Designers Reject Convention At DFW’s Society Show

On the second to last night of this spring’s Denver Fashion Week, 10 designers showed their unique interpretation of the night’s theme, Society.

The show was hosted by multi-Emmy Award winning reporter for CBS Colorado, Dillon Thomas, dressed by designer Jenn Burback. The colorful nature of his outfit and Burback’s upcoming collection represented showing your true colors and prioritizing your mental health.

The show began with a performance from singer, songwriter and DFW’s Entertainer Winner Cami Maree. Throughout the night, Maree performed four songs, including “This Is Me,” from The Greatest Showman and “No Roots,” by Alice Merton.

Santiago

Santiago Sirawa kicked off the show with his collection that reinterpreted traditional femininity. Backed by remixed oldies, Santiago’s collection utilized traditional feminine silhouettes, with cinched waists and exaggerated hour-glass shapes. Paired with delicate scarves, pearls and pin curls, these pastel and brightly colored looks were a fresh take on traditional feminine standards in fashion.

However, though Santiago’s collection seemed to be a celebration of femininity, the models wearing this collection were not all female-presenting, a choice by Santiago that was entirely intentional.

“Society to me means when humans want to live in peace and figure out a system to follow,” Sirawa said. “My collection tries to show the femininity within society — regardless of gender.”

Kit’s

Kit’s combined delicate fabrics with corporate silhouettes for a cohesive and unexpected collection.

From playful neon and sparkles to structured blazers and collared shirts, Kit’s showcased the idea that the best fashion does not fit one specific aesthetic: instead, the most interesting looks borrow aspects from different aesthetics, refusing to settle within the confines of one genre.

Mona Lucero

Mona Lucero brought an intense collection of dark colors and structured silhouettes to the DFW runway. Paired with chokers, patches, thick belts and heavy eyeliner, the looks were individually unexpected, clashing patterns and textures to create an altogether cohesive equal parts punk rock and high fashion.

Lilian Lara

Lilian Lara closed out the first half with a stunning and eye-catching collection. Lara’s looks included elaborate accessories, including intricate headdresses, flowing scarves and — in one notable case — a flowing and gleaming golden jacket. The models were each wearing geometric face make-up, creatively contouring each model’s face and playing off the geometric patterns they were wearing.

“I love that everyone gets to come together to enjoy a night of beauty and pageantry, especially in Denver where we don’t have a reputation for getting dressed up,” Lara shared. “We get to come together tonight for an opportunity for pomp and circumstance.”

This same vision extended to the models showcasing Lara’s collection, who had their interpretation of how Lara’s designs represented the night’s theme.

“Society means diversity,” shared Julie DeVilbiss, a model for Lilian Lara. “There’s power in being diverse that as a society we become stronger when we work with our diversity.”

Jenn Burback

Jenn Burback kicked off the second half of the night with a collection that put a colorful and electric twist on traditional Western wear. As such, Burback’s looks were individually bold and eclectic, fusing Western traditional elements with vibrant, contemporary aesthetics, complete with neon fringe and sparkling chaps in every color of the rainbow.

Burback noted that her collection — and brand as a whole — prides itself on stepping outside the traditional aesthetics that rule contemporary fashion.

“We don’t necessarily fit into the standard categories. We have our own look,” Burback said. “Our society is so diverse — we’re not all the same.”

Kyra Coates

Kyra Coates brought irresistible energy to the DFW runway. Each look was a celebration of boldness and whimsy. The juxtaposition of vibrant colors against sleek black accents created a visually stunning contrast that was both easy on the eye and fun for the senses.

But it wasn’t just the designs that stole the show — it was the infectious energy radiating from the models themselves. They twirled, danced, and playfully interacted with each other, infusing the runway with a sense of fun and spontaneity — aspects that Coates utilized to push the boundaries of traditional high fashion.

“Society represents the culture creators who are pushing the lines of what is known into something new, bringing together new genres and ideas,” said Coates of the night’s theme.

Dani K

Dani K got her first DFW taste assisting with Electric Bubblegum and decided to make her debut this spring season. Her design experience was documented and shown through a black-and-white film — clips included news segments, sewing clips and travel videos. Following the moving video, bolded looks in greyscale, mimicking the black and white nature of the introductory video graced the runway.

Her collection appealed to the ultimate Coloradan, as much of it was reminiscent of ski bunny aesthetics, with plush fur lined jackets, knit beanies and sleek modern sunglasses paying tribute to the timeless elegance of winter fashion — even as Denver celebrates the shift in seasons toward sunny days.

Anton LaRosa

Anton LaRosa brought his signature glitz and glamour to the runway. His use of tulle skirts and plenty of leather, paired with tough chains and gleaming diamonds, made for a collection that was rebellious and luxurious.

And as if the alluring fabrics and silhouettes weren’t enough, many of the models were wearing impossibly high boots, stretching the length of their legs, that exuded confidence and commanded attention with every step.

Tyne Hall

Tyne Hall ended the night with a memorable witchy collection.

The collection began with high-fashion looks crafted from rich fabrics, intricate patchwork, corsets and tulle. Inspired by the witch trials, the collection held a daring and provocative energy, as sheer fabric was incorporated. The looks played with transparency, revealing glimpses of skin that juxtaposed elegance with seduction.

Hall’s collection ultimately celebrated the human form, in all its unapologetic glory.

All photography by Weston Mosburg

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