AVON — Lights … camera … fashion! Saturday evening marks the third annual Project Funway — a runway fashion show featuring talented local designers, all to benefit the Education Foundation of Eagle County.
The event will take place at the Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon on Saturday, starting at 6 p.m. for cocktails, light dining and sweets, followed by the fashion show at 7 p.m., awards at 8:30 p.m., with a finale of DJ dancing on the runway.
“This is pretty much the best event ever,” said Kelly Pope, an EFEC trustee. “There have been crazy designs out of materials like paper, post-it notes, rubber gloves … and for the most part, the pieces are shockingly wearable.”
Pope and her 9-year-old daughter, Anna, have co-created a piece together for the second year in a row. Pope explained how she doesn’t consider herself highly creative — “I don’t sew and I don’t design,” she said — but that hasn’t stood in the way of last year’s duct tape creation, or this years piece — initially inspired, she said, by wax paper and jelly beans.
“It’s a really fun thing to do together,” Pope said. “Anna like to embellish more than do; I try to keep it with more clean lines and more modern.
“Anna will be wearing it for the show,” she continued. “She’s like a paper doll.”
Anything but fabric
Pavan Krueger is one of the original creators of the Project Runway concept. She said it was herself and three girlfriends who conceived the idea.
“I remember how we talked about how fun Project Runway is,” Krueger said. “Now this has morphed into a much bigger event than we ever imagined it could be.”
This year, Krueger has two designs in the show. Once of them, she said, is made out of old buttons.
“I am making a whole dress out of all buttons, which is very time consuming,” she said with a chuckle.
Krueger said her husband, Karl Krueger, is making a design for Project Funway out of the little plastic tags that hold together bread bags.
“Every year it’s very different,” she said. “So it’s always fun to come back and see what people have done.”
Threads of support
The EFEC was originally chosen as a beneficiary of the groundroots fundraiser. Last year, the EFEC was chosen again, and this year it is the EFEC’s primary fundraiser and is hosted by the foundation.
“Really, this couldn’t be possible without Vail Resorts Echo, their commitment to education and the community, and in particular to this event,” said Wendy Rimel, president of EFEC and event co-founder. “They are what made it possible for the EFEC to host the event.”
Rimel said that while creative juices are in full flow at the event, what is really highlighted is the need for funding in schools to support such creative endeavors.
“The kids have so much fun designing and presenting,” she said. “That’s what we have lost; we have lost art teachers and art classes. I think the event really ties into what we are trying to accomplish with EFEC. “
The funds raised from Project Funway, Rimel said, will touch each of the 6,500 students who attend Eagle County Schools, primarily by providing teacher support.
“In the past three years,” she said, “we have been able to either keep teachers to provide additional staff support in the schools.”
Interim High Life Editor Kim Fuller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.