Couture Clash

2012 Westword MasterMind Dianne Denholm has presented exhibitions focusing on the fiber arts in nearly every aspect since opening the TACtile Textile Arts Center six years ago. But never before had she turned the magnifying glass on the fine art of dressmaking and couture, a subject that's undergone a renaissance in Denver this spring, thanks to the Denver Art Museum's Yves Saint Laurent block-buster. Inspired by that show -- and a little bit by her own past life as the owner of D'Lea's fabric store in Cherry Creek North -- Denholm decided to ask her former competitor, Boulderite Elfriede Gamow, if she might be willing to pull together some of her favorite pieces from over the years for an exhibition to dovetail with the last weeks of the YSL show.

The result is Colorado Couture: Past and Present, which pairs the elegant Gamow's impeccably sewn garments with a sideshow of prototypes from up-and-coming Denver designer Fallene Wells's 2013 fashion line. "I wanted to make it educational, so people could know how this is done," Denholm explains. "This is high-end dressmaking techniques and fabrics we're talking about, featuring clothing that Elfriede still wears now, which demonstrates their timelessness. The quote she gave us says it all: 'I've always gone for the style rather than the fashion.'"

Colorado Couture continues through August 18 at TACtile, 1955 South Quince Street, Suite 200; an open house is being planned during its run, with details TBA. Admission is free; find information at or call 720-524-8886.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: June 8. Continues through Aug. 25, 2012

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd