Green is the New Black Fashion Extravaganza celebrates the role of women
Special to the Aspen Times
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Ninth Annual Green is the New Black Fashion Extravaganza
Carbondale Arts presents the Green is the New Black Fashion Extravaganza, this year titled, “SHE.” Full of local models and designers, performance art, multimedia, inspiring sustainable fashion and a powerful storyline, this show isn’t just entertaining — it’s about raising money to provide arts education to Roaring Fork Valley youth.
Doors at 7, show at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Admission: Sold out; Thursday’s 8 p.m. dress rehearsal is open to the public. Tickets are $20.
Carbondale Recreation Center, 67 Colorado Ave.
We will remember 2016 for many things. After all, it was the year we lost David Bowie, Prince, Carrie Fisher and Patty Duke, but, ultimately, it was the presidential election that took center stage. Hillary Clinton was our first major party female presidential candidate, and she was running against a Washington outsider.
The scene was fraught with sexism, racism and accusations from all sides. The time seemed ripe for a female leader. Angela Merkel was the most powerful woman in the world. Great Britain elected a female leader and America seemed next. To top it all off, a Facebook psychic pronounced that we were entering into a female-dominated time in history.
It was in this climate that Carbondale Arts came up with the theme SHE for the Green is the New Black Fashion Extravaganza. SHE would travel through several archetypes of woman, focusing on our independence and power.
Well, so much for Facebook psychics. History took a different path. We did not shatter the glass ceiling, but we are not done trying!
This year’s Green is the New Black Fashion Extravaganza takes us through the myth of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, who refused to take the missionary position and was demonized for her independence. We travel through Mother/Lover, the child-bearing power that only women hold. We feel the strength of the Warrior/Protector and the age and memory of Crone. We experience Automated Woman, the voice that tells us what to do on our phones, on trains and planes, and we will end with Modern Woman, faced with choice and challenge. Ultimately, we will experience multimedia performance art that will inspire and delight.
More than 100 people come together to create SHE. Each one brings his or her personality and talent to the stage. Aerial silks, martial arts, spoken word and dance are woven together with projections and design. It is a huge group effort of male and female energy — and that is what makes it so special.
Green is the New Black gives voice to issues surrounding our environment. Some years it focuses on our physical environment and some years it travels the human condition, but it always touches on issues that are part of our current state in the world. The balance comes from the artistry that we put forth.
Regardless of theme, the common thread year to year is the issue of sustainability. In the U.S., 400 percent more clothing is purchased today than 20 years ago, largely because of the dropping cost of fashion. But there are consequences to this consumption, and they’re unraveling in different ways across the globe. The average American tosses 82 pounds of textile waste each year, which adds up to 11 million tons of the stuff from our country alone. For the most part, these textiles aren’t biodegradable, which means they sit in landfills for at least 200 years. As a result, they release harmful gases into the air.
So what is “sustainable fashion”? Upcycled and recycled are important components. Take something old and make it new again. Many of our designers delve into this method. Other issues factor in, like using organic materials, materials made in the USA and creating fashion by your own hands or in your homeland. Many of the designers will be on hand and selling their fashion. Supporting this kind of effort is important, and you’ll take home one-of-a-kind fashion.
Sometimes the process is as valuable and exciting as the outcome. I feel such hope every year during the process of creating this show because I see the dedication of so many. I see that creativity thrives in this valley. I know we live in a place that is not afraid to examine our world, try to improve it and, always, celebrate it. SHE is part of that celebration!
Amy Kimberly is executive director of Carbondale Arts.
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