Written by Karysma Hicks /09-15-2019

As Colorado continues to welcome more people from various parts of the nation and the world each year, Latin Fashion Week Colorado was created to honor the rich diversity in our creative community, not only from the Americas but also from Europe, Africa and Asia.

Denver recently welcomed the Latin fashion community with its annual Latin Fashion Week Colorado celebration. The event was comprised of three nights of fashion forward fun. This event truly represented the love for the Latin culture—despite where the attendees, designers and producers came from. Whether you are a proud member of Mexican, Peruvian, Colombian or Venezuelan descent or simply just a Denverite here for the culture, Latin Fashion Week Colorado did a great job of opening their doors to event goers and making them feel welcomed and a part of Denver’s Latin community. 

Arriving to Night One’s festivities, attendees were welcomed at the door by a beautiful statuesque figurine dressed in a beautiful, blazing red gown made of hand-made flowers. The event itself seemed to be flower themed—with the stage’s backdrop being encompassed in pastel colored paper floral embellishments and the runway providing its viewers a Dr. Seuss, The Lorax feel. Light pink, baby blue, off-white and yellow flowers stuck out and flowed down the middle of the runway, making the audience feel like they were in the middle of Spring time.

After a fun hour of cocktails, laughter, and peepin’ everyone’s looks, the show was finally ready to start. Attendees sat down to see 15 designers reveal what they’ve been working on for the past few months. Opening the show, Duane Topping of Topping Designs wowed the crowd with his models walking his sexy, office- chic looks to the beat of his usual choice of rocker music down the runway. Each look was an (almost) business appropriate outfit that had small hints of exposed skin and sleek cuts, giving it that clean work look that is good enough for cocktails after hours. Mozze followed suit by giving the audience a dark, dominatrix feel with looks varying from leather jumpsuits, to a matrix-like trench coat, diamente bralettes, and chic silver jackets. This collection surprised the audience for the reason that it went from a collection of bad ass bitch vibes to a more serene, formal kind of feel. By the end of the collection, attendees saw formal gowns and sleek pants that were good enough for a prom, ball, or any kind of major event. 

We saw a variety of styles during this event, from Ystia Uni Clothing’s polo classic looks to Divinas Designs pop of colors and sequins, Alejandro Moreno’s LGBTQ inspired, show stopping looks full of organza and ostentatious embellishments to Mirtha Santacruz’s bohemian, countryside collection of dresses and straw hats. Though the styles ranged in taste and catered to different personalities throughout the night, we all came for one reason—to get a taste of Latin culture. If you didn’t attend this season’s series of events, you can bet your bottom dollar that we were blessed to have been able to see designs that were inspired by Latin and Spanish culture. 

From Alejanadra Aperalto’s Iccauhtzin line of latino inspired New York style streetwear clothing to Vanity Dollz’s Mexican Alice in Wonderland inspired theme of puffed sleeves, skull embellished dresses featured with Loteria and Novena detailing. Mona Lucero also previewed looks that were inspired by Spanish culture, yet had a taste of American culture as well with a 50s housewife feel that reminded us of I Love Lucy.

Giving us a modern version of a TV housewife, Gabriela Couture gave attendees an award-winning collection of bridal wear that surpassed the expectations of your typical wedding day look. We saw gowns with a dark yellow and orange ombre effect, depicting the look of flames from a fire. We saw a lot of use of sheered detailing, long trains, vails and jeweled headpieces that made the audience swoon in awe of the elegance that was presented during this collection. 

Known for its elegance and ability to amaze the crowd every time, Gino Verlardi ended Night One with a bang. The collection offered the audience its usual taste of graceful, bourgeoisie feel—however; was accompanied by what seemed to be a safari-inspired theme. Each look featured big hats tilted to the side, giving us a Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal  vibe.

Night Three was filled with even more excitement attendees saw the weekend prior. From Vania Tafur’s girlish designs encompassing the event’s theme:  pastel colors, to Summer Romero’s western influenced collection made up of Aztec- like prints, denim complements and cowboy hats, spectators were blessed with designs far from basic. Designers, Virginia Barreda and Qarla Quispe both had collections that represented culture in fashion. With Barreda’s hand spun, boho-chic like designs, we were able to get a glimpse of Peru’s fashion identity. Each garnmet was crocheted beautifully to tell a story of how fashion can be made with simpler fabrics and still produce designs that are chic, elegant and acceptable to wear on outing.

 Also from Peru, Quispe followed suit by using her designs to exemplify culture. However, unlike Barreda, Quispe didn’t stick to telling the story of where she came from. Quispe’s designs seem to highlight Parisian couture—with pieces that exemplified high fashion. A collection full of skater dresses favored by simple but elegant white and black detailing, each look that walked the runway had meticulous trimming and low-key details that turned her dresses from elementary designs to something that would make for the perfect tea party or derby ensamble. 

Following the footsteps of Night One, Night Three ended Latin Fashion Week Colorado on the trend of formal wear. Hugo Espina presented his prominent gowns made of sequins, laced bodysuits and dresses that are sure to awe your loved ones on your big day. Espina’s designs were sexy yet classy, making for a good option for events like a quince, prom, ball, wedding or even honeymoon festivities. Each look from this collection offered attendees the chance to see the true meaning of fashion-forward elegance that is well worth the price tag. 

Overall, this event was a good event to attend if you are someone who not only enjoys fashion but also looks to expand their horizon in Latin culture. Besides having the majority of designers be of some kind of Latino descent, attendees were exposed to languages, ethnicities and an animateness that we’re not used to seeing at other local fashion shows, let alone the overall Denver community. We left feeling impacted and inspired to not only welcome a different perspective on fashion, but ready to embrace different styles and culture into our own vogue. 

Latin Fashion Week Colorado mission is to educate and elevate local emerging fashion designers and artists by connecting them with an experienced panel of industry leaders, renowned international designers.

During LFWC, participants will have the opportunity to attend fashion shows, workshops, competitions, and to receive scholarships and ongoing support for their education year-round.

Latin Fashion Week Colorado aims to create tomorrow’s new wave of talented fashion designers and artists with recognition on a national and international levels!

Photos by Sean Marquantte

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