Let's Get Trashy, Denver!

This year, The Center is kicking off Denver PrideFest in style with a fashion show on June 9 at Exdo Event Center.  Artist Lonnie Hanzon's Trash Fashion Show is a one-of-a-kind event featuring extraordinary reclaimed materials used in completely inventive ways. The show is comprised of pieces made entirely out of recycled and upcycled items that were once headed to a landfill, but will now be re-imagined on the runway.

While fans of Project Runway's unconventional materials challenge will be delighted by the bold, imaginative wearable art adorning the models in the show, the event is also aiming to make a larger statement about the nature of fast fashion and globalization. The fashion industry is now one of the top contributors to global waste each year, with the Environmental Protection Agency estimating that 15.1 million tons of textile waste was generated in 2013 alone, of which 12.8 million tons were discarded.

The Denverite spoke to Hanzon this week, where he elaborated on the reasons behind creating the event: “Slow fashion” used to be the norm. It was that “really nice shirt you got 20 years ago and you’re still wearing it,” he said. What’s hip today is “poorly made and doesn’t last, and becomes landfill very quickly.”

2018 Trash Fashion Show - Red Bull Dress

Model Jasiah Paris sports a dress made from Red Bull cans after she has been fitted at the Lonnie Hanzon Lakewood studio on May 29, 2018. Photo by Kevin J. Beaty of Denverite.

In addition to raising awareness, the event is also raising funds for The Center's many programs and services aimed at advancing the LGBTQ community in Colorado. Nearly 50,000 people come through The Center's doors each year for community support programs, activities, and events.

Though the motivations behind putting the fashion show on are nothing to laugh at, the event is not taking itself too seriously. “We’ve been having fun with it,” Hanzon told Westword. “All the designers have been working in the studio. People have stepped up to donate some beautiful trash, and some of our designers brought gorgeous fabric scraps.” And, he has to add, “I'm glad we have an industrial sewing machine in the studio. And zip ties.”

Trash Fashion Show - Three Dresses

Find out what these dresses are made of on June 9 at Exdo Event Center.

Designers will compete in six categories with hair by El Salon and Cha Cha Romero.  And imaginative fashion isn't the only thing you can expect to enjoy at the event. Dixie Crystals of Drag Queen Story Time fame will be on the mic all night long, and the show will feature performances by Kira Nguyen (pole dancing), Indy Fire (boylesque) and Vivienne VaVoom (burlesque).

Tickets are available for advance purchase or at the door and start at $25 for general admission. Reserved seating is available for $75, and VIP tickets are available for $125, which includes reserved front row seating and a pre-show VIP reception with valet parking. Plus, VIP guests can purchase fantastic surprise boxes that you'll love as much for their artistic presentation as the  goodies inside.

You don't want to miss this event!