Mona Lucero dishes on YSL and the magic of haute couture

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Courtesy Mona Lucero
Mona and Tribute to Georges Braque, 1988.
While I think I have taste, I'm just another plebe at the Yves Saint Laurent show, wandering through the DAM, slobbering and snorting smelling salts to keep from fainting at each new discovery. So when it came time to pick favorites, I asked someone with a more sophisticated eye -- Denver fashion fixture Mona Lucero, a designer who's been developing her Colorado niche for many years.

Lucero had the good fortune to work alongside the experts who unpacked and prepared each outfit for exhibition -- a sort of internship that gave her a front-row seat from which she could see all the detail and artful craft that's gone into each Yves Saint Laurent creation. We recently caught up with her to hear about the experience:

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Westword: What was it like to open those boxes?

Mona Lucero: You get excited about what is going to be underneath there, while being in shock at how impeccably packed they are. As we got all the packing out of the inside of the garment, just looking at it and seeing all the detail is amazing. Because I'm a designer and know how to sew, I can see how well-made it is, but at the same time, wonder, 'How did they do that?' -- like when some of the beading is raised, some is actually 3-dimensional. Did they put something underneath it, or just loosen threads as they went?

It's interesting because you realize how meticulous it is. I can only imagine what it's like when you are making or creating the designs -- every little detail has to be thought out ahead of time. The experts can look at each design for half and hour to an hour making sure nothing has come off, that there are no tears or stitches undone. Just taking them out of the boxes and getting them hung up and ready to go is the most work, it's so painstaking. We take it for granted now that they're up, but in reality, you can't just take it out of the box.

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Weren't you a little bit afraid to touch them?

They are delicate, but also not delicate in some ways. They are made so beautifully that they can handle a lot more than you think.

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Denver Art Museum Cafe

100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, Denver, CO

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