to be.¬†After a few years away from fashion, I was brought full circle and returned to the career that I had always loved! During my time off I found a new goal in a female shape that was being ignored ‚Äď the curvy body type! I have made it my goal to create a collection that gives her confidence in beautifully fitting, curve enhancing, high quality, on trend clothing. My Colorado peers supported me and here I am, back at it, doing what I love most – making women feel beautiful and confident through my designs.


Q:Tell us about the ‚ÄúFestaFit‚ÄĚ process

A:The¬†FestaFit is created by my focus on the female body and all of its different shapes and forms. I am driven by proportion and how fabric – particularly prints and bright colors – can be placed on the body to enhance the female shape. How the print is placed, where a seam lies¬†on the body, and proportions¬†from top to bottom and side to side – all of this comes together to create the FestaFit. “Is it math or is it art?”, someone asked me once. The merging of the two arenas drives FestaFit.¬†My goal – whether you are 5′ tall, 6′ tall, size 2 or size 22 – you will put on one of my creations, look in the mirror and feel beautiful, happy and ready to conquer the world!

I love what I do, and I love your body!

For more on AnnaFesta check out this¬†video¬†and her website¬†here!¬†And if you’re still in need of ArtopiaDEN tickets, you can purchase them¬†here¬†and don’t forget to use promo code fashiondenver for a discount!

Denver Bespoke Interview for Whiteout Fashion Show

With ArtopiaDEN less than a month away, Fashion Denver is doing interviews with all of the designers being featured in the Whiteout Fashion Show! Our first interviewee is AJ Machete, creator of Denver Bespoke and Denver Dressmakers.
Denver Bespoke Logo
Q:  When did you first know you wanted to be a fashion designer?

Lianna (the co-designer) and I met at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where she was studying fashion and I was studying sculpture and photography. I was always very interested in style, whether in literature, fine art or clothing, but didn’t get into designing clothing for many years.¬†
In 2008, Lianna and I were talking about moving out of NYC but there weren’t a lot of fashion jobs in the middle part of the country, and not
many jobs that would be the equivalent of her job as a knitwear designer for Liz Claiborne. So I started designing clothing and sewing and was essentially able to hire her away from her job (although at much lower pay!) and we were able to move to Denver and keep doing creative work.

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?

A: We start from the perspective that bespoke and couture clothing is a different beast than ready-to-wear. We don’t need to design something that 50,000 people will wear—-selling one piece to one client is enough¬†to get the look out there. This means that we can design pieces that are utterly unique and pretty far out from what most people would consider traditional.
Recently I have been interested in 18th and 19th Century military uniforms, science fiction body armor, Victorian waist seams on jackets, and the idea of clothing as origami that can be created by folding fabric rather than seaming together cut pieces. Of course, a big part of our inspiration comes from the amazing fabrics (generally English and Italian wools) that we work with.

Q: What has been the most rewarding and the most frustrating part of your
journey thus far?

A: Making pieces one-at-a-time without any kind¬†of¬†assembly line is amazingly difficult to scale. Hundreds of little details need to get passed back and forth between the sales and design team, patternmaking, cutting, and sewing—which means tons of paperwork and notes. In addition, each patternmaker, cutter and sewer needs to know how to construct a garment from start to finish (and some of the garments are made up of over 100 pieces). The smallest mistake can mean recutting a suit (when the fabric is over $100 a yard). So all of this is frustrating, but also incredibly rewarding.
It is amazing to work with such accomplished tailors and seamstresses and to work on projects that require such care and attention.

Q: Tell us about the unique fit system you use to tailor your designers for each client.

A:¬†We draft custom patterns for each client based on measurements that they take at home and send to us (unless the client is fortunate enough to be able to make it to Denver for a meeting). Each pattern is then drafted¬†on the computer. After many thousands of fittings of muslins and final garments, we have gotten better and better at understanding client’s bodies and can pull in dozens of other similar patterns to compare and contrast what has worked best for fitting varied body types. The result is that even if a client’s measurements aren’t perfect, we can quickly draft a pattern that is almost certain to fit on the first try.¬†For more complex garments, like full suits, we actually mail the client a cotton muslin and have him send us digital pics to see where we can make the fit better. This in turn, gives us more information to further perfect our fitting system.

For more information on AJ and Denver Bespoke, check out their site here.


Still need tickets to ArtopiaDEN? You can purchase them here and use promo code fashiondenver for a discount!

Young fashionistas visit the FDHQ

What a fun morning! Today I had 3 girls between the ages of 6-10 over to our headquarters. These girls go to a school called the Logan School and they get to chose a subject that they are passionate about and explore hands on. These 3 young fashionistas all want to be fashion designers and are well on their way. Even the 6-year old is already sewing!

They asked me wonderful questions…
What does beauty mean to me?
What inspires me style?
How do I produce a fashion show?
What are some things that go wrong when a fashion show happens?
What is my favorite color?

So inquisitive, creative and fun!

Fashion Denver

I shared with them the history of Fashion Denver and how I got my start in the fashion world as a handbag designer at the age of 9. I showed them my paper purse drivers license that later led me to have my own handbag business b.shigley designs that ended up going international within the first year! Wow.. it’s hard to believe that was 17 years ago!


I think it’s so important to share our journey and inspire others. I wish that I would have had somebody to show me the ropes when I was a youngster! I’m grateful for opportunities to share this journey! This is making me so excited for fashion camp in March!

Winter fashion at our HQ in Green Spaces

We’ve had our office housed in Fashion Denver since July and have seen the fashions change over the seasons. Now that we are in the middle of winter, our fashion sense has changed to accomodate the chilly, sometimes snowy, icy weather.

Here are some of the fashions that people were rockin’ today!


Mande looks ever so stylish in her poofy jacket and the bling on her sweater?! LOVE IT! This is the first time she hasn’t worn her sorels in 2 weeks. “I’ve never in worn Sorels before 2 weeks ago, and now that’s all I seem to wear.”


I’m wearing my vintage hand-me-down dress, stocking cap and leather gloves with a furry faux-bear jacket that I thrifted at Goodwill for $5.00. These boots aren’t great for this weather though.. I have to walk where there is no ice.


Showing off his newly thrifted loafers and zip up sweater hoodie.

Margaret looks like a classic Sprocket from SNL, comfortable, chic, and minimal. Don’t know Sprocket? Check it out here ūüôā