Denver’s fashion scene has always been diverse; from bridal shows and launch parties to runway shows of varying themes and experiences. Our fashion shows are constantly evolving and our Denver designers are ones to watch. Combine the two, and you get a fashion experience unlike any other.
The Paper Fashion Show™ is no different. Inspiration for the show struck when founder and ADCD president, Jimmy Diffee, went to a body art show where artists live-painted models who later walked the runway. Diffee wanted to replicate that feeling of art in a raw and vulnerable way while showcasing the talent in the Denver design community.
In 2005, The ONE Club for Creativity – Denver (formerly known as the Art Directors Club Denver) created the Paper Fashion Show™. From there, the show grew into what it is today — a place where artists and designers explore their talent in challenging and raw ways. The Paper Fashion Show™ has been a staple in the Denver fashion scene and is unlike any show produced. For one, there is a judging system. All designs must be made of paper that has been given to the design teams. There are also specific themes for each show and awards for winners in different categories. Even more exciting and new to this season’s show is the partnership with Denver Fashion Week.
303 Magazine talked with the show’s producer and event leader, Anne Redureau. Redureau, who is also President of The ONE Club for Creativity Denver, has been with the Paper Fashion Show™ since 2016 and each year she continues to bring a new and unique theme to the show. Redureau talks history of the show, the theme this year, the behind-the-scenes of working with paper and what they’re bringing to their show at Denver Fashion Week.
303 Magazine: What have you noticed contributes to the success of the Paper Fashion Show™?
Anne Redureau: It started as a creative way to unite the community around a good cause. This is the 14th annual Paper Fashion Show™ and since its inception, our organization has donated over $45,000 to DAVA (Downtown Aurora Visual Arts). Making a difference in the youth community is really what’s driven the Paper Fashion Show™ team of volunteers, sponsors and design teams over the years. Everyone’s helping because they want to be a part of it. The fact that this fundraiser allows us to sponsor these at-risk children and give them the option of a brighter future is really what drives my team and me during the lengthy planning process of this event.
303: You mentioned that this is the largest Paper Fashion Show™ in the nation? Are there any others like it?
AR: Yes, there are other shows in the world and in the nation that involve paper. However, to date Paper Fashion Show™ here in Denver is the largest in terms of the number of paper designs, design teams, paper mills represented on the runway, sponsors involved, attendees, etc.
303: What’s the theme for this year’s show?
AR: Founded in 1955, the Art Directors Club Denver became an authorized chapter of The One Club for Creativity in July 2017. This new global not-for-profit organization was formed out of the recent merger of the Art Directors Club and The One Club. With members across 61 countries around the globe, this merger marks a significant step forward for Denver, drawing international attention to the talented artists and designers who live, work, and make in the Mile High City. The suggested direction for this year’s show is Haute Couture ONE Country. ONE Era since we are the ONE Club.
303: There’s also some additional prizes added to the show this year. What are some of those?
AR: In addition to the regular Paper Fashion Show™ awards, ONE exciting prize for design teams this year is a trip to New York City where they’ll be invited to our ONE Club headquarters, showcase their paper design at the 97th Annual ADC Awards during Creative Week 2018.
303: What are the different papers used for the show?
AR: Paper stocks and weights vary; it can go from cardstock to translucent to fragile paper — basically tissue paper. Design teams have access to synthetic papers as well and I’ve seen paper that resembles leather or reptile skin!
303: What are some of the challenges with working with paper?
AR: The problem with paper is that it’s so versatile and fragile, it’s not just a sheet of paper on someone. It’s difficult to manipulate paper to make it look like fabric and it’s amazing to see what designers can do. The design has to be 90 percent paper to be eligible to compete with the teams. In 2017, we had a wedding gown by Mohawk Paper created by Barry Brown. Last year, I didn’t pose any specific guidelines, but this year since we’re partnering with 303 and Denver Fashion Week I want to get back to the basics of Haute Couture and fashion.
303: What’s the process of creating designs with paper as the material?
AR: The normal process consists of selecting a paper swatch book, receiving practice paper, placing the paper order. This paper order usually takes about one week. Each design team is given 35 large sheets of paper. I think that paper as at the material makes this process very challenging, rewarding and ephemeral, thus even more special.
303: What does the judging system entail as far as rules and regulations?
AR: The paper is provided by Spicers Paper and various paper mills around Colorado donated to the designers to use. Binding techniques such as sewing, glue, tape, and wire are allowed as long as your fashion continues to abide by the 90 percent paper rule. Paper can be written on, printed on, painted on, dyed, manipulated, etc. We’re bringing the technical judges backstage so they pretty much can inspect each design. They’ll make sure that it fits the criteria of the 90 percent paper rule. With that process, it makes it easier for judges who will have access to backstage, briefly, but who don’t necessarily have time to go into detail.
303: Why did Paper Fashion Show™ choose to partner with Denver Fashion Week?
AR: I started planning PFS 2018 ONE week after Paper Fashion Show™ 2017. I had the opportunity to speak with the producers of 303 Magazine DFW last year! The timing of Denver Fashion Weekend becoming Denver Fashion Week was also perfect since Paper Fashion Show™ would be adding another DFW Night! I also believe that PFS and DFW teams or models will benefit greatly from this partnership.
303: Is there an additional theme to Paper Fashion Show™?
AR: Yes, in addition to the ONE Country, ONE Era suggested theme, design teams are encouraged to add a Haute Couture element to their design. For the event graphics and decor, I chose water this year because it embodies our ONE international theme and that water unifies continents, human beings (are made of mostly water), and that you need water to produce paper and in return paper is also extremely vulnerable to water.
303: What are some long-term goals that you have for the Paper Fashion Show™?
AR: I’d love to expand Paper Fashion Show™ to other cities where The One Club for Creativity has Chapters, such as New York City. I hope to keep increasing the level of participation from our community to work for such great causes on a local, national and international level!
The Paper Fashion Show will showcase its designs on the DFW runway on Friday, March 23 at the Seawell Ballroom at the DCPA. Tickets for Paper Fashion Show and additional nights of Denver Fashion Week can be purchased here.
Denver Fashion Week is March 18 through 25 at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.