On Nov. 19, Denver Fashion Week (DFW) wrapped up its eight days of events at York Street Yards with a kid’s runway show that was full of tutus, dancewear, and bold colors. Hosted by DFW’s own model and modeling coach, Noella Wong, the show started with an upbeat Christmas-themed performance by Cherry Creek Dance.
Factory Fashion started the kids’ show with a chic and unique collection. The collection was split between two different kid’s designers, overseen by Skye Barker Maa, designer and owner of the company.
“Factory Fashion is a design studio that does manufacturing for other designers, we also do sewing classes and programming, and events rental and run my private label SkyeAire,“ Barker Maa said.
In the first half, pastel looks were adorned with oversized floral appliques, and ruffled, fun flowing silhouettes. In the second half, we see a darker, elegant take on Parisian chic from stylist/designer Sloane Maa. Navy blues, blacks, plaids, patterned tights and flat caps were visual threads throughout the collection. The final piece, a wedding dress thrifted in Argentina, was hand-dyed and upcycled to create an eye-catching statement look.
“This is actually youth designing for youth,” Barker Maa said. “The first designers made their entire collection from ideation to patterning to construction, and the second is a sort of styling and upcycling.”
Dragonwing x Katie Andelman
Activewear brand Dragonwing and modeling coach Katie Andelman teamed up to create a playful, glittery and very pink collection where younger models six years old and younger took the runway.
“We’ve just become friends through the industry, so a lot of my ambassadors are actually her teen girls so we have a lot of overlap,” Allie Herman, owner of Dragonwing said. “We [Andelman and Herman] were just like let’s do a show together that’d be so fun!”
This Barbie-themed collection was every shade and shimmer of pink that one could ever ask for. Most looks were made up of sets of voluminous tutus and accompanying pink activewear tank tops, accessorized with pink bows in the model’s hair. From head to toe, every model even had the same matching chrome-pink high top sneakers.
To top it off, the music was from Greta Gerwig’s hit film “Barbie.”
Dream Dance Design
Like in the name, this collection was dreamy and showcased a variety of genres of dancewear. From ballroom to hip hop to salsa, a variety of prints and colors graced the runway. A few eye-catching looks from this collection include a neon yellow leopard print jumpsuit with sheer cut-outs and a neon yellow chevron style top with flamenco-inspired tassels, paired with black faux-leather leggings.
Based in Denver, Dream Dance Design was founded by Jo-Anne Smith, who has a passion for creating clothes that make kids comfortable and confident.
“I started sewing because my daughter dances and when she was younger, we just didn’t find what we were looking for,” Smith said. “Now we produce really stand-out, well-made custom costumes and dancewear for kiddos that like to dance and do gymnastics.”
Dream Dance Design has been around for over five years and was showcased at Denver Fashion Week for the first time ever. Not only showcasing the visual appeal of her clothing but she also showed the garment’s durability and performance by having two models perform a small salsa number on the runway.
“I’m really blessed because I design what I like and make it work for the kiddos,” Smith said. “I enjoy being able to make something individual for them, and something that fits and is comfortable to wear because dance is tough, and I’ve always thought if a kid feels really good and confident and happy in what they’re wearing, then they enjoy what they’re doing and they do better.”
To close out the show, Dragonwing had its own themed collection for older models. With heavy 1920s flapper inspiration, Dragonwing activewear was styled with feather and jeweled headpieces, feather neck pieces and sequined tassel skirts to recreate the “la garçonne” silhouette.
“It’s more Taylor Swift driven. I feel like that’s so hot right now, so we’re doing so much shimmer, and shine in our real lines not even just for the fashion week collection because that’s such a trend,” Herman said.
The activewear itself didn’t disappoint with unique prints, cut-outs and colorways, there is something for everyone. A personal favorite was the purple, shimmery snakeskin print bodysuit paired with silver-toned accessories.
Wong closed out the show, once again with all smiles. Wong is 17 years old, and got her start in the Denver Fashion Week Kids’ show, making her first hosting experience very full-circle and sentimental.
“Growing up with Denver Fashion Week and walking for them for so long, it’s incredible and it’s just an honor to work with these girls and work with Denver Fashion Week even further to MC, it’s an amazing feeling,” Wong said.