Celebrating a decade of creativity at Green is the New Black | PostIndependent.com

Celebrating a decade of creativity at Green is the New Black

To call it a fashion show would be to sell the event short.

The label is a shorthand explanation for Green is the New Black, an annual multimedia performance and fundraiser for Carbondale Arts. Clothes certainly are part of the spectacle, with sustainable work from a couple dozen designers on display. But the extravaganza also incorporates art, music, dance and, sometimes, poetry.

The 10th annual event kicked off with a preview show Thursday, and continues with Friday and Saturday evening performances. Proceeds benefit art education for Roaring Fork Valley youth. Both of this weekend's performances are sold out, but a trunk show in Aspen Saturday is open to the public.

"For me, the evolution of the show almost feels like the evolution of the creative community in Carbondale," said director and founder Amy Kimberly. "Through the years, people have come and gone. But so many people leave their marks on this show. So every time a mark is left, it takes us to the next level and the next step."

Take a look back at some of the event's highlights from the past decade.

March 13, 2009

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Green is the New Black debuts. It was preceded by smaller fashion shows, but became the extravaganza we know it to be following construction of the Carbondale Recreation Center. Although the show has grown over the years, it always emphasized eco-friendly fashion. More than 300 people attended the one-day event, and a Sunday trunk show featured designers' work.

"A fashion show is another forum in which creative community can come together," Kimberly said at the time. "This will be taking that power of the runway and the creativity of the community and putting it together to create a whole new theatrical experience."


"With recycled fashion you have to take something that's had a life of its own and create a vision for what it will become," Designer Rhonda Roberts said to the Post Independent. The second-annual show was up 12 designers from the year prior, with 52 contributing. Deborah Colley joined the team this year, and dance became an even bigger part of the program.


After the sell-out success of the 2010 show, Green is the New Black added a second night. Carbondale Council for the Arts and Humanities (Carbondale Arts' predecessor) added a kids' fashion show, which is now held as a separate event.


Laura Stover joined the show, originally as a model. She quickly took over the show's visual components.


Projection mapping becomes part of the show. This digital projection technique uses objects as display surfaces for video projection.


This is the first time the show sold out both performances more than a week in advance.


The show again sold out far in advance, and CA responded by selling tickets to the Thursday night preview. It isn't as extravagant as the full production, but it allows more people to partake. The show now sells 500 seated tickets plus standing room tickets for each performance.

In an essay for the Post Independent, Kimberly explained the thread that connects each year's performance: "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, 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."

If you go

Green is the New Black Designer Trunk Sale

Saturday, 2-5 p.m. See work from three GITNB designers: Maria Rodina, a seamstress from Aspen who has participated in the show since 2014; DCR Studios, the work of Dr. Darlene C. Ritz, who has trained fashion students since 2003; and Kendra Lizotte, who specializes in one-of-a-kind coats.

The Bird’s Nest Gallery, 409 S. Hunter St., Aspen