Colleen Quen selected as Marquee Designer for Fifth Annual Fashion Week El Paseo

The Bay Area couturier on March 27 will reveal a flair befitting the desert

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Fashion Week El Paseo - Designer Colleen Quen

Fashion Week El Paseo announced today that it has selected Colleen Quen as its “designer of the week,” according to event promoter Palm Springs Life.

With nearly 25 years as a couturier, Quen is known for blending fashion with fine art. Her designs emphasize her intimate and intuitive sense of shaping clothes to the body and working every piece by hand using centuries-old techniques and the conviction that “each gown is a gift made with love.”

Quen has dressed Paris Hilton, Tyra Banks, Geena Davis, and many others. On Saturday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m., the French-educated couturier will treat Palm Desert to a spectacle far more impressive than celebrity — a dynamic runway show with a collection that reveals her influences in dramatic fashion: the radiance of the natural world, impressionist paintings, and modern architecture.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art selected Quen for its “Muse Campaign,” celebrating the institution’s 75th anniversary and the emotional connections between people and art. Clients for Quen’s fabric sculptures include fashion-forward women and museum curators, who are more interested in exhibiting than wearing her dresses.

San Francisco Magazine picked up on Quen’s vision, writing, “Women of substance and style who want to compete with the artwork at museum openings — or float down the aisle — visit the storied Heron Street-based atelier of Colleen Quen.” Her designs have also appeared in Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, and the International Herald Tribune.

A fourth-generation Chinese American, Quen designed WilkesSport by Wilkes Bashford, Gap, and Eileen West before launching her own line more nearly 15 years ago.

At Fashion Week El Paseo, expect new designs featuring ancient batik, embroidery, and silverwork traditions of villagers in China’s Guizhou Province.

A native of the Bay Area, Quen studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and at the Simmone Sethna School of Fashion, where she specialized in French design, modeling, and cutting.

For more information, tickets, or sponsorship opportunities, contact Michael Mathews, Marketing Director, Palm Springs Life, at 760-325-2333 or via e-mail at

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