Denver Fashion Week Concludes its Spring Season with Hair Show and Awards

Forma Collective by Weston Mosburg

Denver Fashion Week ended with the first-ever DFW Awards, the annual Hair Show and Awards. The DFW awards were hosted by 9News’ Erica Lopez, styled by MadVan Designs. The Hair Show and Awards were hosted by internet-famous hairstylist, Jeremy Pugh and Southwest Hairstyling Awards Chief Executive, Lynda Baker.

The final night of DFW intentionally featured all women-owned salonsbringing attention to the imbalance between women as stylists versus salon owners seen across the industry.


Vanessa Whitmash, owner of Cult Salon, showed the audience their BLOOMCORE collection. High-intensity music started the show and all models wore head-to-toe leather, including matching high necklines, long-sleeves, long-pants, and knee-high black leather boots. The music and the leather presented an intriguing dichotomy with the floral nods seen in the design of the hair.

The show featured five looks, all with female-presenting models. Each model had a brightly colored tulle skirt or dress paired on top with their leather jumpsuits. Color was emphasized through tulle ensembles, and their hair and makeup.

Two models had large ‘petals’ in their hair, constructed with tape to create the look of a flower sprouting from their head. Other models had long brightly colored hair slicked down the back with petals placed on their hairline and to the back to create blooms of interest. Makeup was brightly colored to match the tulle the model wore. 

To the audience, the collection speaks to the portrayal of women and beauty. Both women and beauty can come in unusual forms — and flowers (and women) aren’t always the delicate beings they are portrayed as.

ElleB Savvy 

Hairstylist Lindsay Guzman found inspiration for, A Readhead Romance from La La Land and Emma Stone’s iconic red hair in the film. Guzman shared that the show’s vision was for, “Every model to be a different version of the beauty that is an iconic redhead as they are seen throughout the lights of the day.”

A play of sun and light — the show told a tale from dawn to dusk.

Seeing La La Land as a transformative tale of beauty and romance with Los Angeles, the background to ElleB Savvy’s show was photos of Denver to show similar love for this city. 

The show began with “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone, and models walked confidently and with ease down the runway. Models’ makeup was styled to be “gorgeous and dewy,” with the hair color being the main focus of the runway. The opening model had platinum strawberry blonde hair with big Hollywood waves. Throughout the show models progressed to deeper hues of red, characterizing the different colors of red at each point of the day.

Guzman colored each of her 10 models’ hair to create a cohesive and cinematic show on the runway. 

House of NONTradition

Dylen Starr set out to make a statement with her first show at DFW. Inspired by 80s and 90s punk rock, the collection was a nod to a community that has been inclusive to Starr as a queer woman.

It feels very symbolic to use that aesthetic as the baseline for all my female or non-binary identifying team,” she said.

The music for House of NONTradition began with “Flawless” by Beyonce, featuring a monologue by feminist author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, to highlight the need for visibility for women and non-binary humans in society. 

Each look implemented a custom leather jacket line from Starr and large babydoll heads, Barbie limbs, and Barbie heads, both intertwined in model’s hair and clothing. The opening model showed green mesh cargo pants wearing combat boots, a black top with silver metal detailing, and a custom leather jacket. Chains hung from the model’s hair with doll heads attached with their movement encouraged down the runway. A long train was added to the first look at the end of the runway for a surprising exit — embedded with various Barbies. 

Additional details to the looks included safety pins, spikes, chains, colorful zip ties, plaid patterns, sparkles, and eye makeup that mirrored Mattel’s “Weird Barbie.” The ending look was portrayed by a powerful duo, each wearing a face harness and holding hands down the runway. The models were connected by a long string of Barbie doll heads — each with their own “Weird Barbie” hairstyle and could speak to the community and strength found when we welcome each other for our individuality.

Starr said that she hoped the audience would leave with the encouragement that, We are all weird Barbie.”

Forma Collective

The entire team of Forma Collective brought a unique treat to end the last night of DFW. Putting on an interactive show, the audience was engaged from the moment the music began. Forma stated that they, “Believe that beauty isn’t about one particular aesthetic,” and that proved true during the show.

Partnering with Infatue, a local streetwear designer, all models walked in their designs — adding an extra fashionable touch.

The show began with models walking the runway and stopping in a unique formation. Models were lined up on the outside and four models were seated down the middle of the runway. The four seated models were joined by the creatives of Forma Collective, who changed their looks on the runway to something entirely different.

Every few minutes the models on the sides would move clockwise, and pose with their unique look at the end of the runway. In a short five minutes, with the new looks completed, all models walked the runway again. Staying true to their values of humor and fun, Forma Collective’s show was a surprising delight to those in attendance.

Scarves were prominent in this collection, as were long braids with extensions. Shape was also a focus of the show with intentional indents to create a more rigid shape and freedom with shape through curly looks.

3 Little Birds

Main Hair Creative Paige Keith of 3 Little Birds Salon began their segment with an eccentric single from music Glass Animals, “Gooey.” 

Models walked down the runway expressively with simple black ensembles paired with daring hairstyles, colors, and makeup. The opening model had half lavender and half blonde hair, styled into two braids — dramatically teased at the root to look like horns. Two long face-framing braids completed the look. The following looks featured long, colored extensions braided into the hair, still styled with simple black ensembles.

Feathers, broken CDs, and intricate braids added details to the looks. Several models had hair atop their heads arranged to appear like nests — a nod to the salon’s name. There was a rainbow of color in all hairstyles and extensions and makeup was just as colorful and intriguing. 

With expressive looks, walks, and poses at the end of the runway, the show portrays a story of the masks we wear, and the nested homes we find within ourselves. 

Origins Salon

Hair Creatives Marisa Solano and Haley Lucero of Origins Salon crafted their first-ever runway show with DFW. The Galactic Glam Collection was inspired by human obsession and curiosity with celestial beings. 

Solano and Lucero colored all models’ hair and extensions in preparation for the show. There were handmade hairpieces featured and other eccentric items — like metal chopsticks — used to hold their stylings. Looks included slicked back hair, bouncy curls, and combinations of both. Pops of color in the hair included bright green, blue, pink and purple.

The runway showed all-black clothing with heavy metallic accessories and details. The makeup was striking and darkly ethereal, with black eyeshadow underneath the eye and blended out into glitter on the cheekbones. Glitter and rhinestones were present in all looks, in both makeup and hair. Looks also featured harnesses, body chains, spikes, gloves, exaggerated buckles, and arm jewelry. 

Twig Hair Salon

Cassandra Voss, Creative Director of Twig Hair Salon, was excited to bring a runway show in partnership with MOSS D. The show featured experimentation in braids styling and creating various shapes when using them. 

Models wore ensembles covered in floral and tie dye patterns. The opening look featured a black jumpsuit with burgundy, yellow, and rose flowers and olive greenery. The hair to accompany the look was an intricate, braided and knotted look. Makeup was given free rein to be colorful and creative and enhance the color of the hair and outfits worn.

Birch Salon

Amanda Allen of Birch Salon cites that the inspiration came from recycling and what could be if the world comes out of a wasteful state. All looks from the collection were made from unconventional and recycled materials from the salon. Having shown at DFW for nine years, Allen hoped that the audience left with inspiration for a more sustainable and creative life lived in how they express themselves through clothing.

Birch Salon created four detailed and interesting looks for the runway this year. The looks used empty color bottles, boxes, and foils to craft intricate art pieces. Models were in neutral colors with mesh and fishnet tights, and two had foliage integrated into their looks. Each look was created by a different artist of Birch Salon. 

Baker’s parting words to the audience of creatives ended the night — and the entirety of Denver Fashion Week’s Spring show on a beautiful not, “Keep doing what you do. You put Denver on the map.”

All photos by Weston Mosburg

Hair Show Awards Winners:

Makeup Artists of the Year – Lani Fischer

Hair Extensionist of the Year – Elly Schott

Hair Stylist of the Year – Liz Burns

Hair Colorist of the Year – Ann Pryzgoda

Barber of the Year – Xochial

Artistic Team of the Year – Cult Salon

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