Epic adventures in fashion at Artopia

Whatever else happened in the Denver arts world this year, one thing is certain: Fashion blew up like a balloon with a terrorist in it. At the forefront of that boom, of course, was Mondo Guerra, who took second place in this year's season of Project Runway and first place in everyone's heart (does anyone even remember who did win?). But there was plenty more exciting stuff that happened -- and this year, it's reflected in both our MasterMind awards (we'll be unveiling those in the print edition this week) and at this weekend's Artopia, the biggest, greatest, most poppin' ass art party of the year, because it is hosted by us.

More so than in years of yore, which we're not going to say weren't just as awesome as any other year, we're spotlighting fashion at this installation of Artopia to celebrate what unprecedented strides the scene had made. That's why we enlisted Rustin Coburn, co-founder and CEO of DVLP, an international lifestyle clothing brand based in Denver, to put on a production weirder and more elaborate than anything we've done with our fashion show before.

(Buy your Artopia tickets here.)

First, he put together a video he's calling The Distant Vagabond, recruiting Dennis Flippin of Flippin Entertainment to direct, with actors from Making the Model, an online TV show debuting this spring, rounding out the cast. "The idea is to create this story around these kind of weathered travelers, and they're on this journey across like an epic wasteland," he says. "A combo of Mad Max and Easy Rider is kind of the feeling. They're on an adventure to find what they see as their Holy Grail, the blue-haired goddess who's been the Artopia mascot."

All right, then.

Though Coburn is reluctant to give away too many details -- which is weird, because it's our party -- he will say that the video then segues into a runway show based on the traditional catwalk style, but with "more theatrical aspects." On display with be styles from excellent local designers Tricia Hoke, Rae Marie, Kimono Dragons and DVLP, along with Jiberish and Akomplice filling out the obligatory "irregular spellings" category.

The moral of the story? This party is going to blow your fucking mind. Stay tuned for more updates on Artopia (which goes down Saturday, February 19) throughout the week.

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