15th ANNUAL PAPER FASHION SHOW: HAUTE COUTURE IN PAPER
Photos by @RoyleeBphoto
Written By Karysma Hicks
This past weekend, 950 attendees showed up to The Hangar at Stanley Market for The One Club for Creativity Denver’s 15th annual paper couture runway event. The annual event is dedicated to connecting our community’s creative talent. In addition to wanting to serve the Denver community, The Paper Fashion Show acts as a fundraiser to raise money for Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA). This year was the second largest show in its history, welcoming competing designers from Texas, Arizona, Germany and of course Rocky Mountain regions.
Not only did competitors range in locality but they ranged in age as well. While a majority of designers were adults, the audience did get the pleasure of seeing impressive designs from middle school and high school students as well. Along with the audience, judges spectated designs that came down the runway and got to see beautiful, intricate couture pieces made entirely out of paper. The panel included Stephan Lauren, Castle Searcy, Megan Timlin, Gabriel “Cisco” Medina, Charlie Price, Paul Tamburello and Khiember Luangphithack.
With radio personality, Mercedes Howard (i.e. Ya Girl Cedes) as our emcee and DJ Simone Says as our DJ for the night, the audience was entertained with fun spirited energy. “I think that when it comes to being an emcee, everything is really on the spot,” said Howard. “Just knowing that you have to go with the flow makes it [the energy] so much better.” According to Howard, having a genuine realness that the audience can relate to is a key component as to how excitement levels increase. Her ability to be herself and to throw out zany punchlines added quite a bit of flavor to the event. In addition to Howard’s off the charts energy, DJ Simone Says kept the audience dancing and singing along to remixed versions of popular songs from both today’s current music and even throwback hits from the 90s.
Continuing the trend of keeping the audience captivated and entertained, 48 designers presented pieces that they’d been working on for several months. Being that the designs were made out of paper, this fashion show is already different than your usual runway event. In addition to the material if the designs, this show differed from your usual because each designer took their theme more literal than what you would see at an event like Denver Fashion Week. Each designer told a story by having the literal representation embellished on to their work. Whether it was an Alice in Wonderland themed dress fixed with books, playing cards and movie character figurines, a winter themed dress with snowflakes falling down the hemline or a dress themed around the concept of arctic extinction and embellished with papier-mâché animal heads holding on to a dress made to look like water.
Each design was as intricate as the next. Regardless of their theme, the style of the dress or what kind of paper they chose to make their design out of, each designer clearly put in a lot of time and effort to enthrall the audience—which made the event even more special. Once the presentation portion was over, it was time for the judges to vote for who truly brought their A game. With 6 awards to give out, the judge panel took their time to carefully deliberate who would be winning the One Club Spirit award, the Star Student Award, the DAVA Choice Award, 3rd place, 2nd place and 1st place.
Taking home the One Club Spirit Award was “Up in Flames”, a dress designed by Veronica Dewey made to look like the flames of a fire. Next was the Star Student Award. This award went to “Arctic Extinction”, designed by trio: Erica Duda, Bailey Pixton and Austin Draving from Colorado Mesa University. The DAVA Choice Award went to a team of designers from ArtHouse Deisgn who created the “Zephyrus—God of West Winds” two-piece set. Placing in the competition, “Rise of the Bluegeoise” designed by Emi Rose and Rudy Rivera, won 3rd place; with “Flower of Life” designed by Blue Linen Creative, winning 2nd place and Paper Couture’s “Sakura” dress as the 1st place holder.