Denver’s social set turned out dressed to the nines for Saturday’s Max Fashion Show, a benefit for Volunteer’s of America’s Brandon Center.

The typical introduction: “Hi, I’m Kat, so nice to meet you.” (glance up and down at other’s outfit.)
“Hi, I’m ____, lovely to meet you as well.” (glance up and down at my outfit.)

We checked out each other’s attire over cocktails before the show got underway, starting with Max Martinez hosting a live auction. One lucky bidder scored a $6,000 fox fur coat for the deal-worthy price of $3,000; another will be lunching with Mayor Hickenlooper for a mere $750.

The fashion show itself was flawless in terms of production, timing, and music. The models were lovely (although my gay hairdresser date turned his nose up repeatedly at the lack of style in their uniformly loose, slightly wavy locks. ) But the clothes, though pretty enough, were all disappointingly tame. Judging by the waves of flowy skirts, beaded chiffon tops, and bright colors, we’re in for another round of hippie chic for spring, with bright colors (and I mean bright — think fuschia, lime, turquoise) in solids and paisleys adding a bit of resort style to the mix. A few sharp men’s suits were shown, but the too-small sweaters on some of the buff male models looked like a fashion no-no, as did the so-last-year leopard print dresses and jackets on the women.

I suppose that Max chooses his lines to appeal to Denver’s somewhat more relaxed style, but the real stars of Saturday’s show were the fashion-forward men and women in the audience, who chose to take risks with their wardrobe, which is more than I can say for the fashion show itself.