Haute Couture | AspenTimes.com

Haute Couture

The funky mountain town of Telluride hosted its 10th annual AIDS benefit in late February with a weekend of fashion and festivities.

The Telluride AIDS Benefit (TAB) is a nonprofit grass-roots organization that strives to raise awareness about the disease and provide assistance to victims in the United States and Africa. Throughout the three-day fund-raiser, there was a full roster of activities, most notably the “TAB Fashion Show.”

Featuring local models wearing garments from Telluride and around the world, the fashion show has become an established event on the community calendar. Ralph Lauren, Bill Blass, Betsey Johnson and Cari Borja were among the leading designer brands in the show this year. Local designers, including July Five, also had a major presence with their attire.

There were even some items worn onstage from Telluride’s infamous “Free Box.” Located on a downtown street corner, the box is a drop-off and/or pickup bin for used clothing.

Other events on the weekend agenda included an “In-Drag Ski Race,” a “Sneak Peak” fashion show and auction, a trunk show, an opening reception, silent art auctions and a “Meet the Designers” luncheon.

A popular event among locals and visitors, it seemed fitting that a dozen Aspen residents drove over to share in the fun in the name of a good cause.

“This is my fourth year attending,” said Aspen architect Jeff Klein. “It’s a great show.”

“This is not your typical fashion show,” said Mandy White. A local who modeled for the luncheon, she proclaimed it to be her “favorite weekend in Telluride.”

Former TAB fashion show director Amy Kimberly was back in town for the main event. Kimberly left Telluride a couple of years ago when she moved to Carbondale and accepted a job with KDNK radio station. “It’s incredible how big this event has become,” she noted.

Charity Garber took over Kimberly’s post with TAB. “Before I became director I was a model in the show for six years. There’s really a whole lot to it. We have 37 models and two shows during the weekend, so things get a little crazy.”

Following the Saturday night performance, there was an after-party downtown at the hangout, “Fly Me to the Moon Saloon.” DJ Harry, well-known for his “remixing and remodeling” of the music from Colorado band The String Cheese Incident, provided the tunes.

In town for a fraternity reunion, Dave Pullon, Steve Edwards, Billy T and Basalt resident Gary “G-Money” Moore caught up with members of the fashion fiesta at the after-party. “I think we look pretty fashionable in Hawaiian shirts,” noted Moore, explaining how he and his friends fit in with the crowd.

To learn more about TAB or to donate to the cause, log onto http://www.aidsbenefit.org.

To contact May to send info, insight or invites, email: allthewaymaymay@hotmail.com

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