Intention — of the many words spoken by Pair O’ Dimes’ Jesse “Jucifer” Taenzer, “intention” popped up most. The intention he was talking about definitely had a spiritual dimension — the notion that if you approach things with a certain energy, results will inevitably blossom, or at least wind up more favorably. Every component of Pair O’ Dimes — from the vibrant, psychedelic mural that wraps the whole of the interior, to the colorful, hand-crafted costumery — is steeped in the lovely notion that art and expertise have the power to enlighten.
“If you like what you wear, and you wear it often, the intention you bring to it has the tendency to uplift,” said Taenzer, referring to what his good friend and the mural’s creator Raul Desoto describes as “the custom life.” Well-worn clothes can make you feel especially like yourself. Even in fashion, intention reigns supreme.
Pair O’ Dimes Festival Fashion Boutique opened last month — 4/20 to be exact — a block down from Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. The choice was well-calculated. Taenzer — a native with deep roots — was born in Aurora, graduated from Cherry Creek High School and went on to the culinary program at The Art Institute of Colorado. His love for the neighborhood where he set up shop is clear. His connection to the neighboring music venue also runs deep — he expects the store to be a good jump-off point for the many free spirits who roam in and out of the ballroom’s hallowed doors. “I’ve been about the random, beautiful people that exist in Colorado for a really fucking long time,” he said.
The space functions in the way of a consignment store. Taenzer currently has 15 artists on display, each with a 60-day contract. There’s a lot of local work lining the walls, roughly 90 percent of what’s hung is crafted in Colorado. Everything is handmade, stressing the great importance of artisan-wear. The bright patterns, leather and lace covering the walls appear to be made of field-tested materials, handled with love and a deep attention to detail — and most importantly, each item on the shelf is ready to party.
Lining one side are the highly ornate, durable and brightly colored dresses from Xavia Schmidt. Below are the one-of-a-kind leather pocket belts from Kristen Rad’s Radwear — a now commonplace festival accessory elevated to hippy couture. Not everything is entirely original, including the thrift-hunted stuff provided, and often altered, by Jo Besso and her company Felony Fashions. “All these artists are beautiful, talented and bored,” Taenzer said. “There’s a lot of really talented geniuses who don’t have the means to shine as brightly as they could.” While Taenzer admits the retail element is important, providing a space where art and community are paramount remains the main motivation for opening the boutique.
Having grown up in Denver, Taenzer has seen many changes. He appears to remain not only optimistic but genuinely excited about the city’s future. Colorado is “a beautiful vortex for random, weird people who love to connect with one another,” he said. “Maybe it’s the fact that we have giant bedrocks of crystal beneath our feet, we’re just more open-hearted here.” Whatever it is, Taenzer has tapped into an important part of Denver’s amorphous fashion identity — a long-standing subsection founded on crystals and ecstatic dance. “You can’t lose if you’re just doing it for the love,” said Taenzer, beaming with delight, excited for things to come.
All photography by Alden Bonecutter.
Pair O’ Dimes’ is located at 2727 Welton St, Denver.