Frock City

Lately, television programming seems to be in a rut: Every other show features the race to be America's Next Top Stylist/Chef/Designer/Model, and it all seems so scripted. Yawn. Tonight, get out of the rut and off the couch for an up-close and personal — not to mention live — experience with Denver's very own talented fashion designers.

It's Frock Out Denver: Independent Designers Challenge, Denver's homegrown version of Project Runway, in which a dozen designers compete for a cash prize and a spread in an upcoming issue of the local fashion magazine Fabricate.

The challenge pits experienced designers against relative newcomers to Denver's fashion scene, but given the variety of challenges, it's really anyone's game. Participants had to create garments reflecting each of the four seasons, plus a fifth creation showcasing their vision in a single look. From peacock-feather-adorned detachable short bustles to shiny silver silk scarves, the results are anything but mild.

Each designer has donated one dress to be auctioned off after tonight's 8 p.m. runway event in Schlessman Hall at the Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway. A silent auction and champagne reception are slated to begin at 9 p.m. in the seventh-floor Vida Ellison gallery; Fashionista VIP tickets ($40 to $50) are required for admission. Proceeds will benefit the DPL's Fresh City Life programming.

For a sneak peek at each participant's take on the perfect holiday frock, visit Tickets to the runway event and awards show are free, but a $10 donation at the door is suggested. For information or tickets, call 720-865-2050 or visit
Thu., Dec. 6, 8-9 p.m., 2007