April 1 2005, 12:02 PM
First Fridays are known for the art walks in various artsy disctricts around town (Lodo, Golden Triangle, Santa Fe), but it seems that a few smart clothing retailers have joined the party. Of course it wouldn't exactly be fitting for The Gap to participate in an art event, but for local boutiques like Mona Lucero and Pod & Capsule, it's a fine line between art and fashion. Mona creates her signature line (as featured in this month's print issue of 5280), and carries handmade jewelry, handbags, and unusual gift items. At Pod, the space is half art gallery already, but the retail section features a great selection of cool fashions made by local designers like ReThunk, Tutela handbags, SugarPuss, and other items by talented out-of-towners. And tonight, both stores have added incentives to drop by. Mona celebrates the launch of her new website, (created by the hipster duo of Ally and Sarah Lennon at Big Orange Planet) and will give shoppers a 10 percent discount during the party. At Pod & Capsule, tonight's event will help raise money for the Denver Young Artists Orchestra by raffling off items from "The Painted Violin," an exhibit of instruments painted by the likes of Mayor Hickenlooper, artist Carlos Fresquez, and Sandra Kaplan. Musicians from the orchestra will perform between 6 and 8 p.m. After the orchestra performance, the evening transforms into more of a party atmosphere with a band and an opening party for the group show in the gallery, Sanguine. As if you needed any further incentive to head out tonight, most of the First Friday events include complimentary food and drinks of the wine-and-cheese variety, and the crowds are always a sure bet for killer people watching. So there you have it. Wine, munchies, art, shopping, people watching, and fundraising. No wonder we love First Fridays.