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Prep Locally for a Black Tie Affair: 40th Annual Snowdown

Prep Locally for a Black Tie Affair: 40th Annual Snowdown

The countdown to Snowdown has begun: 15 days, 2 hours and 23 minutes till Fashion Do's and Don'ts (at time of publishing, of course--it’s only getting closer!). Scared? You shouldn't be with these suggestions of Where to Shop for Snowdown.

Shortlist: anywhere but Amazon.

While the thought of dressing to the nines has some people shining their calfskin pumps, there are others of us who are stuck wondering, "how the heck am I supposed to put together a fancy costume in the "least-fashion conscious city in America?" Since USA Today wrote this slur in 1988 against our function-over-sexy, earth-tone-slap-happy denizens, it's been an uphill battle to prove them wrong. Really, though, who has time for style when there's powder to shred?

But since that excuse isn’t holding up this season so far, it’s absolutely paramount that you get off your Carhartt-ed derriere and pour your soul into making this the best Snowdown ever. It's the 40th Anniversary, after all, which is what prompted the theme-switch from Sporty (which we all would've nailed) to the uber-challenging, character-building Black Tie Affair theme.

So, if you haven't gotten in the spirit of things yet, it's time to watch Bond. Google "red carpet," "Ingrid Bergman," "Audrey Hepburn" and "George Clooney" for inspiration. Imagine looking like Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby (you won't). Or go with your heart, and pull the trigger on Harry Dunne's blue tuxedo. Ladies, you have one job, per usual: look your finest.

Online shopping options are endless, but the whole point of this Cabin Fever Reliever is to generate dollars for our small-town economy in its greatest time of need. Because if we build it, the snow will come. So from this moment on, I implore you to put your efforts into figuring out how to piece together your Black Tie Affair using 100-percent locally-grown businesses.

It doesn't get more local than your own closet, so start there. Keep your eyes peeled for anything that glitters or rustles. You're looking for rich colors, jewel tones, emeralds, rubies, metallic's, diamonds, faux fur, top hats, long gloves, cummerbunds-- even Scottish Highland kilts. If you've ever been to the ballet, opera or Oscar's, wear that outfit. Otherwise, check out any of these fine local establishments:   

Animas Trading Company (1015 Main Ave, 970.385.4526): Accessories abound at ATC. From pearl necklaces to diamond tiaras, suspender-bowtie sets to tuxedo t-shirts, find those full-fledged outfits or last-minute touches here. Oh, and the week of Snowdown, stop by for some hair tinsel by Ashley Garcia for the extra pizzazz that'll leave them all whispering, "who's that lady?!"  

The Fallen Angel (801 1/2 B Main Ave, 970.247.0601): Your one-stop shop for the costume you'd wear only if you were absolutely positive your parents weren't coming for a surprise visit during Josie Pete's Golf Tournament. Find wigs and bedazzling undies, too!  

First United Methodist Thrift Shop (986 East 2nd Ave, 970.259.0294): Where the fun really begins. Thrift shops offer everything and the moon for those willing to sift through time and dust. This is a great place, if you don't know where to start. You're bound to find something that'll work. Go with an open mind and some cash and leave with something that already has a story.

La Plata County Humane Society Thrift Store (1111 S. Camino Del Rio, 970.385.4322): Thrift is the new black, so choose this destination for random, affordable surprises that might leave you with a Best Costume trophy. You don't know till you know, so let your imagination soar. Bonus: warm fuzzies included with confidence that your money is saving a puppy.   

Old Colorado Vintage (1020 Main Ave, 970.247.1290): So you want to be the belle of the ball or the most dapper gentleman this side of the Continental Divide. Look no further than the broaches and waistcoats at this classiest of vintage shops.

Rose Duds (801 B Main Ave, 970.759.7883): Upscale consignment says it all. You'll find jewelry, high heels and all sorts of frills and foofy dresses and sparkly things. Strong in their rotating selection, you could hit up this joint every day for two weeks, and you're guaranteed to hit the jackpot at least once. Persistence is key.

Sideshow Emporium (208 Co Rd 250, 970.739.4646): Nobody has a greater passion for costumes than Sideshow owner, Heather Narwid. So long as you've got the money, she's done the hard part and sought out only the finest in vintage black-tie affair. Use her fashion sense; she's got what it takes to turn those naysayers into believers that Durango's got jazz.

This incomplete list is just to get your creative engine revving. If you've got the time, march both sides of Main Avenue; storefronts are oozing Snowdown paraphernalia, so you're bound to stumble across the costume of your wildest black-tie dreams come true. But hurry! Only 15 days, 2 hours and 7 minutes left...

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