There were recent not-to-be-missed happenings in town that your intrepid fashion and style reporter felt compelled to capture for your enjoyment!
The Aspen Young Professionals Association (AYPA) hosted a group of local Roaring Fork designers, who are creating clothing based on our active lifestyle. The theme for their monthly meeting was “The Art of Fashion,” and showcased five designers making an impact on what we wear for hiking, biking, skiing, yoga and anything else we do where we need apparel that looks good and moves well.
Among the designers represented was Kelly Wade of Heidi Hat, who has been giving us stylish and whimsical ski hats for years, but whose line now includes lacy little dresses, gold sequin mini-skirts and racy, laced-up leggings. I like Kelly’s definition of the versatility of her apparel as well as our typical athletic Aspen woman: “Hike the Bowl, then do a yoga class!” (www.heidihat.com  970-309-5339)
I spoke with Jason Flynn of High Society Free Ride, who has been producing activewear for shredding it on and off the hill for 11 years. Jason tries to capture the high-energy living of Aspen, which combines the “casual luxury of big cities,” with “a reasonable and functional wardrobe.” He now has a location at the AABC. Head out there if you want to see his whole line, including a great-looking unstructured, waterproof, breathable blazer that would look terrific for a date on the mall. (firstname.lastname@example.org  970-379-6404)
Other designers represented were Kalle Edwards of “In Play Clothing” which features women’s organic golf and activewear, (email@example.com  970-618-0346); Ashley Rankin of Shredly, which is mountain bike-inspired togs, that can be enjoyed for anything from climbing to surfing, including a wildly colorful mini-skirt with hidden shorts for comfort and function (firstname.lastname@example.org  970-218-4786); and Taylor DeWind and Adam Tessier of Taylor & Tessier’s “Uncommonly Beautiful Things” creating exotic jewelry like a petrified shark tooth necklace, a crocodile bracelet with pave diamonds, and an alligator tail sterling cuff. Perfect for that safari you’ve always wanted to go on ... or maybe just a fun night at the Caribou Club. (email@example.com  970-618-5933)
I had a lovely surprise visit to Pitkin County Dry Goods, where they were hosting an extensive jewelry show with renowned designer, Chan Luu. A most humble and warm woman, Ms. Luu was dressed in flowing white linen as she greeted people who came in to meet her and see her beautiful beaded bracelets and necklaces. She told me she has been making jewelry for 25 years and that her creations are in 3,000 locations, mostly boutiques, though they do have a presence in Henri Bendel in New York.
When I mentioned that my treasured turquoise bracelet had just popped a bead, and that I wanted to know how to have it repaired, Ms. Luu instantly said they provide a lifetime warranty on their pieces. Her assistant said they would send it back to Vietnam to re-string it and send it back to me in eight weeks!
I was astonished. Now that’s what I call iconic customer service. Kudos to Dana Laughren, accessories manager at Pitkin County, who landed Chan Luu to make an appearance at their store.
Lastly, but certainly not least, was the tribute to a real Aspen icon, Mary Eshbaugh Hayes, at Syzygy last Sunday, for 60 years of writing and reporting all the wonderful events that go on “Around Aspen,” in her column of the same name in the Aspen Times.
I’ve always enjoyed reading her articles in the Times, since I moved here 15 years ago. But even before I lived here, I had the pleasure of meeting her when she took a photo of me attending a lavish Bulgari party, at the Little Nell, thrown by its glamorous manager and elegant hostess, Marta Ortega. It was in the paper, which I treasured, since it became a happy omen for me living here. This was before the digital days, and when I called Mary from California, where I was then living, requesting a copy of that photo, she kindly made a 5-by-7 colored copy for me, which I displayed proudly for a long time.
I was always struck by her attention to detail, and tried to incorporate that admirable trait into my own writing. Mary never misspells a name, or misidentifies a person in her hundreds of photos over the years. Now that I cover many of the same parties that she does, I always remember her with that little pad that we all use, jotting down names and her simple camera taking perfect photos every time. She knows how to make you look good, which is the name of the game, in my view.
Mary, you’re the best! Thank you for inspiring me to follow in your illustrious, but un-fillable footsteps.
Check out Giovanna’s blog, fashionistainaspen.com for more photos and articles you may have missed.