Paper Fashion Show Review: ADCD 7th Annual Paper Fashion Show

Originally Posted at “First Class Fashionista”

Thursday night I had the privilege of attending the Art Directors Club of Denver 7th Annual Paper Fashion Show. If you are not familiar with the Paper Fashion Show, it’s a once a year event where designers (group or individual) gets the chance to show off their talent by constructing a piece completely out of paper and hopefully be chosen as the winner of the competition, earning a seat as judge for the following year’s event.  

As soon as I arrived, I could see the event was going to be a huge success; with a line out the door and a press pass in hand, I made my way to the front of the line and into the City Hall Amphitheater. In the entry room people were chatting, drink in hand, and with still an hour and a half until showtime, First Class Fashionista needed to get some interviews. After a few minutes of standing around, admiring the event, we were greeted by Dyana Gutierrez, an intern for Philosophy Communication who agreed to show us around the venue and take us backstage to meet with the designers. As we were exploring the venue, guide by our side, I began to really experience the feel of the building and why they had chosen the City Hall Amphitheater for the location of the 7th Annual Paper Fashion Show.

The old brick and three stories with overlooking balconies made it easy for the crowd to see the fashion show even if they didn’t have seats in the press section. After walking around a bit, we found our way backstage and finally it was time to interview some up and coming designers.

Our first interview was with a group called Team Angela. The designer let us get a first look at a very unique dress, inspired by the 18th century. The strapless gold and blue dress with large skirt included a corset back with the ties made out of braided paper, the model even wore a George Washington style wig.

Following questions and giving our information, we made our way to the next designer. The next designer showed us her piece, a gown made of paper cranes and even accessorized with shoes that had paper cranes, and a ring with a hanging crane. By the time we finished conducting interviews, it was time to go back downstairs to the runway. We grabbed a few drinks and headed back down to our seats.

Around 7:30, the show began. The first model walked the runway and the dress grabbed my attention, I had never seen something like this- so just the thought of making wearable art out of paper blew my mind. With each new model, came a new and unique design, some over the top and some modest, but each different in their own unique way of featuring a different designer’s personality with every design.

As each design came down the runway, the pieces were being judged on creativity, complexity, originality and overall presentation and technicality. The the judges who included Lonnie Hanzon, the winner of the previous year’s competition, Mona Lucero, owner/fashion designer Mona Lucero design boutique and Tran Wills, the owner of the Fabric Lab were the experts for determining the winner of the competition. 

After the show, the MCs came out and told us the judges would be deliberating for the next thirty minutes. At this point, we only had three interviews, so we met up with Dyana and decided to go backstage again. This time we had more choices as to who to interview, so we interviewed Team Paper Doll. During the the interview, I started feeling at home with the lovely young designer from the south, with the welcoming southern accent. In celebration of her 30th birthday, she designed and made a birthday themed dress. Unlike the other designers we interviewed, this designer was also the model. The all pink strapless dress resembled something barbie would wear and at the same time looked like a cake topper. This designer / model even carried a barbie as one of her accessories. 

Next, our guide took us over to her company’s designer, Team Philosophy. This designer stood out because First Class Fashionista asked, “Who’s your favorite designer?,” and he answered Mondo. If Mondo doesn’t ring a bell, he is a Project Runway designer from Denver, Colorado who hosted the Modo Project Runway Season Finale Watch at Denver’s Beauty Bar. This designer added that it was important to support the local scene and this was the reason he chose Mondo as his favorite.

Concluding our interviews, we went back to our press seats and the winner was announced, Team Pulp Function. After announcing the winner, the festivities drew to a close and it was a successful, event-filled evening with a promising future.

Note: Part of the proceeds benefited the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts supporting after school programs for youth at risk, encouraging kids to help build their community through the arts. The show also benefited the Art Directors Club of Denver , a non-profit organization that elevates local talent and helps the next generation of creative individuals through monthly events and student shows.

Stay posted for pictures, videos and more blog posts! We are on our way to Denver Fashion Weekend by 303 Magazine. Woot, woot.

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