Red Ball Denver 2013

dlola couture
D’Lola Couture, Red Ball 2013

Denver’s annual Red Ball entered its 5th year last night, creating a new standard for the Colorado fashion shows that will succeed it until 2014. The entire evening was definitely one of the best experiences I have had as an FCF intern, and I was amazed at how precise it ran and how well-organized the whole event was. Despite having over 120 credited models and 18 design partners, the show went off without a hitch. The only potential issue was presenting all 18 designers one right after the other without a break. I personally prefer it that way, but I also acknowledge that it would have been nice to give the guests an opportunity to use the restroom or get another drink. However, the seamless transition between each team was really impeccable.

The evening started off with a fun charity auction, which sold guests items that had been donated to the event to raise money for the Denver Colorado Aids Project. The auction prizes included a one-of-a-kind D’Lola Couture dress, tickets to Cher’s “Dressed to Kill” show accompanying a framed and signed vinyl album, a Palm Springs Getaway package, a Fender guitar autographed by Paul McCartney, and the Red Ball’s Next Top Model Package. Had I not been a student, I would have been edging for the Next Top Model Package. You got a makeover, a photo shoot, model coaching from our main man Justice Kwesi-Kwarteng, and a spread as the next ‘it’ girl (or guy) in a  future Crave Magazine issue. I want to be the next ‘it’ girl! Unfortunately for me, this went far beyond my price range. Next time!

The runway show itself began with a short dance/ballet performance and just ramped up from there. I think that everyone involved had really stunning pieces, and they definitely put their best foot forward. The fashion designers and salons teamed up to go on together, and the final lineup was as follows:

Poly’s Pleasures with HeadDress

Gino Velardi and Ted’s Hair Studio

ODDD and Belle & Beau

Studio Yoshida and Rebelle Salon

Vandalism Designs and Twig Salon

Lisa Wear Clothing and Studio: a collective of stylists

Mona Lucero and J. Audrey Hair Studio

EKiZ and Rebelle Salon

Marie-Margot with Anna Festa and Enchante Salon

Gabriela Designs and Scarlet Salon

Regal Rowe and Sparrow Stylin’ Salon

Kimono Dragons and Vanity Dollz

Jump of Joy and Planet Laboratories

Sapphire Stars and Serenity Salon & Spa

Tyne Hall and Copperfalls Salon

Baskit and Studio: a collective of stylists

D’Lola Couture and Henry’s Salon

House of Adren with Babylon Floral and Fleur Salon

It was nice to see a wide variety of designers. Some we see a lot at various Denver fashion shows, and their ability to constantly have new work to show amazes me. Some I saw for the first time here, and I was glad for the variety. I’d never seen a men’s underwear presentation before, but Baskit delivered quality and style with some fun attitude.

Also, it was really interesting to see the show ended with House of Arden and Babylon Floral and Fleur Salon. It was probably the most haute-couture-like runway show I had seen a collective pull off together; simply beauty for the sake of beauty, not necessarily marketing the sales of a specific garment. It primarily featured girls with tulle skirts and carefully placed petals, but the hair work and the amazing floral pieces this group incorporated really impressed me. It helps that I used to be a florist, but a lot of that work was so seamlessly integrated, I would have loved to see the 3 teams work on the girls together- it would have either been a very synchronized thing of beauty, or a clash and fiasco with an ironically tranquil end-product. Either way, it would have been interesting to witness.

Definite show-stoppers for me included the big-skirted finale piece from D’Lola Couture; a brocade bustier mixed with a huge circle/bustle style skirt. It definitely got the crowd reacting to it as well. My only question is how they got that lovely model off the stage, through the back, and on the stage again so quickly in that gigantic thing.

The condom garments were certainly very interesting, as well. ODDD  definitely showed the diversity of the product, proving that you can make armor, suspenders, gowns, and scepters from these safe-sex tools. I actually got a few in my VIP bag. I’m not sure whether they’re decoration, for reals, or just to serve as a reminder. If anyone else knows, they should let me in the know.

One thing I’d like to mention was the wide variety of model sizes the designers used. There were all shapes and sizes of men and women, thin and curvy alike, and I thought it was really inspiring to see the crowd cheer for the more unconventional models as they took the stage. Also, they announced we had drag queens walking in this show. How great is that?

Overall, this was an amazing show, and everyone involved did a very good job of putting everything together and coming up with a wonderful fundraiser for a wonderful cause. I’m proud to say First Class Fashionista was a sponsor of this event, and I am very proud of everyone else who donated their time, money, or anything they could to help raise money to help those with HIV/AIDS in our community. I keep hearing people say it takes a village, and I believe that we are establishing a great fashion community/village of our own here. It’s one that supports good causes, and I especially felt good about the message that HIV/AIDS is “our fight too”, as the program stated. Hey, any fight where you soldier on in a uniform of couture and splendor is definitely something I can get behind.

Videography and photos by Brandon Sanchez Photography for First Class Fashionista.

About Serah Styles

Fashion Design Graduate in Denver, Colorado. Aspiring to work in Fashion Journalism. Portfolio available on -xoxo