Style Matters goes to a Fashion Show

Fashion in trendy Cherry Creek North

Long known as Denver’s premier shopping destination, the Business Improvement District of Cherry Creek North was ready to kick off its second annual fashion show, “Celebrate Fashion in Cherry Creek North,” last month.

Tents had been raised, clothes pulled from the racks of some of Cherry Creek North’s finest boutiques, and models were arriving for fittings, all on Sept. 12. Does that date ring a bell? Sept. 12 marked the beginning of rainstorms that turned into deluges and then floods in Colorado. Leslie Horna, marketing and communications director for the BID, and her team cancelled the event.

Denise Plante, in a knock-out dress from Mariel, and Paula Herzmark, executive director of the Denver Health Foundation in classic white, were all part of the recent“Fashion in Cherry Creek North.”

But like true fashionistas with a commitment that the show must go on, “Fashion in Cherry Creek North” was rescheduled for Oct. 18. Hundreds of fashion lovers dusted off their little black dresses, slipped into sky-high heels and paraded over to the pre-reception cocktail party in the lobby of the Janus Capital building. Many partygoers were not only clothes lovers, but were happy to show their support for the non-profit beneficiary of the event, Denver Health Foundation.

Diane Huttner, Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District board member, Janelle Kenny, marketing director for SOL, and Leslie Horna, BID marketing and communications director, are all smiles at the success of the event.

Paula Herzmark, executive director, said that funds raised will benefit their women’s health services. “We have the same goals as Cherry Creek North, excellence in customer service and support for women,” Herzmark said.

Eccentricity associates Sash Khandekar, Payge Daniel and Eccentricity owner Gayle Larrance.


Waiting for the fashion show to begin, Style Matters couldn’t understand why so many men were at the event. SM attributed it to charitable enthusiasm. Ah… no. It’s the lingerie, stupid. SOL — Store of Lingerie — featured five revealing lace ensembles. How did I know the SOL models had started down the runway? The men in the audience stopped talking.

The Mariel team — mom Joann Kenny, owner Denise Snyder with hubby Brent.

Sitting next to Style Matters was a beautiful young blogger, creator of the website Oh, boy, I thought. Here’s where the generation gap will rear its ugly head. But surprise, surprise. Despite the many number of years (I’m not saying how many!) between us, our fashion assessments were exactly the same.

The main fashion was preceded by an adorable group of mini models showing off clothes from Little Me’s and Young Colors.

We couldn’t argue with the fact that Eccentricity, owned by Gayle Larrance and known for catering to the mature woman, stole the show from the younger hipper boutiques. When the model strutted out in a red coat, you could hear the gasp and spontaneous applause from the audience. “She’s nailed it,” my blogger buddy announced. I couldn’t agree more. Way to go, Gayle!

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and wife Wilma had a night on the town. Mrs. Webb looks very hip in a St. John sequin jacket over denim.

Also thrilling the audience was the pairing of Mariel and Marks-Lloyds Furs. Mariel, a popular upscale boutique relatively new to the district, first drew kudos for the fire engine red bouffant dress owner Denise Snyder put on emcee Denise Plante. The host of KOSI 101 and Colorado and Company warmed up the crowd by pulling off a bun extension and tossing it to an audience member with the order, “Hold that for me!” The furs wowed the crowd, and many women came up to Richard Gross, CEO of ML Furs, after the show to get the prices on several of his coats.

Cathy and David Steel, who is partner of Western Development Group, which is developing a mixed-use project at 250 Columbine.

Here’s where the generation gap revealed itself. After the show, Style Matters went home to bed. Blogger buddy went to the official after party.

Adult fashion show boutiques:

Beyond 9
Calypso St. Barth
Jos. A. Bank
Marks-Lloyds Furs
Nora’s Retro Boutique
SOL Store of Lingerie

Judie Schwartz, AKA Style Matters, is the co-author of two best-selling books on the best places to shop in Colorado. Called “A Fashion-Lover’s Guide to the Best Shopping in Denver and Beyond,” the books are available at Schwartz presents image seminars to corporations on the importance of a business casual wardrobe and entertains conventioneers with talks on how to look great on a budget. She is also a wardrobe consultant. Schwartz has one husband, three children, no pets and small closets. She can be reached at:
• Facebook: StyleMatters1
• Twitter: StyleMatters123

David Hadsell, a vice president and principal with Centennial Realty Advisors and chairman of the Cherry Creek North BID.
Glamorous Nancy Sagar, looking every bit the soignee PR manager for Neiman Marcus at Cherry Creek Shopping Center, wears a Michael Kors leather jacket and carries a Chanel bag.
Vivian DePaola, co-owner of Nora’s Retro Boutique, shows off her trendy Hale Bob top. Long time residents remember the original Nora’s, owned by DePaola’s mother. The shop was known for its sexy gowns and deep discounted sales. Nora’s history is a microcosm of Denver’s fashion history. The shop first opened in Tamarac Square, then moved to the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Park Meadows and finally settled in Cherry Creek North.
Amy Wrede, in advertising sales for Visit Denver, rocks a black leather dress.
Photos by Beth Schneider

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