Last month, Denver's own Wendy Ledwitz, Creative Editor at Denver Magazine, was awarded the title of Fashion Stylist of the Year in Colorado and says Denver has tremendous style potential. Neiman Marcus in Cherry Creek hosted the competition among five local stylists as part of a global celebration called Fashion's Night Out.
To win, the stylists had to assemble an outfit for a runway model, who was then judged by KUSA-9 reporter Kirk Montgomery, Neiman Marcus Vice President Christel Dikeman, Four Seasons Manager Thierry Kennel and image consultant Patti Shyne. Ledwitz's winning creation was a deep green Dolce & Gabbana dress with a 1940's-style hat, and a Diane von Furstenberg leather jacket with a fur collar.
The Huffington Post Denver spoke with Ledwitz about shopping and her favorite creative aspects of fashion in Denver, which she calls "comfortably chic."
HP: What are some of the best places to shop in Colorado?
WL: Aspen- Aspen offers high-fashion designer boutiques that are only in select cities across the country. Checking out some of their consignment stores isn't a bad way to go either.
Aside from my three large retail favorites - Nieman Marcus, Saks and Nordstroms, I like to support locally owned boutiques like Garbarini in Cherry Creek North, Mariel on Larimer Square and the Garment District off of Colorado Blvd.
HP: Where are some of the best local places to shop if you're on a budget but want to be fashionable?
WL: Target has great little finds on occasion especially with higher end designers creating lines for the store. Loehmann's and Forever 21 are great spots to hit as well. One of my favorites for inexpensive accessories is Francesca's Collections in Aspen Grove.
HP: Who is your favorite designer?
WL: Too hard to pick just one.... For a more contemporary designer I love Alice + Olivia. It's fun and the price point won't kill you. Zac Posen has been creating some very interesting looks that I'm loving right now and a classic designer that will never fade is Ralph Lauren, I continue to appreciate his creations year after year.
HP: What era is your favorite look?
WL: I'm not particularly attracted to any specific era but love an eclectic mix of different pieces. Fashion is a constant evolution and there will always be classic looks that last generation after generation. It's fun to incorporate vintage finds from stores like Babareeba or Boss Vintage into today's vibe.
HP: Which local designers in Denver do you like?
WL: Mondo Guerra- He is the first Denver designer to be featured on Project Runway. I love his style and know he is going to make it big!
HP: What are some trends for this winter?
WL: Leather clothing - all though costly is a great statement piece for this winter. The military inspired trend is also still remaining strong. Bits and pieces to include in your winter look is fur accents, lace, capes, knee high socks, over the knee boots (and no you're not to old), classic structured handbags and an easy one is the buttoned-up collar look - all the way. It is a refined look that can be done on an older blouse in your closet.
HP: What's the fashion scene like in Denver?
WL: It is gaining momentum. I have lived in Denver for nearly four years and have noticed a significant change in the way people are dressing. Stores like Hermes have recently opened due to the increase of online purchases in the Denver market. Denverites are hunting for great fashion and hopefully the stores will continue to thrive with the hottest trends.
I think I've been to more fashions shows here than in Miami. There are a lot of shows that offer a platform for up and coming local designers like Frock Out, which is happening on Nov. 18th. Another is the annual Max Fashion Show that is one of the best shows in Denver. For Max Martinez's 25th anniversary, Diane Von Furstenberg is coming on January 21 to Denver to showcase her spring/summer collection. This is a huge honor to have a world renowned designer come to Denver to present her line. Another not to be missed annual show is the Riverfront Fashion Show that is presented by Tobi Orr. It is one of the summers best fashion events in town.