Fashion designer Alejandro Gaeta launches his first ready-to-wear line
With the easing of the pandemic and the increase in events, the need to dress up is back. If you’re looking for something a little ‘extra’ for a special occasion, a local designer Alejandro Gaeta is your man.
Sleek dresses and intriguing silhouettes have helped Gaeta make a name for herself on the Denver fashion scene. But it didn’t start like that. He debuted a Paris-inspired ten-piece collection for the DenVhere Fashion Show in January 2020, just before the world shut down with the pandemic. “We had no idea everything would fall apart,” he recalls. “All of a sudden there were no more shows and no opportunity for me to get exposure.”
Like everyone else, Gaeta had to wait for things to pick up. He reappeared to show the collection again a year later, and is now on his third collection, which he plans to show at the Fashion show color Friday, September 23.
Born in Mexico, Gaeta grew up in El Paso. He was raised by his grandmother, a seamstress who taught him everything she knew about sewing: “I remember she was at her sewing machine, and I was always there with her. She would ask me to help her with the fabric while she sewed, to get her a needle or to cut the fabric,” he recalls. “I got interested and it became part of my life.
From there, he started making Halloween costumes and costumes for school plays. She was then asked to design a party dress for her cousin’s daughter’s pageant. “That’s when I really started,” he says. “Something started to happen at that time.”
He moved to Denver in 2017, picking the city at random without knowing anyone. “I was just trying to get away from the Texas heat!” Gaeta says, adding that it paid off when he found himself in a thriving fashion scene. He tried to get his foot in the door by going to a modeling audition for Denver Fashion Week in 2019. “I didn’t make it to the second round,” he says, “but it was cool. I met a lot of people.”
Just a year later, he was casting models for his own show.
Gaeta says her confidence in creating clothes for women at special events came when her sister asked her to make a dress for her for a prom. “It was a crucial point,” he recalls. “I was like, ‘I can do this!'”
Evening dresses became Gaeta’s signature for her early collections. However, for his upcoming Color of Fashion run, he says audiences might be surprised by his different direction.
“This collection really came out of nowhere,” says Gaeta. “I went to Los Angeles to buy fabric for the planned collection that I had already sketched, and I started seeing all these fabrics that were unlike anything I had ever seen before, with colors , patterns and textures. I was so drawn to it.
Inspiration led him to rethink his plans:. “I came back to Denver and designed a whole new collection,” he says. The new look took her from elegant evening wear to ready-to-wear. “I wanted to do something fun that a girl would wear to a girls’ night out at the hottest club, or something like the MTV Awards,” he says. “It’s very fresh and avant-garde.”
Gaeta says he appreciates the vision of Color of Fashion founders Samantha Joseph and Alicia Myers, which they described in a recent Westword article. “They have passion and creativity and want to bring something new to the table,” he remarks. “They are the hardest working women I have ever known in my life. They always want to do something different, and I have the same mentality. I’m still thinking about how to top what I just did.
He credits his friendship with Joseph as a major contributor to his current success. The two met while working together at a restaurant.
“I was mesmerized by her because she is so beautiful!” he exclaims. “I found out she was a model and I thought I wanted to be a designer. I showed her some of my stuff, and she was like, ‘Man, you have to release a collection.’ People would like that !”
The encouragement led him to do a mini collection, a photo shoot and a video. “That’s where they saw my talent and my creativity and how I worked,” he says. “And they were planning the first Color of Fashion show and asked me to close the show.”
To show his second collection, Gaeta took an innovative approach. He created an immersive experience in the intimate setting of the Room for Milly cocktail bar and showed off pieces from her UNFRAMED collection, featuring all of the monochrome black and white looks. He brought out three models wearing all-white dresses, and they became a canvas for Gaeta to start painting the dresses live.
“I wanted you to feel like you’re taking a piece of art out of a frame and wearing it like clothing,” he says. The audience sat sipping champagne as they watched Gaeta paint on the clothes to create living art before their eyes.
“People were kind of like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?'” he wonders. “With each model I got dirtier and dirtier. I started to use my hands as instruments. By the time the third model came out, I was just in my element, everything around me died down, and it was just me, the painting and the girl. I got completely drenched in paint and there was this beautiful piece of art in front of everyone.
Audiences will have to wait and see what Gaeta brings with his new ready-to-wear collection to the Color of Fashion show, but he promises it will be different. Above all, he can’t wait for his grandmother to see the collection. The 89-year-old lived to see Gaeta’s early success in Denver.
“It’s something very special, because I feel that she is super proud of me,” he raves. “I think that was my only goal – to make her happy and thank her for showing me this talent, because now it’s my life.”
Alejandro Gaeta will present at Night One: Color of Fashion’s Garden of Green, 5 p.m. Friday, September 23, at Temple Denver, 1136 Broadway. Night Two: Museum of Glass takes place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 at the History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway. Find tickets, $25 to $120, and more information at coloroffashionco.com.