ArtDenver Opening Night Review

What did you do the weekend of November 14th? Guess where this First
Class Fashionista was at? She was only at the greatest event EVER!
ArtDenver produced one of the most fabulous fashion events Denver has
ever witnessed, and this means a lot coming from someone who has been
to Red Ball, WhiteOut, Wine Women and Shoes…etc. I can honestly say
Denver is becoming a fashion capital and ArtDenver proved it at their
opening night.

As I strolled into the Colorado Convention Center, all I could notice
was one thing…FASHION, FASHION, and, of course, ART! Everyone was
dressed in their finest attire; I mean suits, ties, skirts, heels,
furs…You name it, Denver was showing it off. Entering the art gallery
I was in shock! It was hard to focus on one thing when everywhere I
looked I was captured!


The very first artist within the gallery of 135 art installations that
captured my attention (and almost my savings account) was Lynden Saint

These incredible oil paintings nearly took my breath away. After
checking out his website at, I found great
meaning within each piece of his work. One that really caught my eye
was The Last Mermaid. This piece was very meaningful to him because it
was the only painting his wife Lisa ever posed for and, not only that,
it was done before she underwent surgery for stage 4 breast cancer. I
find his masterpieces very inspiring and mysterious. His paintings are
priced from $195 – $3,500. Also, something really cool about this
artist is that he actually donates a percentage of each sale to the
Underdog Rescue, which saves shelter dogs from “death row”.

As I made my way through the amazing installations, each one more
unique than the next, I ran into the booth of Desarae Lee. This
illustrator creates her art with pen, ink and watercolor washes. She
told me some of her pieces take up to 72 hours to finish!

After checking out her website ( and some of her
other pieces, I could see her neat fascination with octopuses. It’s
hard to explain, but her style reminds me of vintage barbering and
tattoo artwork.

My next stop down this long creative train was to see and admire the
colorful pottery of Virginia’s Dream by Steven Summerville.

This farmer from Virginia was one of my favorite’s I found at
ArtDenver. Not only did his work remind me of the tea pots and tea
cups from Beauty and the Beast, but Steven has an amazing personality
and so many stories to go along with his wonderful work. He told me
how each of his new pieces is always his favorite and that sometimes
in the early morning he will get creative ideas for new additions to
his collections. You may find that so many of his pieces have hundreds
of little dots. Steven shared with me that he gets lost in the dots
and they are sometimes his favorite part. You may find out more about
Steven and his curvy pottery at

As you might expect your FCF to be drawn to this next artist simply
because…Well, I love fashion. Statements in Metal by Arabella are
dress forms, made of metal.

She was showcasing life size styles and also miniature styles. Each
piece is uniquely formed by metal in leaf like patterns. You can find
out more about Arabella at

Continuing to make my way through this extraordinary art gallery, I
found my way to the jewelry of Melissa Stiles with her collection from

Her jewelry was so modern and sophisticated I could totally see these
pieces worn in a formal business setting. I asked her where she got
her unique name from and she told me. Melissa asked her husband what
she should name her company and his one reply was “stubborn”. You can
find out more about this artist at

The next exhibit featured the unique works of Jean Smith and her
collection of remarkable sculptures. Each of her startling pieces was
formed from the origin of a plant leaf (collard, kale, sunflower and
horseradish) from her very own garden. She explained to me her
step-by-step process in ceramic work to making each leave sculpture. I
have to say these pieces were truly incredible and very unique.

You can find out more about Jean at

Before we head into the fashion of ArtDenver, let me introduce you to
one other amazing artist of the night. Jonathan Spoons of Moonspoon is
is one artist you don’t want to have dinner without. He makes wooden
spoons with delicate designs of hearts, moons, stars, flowers,
butterflies, leafs and more. The designs he leaves on these spoons are
so delicate and perfectly done by a laser!

You can check out more work by Jonathan at


As I entered into my realm of this artistic universe, I first stumbled
into the workings of non-other than Mondo Guerra’s fashion designs.
His designs would be seen on stage that night during the fashion show.
It was awesome to see his collection for sale to the public. He was
accompanied by Sam Donovan from Project Runway: Under the Gunn.

You can find more information about this designer at

The next designer fashions I ran into was from Geoffrey Mac. This
designer’s clothing was also featured in the fashion show later that
night. His designs were so unique, modern and futuristic.

Find out more about this designer at

When I thought things couldn’t get more exciting, I ran into 50
Dresses by Tess Vigil. The dresses I found by this designer were 20’s
and 50’s inspired with fringe, cut-outs, high-waists and polka-dot
prints. This young designer definitely has her sense of style laid out
to consume.

Learn more about this Denver designer at

As if things were not already marvelous, I found two very vintage
designers who have been working together for several years.

A.J. Machete and Lianna K. are Denver designers for and These designers
have an old-time taste and are not afraid to show off their made in
Colorado style.

I also ran into some familiar faces during this event. The most
fashionable Rachel Marie Hurst of Rae Marie was there representing the
latest in her designs. She would be featured on the runway later
during the weekend of ArtDenver.

Check out Rae Marie’s website at

Another great Denver designer rocking it for ArtDenver was Brooks Luby
of Brooks LTD. She was showing off her amazing creations, which are
sophisticated, edgy and definitely original. Brooks offers her clients
a custom fit to each masterpiece.

Find out more about Brook at:

The next designer I had the amazing chance to talk to was Mona Lucero.
Mona was there representing her new collection of unexpected,
whimsical fashion designs. She is a designer who believes in giving
each client personal expression and style through her clothing.

Learn more about the very talented Mona Lucero at


As the lights began to dim, everyone grabbed a little to eat and drink
before taking their seats. There was some delicious prime rib being
served. While looking for our seats, your very own FCF found her seat
in the VIP section. As the models began entering the stage, stepping
to the beat of energizing music, Lonza and I became thrilled with

Geoffrey Mac set the standard for that night’s show. This New
York-based designer showed off a collection of swimwear, mini-dresses,
full-length dresses and futuristic “Lady Gaga” style dresses.

He revealed design details of geometric lines, cut-outs, flared hems,
fringe and unique fabric manipulations. His choice in fabrics ranged
from knits, latex and what seemed to be suede. Geoffrey reveled a
collection with bright colors, enhanced silhouettes and a creative
tribal design aesthetic that really got everyone’s attention.

Justin LeBlanc was the next designer to warm up this runway. He
showcased a light color palette of whites and pastels.

His designs ranged from short dresses, tunics, wide-legged pants and
sheer skirts. The design elements used in this line were open back
cut-outs, glittery embellishments, slits, long neck ties down the the
back, light print patterns, asymmetric hem lines, crisscross back
details and loose arm holes. If you would like to learn more about
this designer, visit his website at:

After seeing the amazing works of these designers, it was hard to
imagine anything could come next to keep up with the flow of the
night’s fabulous runway creations but sure enough Mondo Guerra, a
featured designer of the night, was there to continue to rock the
stage. I must say the essence of this designer’s music choice was very
catchy but a bit strange. His designs showcased a perfect execution of
exact color placements, colorful wigs and very eye-catching boots. His
designs were bohemian chic, in my opinion I could see inspiration from
the 50s thru the 70s with the floral print, fringe, sunglasses, sheath
dresses, high-low hems, jumpsuits and full-length dresses.

His design details included yoke patterns, rainbow prints,
low-V-necks, open-backs, large embellishments, mutton sleeves,
high-waists, tiered dresses, cuffed sleeves and collars. Mondo knew
how to get the audience pumped for what would come next.

And last, but certainly not least, the headlining designer of the
night, Michael Costello. This designer stole the stage with his
couture sheer lace evening gowns, high-waisted ballet-like skirts and
rose-floral print full-length ruffled dresses. Something I really
admired about this collection was the continuous flow of opposite
design work. He would have one dress come out that was black with nude
lace embellishments, and then the next dress would be the same just
with the reverse colors of nude with black lace embellishments.

His collection showed design detailing of flared hems, center-back
cut-outs, strapless peplums, elegant trains, asymmetric design work,
side gatherings, bustles on short dresses, heavy hems, structured
dresses and chain belt accessories. His collection was so beautiful
and elegant any woman would be honored to wear one of his
masterpieces. You can find out more about his work at

Additionally, one thing I really loved about this whole fashion show
was that for each designer and their collection there was a man in
body paint that coordinated with the designer’s collection.

This was truly an amazing show, one of Denver’s finest. We at FCF took
home some great parting gifts from our friends at Matthew Morris

This VIP gift bag included samples of Shu Uemura, Kérastase, Lóréal
Inoacolor Care, Lóréal Age Supreme Shampoo, a $25 gift card to the
Matthew Morris Salon and a super cool deck of cards full of actual
models and hair designs from the Matthew Morris Salon.

Another abundant gift bag we at FCF got to take home was from ArtDenver.

This amazing ensemble contained magazines from Mountain Living (along
with a very nice water bottle), Reign, Room & Board, Colorado Homes
and Lifestyles and Outfront. Other awesome gifts in this bag included
a little plant pot from Birdsall & Co., a hand-full of Hersey kisses
from American Society of Interior Designers, a Kit Kat bar from
D’Amore Interiors, a super cool and artistic set of blank cards from
Bank of the West and grooming products in a little carrier case from
Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

First Class Fashionista had such a wonderful time at this event and we
really can’t wait for next year. If you went to ArtDenver, use the
hashtag #artdenver to share your photos and please leave a comment
below telling us who your favorite designer was and why you loved
their designs.

About MarissaL

I'm Marissa. I'm a graduate from The Art Institute of Colorado with a bachelor's in fashion design. I started my career with FCF during my externship course at AIC, I have continued to stay with the company after graduation. What I love about FCF is how we get to attend event and cover local fashion shows. The team of FCF has grown tremendously and we have a great mentor to help us along the way. I'm very excited because we are currently planning our own fashion show/event!!! Currently I'm writing celebrity articles, covering the newest news and gossip in Hollywood. I would love to hear reviews and comments on the articles I write. Fashion is not just what you wear, but it is within your lifestyle. There is more to fashion than what name you have on. Fashion is in the air we breath and the images we see. If there is anything you would like to hear more about, let me know. Thank you for visiting my profile on First Class Fashionista!!!