This weekend: Meet Denver's Top Ten designers at the Denver Style Expo

When this weekend's Denver Style Expo debuts tonight at the Denver Merchandise Mart, there will contests of every kind, from the prestigious Denver Style Awards, which acknowledge the city's top local designers, to a special people's choice award for the best-dressed audience members. But for at least one big expo event, it will be NO contest: Saturday night's Denver's Top Ten Fashion Show will shed the spotlight and shower pure kudos upon the best of the best of the best. Here's a sneak-peek preview of who'll be honored.

Mona Lucero Design Boutique My motto is "Devotion to Style". I believe that anyone can follow their own style path and express who they are through their own unique style. I can't yet reveal what the models will be wearing for the show, since I may be designing until the last minute!

Deb Henriksen, Equillibrium What I'm showing at DSE is true to my brand Equillibrium's point of view and design aesthetic (which is 100 percent mine). Equillibrium's signature materials and marks add a punch down the Runway through apparel, accessories, and hand bags- showing the range of what the lifestyle brand Equillibrium encompasses. All pieces shown are from "Equillibrium Kustoms"- which is the couture, made to order side of the brand (all patterns and pieces hand made, some  hand dyed by myself). Equillibrium's next Ready-to-Wear line (EQVolume III) is targeted to show in August 2011. Gino Velardi

Gino Velardi's designs are sophisticated with luxurious fabrics, elegant in classic design and tailoring with an unexpected twist and accessible to many women with a sense of high fashion. His runway selections for the Designer Expo will represent his ideal woman, who is confident, fearless and unapologetically sexy!

Charlie Price

"I always love clean bold graphic beauty and fashion- my love is classic glamor-spiked with seasonal trends -- for spring 2011 I am intrigued by minimalism neutrals and goth."

Kotomi Yoshida, Studio Yoshida

I make women and men's street wear inspired by Tokyo fashion. I consider myself a "re-designer" who creates modern-designed clothing using recycled/up-cycled materials. My goal is... hmm, well with my artist background, to keep making one-of-a-kind clothing and keep going forward with design. I just loooooove creating things. My segment of the show will be all male models -- I thought it would be more challenging and fun!

Jose Duran, Nox

Jose Duran describes his label, Nox, as 'forward fashion' for women and men. The word "nox" is Latin for "night," and it relates to the mysterious and mercurial mood that Nox clothing evokes. As a patternmaker, Jose loves to draft and drape clothing that may appear effortless, but is in fact geometrically complex. For the Denver Style Expo, Nox will show five looks for women and men from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection. Looks include a white ghost striped cotton dress with cowl neck and mummy wraps, a black-and-white op-art short-sleeved hoodie paired with denim and leather motocross pants, and a side-draped black rose net top with bondage cargo pants.

Carol Mier Fashion

Unique, elegant, fun, sophisticated designs made with unusual yet tasteful mixes of fabric, texture & color. Beyond trend. These designs compliment YOUR style.

Tricia Hoke

2011 Westword MasterMind Tricia Hoke is an artist at heart, and it shows in her unique clothing, which includes imaginative morphing outfits. Here's what she told us when she won her award earlier this year: "I am really into slow fashion and reconnecting to what clothing is and how it's made. I really want to do something thoughtful, meaningful and relevant. I would love to involve other designers, but I don't want to give up being one myself. I think it's really important to always keep my work going; it's like air to my lungs."

Andrea Li

Jewelry designer Andrea Li thinks big: The idea behind her lovely pieces, which juxtapose delicate details with beautiful chunky gems, is that anyone can be glamorous if they accessorize well. Li will sparkle up the runway with all the right stuff.

Mondo Guerra

Magnificent Mondo almost needs no introduction these days: His near-win during Project Runway Season 8 made him an overnight superstar in his hometown of Denver, where most followers of fashion agree that he was robbed of an almost certain title in the final episode. And since then, he's continued making a name for himself as both an imaginative designer with a true feel for fabrics and an advocate for HIV/AIDS causes. The Denver darling, who hasn't shown here since 2003, will show off his new spring collection, fresh from LA Fashion Week, for the Top Ten's grand finale. We can hardly wait!

Visit the 'Denver Style Expo website for information and a complete schedule.

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