Mod clothing and accessories.

Denver Modernism Show fashion and accessories. Photo courtesy of Dana Cain events.

The Denver Modernism Show proved to be a retro, modern time warp at the National Western Complex Expo Hall this past weekend.  The three-day event was a tribute to the mod style of living with clothing, collectibles, jewelry, fine art and furniture among the finds.

Modernism vendors lined the main floor of the giant complex offering visitors a 1950s and 60s ambiance that allowed them an opportunity to shop and browse in the era.  A vintage enthusiast’s dream, the show was full of retro items such as rotary style phones, 50s diner style kitchen furniture, brilliantly colored apothecary jars, amazing patterned fashions and patent leather purses and shoes galore.

Patent leather purses line the racks at the Denver Modernism Show. Photo by Dana Padilla.

It was an amazing ensemble of all things beautiful from the era.  My mind was left spinning with visions of playing dress-up and pretending to be one of those classy, gussied-up women with a fancy cigarette holder in my mouth and pretty, pastel colored Pyrex bake ware in my hands.  The Modernism Show was a nostalgic trip as I ogled all of the goodies I wanted to take home.

Friday night’s events kicked off with a themed party in the adjoining Tiki Lounge.  Guests enjoyed spirits and food while they browsed tiki décor.

At the opposite end of the hall was The Miss Modernism pageant that drew in a throng of visitors. Hosted by Charles Phoenix, contestants vied for the crown and were judged on evening gown and hair-do, as well as their answers in a question round and finally a talent exhibition round.

(L-R)Featured artist “Shag”, reigning Miss Modernism 2011-2012,Gracie Stean, Miss Modernism 2012-2013,Vivienne Vavoom and former Miss Modernism 2010-2011, Jaime Askvig. Photo by Atom Stevens.

The reigning Miss Modernism, Gracie Stean crowned Vivienne Vavoom Miss Modernism 2012-2013 after she wowed the crowd with her burlesque fan dance.  Vavoom looked every bit the part as she gracefully worked the stage with her large blue-feathered fans.  In constant fluid dance motion, she strategically and modestly placed the fans, only giving little teasers of her lurid showgirl attire and gorgeous curves.

It seemed obvious and immediate who the winner of the pageant would be. Vavoom had every audience member watching unmistakably enjoying her performance.  I don’t mean just sitting quietly as they observe, people were literally sitting with huge smiles on their faces.  No dirty or judgmental looks that usually (somehow) accompany a woman who is dressed minimally and who clearly has the attention of both the men and women in the room.  Admiration and enjoyment were contagious as the crowd then continued on to enjoy the full Modernism Show festivities and vendors.

The night and weekend for the Modernism Show event was a phenomenal experience.  If you’re smart, you’ll sign up for their email list for next year’s event at