The diary of a lesbian fashionista
April 27, 2012 | 8:36 am
(Updated: February 22, 2013 | 3:45 pm)
When I heard that the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective was coming to Denver, and only Denver, on its tour, my heart skipped a beat. This means all of my fashion friends back in NYC won’t see it before me. They won’t see it at all unless they leave NYC and fly somewhere else. I figure if they do, it will probably be Paris or Madrid. But, all I have to do is drive down the road. Yippee!
When I lived in New York City, I worked and breathed fashion for 12 years. I was not a fashion editor or celebrity stylist and I was never on Project Runway.
You see I was “behind-the-scenes.” When you see those gorgeous models on the runway, what you don’t see is the sea of people backstage getting them on the runway. Dressers, makeup artists, hairstylists, runners, directors and the design staff; all of these people are backstage. The models are out front, looking cool, collected and aloof, because backstage there are people pouring blood, sweat and tears into making sure the show is a success.
I was one of those people.
It was one of the most incredible and rewarding experiences of my life. I made friends that I will have for the rest of my life. I have a deep and long-lasting love of, and for, fashion. And, at one time in my life, I was in the fashion trenches.
I left New York City for many reasons. My family convinced me that I could make a life for myself here in Denver, so I came home. Now, nine years later, my old life and my new life are coming together.
When I heard that I would be attending the “Untitled #45 Haute” Forever Darling 5 fashion show as part of the YSL season of events, my little fashion heart went pitter-pat.
I immediately called my friends to help. I ordered a custom made tutu from my friend Charliiey Byhall at Princess Pretti Tutus. Then I booked time with my friend Elizabeth Ramstein at Rising Phoenix Salon. And last, but most certainly not least, I called my friend Erroll Perkins at the NARS counter at Neiman Marcus. It takes a village y’all.
I should stop here and say, this was one of the best weekends of my life. It was heaven for this lesbian fashionista.
The day was great and the sun was shining. I was on time to each appointment, hair, then makeup and then off to get into my tutu. Come on, how often do you get to wear a tutu? I officially felt like a fashion princess.
As time was getting tight, and after making sure the pictures were just right, I made my way downtown to the event. As I was plopped down in the front row, I thought “Maybe I should have re-thought the tutu … Nah!”
This Forever Darling 5 fashion show was put together by Fallene Wells and Forever Darling. Fallene Wells is a prominent member of Denver’s creative community and is known as a passionate style maven. She works as a designer, color specialist/hairstylist, fashion show producer and was a recent contestant on season 9 of Project Runway.
Eight contestants from the TV show Project Runway were invited to design a collection inspired by the fashion icon Saint Laurent. The participating designers were Michael Costello, Rafael Cox, Danielle Everine, Cecilia Motwani, Becky Ross, Julie Tierney, Jason Troisi, and Fallene Wells. Mondo Guerra, winner of the latest Project Runway All Stars and Denver native, had to cancel.
Young fashion people, fabulous hair and makeup and I was sitting in the front row. Life is so much fun.
I really enjoyed what the designers had to offer. I spent a lot of time looking at the models – no not like that! I used to spend a lot of time backstage with models looking at them critically. I never liked that I have always simply wanted to enjoy being in the front row.
No fashion bitchiness allowed.
After the runway show, I skipped over to the festivities at Brooklyn’s, where Denver lesbian leaders Dede Frain and Silke Reuthlinger were hosting the kick-off party to the SWISH Final Four. No, I did not change. If you’re going to show up late to a party, why not wear a tutu and really make a grand entrance?
And before I knew it, it was time for me to hop off again to make it to the after-party for the Untitled #45 Haute event put on by Blake Communications. The party promoted the Platte Forum nonprofit and celebrated “The House of Love,” or “Maison D’Amour” the affectionate label Saint Laurent gave to his clothing line.
Platte Forum is a local nonprofit that offers Denver’s at-risk youth the opportunity for inspiring artistic abilities. Through this program, the kids are engaged in creating and begin to understand that they are valuable members of the community that can contribute and are valued. The motto of the nonprofit is “Youth, Artist, Community, Transform, lives through art.”
In the spirit of the evening, they featured a youth artist that is part of their program. She designed a dress inspired by YSL. This dress was lovely and her little enthusiastic fresh fashion face was priceless.
All in all, it was great night. I got to be my own lesbian fashionista self. Thanks to all involved. But, at the moment, I really need to get out of these heels.