Colorado designers put pandemic-inspired sustainable fashion in the spotlight | Culture & Leisure


DENVER If the world ended, what would you like to wear?

This question didn’t seem so hypothetical in March 2020, when the pandemic upset our daily realities and the way we dress for them.

With more time spent at home and out of sight of others, sweatpants took the place of work clothes and comfort took precedence over appearance. Clothing sales plummeted, leading big companies like J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers and JC Penney to file for bankruptcy.

Twenty months later, the world according to COVID-19 is still a new normal. And it invites its own wardrobe trends, whether it’s embracing the ‘work from home’ aesthetic outside the home or taking self-expression a step further to celebrate. being out of the house.

Chelsea Drew, who runs Colorado Springs-based savings company Hause Collective, said the pandemic has caused people to “really think about what’s important to them.” And that includes what they wear.

“I think there was a general feeling that our time here might be limited,” she said. “So when you go out, you want to think outside the box to express yourself even more. I think the pandemic has allowed people to say whatever they want to stand out even more from the crowd. “

It may mean trying out different styles. It can also mean considering the message behind your clothes.

Drew and Tristan Bego, a thrifty Denver-based stylist, say their businesses have grown since the start of the pandemic, as customers sought more sustainable and creative clothing.

Recycled or reused clothing is one of the main trends in response to the pandemic, as the first-ever Denver Fashion Week show putting sustainability in the spotlight showed.

The November event showcased the fashion of Colorado vintage vendors, thrifters and designers.

One featured Denver designer Natalie Koenig, who used her quarantine downtime to learn how to sew and launch her clothing brand. As she made clothes expressing her unique style, she realized how much it helped her learn more about herself.

“That’s why one of my goals with what I make is to inspire people to heal and know themselves,” she said. “I think that’s the only way real peace will come.”

His brand, called Meraki and Nat, took off.

The show, serving as a fascinating example of the possibilities of savings and its place in haute couture.

Drew, who has dressed models in gender-specific outfits, said she wanted to show how fashion can send a bigger signal about inclusivity.

“I don’t think we feel more restricted,” she said. “We are becoming more and more tolerant of each other and what we wear. I have seen people walking their dogs in all kinds of outfits.

It also served to celebrate being seen and being social again.

Annabel Bowlen – daughter of Pat Bowlen, who was the majority owner of the Denver Broncos before her death in 2019 – was one of the attendees at Denver Fashion Week. She said the pandemic has pushed clothing trends in a direction that Coloradians have often worn with pride.

“In Colorado, we’ve always looked for comfort, freshness and freshness,” she said. “After the pandemic, it became a style. You finally see a group of designers making a comfortable and lasting statement.


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