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Mother Daughter Tea and Fashion Show

Sometimes, even the social girl needs a little fashion help.

And if there is one woman in town who knows how important it is to have the right clothes, it is Channel 12’s Jeannine Ford Artaz.

Occasionally, she recruits local fashion consultant Michele Gruber of Elite Style, who helps her dress for special occasions.



Instead of paying $300-$400 for a gown, Ford Artaz heads to Elite and spends $35-$50 instead.

“It’s my champagne appetite on a beer income,” Ford Artaz said.



This year, the two women joined efforts to present the first annual Mother Daughter Tea and Fashion Show in the Hotel Colorado Courtyard on Sunday.

Gruber, a stylist and designer, owns Elite Style, located above Anderson’s Clothing.

Six years ago, she came up with an idea: If men can rent tuxedos, women should be able to rent gowns.

Gruber, who got her first sewing machine when she was 11 years old, remembers how she fell in love with clothes. “I wanted a bigger wardrobe,” she said. Later, in school, she learned tailoring.

Now she can redesign a mother’s wedding gown for her own daughter’s wedding, revamp an old favorite dress or create an entire wardrobe.

Locally, some of her biggest fans are the teenagers who frequent her business.

“We’re always looking for a really good deal,” said Samantha Pickard. “Something unique,” added Blaize Johnson.

A few years ago Ford Artaz wore a Gruber gown at Strawberry Days that had a slit that showed a lot of leg when she walked.

The next day a man called and said, “I haven’t seen gams like that since World War II!”

Surely, even Mother would agree – that dress is a keeper.

Gruber, a mother of two girls, herself, allows her maternal instinct to help her. “I listen to my clients,” she said.

After she gives fashion advice, she creates whatever her client wants. She likes to think of her them as Cinderella, and herself, as their fairy godmother.

Denver crooner Derek Evilsizor added to the fairy tale effect as he milled about the courtyard and serenaded the ladies with Frank Sinatra favorites.

At tea, some mothers were asked about the best advice they had given to their daughters.

Valerie Haugen said to pursue your bliss, feed your soul, and do what makes you happy. After that, everything else will follow.

And this is why wardrobe is so important.

Since a woman never knows when bliss may show up, it’s smart to look fabulous every day.

Just ask Jeannine Ford Artaz.

After all, she was the one who danced with Frank Sinatra all afternoon.

For more information on Michele Gruber, visit her studio at 8261⁄2 Grand or contact her at 945-1033.


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