May 19, 2023 | OPINION | By Maddie Mollerus

Fashion’s biggest night happened recently… and, no, it wasn’t the Met Gala. The Colorado College 2023 Fashion Show happened on Friday, May 12, at the Fine Arts Center.

All of my columns this year have been leading up to this event. I’d be the worst fashion columnist in The Catalyst’s history if I didn’t cover the show (and for those wondering why I didn’t report on it last year, I had a concussion but was there in spirit). So, I was readier than a ready-to-wear collection to see some amazing clothing and accessories created by the talented artisans of CC.

Despite leaving 20 minutes early for the show (as someone who consistently arrives one minute late to every class each block, me leaving 20 minutes early for something is a freaking miracle), my friends and I were surprised to find every seat taken. It was so packed already that there wasn’t even standing room. I was shocked and upset that I, the fashion columnist of the school newspaper, didn’t have a reserved seat and had to stand outside at a table with the rest of the latecomers. But the early bird gets the front-row seat.

I really appreciated how people in the audience were dressed up. Everyone wore something cool, edgy, and totally unique. Just from my spot outside, I saw someone wearing pants with leopards on them paired with a tiger print jacket, and someone wearing a skirt that said “Trader Hoe’s” on the butt in cherry red crystals (respect).

I wore brown faux leather pants and an oversized white turtleneck that had bows that cinched the sleeves at the wrists – I know, a little basic of me, but my mom said that I looked very “New York City” and I trust her judgment. And, having been forced to stand outside in the FAC courtyard, I was glad for the warmth of a sweater.

But once the show started, not even three rows of students and a thick pane of glass could stop me from enjoying the models and the looks.

In a word, the show was electrifying. The styles were innovative. The models were dazzling. There were bows, patchwork, crochet, embroidery, abstract painting, crossbody bags, intentional rips, intricate jewelry and more. One attendee behind me said, in a completely serious voice, “Trend alert: puffballs.”

Every time I thought that a designer couldn’t possibly continue with the same theme, they completely reinvented a look, and I was happily proved wrong. I kept hearing people say, “Wow, I would wear that” and “Oh my god, he’s so cool. Work!”

The experimentation with texture on the runway was phenomenal. Many collections can look boring and one-dimensional on runways because of dull fabric, but the CC designers were doing something right. I loved a pair of blue pants patterned with white clouds that looked like they were cut and sewed straight from a fluffy comforter. An A-line sleeveless dress that was patterned like a quilt looked lightweight and airy, despite quilts known for being the opposite. A pair of jeans literally fluttered down the runway with a multitude of cut-out flaps all over the fabric.

My overall favorite piece appeared early in the show – an oversized pink and navy button-down shirt patchworked together, with a khaki-colored wrap skirt with a major slit up the leg, showing the shirt underneath it. It was paired with black loafers, a tote bag, and chic sunglasses. I loved this look because it reimagined what each of the separate pieces could be. Layered all together, the shirt and half-skirt became a dress with unique flair, sophistication, and just a little sass.

I like to imagine that the model is a girl on the go – she slept over at her partner’s place and is late to work, so she threw on one of their collared shirts, ripped up a pair of their khakis, safety-pinned it around her waist, and headed off to her swanky job at a magazine.

Another model, Julio Duno ’23, completely killed the runway with his unmatched attitude and dramatic expressions. Somebody get this man a modeling contract, like, now.

There’s a line between crafty and crafted, artsy and artisanal, and all of the designers walked that line incredibly well. I was blown away by the talent, design skills, and construction abilities of all of the designers. My friends and I cheering, literally screaming at the models, and banging on our table, exemplified just how much fun we were having.

To anyone considering going next year: definitely do, and make your way to the event at least a half an hour early.

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