What You Missed at The Festival of Color Colorado

festival of color

The Festival of Color Colorado was a true culmination of cultures from all over the world. Beginning with Bollywood dancers, Mariachi singers, Flamenco performers and even spark-shooting robots, the Festival was an unexpected event full of high energy and constant movement.

The festival, organized by JAnthony Garnica, took place at The Stampede in Aurora on Friday, Oct.12. The event concluded with a fashion show featuring nine unique designers.

Designers that showed collections at the festival include Nick Ohitika Najin, Zephaniah Lewis, Missy Champlain, Yulia Boozer, Alexander Pringle, Annabel B. Jacobs, Francesca Flores, Mauros Hernandez, and Josue Spanic.

Colorado Native and Nick Ohitika Najin

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The Festival of Color began with a lively immersive performance from Colorado Native Org, a local cultural enrichment program that offers beading, sewing and Powwow dance classes.

Following their drum and dance performance, Nick Ohitika Najin showed his collection with Standing Warrior Designs. His collection combined traditional Native American regalia with classic silhouettes, including fitted floor-length gowns and tailored suit vests.

Zephaniah Lewis 

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The festival continued with a collection from Colorado Native Culture activist Zephaniah Lewis.

Lewis’s designs were a thought-provoking clash of colors and textures. Merging elements not typically seen together — whether that be adding a denim pocket to a knit bodycon dress, throwing together conflicting silhouettes or pairing loud crochet knits with boxy graphics — Lewis’s collection was an artful demonstration of the beauty of fusing the unexpected.

Missy Champlain

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In the year of “Barbie,” Missy Champlain hit the nail on the head.

Her designs–elevated by a live performance from singer Suzanne Simone showcased just how versatile pink can be. Different shades of the color were the main through-line for each design in Champlain’s collection — through delicate baby doll slips, a soft pajama set, coordinated sets and sky-high stilettos, the designer wove hues of pink through various aesthetics.

Yulia Boozer 

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Yulia Boozer continued the show with a collection of intricately embroidered and strikingly embellished designs.

Boozer’s collection married sleek silhouettes with loud colors and textures. Each look was elevated with carefully coordinating accessories, including unique handbags, sharp headdresses and long, dangling earrings.

Alexander Pringle 

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The Festival of Color continued with a stunning collection from Alexander Pringle.

Pringle combined spikes, harnesses and leather with swords and shields for a warrior-meets-couture curation. Though Pringle showed looks that were tough by default, this rugged edge was balanced with intricately designed headpieces and wings, giving the collection an overall otherworldly element.

Annabel B. Jacobs 

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Annabel B. Jacobs continued the festival with a collection of wedding gowns.

Though most of these gowns were traditionally white and distinctly bridal, the looks were all uniquely crafted. However, despite each piece being of different lengths, silhouettes and materials, Jacobs’s collection was noticeably cohesive, each look connected through their elegance. Above all, Jacobs’s custom designs demonstrated that a “bride” can look a myriad of ways.

Francesca Flores

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Francesca Flores moved the show along, featuring a performance by teen singer Jolie Lopez.

Intricate headpieces were the center of Flores’s designs, made up of flowers, feathers and even gourds. These headpieces were complemented and elevated by the dresses themselves, some of which rode the line between traditional Latin silhouettes and modern embellishments and fabrics.

Mauros Hernandez

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Mauros Hernandez kept the show moving with a curation of color-infused elegance. Hernandez’s looks were made up of silks and satins, individually and intricately decorated with lace, sparkle, feathers, rhinestones and sequins.

The effect was an eye-catching and glimmering collection that proved that elegance doesn’t have to be understated. Hernandez’s designs were elevated by a live performance from singer Victor Alexis.

Josue Spanic

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Josue Spanic closed out the Festival of Color with a provocative and thought-provoking collection.

Spanic’s designs seemed to play on common archetypes and iconic figures — showcasing a dress featuring Frida Kahlo’s iconic likeness, a barely-there look representing Eve with a satanic snake and a hoop-skirted royal, complete with an intricate crown and veil. Each look was noticeably unique — making it impossible to look away.

All photos by Luke Schott.

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