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Fashion Hits a High Note

in Front Range Shopping/Mountain Hotels & Resorts/Mountain Shopping/Shopping by

Glamour and style return to the slopes this season

By Ellen Gray

Luxury is the operative word on the slopes this winter. Fashion-forward skiers will no doubt thrill to see the return of glamour, sophistication and high style, as skiwear takes a bow to both designer street looks and technical function.

Gone are the days when baggy pants and long jackets, often a staple of snowboard enthusiasts, ruled the slopes. Replacing the look are form-fitting jackets, adorned with fur, metallic finishes and jewel tones, paired with functional stretch pants first introduced by Bogner in the 1950s. In fact, when it comes to luxury, skiwear designers such as Bogner, Toni Sailer and Skea rule the day, with beautiful collections that are as eye-catching asthey are versatile.

ML Furs, a highly respected boutique in Denver’s chic Cherry Creek North, is the exclusive purveyor of the Bogner brand. The marriage of the upscale boutique with the industry’s most-respected skiwear designer is indeed a match made in heaven. As you head to one of Colorado’s fabulous resorts this winter, you’ll want to tackle the slopes in style, and the season’s beautiful collection will show off your moves both on and off the slopes.

Many of the pieces that will mark the slopes this season feature elements of fur. According to ML Furs, it’s runway on the slopes, and Bogner’s Fire + Ice collection is a prime example. Drawing inspiration from motor racing sports and the iconic style of Steve McQueen, the designs are incredibly intricate, using materials and threads that can take as long as 30 hours to assemble. The Fire + Ice line is pure street style, and highlights why the Bogner name remains the uncontested leader in ski fashion.

“Bogner Sport, the most sought-after ski brand worldwide, not only combines fashion and function, each piece is a work of art, a collector’s item, from the illustrious one-pieces, jackets and helmets, to the transitional mid and base layers that can be worn all year while hiking, biking or even golfing. Their brand boasts an aura of exclusivity, according to Ms. Gross of ML Furs.

Sleek fit rules the day, and established designers bring color and glamour to the season. Sophisticated skiwear transitions easily from slopestyle to après ski, with colors and fabrics that meld perfectly with runway fashion. In addition to a beautiful collection featuring contemporary styling, fabrics and design, skiing legend Toni Sailer is showcasing a smaller, limited line inspired by the “black blitz from Kitz,” a predominantly black collection that features luxurious materials including leather, lambskin and fur. Kitzbüehl, Austria being one of the most famous, demanding downhill’s in the world, often boasting the Men’s World Cup. Toni Sailer’s elegant women’s collection is both athletic and versatile, featuring four-way stretch material with a shiny, satin finish. Emphasizing femininity, the outfits showcase an elegant, athletic silhouette, including a stunning jumpsuitincorporating a blouson jacket.

Bogner, long recognized as the fashion leader in beautiful skiwear, once again delivers a fabulous lineup, with great looks that incorporate modern and biker black-and-whites, navy/denim and red-white-and-blue patriotic themes for the 2018 Olympic Games. Also big this year are eclectic metallics with gold and violet ash straight from the runway, bright pinks and darker mocha tones. Much of the Bogner Women’s line draws inspiration from the urban cowboy trend, merging the Bogner heritage of traditional ski and active sportswear in a relaxed and comfortable style.

Skea, another Colorado favorite, pushes the limits of function and style in this season’s collection featuring technical fabrics, customized trims, gorgeous prints and fashionable silhouettes. Skea designer and owner Diane Boyer, a Vail, Colorado resident and former freestyle skiing champion, understands what it takes to combine performance and high style. The designer’s line appeals to women of all ages, and the clothing works equally well in the big city or on the slopes of Vail. This season’s lineup features fun colors and textures, reflective and shiny touches, and even sequins on both base and mid layers. Look for beautiful accessories to complement the ensemble.

Just Fur Fun

At the end of an epic ski day, there’s an art to looking great when you come off the slopes. There are so many options, so we’ve narrowed down the field to help you select what to wear, whether on a ski holiday in the mountains or elsewhere in Colorado. To help us develop a template for winter après ski fashion, we turned to the experts at ML Furs, who have helped visitors from across the globe to look their cold-weather best.

The family-owned business works with national and international brands, and prides itself on remaining current and contemporary. A keen sense of understanding their customers and what they need is key to the company’s success since its humble beginnings in 1987. With a finger on the pulse of runway fashion, ML Furs caters to modern women who desire high-end outerwear or skiwear for the coming season. This season, the boutique is awash in beautiful style, including

 stunning fur, vivid color, denim, navy and metallic.

Forget the image of your grandmother’s fur coat, and look to celebrities and fashion models who more and more are incorporating elements of fur into their everyday wardrobe. Whether the goal is function or fashion – or a combination of the two, elements of fur are everywhere, and are being produced in highly regulated operations worldwide. The furs of today are very lightweight, and in many instances, are so highly styled that it takes a closer look to understand they are indeed the real deal. A huge seller at ML Furs is a reversible, easy-to-wear coat that is fur on one side and water-repellant taffeta or silk on the other. The coat can be worn with pants or a dress, and is the epitome of style and function. So just who is buying these pieces? “If you think back to the days when Sex and the City was on television, you’ll recall that fur was front and center in every episode. They all wore fur, and it was considered the height of fashion,” ML Furs Ms. Gross says. “Today it’s less about luxury and more about everyday style.”

The fur industry is a huge employer around the world, from Africa to Scandinavia and China. The industry employs millions of workers, and is a $15 billion industry worldwide. The U.S. fur industry represents about 10 percent of that number, so imports are a major factor in the business. The majority of skins are sourced in the United States, Denmark, Finland and Russia, all from places that are 100-percent regulated and monitored. “This industry is better regulated than any other,” Mr. Gross says. “You’re not going to find any leopard, or any endangered species. If they’re on the endangered or protected list, they are protected.”

When it comes to this type of apparel, each piece is a true work of art, from the dyeing process to matching up each piece for color and design. The pieces are put together by artisans, and represent hours of work and expertise. This season, designers closely follow the rest of the fashion world, featuring monochromatic jewel tones, muted earth tone palettes from Michael Kors, modern classics from Zac Posen, textures, color, camo, navy, horizontals, reversible, lightweight garments including sweatshirts, hoodies, ponchos, and sheared designs.

With options such as these it’s impossible not to look good. “If you aren’t a skier, we show you how to look good off-piste in some of our longer down garments with fur trim from Bogner, M. Miller and Guy LaRoche,” Ms. Gross says. And fear not, any contemporary fur coat will style well while sipping on a hot toddy! Looking for stocking stuffers or just a touch of fur? ML Furs carries a vast selection of accessories, including the locally distributed Hestra luxury brand dress and ski gloves for both men and women.

Of course, looking hot on the slopes is not just a woman’s prerogative. Highend designers pay homage to men, with high-tech fabrics, exquisite workmanship and sporty styles. Toni Sailer’s limited Montgomery jacket is a work of art, featuring details from hydrophobic reindeer nubuck, carbon zippers and lasered carbon logos. Add a hood, lined with Tuscan lambskin, and lightweight yet ultra-warm Francis ski pants, and this is a standout on the mountain.

Ultimately, the return of the stretch pant is what sums up the style stories.When Maria Bogner began experimenting with the sexy stretch pant material in 1952, little did she know that her innovation would turn the world of ski fashion upside down. Initially a favorite of leggy models, including Aspen’s Monica Brown and Stein Eriksen, the pants sold for a pricey $40 but were hugely popular. Racers immediately loved the new material, both for their sleek look and their aerodynamic qualities which meant faster times. The stretch pant became a permanent fashion craze, and even prompted ski legend Warren Miller to write, “I credit the growth of skiing during those years (the ‘50s and ‘60s) to Maria Bogner and her invention of stretch ski pants. Let’s face it, sex sells. Anyone who was in reasonable shape could put on a pair of her stretch pants and look as sleek and attractive as someone in a James Bond movie.”

Maria Bogner, the wife of Bogner founder Willy Bogner, designed skiwear until the 1970s, when her sons Michael and Willy Jr. took the helm. Willy Jr. continues to run the company, and his wife Sonia works on the design side.

Get the Look

BOGNER

ML Furs, 263 Josephine in Cherry Creek North    MLFurs.com

TONI SAILER

ML Furs, 263 Josephine in Cherry Creek North    MLFurs.com

SKEA

ML Furs, 263 Josephine in CherryCreek North    MLFurs.com

Christy Sports, Multiple locations in Colorado    ChristySports.com

Altitude with Attitude

in Mountain Activities by
Arapahoe Basin May 14, 2016 - Spring Fun. (Photo by Dave Camara)
Arapahoe Basin May 14, 2016 – Spring Fun.
(Photo by Dave Camara)

BY COURTNEY DRAKE-McDONOUGH

A Look at What’s New at Colorado Resorts.

ARAPHOE BASIN

A-Basin has been a local’s favorite for as long as we can remember, beloved as much for its proximity to Denver as for its atmosphere of sheer fun. The trails are good, the locals are entertaining, and now there’s even a kids’ program that will entice familites to try it out.

As this unique ski area prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary, there will be a lot going on that will be posted on the website. In the meantime, much is being made about a phenomenal expansion that will elevate the guest experience to  new heights, including lifts, added terrain and great renovations. Stay tuned!

Kids can ski for free at A-Basin, because this is the one resort that believes all kids should try out skiing or snowboarding before their elders commit a lot of money to the sport. The program gives kids ages 6-12 two free days on the mountain … no blackout dates, no purchase necessary. And by the way, kids 5 and under ski free every day of the season!

The popular Araphoe Sports retail shop is now double the size, with new vendors offering state-of-the-art everything. Check out Colorado-based Icelantic Skis, who will create a custom ski just for guests!

Arapahoe.Basin.com

Arapahoe Basin April 2, 2016 - .(Photo by Dave Camara)

ASPEN

The town is as known for its skiing and charming vibe as it is for the world-renowned Aspen Institute and Aspen Music Festival and School, embracing renewal of the mind, body and spirit through music, art and education.

Take dinner to new heights with Full Moon Dinners at the Cliffhouse restaurant located on top of Buttermilk Mountain. Enjoy dinner including grilled trout, roast duck and house-made chili. Or, enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner mid-mountain at the newly remodeled Gwyn’s High Alpine restaurant at sister resort, Snowmass. Sample cocktails from Colorado distillers, food and DJ at après ski parties at Lynn Britt Cabin.

Save money on the slopes with 4-day or 7-day Classic Passes for highly discounted rates through the winter. Return in the summer and use the pass to ride up and down the mountain, enjoying green hillsides of wildflowers.

In March, Aspen hosts the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals, returning to the U.S. after 20 years. The races will feature the best men’s and ladies’ alpine skiing athletes in the world competing in downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and nation’s team events.

AspenSnowmass.com

colorado-hotel-vail-burton-us-open-snowboarding-championchips-daniel-milchev

BEAVER CREEK

Three o’clock is cookie time with 495,000 freshly baked cookies being served yearly. As if that wasn’t reason enough to visit, the variety of terrain appeals to beginners on up to World Cup Racers who frequent the resort. 

Become a member of the White Carpet Club for a few days, a week, or more and enjoy spacious lockers, food and beverage service, cozy seating and an on-site concierge. Have a gourmet breakfast and sunrise tour of the slopes with White Glove First Tracks.

Hop in an open-air sleigh for Allie’s Cabin Family Dinners. Cozy lodge slippers, views of the village below and a three-course buffet dinner await. Or, combine snowshoeing with wine tasting during the Winter Wine Excursions. Learn about Beaver Creek’s history, winding down at the Osprey Fireside Grill for mountain-modern culinary and wine pairings. The Beaver Creek Winter Culinary Weekend in January includes cooking demonstrations, wine and spirit events, and pairing dinners with world-renowned guest chefs.

Enjoy holiday traditions including the Tree Lighting Ceremony, ice skating and fireworks show, Family FunFest Carnival and New Year’s Eve Bash. A stop at Beaver Creek Candy Cabin is a must at 9,840 feet, serving treats by a local, fifth-generation chocolatier.

BeaverCreek.com

colorado-hotel-copper-mountain-photo-courtesy-ccoppermountain

BRECKENRIDGE

With five peaks and 2,908 acres, “Breck” is also a lively mountain town with more than 200 restaurants, bars and shops, plus a thriving art scene.

Feast your eyes on dramatic views of Summit Country while you feast at Pioneer Crossing, opening in December, set atop the Independence SuperChair on Peak 7. The new restaurant highlights Breckenridge’s mining history while catering to skiers with fresh-made options including a Mediterranean station. Breckenridge Distillery is also opening a restaurant this winter, offering an intimate and modern farm-to-table experience.

There’s room for everyone at the Breckenridge Theater, thanks to a 3,000-square-foot expansion, in time for its 42nd season. The overhaul is the final piece in the town’s major Arts District expansion.

The annual Snow Sculpture Festival in the new year goes way beyond simple snowmen! See enormous works of art sculpted from 12-foot-tall, 20-ton blocks of Colorado snow. Artists from around the world work against time and the sun’s rays to achieve stunning finished pieces without the use of power tools or internal support structures.

Breckenridge.com

COPPER MOUNTAIN

With an average of 280 inches of snowfall during the ski season, Copper has naturally divided terrain with gentle runs on the west, getting progressively steeper to the east. Off-mountain, The Village offers restaurants, bars, family activities and lodging.

Get to know Colorado craft whiskeys and beers at On the Rockies, Copper’s new entertainment hotspot. Located steps away from the American Eagle chairlift in the resort’s Center Village, the restaurant also serves lunch, dinner and a late-night menu.

Save some room for brisket chili, pork ribs or smoked chicken at The Eagle BBQ. The patio is as close to the snow as possible, making it an easy après ski spot.

While you’re recharging with hearty fare, Copper is recharging guests’ cars at the new Electric Car Charging Station. Just schedule an appointment time through a smartphone app, then use the charging station free of charge.

CopperColorado/Winter.com

KEYSTONE RESORT

Said to have the largest night skiing operation in Colorado, Keystone also has the largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor skating rink in North America on five acres.

Kidtopia programming offers families a variety of free, daily activities including crafts, scavenger hunts and the world’s largest snow fort. Mid-December, attend the new Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular, a Kidtopia showcase with nightly fireworks displays, a torchlight ski parade, snow tubing, live music and more. The fun happens again in March at the Kidtopia Experience, starting Spring Break a little early.

Keystone’s Kids Ski Free 5th Birthday Celebration will party all season with special events honoring the program that lets kids ages 5-12 ski free when families stay in Keystone two or more nights. 

Learn to ski or snowboard and bond at the same time with Family Private Lessons taught by instructors specializing in working with families of different levels of ability. Or skip the skis and boards with on-mountain Family Adventures like tubing, snowcat tours, gondola rides and dinner at 11,640 feet at Der Fondue Chessel. Mountain House, Keystone’s Base Camp for families, lets you cozy up with smaller crowds, free parking, food and a family ski and ride zone.

KeystoneResort.com

Arapahoe Basin May 14, 2016 - Spring Fun. (Photo by Dave Camara)
Arapahoe Basin May 14, 2016 – Spring Fun.
(Photo by Dave Camara)

TELLURIDE

Even beginner and intermediate skiers can enjoy the highest peaks, terrain and views usually reserved for expert skiers on Telluride’s trails. Make your way between the towns of Mountain Village and Telluride via gondola, the first and only free public transportation system of its kind in the U.S.

Improved flight options make getting to Telluride easier. Starting mid-December, Great Lakes Airlines will fly direct into Telluride Regional Airport from Denver International Airport all year-round. There also will be increased access from Dallas, New York City, Phoenix, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco.

Enjoy the ride up and down the mountain a little more in the bright red, 20th Anniversary Telluride Gondola Cabin where lucky riders might win spur-of-the-moment contests. When the lifts stop for the day, the fun continues with Off-Hill Programming like the Kids Zone’s inflatable slide and kid-size mechanical bull or holiday events including ice skating, sleigh rides and a holiday-themed movie marathon.

Take in some of the best views of Telluride at the new Altezza at the Peaks restaurant, aptly named for the Italian word meaning “height,” serving Italian-inspired dishes and Colorado-inspired specialties like striped bass.

TellurideSkiResort.com

colorado-hotel-telluride-photo-credit-ctellurideskiresort

WINTER PARK

Seventy-five years young, Winter Park Resort is considered Colorado’s longest continually operated ski resort with 3,081 acres of skiable trails. Twenty-five lifts can get 40,000 riders uphill/hour.

Enjoy a scenic and relaxing two-hour ride from Denver with the Winter Park Express ski train which made a triumphant return for the 2016/17 ski season. That means skiers can hit the slopes stress-free and enjoy immaculately groomed trails thanks to four new state-of-the-art snowcats. Also new is the Email Kid’s Club, alerting kids to trails, contests, games and other kid-centric activities at the resort.

During the holidays, join in Winter Park’s special events including the Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade with 100 skiers and snowboarders traversing down the mountain carrying torches as fireworks launch.

In February, Winter Park hosts the Wells Fargo Cup with the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Some of the country’s best Paralympic athletes compete in three days of inspiring competition, fun and fundraising. WinterParkResort.com

VAIL

With elevations ranging from 8,120-11,570 feet, the resort in the center of the state is accessible by road or via Eagle Airport. Inside the resort, it’s easy to get around by foot and the free shuttle bus transportation system. 

Hit the slopes faster with the new Sun Up Express Chair Lift #9 that seats four. It’s the primary lift serving intermediate and advanced terrain and sending skiers and snowboarders into Vail’s back bowls.

Off the mountain, Vail Snow Daze in December celebrates the start of winter with live music, après ski parties and gear demos. During Vail Holidaze, get in the spirit with the annual tree lighting ceremony and lantern walk.

In February and March, it’s the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships with Olympic-level slopestyle and halfpipe snowboarding competitions by day and headliner acts by night. Stay in-the-know while in Vail by visiting the Mountain Information Center, your resource for reservations and recommendations on the best-kept secrets in town.

Vail.com

See? Looking west to the mountains is a great tip for knowing exactly where to go for fun at Colorado’s resorts.

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