Paper Couture Show Flops

November 2004
Tuesday's Paper Couture fashion show at Cervantes was the first of what I hope becomes an annual fundraising event. But this year's show was a huge disappoinment -- all thanks to a stupendous lack of organization. The show started more than an hour late, instructions as to how the event would unfold were nonexistent, and no one seemed to be running the event. Some of us were told to be ready by 5:30, but others heard 9. I was even told by one of the hairstylists that the original organizer was so ashamed of the lack of planning that she simply abandoned the project and didn't even show up at the event. What a disaster. The idea is a good one: Get groups of designers and creative types to design a "paper couture" dress made, obviously, entirely out of paper. It's worked in other cities, and it's amazing what people can create from a pile of construction paper. A few weeks ago, organizers (and I use that term loosely) asked me to join a team with fellow writers Elana Ashanti Jefferson and Cindy Rodriguez from the Denver Post. It sounded fun, and I'm a bit artsy, so I agreed. We spent most of the day Sunday crafting our dress, a 50's inspired full-skirted polka-dot party dress made from red, black, silver, and white paper. Last night, we arrived at Cervantes along with 29 other groups and their dresses, many designed by artists and members of the Denver Art Directors Club, who sponsored the event. (All the actual clothing designers in town opted not to participate due to organizational issues. Smart.) The show finally started at 8:15 p.m. (instead of 7) and dragged on until 11 when the dresses were brought back onto the runway for the auction. Guests bid on the dresses to raise money for the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts center. Sadly, our model -- Cindy -- had to split at 9, which originally should have been fine, but left our dress on a hanger instead of on a person. Despite the chaos and incredibly late start and finish, I do hope the event continues. But unless organizers get their act together, there is no way that our group will waste another weekend next year. Until then, anyone need a paper dress?