Denver Fashion Week shines a spotlight on accomplished local designers
The famous Denver Fashion Week, presented by The Green Solution and Medicine Man, is back this week to once again showcase exceptional talent. This year, designers Darlene Ritz and Steve Sells have some intriguing collections to showcase. They are here to talk about what the public can expect to see at DFW, as well as their sources of inspiration.
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Darlene Ritz has a wealth of experience in the fashion industry. In New York City, she spent time as a design assistant for notable companies such as Uniqlo, and was later invited to open an office in Los Angeles. This happened after receiving an offer from a New York textile design company. When Ritz arrived in LA, she studied advanced digital design. According to Ritz, she realized that she really liked the education process.
“Coaching and teaching the next generation of fashion designers has been an incredibly rewarding professional experience, and I love it. Somewhere along the way, I remembered that in addition to ushering in the next generation, I had a design voice and as an artist and teacher, I had to foster that as well. So in 2017 DCR Studios was born, ”explained Ritz.
For Ritz, DCR Studios emphasizes the belief that clothes should fit us like our bodies already do. This new line is inspired by this concept, as well as more than 30 years of design experience. “Our physical beings are amazing at what we can accomplish through them. Plus the adventures we have and the joy we feel. “Every body is beautiful” and every person deserves to feel good about themselves, ”said Ritz.
This year at DFW, audiences can expect to see an array of 3D feathers, sequins and lace. According to Ritz, she combines what she does with DeMarcio, the host of Pridefest Mainstage, private clients and ready-to-wear. The public should also pay attention to side pants, slim pants and jersey knits. Additionally, DCR Studios strives to consciously use the fabrics they already own, as well as fabrics such as bamboo jersey and organic cotton. “While we’re not 100% with this collection yet (I haven’t found any sustainable glitter yet), we’re going in that direction,” Ritz said.
Many fashion designers have someone they look up to when they design. Whether it’s a family / close friend, or a notable designer. Ritz describes her mother as her inspirational fashion icon who she looks like. “She has lived her life with liveliness and pure joy. She taught me that life is meant to be a party and fashion should be fun. It will always be the driving force behind everything I create, ”Ritz explained.
For Ritz, this collection touched her on a personal level and even graced the New York Fashion Week scene. As a designer, Ritz emphasizes design for body positivity and belief in his mantra, “Every Body is Beautiful.” Ritz describes this collection as celebrating feeling beautiful in your own skin. Plus, she wants this to be a moment to feel it for herself too.
“I have designed for body positivity and created clothes for those who wear them to live their most authentic lives, and yet all this time I have felt out of place in my own body – as if my body was not. not good enough, “said Ritz.” In New York, for the first time, I felt it in my heart. If I want to believe that ‘Every body is beautiful’, I have to believe it for myself too. It’s not an easy thing to do! ”Said Ritz.
Steve Sells is the owner and designer of Steve Sells Studio. For over 20 years now, Sells has been designing clothing and presenting two collections each year at New York Fashion Week. According to Sells, he was originally a painter and graphic designer from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s. “I started working with textile design, focusing on large wall installations. Clothing design evolved as a way to make more use of the textiles we were creating, ”Sells explained.
This year at DFW, audiences can expect to see layered pieces from Sell’s spring / summer 2022 collection. This collection has just been presented to shoppers in stores at New York Fashion Week last month. Everything from accessories, scarves and scarves in different materials, such as velvet, will be complemented by the pieces. These accessories are from the Holiday collection. As each piece is featured on the DFW track, they will be uploaded to the official website, Steve Sells Studio.
READ: Local designer Steve Sells opens virtual store
“This will allow 303 attendees to purchase the looks as they are seen in Denver for the first time,” Sells said.
Inspirational figures such as Issey Miyake and Ralph Rucci are institutional figures that Sells admires for what he describes as “the purity and elegance of their sculptural clothing”. Plus, when it comes to “saritorial style,” as Sells describes it, he admires such figures as Zendaya and Tilda Swinton.
This collection, as a whole, encompasses a powerful meaning for Sells. “This collection symbolizes a rebirth and awakening after a long period of social isolation and political turmoil,” Sells said.
On a creative model, Sells loves working with clients at hair salons, working with luxury textiles, draping and drawing and more. “The difficult aspects of running a small independent clothing line are the number of hats I wear constantly,” Sells said. “In addition, difficult aspects are also included, such as order fulfillment and inventory control. As a small, independent clothing line, there are often many roles to take on that can be overwhelming at times. “
The three-night event will take place on Thursday November 18, Saturday November 20 and Sunday November 21 at the McNichols Civic Center Building. Ritz’s ready-to-wear collection will be showcased on night one and Sells’ runway looks will debut on night two, celebrating local designers.