During the casting call for models, most of the hopefuls have never worn the kinds of fashions they are hoping to be enlisted to wear. That’s because the clothing items are made from 90% paper. For the models chosen, the designs will be built to their bodies.
The models join a collection of creatives including designers, stylists, photographers, makeup artists, videographers, performers, and entertainers for what has been a preeminent art and fashion event in Denver for 17 years. This year’s Paper Fashion Show theme is “Art Masters.”
“From Coco Chanel to Salvador Dali, we want the designers to express what they view as an Art Master,” says Michael Garcia, Web Content Manager for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Co-Producer of the Paper Fashion Show, which will be held at the Fillmore Auditorium on April 13, 2023.
Designers’ creations must abide by the rule of being made from 90% paper, which is donated by high-end paper mills and coordinated by Spicers Paper. Designers are all given the same amount of paper of their choice and have up to four months to create their fashions.
Paper can be written on, printed, painted, manipulated, paper mached, and dyed. Materials such as sewing, glue, tape, wire, and non-donated paper can be used as long as it only comprises 10% of the design. A technical judge makes sure the rules are followed.
The Paper Fashion Show is a fundraiser for The ONE Club for Creativity-Denver (formerly known as the Art Directors Club of Denver). The 501c3 non-profit promotes collaborative culture throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. The ONE Club’s mission is to elevate Denver art and design to the national level and to benefit Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA), a program that helps urban youth gain art, education, job, and social skills.
The Paper Fashion Show is part of DAVA’s curriculum for students ages 7-17 who conceive of designs, colors, and patterns and then work in teams to participate in the event. Working alongside professional fashion designers, DAVA students get to see their own fashions on the runway, and also serve as judges.
Since the inception of The Paper Fashion Show, The ONE Club for Creativity – Denver has donated more than $62,000 to DAVA.
Attendees of April’s Paper Fashion Show, emceed by Mercedes Howard of I Heart Radio, will see each fashion presented and modelled along a runway, hear music from DJ Simone Says, have photo opportunities, and enjoy a cash bar and concessions. The fashions will be voted on by judges and winners in the different categories will be presented with trophies constructed of paper.
The designers, who can be from Colorado or out of state, have rarely, if ever, worked with paper which creates unique opportunities.
“I think there are lots of challenges with paper because you can’t treat it like normal fabric for a runway show,” says Garcia. “It pushes designers to think outside the box to expand and learn new skills and techniques.”
Over the 17 years The Paper Fashion Show has been in existence, more than 550 designs have been created and shown. Garcia says the show has grown and more designers want to be involved. This year, they had to cap the number of designers.
From his perspective working with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Garcia sees a lot of similarities between the stage productions and The Paper Fashion Show.
“The [fashion show] takes a big production. We have a full backstage team and a lot of different departments,” says Garcia. “I think of lot of designers, drapers, and stitchers can benefit from this show because it’s so unique. It will challenge you in the best ways.”
A variety of seating options and ticket levels are available for The Paper Fashion Show including a limited number of Mezzanine Level Box Seats with great views of the runway and stage plus VIP parking, private entrance, restroom, food and beverage, and backstage tour.
To learn more about the 2023 Paper Fashion Show and to purchase tickets, visit the website at PaperFashionShow.com.