Sustainable Fashion Illuminated the Denver Fashion Week Night Three Runway

The energy was high, the fashion was sustainable and the designers were ready to show their art. The final night of Denver Fashion Week, presented by The Green Solution and Medicine Man, showcased sustainable fashion from local vintage vendors and designers. Following an opening performance by N3ptune, the night started off with an excited crowd eager to celebrate both fashion and sustainability.

303 Magazine, 303 Fashion, Denver Fashion Week, DFW Fall 21, Abby Schirmacher, Roxanna Carrasco, Adrienne Thomas, Meraki & Nat, Killionaire, Mad Vintage, False Ego, Garage Sale, Super Turbo, Mish Mash, Velvet Papillon, Vintage Vamp, The Hause Collective, February Jones, LGT Vintage, Denver Rummage Shop

N3ptune performing for the crowd

Meraki & Nat took the runway first with a very insightful message about mental health awareness. “Through my creations and clothing, [I] take an intangible feeling and make it into something tangible,” designer Nat Koenig said.

“I’m a big advocate for mental health. I feel like it should be talked about more and I like to talk about it through my creations,” Koenig added. “Last-minute, I made a whole denim piece and dyed it into a purple brownish color — I think that might be my favorite piece.”

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Koenig used many bright colors and neutrals throughout her collection. One garment was made entirely out of reusable grocery bags. Other pieces had lettering work showcasing quotes from her favorite song. Overall, the collection was mesmerizing and a perfect way to start the show.

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Killionare took the runway next with an edgy collection featuring dyed denim pieces. The collection included patchwork denim, a trend that has recently exploded in younger generations. Playing on aspects of sustainability, the pieces appeared to be upcycled to establish dimension and flair. This take on grunge and streetwear took sustainable fashion to an entirely new level.

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Mad Vintage played on the past with pieces deriving from a variety of different decades. Orange pants paired with a blue velour cape, a fur coat and a color block jacket stunned the audience. The collection featured a variety of bright colors and textures, and each look was created with layered pieces. When one thinks of vintage clothing, Mad Vintage’s collection is exactly what comes to mind. The looks combined the best pieces that our grandparents and parents have in their closets, and the result was a striking runway show.

READ: Meet 8 New Designers for Denver Fashion Week

False Ego took the runway next with used regenerated nylon and polyesters to create longer-lasting and more durable pieces.

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“What we did with this collection was drawing back to sustainability and Earth,” said designer Ryan Perry. The collection featured clothing made for the outdoor and lounging with neutral tones of reds, browns and grays. Models sported bouquets of flowers in their hair or in bags that they carried as they glided down the runway to really accentuate the feeling of nature. The collection alludes to the natural essence of living in Colorado, and made a statement in incorporating sustainability with symbols of nature.

READ: Sustainable Streetwear Brand False Ego Returns to Denver Fashion Week

Following a brief intermission, Garage Sale took the runway. The vintage shop that is also home to a tequila bar is located on Larimer Square and has become a thrifting staple in the Denver community. Eight vendors showcased their vintage collections at Denver Fashion Week in four different segments where two vendors paired up to assemble looks full of spunk, color and flair. 

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Super Turbo and Mish Mash kicked off the second half of the show with an array of graphic T-shirts. However, these weren’t any old tees. The prints were incredibly intricate, mixing fashion with art. The collection included remnants of the year 2000, or the increasingly trendy Y2K style, with reverse tie-dyed Carhartt jackets, Tamagotchis clipped onto destroyed denim pants, overalls, patchwork denim and more. Some looks featured the graphic tees with no pants, drawing all of the attention to the detailed prints on the shirts. 

Designer of Mish Mash Alex Williams finds his pieces in thrift stores, estate sales or even his Grandpa’s closet. For him, Mish Mash allows people to express themselves sustainably while remaining fashionable at the same time. 

“The hardest part of my day sometimes is picking out a T-shirt — you know I can roll out of bed and find a pair of pants and then it takes me an hour to find a T-shirt,” Williams said. “So that’s pretty much what my line is focused on, is fashion can essentially just be a T-shirt, or let your imagination run wild with what you can wear with that T-shirt.” 

The prints were so unique and rich in detail that the tees themselves were an aesthetic outfit without the need for pants. The designers of Super Turbo walked hand in hand and Williams followed with two tees on hangers in tow. 

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Velvet Papillon and Vintage Vamp took the runway next with a collection that took the audience back in time. Each look represented a different decade, featuring iconic garments and accessories cementing specific points in time. From a medieval-esque long white lace dress with a velvet cape and an intricate headpiece, to a black silk midi dress with tall boots and a quilted jacket. The collection incorporated the prime fashion of the decades with pieces that are trendy now. Each look told a completely different story, yet they all complimented each other well. The designers walked the runway arm in arm in vintage pieces that tied together the entire collection. 

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The Hause Collective and February Jones followed with a risque collection accentuating certain aspects of the body. The crowd was enthralled with the music and the fashion, dancing and clapping along as the models walked the runway. The collection featured a variety of different styles and textures including knit and crochet. Each model’s underwear was showing, and the eccentric energy made for an amazing show. The designers joined their models for the final walk, receiving a standing ovation from some of the crowd. 

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LGT Vintage and Denver Rummage Shop wrapped up this season’s DFW with a collection that screamed vintage. From a pink Betty Boop sweater with a clock clutch, a purple dress paired with an orange letterman jacket and a camera, cartoon pants with bubbled hair and metallic pumps, to silky black pants with an intricate jacket, this collection had it all. Every look featured a relatable piece for audience members, bringing back iconic styles from different eras. 

The two aimed to create a collection defined by “sustainability, saving as much vintage as possible, mixing decades, mixing genders, just making all vintage clothes accessible to people,” said Lynelle Fowler, designer of Denver Rummage Shop. 

The garments and accessories are collected from estate sales, thrift stores and more, “piecing together things from different decades and different places to make it a new kind of feel even though it’s all old clothing,” said Lexi Wilson of LGT Vintage. 

303 Magazine, 303 Fashion, Denver Fashion Week, DFW Fall 21, Abby Schirmacher, Roxanna Carrasco, Adrienne Thomas, Meraki & Nat, Killionaire, Mad Vintage, False Ego, Garage Sale, Super Turbo, Mish Mash, Velvet Papillon, Vintage Vamp, The Hause Collective, February Jones, LGT Vintage, Denver Rummage Shop

The night was not over after the Garage Sale vendors left the runway, as N3ptune came out to perform one last time. Following his performance, he called upon the Black models who participated in the three-night event to walk the runway a final time, celebrating diversity in Denver fashion. In doing so, N3ptune established a moving tribute to address the importance for those of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and backgrounds to have a seat at the table when it comes to Denver fashion. The growing industry takes pride in prioritizing diversity and making sure that all voices are heard in terms of creativity and expression at Denver Fashion Week. As these models walked the runway, attendees stood in support. 

Street style was astonishing yet another night, as audience members came dressed in their best sustainable and functional pieces. Here are some of our favorite looks of the night. 

Street style from all three nights of DFW.

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All photos by Adrienne Thomas