Arts enthusiasts dressed in their most fashion-forward attire for the January 26 Art of Dior gala at the Denver Art Museum, hosted by CultureHaus. We spotted several standout looks and stopped to chat with guests about their outfits and how the DAM's current exhibit, Dior: From Paris to the World, had inspired many of them.
Jill Ascher, a registered nurse from Boulder who calls her style "classic and eclectic," wore a custom blue gown. "This is a Dior-inspired dress, made by a designer from the Philippines. It's based on a dress from the Dior fall 2008 collection," she explained as she looked around the crowd. "I can barely stand how exciting it is, to be able to see the fabric and the fashion and how everyone came together and inspired each other with different designs. The people who are here are smiling and happy, wearing their finest."
Bartender Michele Lopez opted for an unknown designer. "I chose my dress because it looks great on my body," she said. Her style mantra: "Love yourself. No matter what. Even if you are wearing joggers and sweats, love yourself. I have a pair of joggers I wear with Reeboks, and I look as good as I do now. I feel confident in myself and in my style in both outfits."
Emanuel Olivaster, who works in luxury retail, said he was "wearing an outfit from Christian Dior's latest collection, designed by Kim Jones." The visor was by Christian Dior and the shoes by Stella McCartney.
Olivaster's style mantra doubles as fashion advice: "Always have a black biker jacket with you, forever."
Former Westword writer Luke Turf wore a classic black suit but played with his accessories, adding a pair of black-and-white Jordan sneakers to the mix. His wife, Quianna Turf, wore a cream-colored dress with a fur jacket styled off the shoulder and chandelier earrings.
Both the gala and the show got rave reviews. "This year, thanks to our three amazing signature event co-chairs, we had our biggest turnout yet, with more than 600 attendees," CultureHaus co-chair Kelly O'Reilly told us. "And I have to say, people brought it in the fashion department! Obviously, Dior is pretty fantastic inspiration. And this was a CultureHaus event, so you didn't see just a bunch of couture gowns. Our guests were all over the board, and there were a lot of stellar, inventive outfits."
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There were also a lot of generous guests. "Our annual blind buy, which consisted of more than 100 items donated by generous local artists, makers and businesses who support CultureHaus, sold out in less than an hour," O'Reilly added. "People were excited."
While the annual gala is CultureHaus's biggest bash, it hosts many other activities. "We try to connect with art lovers and enthusiasts who are looking for an accessible way to experience the excellent art and culture community that's everywhere in Denver," O'Reilly explained. "We hold events on a monthly basis that range from curator-led tours of new exhibitions at the museum to street-art bus tours. We want people to learn about and experience new artists or aspects of the art world and not feel intimidated by the idea of starting a collection or even looking at art. Our events help us do this because they're informative, sure, but they're also fun, and we enjoy hanging out with each other."
And looking great while they do.