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March 23, 2011

ASPEN: FASHION WEEK

By Dispatch Departures | Fashion, Aspen

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Some fashion shows are serious, haughty affairs, but not at Aspen Fashion Week, where models danced and walked happy Saint Bernards down the runway. The event, now in its third year, had something for every type of skier, from the black-diamond expert to the cocoa sipper at the bottom of the mountain. aspenfashionweek.com.

For the haute-couture skier: First on the Snow Stage was Rossignol by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, who came to Aspen straight from his Paris presentation. True to JCC form, the women's clothes were wild and bright: zebra stripes paired with primary colors, paint-splattered parkas and pants, bolero down vests and a panther profile motif, which the designer said was a lighthearted take on traditional coats of arms. For men, the highlight was a series of authentic red-tartan numbers in waterproof fabrics. rossignol.com.

Technically stylish: Serious skiers can't go wrong with Kjus. The company uses material worn by NASA astronauts to regulate body temperature and includes thoughtful utilitarian details like air padding in the shoulders, where skis rest when being carried. But great technology doesn't come at the expense of design. In fact, Kjus collaborated with Loro Piana for two gray wool and cashmere jackets, both weatherproof, that could just as easily be worn in the city as on the slopes. kjus.com.

Urban on the mountain: There was a rock-and-roll-meets-preppy vibe at the Obermeyer presentation, where leopard prints and silver snowboarding pants appeared alongside striped V-neck sweaters and rainbow-plaid trousers. If Kanye West hit the slopes, he would be wearing Obermeyer. obermeyer.com.

The rookie hits: Local label Authier (founded by the owners of the Performance Ski shop in town) had an edgy look, sending plaid bandanas and what looked like leather snow pants down the runway. One of the strongest and best-styled shows of the week came from NUMBER:Lab, a superchic men's après-ski collection of fitted gray blazers with neon yellow accents. We'll have an eye out for them next year. authier.com; number-lab.com.

Sidenote: If you're headed to Aspen and on the hunt for new skis, try a set of handmade Heidiskis—chances are they will lead to a much-treasured purchase. heidiskis.com.

Photo Riccardo Savi

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