Denver Fashion Week Spring ’16

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A look from Velvet Wolf at Denver Fashion Week Spring ’16.

Let me start out by saying that I really enjoyed the Denver Fashion Weekend Spring ’16 festivities, a multi-day event that features local and national designers and boutiques, along with hair shows and awards ceremonies. Unfortunately, I missed the 303 Awards/Southwest Hairstyling Awards on Night One, but celebrity stylist Tabatha Coffey received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In Focus host, Eden Lane was holding court, and without too much criticism (I can’t imagine what it takes to pull off a production like this on multiple nights), compared to my experience at the Fall ’15 shows, DFW Spring ’16 was a massive improvement. It was better organized, the press didn’t have to fight to get into place, and the overall mood was less manic. This production had their act together; they were much friendlier (even after I knocked a stack of cards off of a pole), the security staff was more personable, the press was given more respect, and the people attending this event were much more festive and much less bitchy than the last fashion event.

Eden Lane hosting Night Three at Denver Fashion Week '16.
Eden Lane hosting Night Three of Denver Fashion Week ’16.

I should have had this blog out last week, but I wasted a lot of time trying to unsuccessfully edit fashion week videos while trying to learn a new job, so please excuse me in advance for the janky video and extreme lateness. Last year’s footage was so bad I barely bothered to post anything. This time was no different. The Fall ’15  runway was cool but complicated, and we were situated on the side next to a platform with a lone photographer on it. Thankfully, the person I brought for photography was taller than my 5′ 2″ frame, so he was more successful with photos. This year, I was told that we could have used that near-empty platform, but no one told us.

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Back to work after having to bail on Night Two of Denver Fashion Week. The one and only time I successfully applied false lashes.

This year was no different as far as lousy positioning, but at least there was a reason for it. Night Three was PACKED and so was that platform. Apparently, there was a schedule change because when I RSVP’d the event, the night I attended was scheduled to be a hair show.  I was a little bummed because I had to bail on Night Two at the last-minute and I was more interested in the fashion than the hair, although I had planned on going to both. To be honest, I was probably more bummed about the fact that I had finally applied false eyelashes without them coming off or getting adhesive all over the place, and I had nowhere to go. I can’t be the only person who hates to waste time and a good makeup job.

A streetwear look from Denver Fashion Week.
This was the cutest outfit. This local blogger knew how to mix her prints. The photo does not do this outfit justice.

I should probably go back; the kick-off event for DFW Spring ’16 was Red Pearl, a fashion comedy movie by Stacy Barton and Jessica McGaugh. The comedy-drama movie with fashion overtones is based in Colorado, and is about Scarlet (Desira Pesta), a recent transplant from Ohio fresh out of fashion school. She’s having difficulty making friends professionally and personally, and she’s nursing a broken heart as well. Project Runway’s Mondo Guerra makes an appearance as her mentor and I thought he was in attendance, but it turned out that the gentleman I mistook as Guerra was not. One would have expected him to turn up for the premiere of a movie he is in, but…

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The gentleman I mistook for Mondo Guerra.

My favorite performances were from Scarlet’s creepy apartment manager (William Leiren), and her married lover and neighbor (Matt Block), whom I met at the fashion show. He walked right past us and I said, “He’s cute,” and my daughter/photographer said, “That’s that guy from the movie, her neighbor.” Being who I am, I ran after him. He’s all kinds of cute. That movie does not do him justice. He was beyond charming and very funny. He was also taking part in the shows.

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Red Pearl actor and model Matt Block with me at the Denver Fashion Weekend Spring 2016 show.

Back to the show…

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Final walk for Soignee.

I immediately ran into the Beauty For Real booth at the bazaar and the rep. went to work selling us on how innovative the makeup line is. Ok, the lip gloss has a mirror AND a light on the applicator. Hello, where have you been all of my life? She told me Leslie Munsell, the founder of Beauty For Real was walking in the show.

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Is this Leslie Munsell, founder of Beauty For Real walking in the Marks-Lloyds fashion show?

I thought I saw her walk for Marks-Lloyds, but I can’t be certain. [Doesn’t this look like her? I feel like a post about the brand is in order.

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Beauty For Real

When I left Beauty For Real counter, I perused a couple of apparel vendors, and then ran into Sam LaBella, hairstylist and makeup artist at Family Affair representing the Balmain Hair Couture line. Remember when I said I had never heard of Balmain Hair? Ta-da! She was so much fun, and I had the best time with her. She even spritzed my dusty bun with a shining product. In the middle of entertaining me, she also provided me with a little more education about the line and where it is headed. Balmain Hair won’t stay hush-hush for long.

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StylEnigma (Lynnette Southwood) and Sam LaBella from Family Affair.

The line up for the shows I attended were:

Marks-Lloyds Furs
Lions in Four
Kouture
Velvet Wolf
Soignee
Royal Outerwear
ILy ILey
Femme Fatal Intimates
Georgine

While I enjoyed every show, the standouts for me were Velvet Wolf, Kouture, and ILy Iley. I am not an outerwear fan per se, but as far as a physical reaction, I loved Royal Outerwear. The styling and makeup was inspiring and Torell Madsen, A.K.A. Tory, was especially breathtaking. I may have to relax my style a bit and embrace street wear more.

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Torell Madsen in Royal Outerwear

I recorded a few of the shows but I didn’t get them all. Unfortunately, I didn’t get photos or footage of Femme Fatale Intimates and Georgine NYC, which I truly regret. Poor battery life and difficulty holding the camera with so many bloggers and photographers jockeying for position dictated I sit out a few shows so again, please enjoy the sketchy camera work. The fact that there were so many people in attendance tells me that the popularity of the event is growing, as it should. A special shout-out to my photographer Raven Refuerzo, a.k.a., my kid. Denver Fashion Week Spring ’16 was a great production and a lot of fun. Can’t wait till the fall shows.

Kouture
Marks-Lloyds
Velvet Wolf
Lions In Four

I Didn’t Know Balmain Had a Hair Care Line Either

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Balmain Hair muse Noémie Lenoir.

 

It was during Paris Fashion Week that the I discovered Balmain was into hair. Should I feel stupid for not knowing the French fashion brand extended to a hair care line? This revelation came just yesterday while reading an article on Business of Fashion about Balmain’s new custom wig venture – an extension of the already existing Balmain Hair Couture line. During Paris Fashion Week, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadi seemingly swapped hair colors at the Balmain Fall 2016 RTW show and of course, everybody went nuts because those two can’t cut their nails without it becoming breaking news. Sorry (not sorry), I’m just so sick of those two. Anyway…

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Balmain Hair Couture muse Devon Wilson and Gigi Hadid as brunettes.

 

According to the piece, that was an introduction of sorts to Balmain Hair, a custom-made wig and hair extensions service. The intended fuss about the hair color swap got tails wagging about the orientation of the wigs the chosen were wearing , expansion news, and the admittance that the hair care line is largely unknown. Now, I don’t feel so stupid.

 

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Alessandra Ambrosio walking in the Balmain Pre-spring 2016 show in her natural hair color.

Alessandra Ambrosio, a favorite Balmain runway model is shown with her natural hair color in the Pre-spring 2016 show, and again wearing a Balmain custom-made wig in the Fall 2016 show at PFW 2016. Joan Smalls, Rose Huntington-Whitely, and Lily Donaldson were among the models walking with one of those coveted pieces.

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Alessandra Ambrosio walking in the Balmain Fall 2016 show in a Balmain wig.

Balmain Hair Couture brand isn’t new if you are heavily immersed in the beauty scene or in Europe – it’s been around for 40-years slowly making its way into high-end salons and fancy-schmancy fashion sites. Currently, the Balmain Hair repertoire consists of extensions, styling products, styling tools, and now custom-made wigs. You’ll have to do some jet-setting if you want one of those custom-made, 100 percent human hair wigs. The Balmain Hair wigs are only made at their location in the Paris at 13, rue Royal which is headed by Nabil Harlow a “master hair designer.” Yeah, you’re going to need super model money in order to afford one.

 

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However, if you want their Argan Moisturizing Elixir ($43), or instant extensions ($390), that’s available onlinealthough the company encourages you to seek a professional for extension installation. For professionals, there are classes to teach you how to install their products. I’ve watched some of their tutorials, it looks very involved. There are 5,000 hair salons worldwide (300 in the US) that carry Balmain Hair, and “Prestige Salon”  has been created to place their products in exclusive style focused salons.

 

 

Balmain joins the likes of  Wendy Williams, Jessica Simpson, practically the entire cast of RHOA, and Beverly Johnson – who have been on the hair extension/wig train for quite some time. Balmain has stepped up as a response to the apparent explosion of couture wig and hair extensions. Well, when everybody is trying to be Beyoncé, that’s gonna happen, and Bey ain’t wearing Sally Beauty Supply hair.