Since I am covering Aspen Fashion Week, I felt the need to first attend Carbondale’s favorite fashion show, “Green is the New Black”.
I had heard so much about the show and I was determined to not miss the fourth annual event put on by the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (CCAH).
Amy Kimberly, Fashion Show Director and CCAH Executive Director, created this event to help fund art programs in schools, “The importance of the arts in learning has been proven over and over, and CCAH is committed to ensuring our students receive this education,” states Kimberly. “Study after study shows that children who are involved in the arts stay in school, graduate, are more involved in the school itself. It boosts brain function, abstract thinking, math and science skills. It’s nuts that this is the first thing that’s cut,” says Ro Mead, former executive director of CCAH.
Carbondale is a town that is fast and furiously becoming a hotbed for entrepreneurs supporting environmental sustainability and this is reflected in the production of the show as Carbondale’s creative artists and tightly knit community gathered together with over forty designers, including Jenna Bradford of the Carbondale Sew-Op, to create a wardrobe of predominantly sustainable, recycled and/or hand-made designs.
“This year’s theme (Back to the Future) took me in many directions. Our relationship with the the future, as depicted in film and TV, often had to do with space and technology, however, here we are today, in that future, and it has much more to do with our earth. The designers that create what you see in the show are people who are making choices that lessen the impact we humans have on this earth,” says Kimberly.
I sat in the packed gym of the Carbondale Recreation Center and watched in awe as talented artists and locals, buff from climbing, skiing and mountain biking, appeared larger than life on stage dressed in remarkable costumes made out of organic and reclaimed materials and painted in Avatar-esque make-up created by Monica Muniz of Studio 2 and Stylist Laura Stover. They crawled, strutted and shimmied their way down the runway, and sometimes off the stage and into the audience, in an energetic, well choreographed and often eclectic skit marking the concept of “fashion forward using materials from the past”.
When the show ended the room was turned into a disco with DJ Harry spinning club music. Talent still dressed in their costumes joined the audience on the dance floor and everybody danced together, regardless of age or occupation, until the wee hours of the evening.
It was a night to remember for an extremely important cause putting a gigantic stamp on the significance of arts, fashion and self expression in our lives and in our schools and I thank Amy Kimberly, CCAH, The Carbondale Recreation and Community Center, our local Merchants and the locals of Carbondale for sending the message home to SAVE OUR ARTS!