[click "Play" to hear Judy Kohin talk about trash to fashion]
Note: Fashion Friday is Two Skirts’ regular column about fashion trends and hot designers. But this week Kristin Holbrook generously turned over her real estate to the Telluride AIDS Benefit. Next week, look for our tribute to Two Skirts, celebrating its 10th anniversary.
For six year running, Beau Staley of Telluride’s Dolce Jewels and Katey Brunini, a world-famous designer in his stable, have donated a line of Katey’s bling to accessorize the clothes worn by the models on the catwalk of the Telluride AIDS Benefit Fashion Show. Not for nothing: the bold, beautiful line of silver warrior cuffs, shin guards, gold compass pendant, and Italian Renaissance sundial rings is all about aggression and strength, attributes that underly TAB: The Telluride AIDS Benefit takes an aggressive stance towards the virus through prevention education, aided and abetted by its five beneficiaries, which also offer strong shoulders to people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Telluride AIDS Benefit in general and the fashion show in particular came into being as a tribute to the life of one man, Robert Presley, an outrageous, in-your-face, fearless, funny, fabulous fabric artist, who died in 1997 of AIDS. The man lacked the gene for moderation.
Presley moved to Telluride with his partner, Ron Gilmer, now TAB’s Grand Vizier, in 1991. For the next five years, the man generously donated his abundant talent and time to a number of non-profits, making one-of-a-kind garments for shows and bazaars and costumes for stage productions. For Presley, costuming was not a hobby. It was a way of life and his favorite method of self-expression.The idea behind TAB has always been to keep Robert’s memory and his unwavering support for the Western Colorado AIDS Project (WestCAP), TAB’s primary beneficiary, front and center on the runway.
Annually, since TAB’s inception, a group of Robert’s friends maintain that flame by creating a line of wearable art, including body painting (the Ballsy Body Painters) . This year, those locals, mustered by Judy Kohin, include Judy, Julie McNair, Barclay Daranyi, Sally Davis, Eli Burke, Laurie Lundquist, Michele Foote, and Nancy Craft. They call the line they’ve created for the 2011 show “TrashFash.”
“Having spent the past three years working on the film “Bag It, “and thinking about trash, packaging and how much waste we create, it seemed obvious to continue the recycle theme and make a line of clothes using things that would end up in the dumpster,” explained Judy. “So I gathered a few friends and we brainstormed. Someone came up with TrashFash. I think it was Sally.”
The group created 10 outfits using only materials that would otherwise be thrown away: bottle caps, lids, paper, onion bags, letters, envelopes, packaging material, feedbags, bubble wrap, foam paper, stamps, priority mail tape, used postcards, sheet music, bottle tabs, fabric from dumpsters, egg cartons.
“All our outfits are unique and, in their own way, beautiful,” continued Judy. “It may take a minute or two for someone to see what the garments are made from, but they are all functional, wearable, and artistic.”
To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to Judy’s interview.