The idea for The ONE Paper Fashion Show™ began when founder and Art Directors Club Denver (ADCD) president, Jimmy Diffee, went to a body art show. There he witnessed artists live-paint models who later walked the runway. “My mom always told me you can do anything you put your mind to,” explained Diffee. “The first year was a struggle because there were only three of us, but 14 years later, the legacy continues, and we’ve raised more than $50,000 for Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA).”
The ONE Paper Fashion Show™ is now the largest show of its kind in terms of the number of paper designs, design teams, paper mills represented on the runway, sponsors involved and attendees. It has become a staple in the city’s art and fashion scenes and serves as a place where students, artists and designers explore their talent in challenging and raw ways. This year, it also joined Denver Fashion Week, solidifying its place in Denver’s fashion zeitgeist.
In 2017, ADCD became an authorized chapter of The One Club for Creativity. The theme for this year’s show, “Haute Couture ONE Country,” celebrated that significant step forward. Event organizers challenged teams to design garments inspired by different countries across the world. Seven industry leaders, including Gino Verlardi, Mona Lucero and Deedee Vicory, judged the teams on their technique, garment wearability and percentage of paper used — it must be 90 percent or higher.
This year’s runway competitors created impressive looks, often inspired by their own heritage. “For me, it was about thinking of my culture from Mexico and bringing some education more than just couture fashion,” said first place winner, Norbeto Mojardin of Beto’s Hair Studio. “The story behind it explains when the Aztecs welcomed the Spaniards to their country because they believed they were gods, so that’s how the story says they were conquered. I painted everything by hand and it is 100 percent paper. Every piece was put into fire to get that texture, so it took three months.”
All of the runway looks were just as creative and high fashion as any other garment we saw during Denver Fashion Week. Below are a few of the can’t-miss looks from the runway.
Go here to see more photos from the Paper Fashion Show.
All photography by Rebecca Grant.