Every season, local boutiques rack up frequent flyer miles in an effort to discover innovative designers around the world who they can introduce to the Denver market. Here’s my scouting report on the best new lines coming to town for Fall 2014.
San Francisco-based brand Curator avoids the fashion trend circus and instead focuses on what matters most: creating wardrobe staples you’ll want to wear every day. Look for basics like boatneck tees and kimono-sleeve cardigans, plus funkier statement items, including a high-waisted Newsom midi skirt and Lena denim tunic top ($118, pictured left).
Find It: Fancy Tiger, 55 Broadway, 303-282-6590, fancytiger.com
If you’re a fan of reality TV, Hunter Bell’s name may sound familiar. Winner of Fashion Star season two, Bell’s namesake line tends towards updated feminine classics like this tailored cropped jacket ($396) with matching miniskirt ($253, available by special order) and printed blouse ($253, available by special order).
Find It: The Garment District, 2595 S. Colorado Blvd., 303-757-3371, garmentdistrictcolorado.com
For those who try to stay away from the latest “It” bag, finding a well-designed, high-quality carryall that doesn’t break the bank can be a challenge. Enter Building Block, a Los Angeles-based line. The minimalist forms are made of materials such as leather, rubber (for the straps), and beech wood (for closure details). Building Block’s sculptural take on the backpack ($520, pictured)—which is making a comeback this season—is my pick for the fall trend.
Find It: Goldyn, 2040 W. 30th Ave., 720-489-0580, shopgoldyn.com
We’ve seen Denver-based fine jewelry line The Woods pair up with a number of designers over the last couple years (most notably, fellow locals Cosmic Thread). This season, the jewelry makers are joining their talents with Western interior designer and retailer Ian Kennedy of Ruby + George. The new collection merges The Woods’ intricate details and bohemian vibe with Kennedy’s love of Native American materials and symbols in pieces, such as a diamond pavé charm necklace with diamond-set carved turquoise leaf pendant ($850, pictured above).
Mother-daughter shoe designing team Rosalie and Stacey Cooper are the brains behind Esarsi. Based out of both Denver (Rosalie) and Milan (Stacey), their Italian-made luxury shoe line launched in 2012 and has already garnered international attention for its variety of styles that cater to all ages and signature design details—like gold spikes on this Elda pump ($925).
Find It: A Line Boutique, 5375 Landmark Place, Greenwood Village, 303-773-8200, aline-online.com
Handmade in NYC from plated brass, simulated stones, and Swarovski crystals, Lionette‘s statement jewelry pieces are all about glamour. The baubles balance—and add some glitz to—fall’s sleek styles. I like the idea of wearing this Tribeca necklace ($185) with a tone-on-tone all-knitwear ensemble.
Find It: Melrose & Madison, 1500 S. Pearl St., 303-777-7515, shopmelandmad.com
Named after founding sisters Christine, Grace and Merrie Lee, Chris Gramer’s sexy fall collection focuses on asymmetrical and gently draped silhouettes. In a season full of strong outerwear, check out the Shelly ($985) for a contemporary take on the classic trench coat.
Find It: Willow, 2595 Canyon Blvd., Boulder, 303-818-5950, willowboulder.com
Cedar & Hyde leads the new brand charge with A Kind of Guise. Melding traditional German craftsmanship with subtle details and beautiful fabrics, the line is equally focused on design and functionality. Take, for example, this quilted Besim overshirt ($348) rendered in faded modal and lined in Italian cotton. It’s soft, comfortable, totally wearable, and super stylish.
Find It: Cedar & Hyde Mercantile, 2015 10th St., Boulder, 720-287-3900, cedarandhyde.com
Armitage & McMillan opened with solid NYC credentials, including co-owner Darin Combs’ previous work as a buyer for cult brand the Brooklyn Circus (McMillan is his mother’s maiden name) . Well, it didn’t take long for the boys to figure out a way to bring Circus founder Ouigi Theodore’s line of vintage-meets-urban clothes to Denver. For fall, you’ll find key pieces such as BKC’s trim-fit wool Delta Blues Varsity jacket ($480), with leather sleeves and signature bordeaux details.
Find It: Armitage & McMillan, 1550 Platte St., 720-984-4972, armitageandmcmilan.com
Inspired by motorcycle and surfer culture from the 1960s and ’70s, Southern California lifestyle brand Iron & Resin‘s all-American clothing is casual but attentive to details. Check out this wool and quilted nylon Commando shawl-collar sweater ($154).
Find It: Nod & Rose Storehouse, 1220 Spruce St., Boulder, 303-442-2322, nodandrose.com