December 31, 2015, Cathleen Sachse
American Made Show: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you arrived where you are today.
Pattie Parkhurst: Working in the garden with my father and handling flowers began to give me an appreciation for my environment which is where much of my inspiration for design comes from. In college my passion for metalsmithing and teaching emerged and it was during this time in school that I began to realize the exploration of metalsmithing techniques is an endless adventure.
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By Suzanne Brown, Colorado Style Editor
Justice Kwasi Kwarteng might be the most polite person to ever work in the fashion business. When Saturday night’s Colorado Fashion Weekrunway showcase at the Oxford Hotel was running late, he came out to apologize for the delay. The lights setup wasn’t right and required some adjusting, he said, asking for patience.
The audience obliged, talking and sipping cocktails while they waited. A little more than an hour past the designated start time, and after further introductions by Kwarteng and emcee Lauren Whitney of News 4, models took to the ballroom floor.
What made Saturday’s show worth waiting for is that in addition to having good manners, Kwarteng has an eye for finding and promoting new fashion designers. Several such talents were showcased during Colorado Fashion Week.
Denver-area designers are fond of throwing shows and the lineups can get repetitive. Not so with the Colorado Fashion Week program, which had a lot of new names as well as plenty of diversity in the models — a refreshing change of pace.
Some highlights: newcomer Robbi Sayuri of Denver showed a nice array of shimmery fabrics and body-conscious silhouettes in her mostly party and evening wear collection. Details like back lacing and draping kept the focus feminine. Sayuri studied fashion at the Art Institute of Colorado.
Diana Lopez of Tucson, Arizona says her mostly knitwear Indi-Apparelcollection is meant for “work, travel and play.” Lopez, 29, has had her line for three years and wants clothes that are versatile and comfortable. Full skirts, lacy tops, shorts sets and cute dresses filled the runway.
From the first Colorado Fashion Week three yeas ago, Kwarteng has stated he wants to promote fashion of the Rocky Mountain region and that was evident in his pulling in such brands as Indi-Apparel, as well as Nicholas Anthony from Casper, Wyo.
But Kwarteng didn’t neglect the Colorado creatives. Local favorite Francis Roces of Kimono Dragons showed, as did Jaymie Alexander of Jaymie’s Touch in Denver, who believes in color and curve-hugging silhouettes. Another local debut was by Sinath Jerome for Regal Rowe.
It’s always a challenge to figure out how to show makeup and hair on the runway, and Kwarteng found a twist by pairing the models in dramatic eye and lip shades like gold from MAI Couture makeup with bold, geometric, nature-inspired metallic accessories from Pattie Parkhurst.
Fashion week presentations can benefit from a little retail infusion and Kwarteng provided that by having Apricot Lane Boutique in Larimer Square present some fall looks.
The audience included such Denver notables as Gino Velardi, who showed his own collection two nights earlier, and Miss Colorado Marybel Gonzalez, who was wearing a print dress created by Kwarteng