This past weekend, Parker Fashion Week (PFW) kicked off with a two-night event featuring three-course meals and runway fashion from various designers and local boutiques. The fashion weekend has made a name for itself as a staple fashion event south of Denver.
Hosted at West Main Taproom, PFW’s second annual runway weekend provided an experience for those passionate about fashion and community members unfamiliar with the local fashion scene.
Friday’s show featured collections from Nest Salon & Boutique, Petit Parker, Dan Richters, Andreas Tsagas and Duane Topping. Alongside a three-course meal from West Main, the show successfully kicked off the weekend.
Saturday followed with a similar setup where guests were served an elaborate meal leading up to the runway show. Pamela Briere, the owner of PFW and West Main Taproom, strives to combine her hospitality experience with fashion.
In addition to providing a runway show for the communities south of Denver, PFW partners with local nonprofits. A portion of the proceeds from the events is donated to Be the Good Ones, an organization that gives back to the Douglas, Arapahoe and Elbert counties by providing various “good deeds.”
The event took place outside and although the weather took a turn for the worst, the PFW team planned accordingly to ensure that guests could enjoy the event. Handwarmers, beanies, gloves and neck gaiters were at each seat and tents encapsulated the venue.
The runway show began promptly at 8 p.m. with a striking collection from Duane Topping. The looks resembled a medieval-era theme while the intricate hair and makeup designs were bold and matched the heavy-metal music booming throughout the tent.
Topping began designing in 2016 after struggling with PTSD following his deployment in the U.S. Army. Fashion provided him with an outlet to express himself. Topping brought a creative collection to his second PFW that left the audience feeling energetic and excited for the rest of the evening.
Dan Richters, a returning PFW designer, took the runway next with an exquisite collection that transformed the venue into an extraterrestrial atmosphere. The designs resembled art with bold red and orange hues and mythological additions like glowing horns and extreme textures.
“My image emotes the slightly disconcerting nature of natural beauty – the danger of the ocean, the darkness of the deep forest, the fatal mystery of the polar caps, the treachery of the mountains,” Richters said in the PFW program. “Yet at the same time, these things evoke beauty and charge our imagination.”
The representation of escapism through models that resembled warriors on the runway was imaginative and beautiful in an artistic way. The energy of the crowd remained strong and continued throughout the night.
Local boutique Parker Panache followed with wearable looks that define the everyday Colorado woman. The collection was sexy and versatile, with looks for professional women, stay-at-home moms and even gowns for fancy occasions. Located on Mainstreet in the heart of Parker, Parker Panache’s inventory has lots of variety for local women to dress and feel their best in any season or circumstance.
The night transitioned with a collection from Petit Parker. The children’s boutique on Mainstreet offers a variety of pieces for babies and kids. The little ones took the runway for a segment that collected oohs and aahs from the audience. While the looks were adorable, the models wearing them stole the show. The young models strutted their stuff in tulle dresses, styled everyday looks and cute sweaters perfect for fall.
Designer and performer Borris Powell concluded the evening with a segment called “QuEen’s Kourt” that was an interpretation of what Powell refers to as “fashion theatre.” Powell shared a heartfelt story with the audience about the rises and falls of his mental health. When he found himself in a place where he wished to end his life, music brought him back to life and inspired his fashion design. His new passion for creativity and combining music and fashion flourished.
Models wearing wigs resembling royalty took the runway all at once in looks that appeared vintage. Each look told a different story, and the collection came to life as Powell performed. As the evening continued, the models returned in different looks while Powell’s powerful voice echoed throughout the tent.
Powell’s representation of music and fashion is a response to his struggles with gender norms as a young boy from Alabama. He wore his heart on his sleeve throughout the performance, establishing a connection with the audience and leaving energy that wrapped up this year’s Parker Fashion Week in an influential way. Guests left feeling excited about fashion, regardless of their take on clothing and high fashion prior to entering the West Main Taproom that evening.
It was clear throughout the weekend that PFW successfully elevated the fashion and hospitality experience in Parker. With stunning hair and makeup by Sahair Salon, each collection came to life on the runway. As a result, PFW proved that fashion can be a celebration of local talent as well as community and creativity.