In Stitches

Denver Arts Week and the grand opening of H&M will collide today at the Denver Pavilions in what's definitely a big day for Denver's legion of fashionistas. As the line grows in anticipation of H&M's doors swinging open at noon, the waiting ranks will be treated to a live fashion event, the Yves Saint Laurent Cut 'n' Sew Challenge. Presented by the Denver Art Museum (in conjunction with next spring's huge Yves Saint Laurent exhibition) and hosted by local Project Runway contestant Fallene Wells, it's a Runway-style competition pitting four Denver designers against the clock, using fabrics and supplies purchased on a $100 budget.

"There are two things we really love to do," explains the DAM's Lindsey Housel, "highlight exhibitions coming to the museum while promoting local design through collaborations with Denver creatives." As for the latter, veteran designers Melissa May, Tricia Hoke, Heidi Busk and Rachel Marie Hurst will work like the wind in a tent on Glenarm Street, designing and fitting their own YSL-inspired couture for a culminating runway show before a panel of celebrity judges.

The challenge is the crowning event in a day of Street Style events put together for Denver Arts Week by Wendy Manning of the Denver Pavilions: While the designers toil and the H&M countdown continues, there will also be an outdoor performance by Ballet Nouveau Colorado, live DJs, mini fashion shows by a variety of Pavilions vendors and other fashion-savvy fun. Housel says everyone's hoping for good weather, but she has high hopes for Denver's most devoted fashion fans, even if it turns out otherwise: "They'll just get out there, put on something cute to wear and hunker down."

Prepare to hunker if need be at the Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Street Style and the Cut 'n' Sew Challenge events are free; visit for information.
Thu., Nov. 10, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 2011