COLORADO FASHION WEEK FUNDRAISER PREVIEW EVENT

Best Dressed Denver was built to help inspire a greater attention to fashion in our city. We have teamed up with Colorado Fashion Week to work together to reach the ambitious goal of creating a sustainable fashion industry in Colorado. The city of Denver has gotten behind CFW, and declared October 1-7 Colorado Fashion Week.

Instead of Denver’s elite designers, models, hairstylists, and makeup artists leaving to find careers in L.A., New York, Paris, London, and beyond, we want to sustain their careers right here in Denver. CFW is modeled after New York Fashion Week, which brings billions of dollars to the city of New York each year. Denver is centrally located, dripping with talent, and expanding by the day. There has never been a better time to make this dream a reality.

If you would like to support this exciting cause, we welcome you to join us for our Fundraiser Preview Event on Thursday, July 31st. Whether you are an artist who might be interested in participating in our event in October, or just a fashion fan, come out and show your support.

 

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Denver Derby – Part 2

Anonymous

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To add to his mystery, this gentleman walked away without saying his name. Since he was brief, we will be too. This is a good look. Period. 

Krista Selznick

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When we approached Krista to compliment her on her sky-scraping hat, she was quick to credit her friend (Emily Vera) for the design. Krista’s hat was a standout because the accents gave it height without making it heavy. The black, pink, and lime green combination is bold and was not a color combination we saw a lot of. She also made the right choice by picking a sleek black dress and letting the hat do all the talking. 

Brian Mufflim

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Plaid was everywhere on Saturday, but few people paired plaid on plaid without hurting our eyes. The reason Brian pulls it off is that he picked a loud print with soft colors. He also ties (what should be a nonsensical combination) together by adding a lapel to compliment the bow tie and a pocket square to compliment the jacket and shirt. It came as no surprise when Brian told us he works closely with a designer in Chicago named j.tor who specializes in custom clothing. 

Zane Hicken

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Listen, it’s tough trying to stand out at the Derby Party. One woman had a bird cage with live birds… on her head (mad props, by the way, if we see that on the runway this season, we know who to thank). Zane stuck out because he was the only male we saw wearing shorts, and he rocked them. It was clear he was not just out to dress for the theme, but his personality too. Well done, Zane!

 

Denver Derby

Where were you last Saturday? If it wasn’t the Denver Derby Party, then you missed out on a day filled with fun, philanthropy, and of course… fashion. Scouting for Denver’s Best Dressed is simple when hats, lace, seersucker, and ascots are nothing short of a necessity for this lavish event. We found so many fashionistas, in fact, that one post will not do them justice. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Denver Derby Part 2

Bridget Meyers

Derby - Bridget Meyers

 

We love Bridget’s hat. It caught our eye from across the room. She said she was drawn to it because it could “have its own time zone”, but we loved it for the detail. It took up a lot of space without being too bulky and the netting over her eyes gave her a look of mystery. Not to mention, anyone who dares to pair pink and orange deserves some credit!

Stephen Guillot and Janine Fisher

Derby - Stephen Guillot and Janine Fisher

 

Drum roll, please… the best dressed couple is hands down Stephen Guillot and Janine Fisher. It is hard enough to come up with one stunning outfit, but this couple got ready for two. Even sweeter than their combination is the story behind Janine’s hat. Stephen was proud to tell us how he “had the hat made custom for her in Chicago”. She looked like the modern day Grace Kelly and Stephen’s suit jacket, live rose lapel, and chivalry made him the perfect prince.

Catherine Frank

Derby - Catherine Frank

We always preach simplicity and Catherine exemplifies why. Her white dress was so tailored that if it had been a print, the “wow” factor might have been lost. Made by a Paris designer, Catherine’s dress laid perfectly on her body and the deep-v detail was the ideal harmony of sex appeal and class.

Taylor Durham

Derby - Taylor Durham

Let Taylor stand as a testament to “clothes making the man”. We spotted Taylor from across the party and by the time we tapped him on the shoulder, we were shocked to discover that we already know him! We were so blinded by his dapper-drenched appeal that we had to come face-to-face with him to realize we are already well acquainted with one of Denver’s Best Dressed.

 

 

 

The BARE Story

Look who it is. Jason Mraz, is that you? Justin pulls up a chair to our table as Grason takes a jab at his friend’s hipster hat. Our round table is crowded. It’s quaint. Lo sits neatly nestled under Grason’s arm, And that shirt, are you bringing salmon back?

Alright, I deserve it, I’m late. Justin orders a mezcal from the waiter and suddenly we are sitting next to mismatched family members for dinner rather than entrepreneurs for an interview.

That might be the most fascinating part of the three BARE business partners – it is hard to tell what comes more naturally to them, family or business. We’ve always just been partners. We have a complimentary skill-set. Grason is the creative. Lo is the businesswoman. My job is to expose them.

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Having grown up in Boulder together, Justin and Grason were always thinking of new ways to build a business. I remember back in high school, we started a business called ‘D-liver’. We wanted to be a delivery service for lazy college kids – beer, food, weed, whatever. Justin laughs when he recounts this, filled half with nostalgia and half with guttural chuckles, We were always pushing boundaries… mostly social… some legal too… we knew early on we wanted to work for ourselves.

Meanwhile, in New York, Lo was living her life as a self-described “workaholic”. From gaining employment at McDonalds to accepting a job as a movie producer, she let her work ethic serve as her career-compass. I’m Armenian. We don’t work to live, we live to work. But, somehow I always knew I would work for myself – something about it… you get to learn on a daily basis. Your days are your own. Somehow, this has always been my dream.

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In a time when entrepreneurship feels more and more like the best path to an authentic life, in a place where entire districts of Denver  are dedicating themselves to the arts, it is no stretch that this trifecta of talent has the stark potential and positioning to innovate their way to the top.

 

The concept of BARE came up almost as organically as their relationships. When Grason’s Dad returned from a trip to Costa Rica, he gifted his son a burlap coffee sack. Grason recounts:

 

 

 

I remember looking at the material and thinking, wow, what a story. I showed it to Justin. Lo was on vacation. I started watching online sewing tutorials on YouTube, maneuvering Lo’s sewing machine and next thing I knew, we had a proto-type.

 

Lo remembers her reaction to the concept of BARE, I was laying on a beach in Italy when I kept getting pictures of Grason hovered over my little sewing machine. ‘Do you like it?’ I loved it. It was our business. This is our business. And what a business it has become. With articles in InStyle, Vogue, Glamour, People, US Magazine, The Denver Egotist and more, the trio has waltzed into the fashion industry, making a less than quiet entrance.

 

Still, the best part about BARE is not the melt-your-heart-story about how these friends came to create a socially responsible accessories label, nor their Hollywood connections (Justin’s sister is Jessica Biel who is an investor in the company). It’s not even the fact that one or all of them are gorgeous and charismatic enough to sell you something you already own. No. The best part about BARE boils down to one word: quality.

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BARE’s first collection, the burlap collection, is terribly unique. Boasting on their site that “no two BARE bags are the same”, online buyers have only the choice of which style bag to buy and the pattern is, to a large extent, a surprise. It is as if these three visionaries have relocated the authenticity that manufactured and mainstream fashion has lost. Every bag is art. Every time. Or as Grason would put it:

 Not to toot my own horn, but if I pick something, I give my whole heart to it. This is so hands on and interactive. I want to make the best, most interesting products in the world. I want people to do something outside of their comfort zone when they wear our products – our pieces push the boundaries, so do the people who wear it.

And the ideas don’t stop at burlap. In March, Best Dressed Denver was honored to be one of the few attendees at the pre-release party for BARE’s latest collection set to launch at the end of April. Impressed not only by BARE’s ability to throw a good party (what can we say, there was free whisky…), we were taken aback by the creative shift that seethes from the new bags. Using the same canvas that billboards are built from, there is no questioning whether the new line is durable. But as well-thought the material is, the design is even greater. Each bag is hand-painted by an artist, with colors that will shock you into Summer time.  In our hands, we could see and even touch the strokes of the paintbrush. It was all we could do not to walk right out the door with our favorite bag because, you guessed it, no two of the canvas bags are the same.

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By the end of the interview, there was something in the air. There was this feeling, and it wasn’t the mezcal, and it wasn’t the rush of getting to interview a company that has articles posted in Vogue, it was the raw electricity that comes from the shared ideas of true innovators. The people who will not accept the standard, and who will spend their talents making sure it shifts. These three people see a hole in consumer production and they want to set artistic design where manufacturization currently sits. It is wise to keep your eye on BARE. After all, you don’t want to miss a movement.

 

Best Dressed Denver would like to congratulate Lo and Grason on their recent engagement.

MARVIN – ROOSEVELT

“Looking good isn’t self-importance; it’s self-respect.” – Charles Hix

 

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JUSTICE K – WESTWORD FASHION SHOW

“I’m a designer, and I think if you work in fashion, you have to give people fantasy.” – Christian Louboutin

 

Justice is everything we fantasize about when we think of fashion. He does not just wear and design it, he lives it. Much like BDD, he dedicates his efforts to bringing an emphasis on fashion to Denver. Founder of the JTA GROUP, Justice works toward positioning Colorado as the fashion capital of the West. He is already making headway with the establishment of Colorado Fashion Week and the start of Colorado’s very own fashion magazine, Collage

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SAM – WESTWORD FASHION SHOW

“A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgot all about them.” – Hardy Amies

How many people can pair blue pants with blue shoes and not evoke a single image of a teletubbie? This look works, because Sam knows he is working it. It is obvious that he put some thought into his outfit, and then checked his effort at the door.

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