Francis Roces on KimonoDragons, the thrill of the runway and needle-and-thread inspirations
Francis Roces. Antjuan, Rachel, Thanh, Parker, Gary and Ariel in KimonoDragons at Paint the Runway.
Editor's note: Longtime Denver fashion designer Francis Roces, whose brand name is KimonoDragons, represents the inaugural pair of PAIR residents at Denver's Powerhaüs Studio. As part of his three-month residency, he and his fine-art counterpart Charlie Boots will be reporting from the real world via Show and Tell, as they learn the ropes from studio mentors Mona Lucero, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy and Jimmy Sellars. Roces's initial post follows.
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Hello, my name is Francis Roces and my clothing line is KimonoDragons. I became a fashion designer because people tell me that is what I am, that is what I do. Nothing makes me happier than creating something from scratch. I always see myself as an artist, but not in the traditional way. I don't use brushes or paint; instead I use fabrics and my sewing machine.
Fashion designer Francis Roces of KimonoDragons.
When I see a fashion designer on TV or in the magazines, I don't feel a connection. I feel more connection to my fellow local designers than anything else -- my friends, and my equals -- as we work toward building a respected fashion industry here in Denver. I feel pride when customers ask if I sew my own garments and I say, "Yes!" I do dream of having my own work/ retail space, someday.
I am one lucky person. I was chosen by Mondo Guerra to be an artist-in-residence at PowerHaus Studios. I was given free studio space there for three months and I'm excited to work alongside the great Mona Lucero, one of the PowerHaus artists and a well-known designer in Denver. I also share the residency with artist Charlie Boots, who is a very talented painter and a great person to converse with.
KimonoDragons dress in the studio.
Besides Mona, there are two other artists at PowerHaus, Jimmy Sellars and Lauri Lynnxe Murphy, who are both amazing in their own right. To be surrounded by such talent is the greatest feeling, and I'm inspired to find my own studio space after my residency is complete. I get to work here until summer's end, and I'm using my time to the best of my ability!
Roces's studio space at PowerHaus.
Continue reading for more from Francis Roces.