Art Directors Club of Denver
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History Of Paper Fashion

Jimmy Diffee and the ADCD board came up with the Paper Fashion Show™ in 2005 as a replacement for the annual Christmas Ornament auction/fundraiser. He was inspired by a body art ball in Deep Ellum (Dallas), where artists painted live models which then were showcased in a runway competition. The designs as well as the event were just so raw, one really felt like they were part of something underground. Jimmy wanted to replicate that feeling in a way that showcased the raw talent in the Denver design community. When fellow Board Member Sherry Johnston asked if there was a way we could incorporate paper into the event, it just clicked: a paper fashion show. ADCD President George Lim mentioned that Seattle AIGA had just hosted a similar event, so he immediately got on the phone to see how feasible this was going to be.

Everyone wanted to be a part of it right from the beginning and the energy-level was through the roof. The goal became to get as many artists involved as they could find: hair & makeup, modeling talent, photographers, videographers, DJs, and of course graphic & fashion designers. Everyone wanted the show to be part of their portfolio. Even the beneficiaries of the fundraiser (DAVA) wanted to be involved, and integrated paper fashion design into their arts curriculum to later become part of the runway show. The paper companies donated cash and the paper, since they were perfectly positioned to get exposure to designers that would be working with (and printing future jobs on) their paper. Once this stage was set, the media jumped on board, with Kirk Montgomery from 9News picking up the story and airing a 4 minute piece about the show.

The first show was held at Cervantes Ballroom on November 9, 2005, and was hosted by drag-queen comedians. There were 23 total designs modeled in the show, which started fashionably late at more than an hour behind schedule. It was chaotic and the sheer size of the event made it impossible to run smoothly. But they pulled it off, and the most rewarding moment came when Jimmy was able to hand over a $1500 check to DAVA at their annual Gala. The show has come a long way since this first event, but the one thing that has remained constant is the energy created by bringing together such amazing talent from right here in our back yard.

2016 12th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Runway photos of the 12th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by 303 Magazine
Event photos of the 12th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Westword
Photos from the 12th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Trevor Gass
Runway photos of the 12th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Bradley Van Herbst
Video about the 12th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by CCTV America

2015 11th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Runway photos of the 11th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Sarah Nalley Photography
Model and Runway photos of the 11th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Paul Wedlake Photography
Runway photos of the 11th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Trevor Gass Photography
Video of the 11th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by INCITE
2015 Paper Fashion Show Winners

2014 10th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Video of the 10th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Joosbox Productions
Winners of the 10th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Trevor Gass

2013 9th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Winners of the 9th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Randall Bellows III
Photos of the 9th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Westword
Runway photos of the 9th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Jack Gray

2012 8th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Winners of the 8th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Randall Bellows III
Photos of the 8th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Westword
Runway photos of the 8th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Rachel Roark
Photos of the 8th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ Reception by Christina Kiffney Photography

2011 7th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Winners of the 7th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Randall Bellows III
Photos of the 7th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Dave Ingraham
Video of the 7th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by the Art Institute Of Colorado

2010 6th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Winners of the 6th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Randall Bellows III
Photos of the 6th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Dave Ingraham
Official video of the 6th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Locker Partners

2009 5th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Winners of the 5th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Randall Bellows III
Photos of the 5th Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Dave Ingraham

2008 4th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Video of the 4th Annual Paper Fashion Show™

2007 3rd Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Video of the 3rd Annual Paper Fashion Show™

2006 2nd Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Photos of the 2nd Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by Eric Stenbekken
Video of the 2nd Annual Paper Fashion Show™

2005 1st Annual Paper Fashion Show™

Photos of the 1st Annual Paper Fashion Show™ by John Amatucci
Video of the 1st Annual Paper Fashion Show™

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  • Upcoming Events

    1. Post A Job - November 23, 2013
    2. Test Event - September 11, 2014
    3. Student Scholarship Fund - October 12, 2016
    4. 2016 Paper Fashion Show Book Order - October 26, 2016
    5. Premier Annual Sponsor - December 6, 2016
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