Denver Fashion Week is back again and will feature three returning designers showcasing their work this Spring. Sliv LifeKetiVani and Rachel Marie Hurst will take the DFW stage April 3-10 with breathtaking runway segments and new collections.

Elevate your experience, RSVP your runway seats while available HERE.

Sliv Life

Photo courtesy of Sliv Life

Sliv Life is known for its custom jeans, pops of color and unique designs. Creator of Sliv Life, Cameron Connolly, will be presenting his new collection at Denver Fashion Week on April 4 at Void Studios.

The inspiration behind Connolly’s brand comes with a very positive outlook on life. As a designer, he is always striving “to inspire and motivate others! ‘Sliv’ to the fullest! Work hard towards your goals and dreams! Enjoy each day,” he said.

Sliv Life’s supporters are always excited to see what he comes out with next. This year, the brand’s collection is based on, “evolution, pain, growth and love,” he said.

Connolly has a unique way of creating clothing. He takes everything he is feeling and channels those emotions into making new pieces for his brand.

“I’m always pushing myself to create new clothes! I really went all out and didn’t hold back. I pour my heart into my clothes. This winter has been extremely challenging for me and I translate my emotions into clothes,” he said.

His Denver Fashion Week collection will consist of many colors; including blues, reds, yellows, greens, and many more vibrant color options. Connolly plans to include all colors of the rainbow for his spring collection. He used mostly denim for his new collection, but the runway segment will also feature crewnecks and hoodies. All his designs are handmade and one of a kind, specifically designed for the show.

A look from Sliv Life’s collection at Summer 2021 DFW. Photo by Roxanna Carrasco.

Connolly’s biggest challenge for this collection was time. He had 21 days to create over 20 pieces of clothing, with quality as a high priority.

However, this wasn’t his only challenge. “My two-year-old dog was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which causes my full attention a lot of the time. So bouncing back between taking care of him and living a life is challenging to squeeze my best clothes out after a tough winter. I love the challenge and making clothes is my passion,” he said.

Despite the adversity that Connolly has faced recently, he is determined to bring his best work to DFW. As a respected designer, he creates messages in all his clothing. Often, the messages come from his emotions and personal battles. Therefore, Connolly’s message to the audience at the upcoming Denver Fashion Week is very inspiring.

“Through any struggle, pain, or hard times, stay positive stay faithful, and believe in yourself! Sliv in the moment! Just remember to Sliv life to the fullest! Life can be short try to enjoy each day! Work hard on yourself and towards your goals and dreams,” he said.

Purchase tickets to experience Sliv Life’s collection firsthand at Void Studios for the DFW Streetwear night on April 4. 

KetiVani

Photography by Roxanna Carrasco

Keti McKenna is the creator of KetiVani. Her first Denver Fashion Week show was last Fall and she will be taking the runway with her new Spring collection this season. Her new collection will feature materials made of silk, viscose, cotton, cotton canvas and stretch-coated fabric.

The style of Mckenna’s collection this year will be colorful and playful. “This collection was inspired by 70s fashion and the desire to travel,” she said.

Mckenna faced a few challenges while creating this collection. Some fabrics she wanted to use were out of stock or shipping was delayed, but she managed to persevere with a phenomenal collection through upcycling pieces that she already had. “Upcycling is an important part of my brand,” she added.

With everything our world has endured these past few years, McKenna and other designers continue to astonish the Denver Fashion community every season with the designs they create. Most importantly, the messages that come from the collections leave lasting impacts on audience members.

A look from KetiVani’s collection at Fall 2021 DFW. Photo by Roxanna Carrasco.

The message McKenna aims to portray to the audience is that “the world might be a crazy place right now, but nothing stops creative people from designing and doing what we love.  When creating my travel and going out designs, I think about places to go and fun things to do, even when times are tough. Spring always comes, no matter how tough the winter was,” she said.

One of McKenna’s favorite pieces in her DFW collection was inspired by a trip she took to visit her granddaughter in San Francisco. It’s a lavender pinstripe suit that was inspired by the blooming almond trees there and the 70s vintage shops she visited.

Additionally, aspects of the collection reflect collaborations between KetiVani and other creatives. McKenna recently did a collaboration with a local artist Behnaz Ahmadian and a milliner Victoria Regina. “They are very talented and fun to work with,” she said.

Most of the pieces in the collaboration are limited availability and unique. They will be available for purchase after the show. Other pieces will still be available through McKenna’s website or by making an appointment with her at her studio.

Purchase tickets to see KetiVani’s runway segment on April 5 at Void Studios for the DFW Wardrobe night.

Rachel Marie Hurst

Designer Rachel Marie Hurst

Designer Rachel Marie Hurst is returning to Denver Fashion Week this April and will continue to captivate the audience with the silhouettes of her pieces and beautiful designs.

“I always aim to create pieces that highlight the strengths found in femininity and that embraces the body,” Hurst said. Hurst is usually drawn to texture and print, but for this year’s spring show she is using more black and white hues.

Hurst is immensely embracing the feminine side for her new designs this Denver Fashion Week.

“For this collection, I took key elements that were feminine, i.e. bows, pearls, etc., and am showcasing both the femininity, but also the power behind those elements,” she said.

Last season at DFW, Hurst’s inspiration stemmed from the birth of a butterfly. This metaphor has carried over into her new collection.

A look from Rachel Marie Hurst’s collection at Fall 2021 DFW. Photo by Roxanna Carrasco.

“This season we see the butterfly becoming comfortable in her femininity and embracing what she likes and how she wants to dress,” she said.

Creating a full collection as a fashion designer is a very rewarding experience, but it doesn’t come without some challenges. Hurst’s biggest challenge was making her vision come to life.

“I typically have an idea of how I hope my collection comes [out], but getting it there is difficult. Collections cost a lot of money and time to create and then we have to make sure it looks the way we want on the model. Add to that, having to find accessories and shoes for the look. Sometimes our hopes for how a collection will look gets compromised for ability and resources and that gets hard as a brand and business,” she said.

However, the feeling of creating something beautiful is worth the struggle. Hurst’s favorite pieces to create are when her vision is brought to life through the model wearing her designs.

“I get excited when a look comes out how I envision it to and the piece that does that the most tends to be my favorite,” she said.

As a result, Hurst has a very specific message she wants to portray to the audience with her designs.

“There is strength and beauty in the acceptance of feminine energy. It is nothing to be ashamed of. I hope people accept that it is amazing to be a quote on quote ‘girly girl’,” she said.

Purchase tickets to see Hurt’s collection come to life on April 6 at Void Studios for the DFW Local Couture night. 

Originally published in 303 Magazine.