Telluride AIDS Benefit: Fashion Show Directors Spill The Beans On The Big Event

[click “Play”, Amanda and Katy talk to Susan about the Fashion Show]



Runway, 2010 TAB The Telluride Student Fashion Show, co-directed by Charlotte Delpit and Devin McCarthy, was a tour de force of directing and choreography, setting the bar pretty darn high for TAB’s sold-out gala fashion show on Saturday, March 5. (Get on the waiting list and live in hope.)

Just how high? According to Telluride AIDS Benefit board member Sandy McLaughlin: “We just got our latest totals: we raised $8020 so far from show last night! Highest amount ever!”

Bravo ladies.

Now on to the Main Event.

The Telluride AIDS Benefit’s fashion show is “Project Runway” meets Broadway. Except the stakes are much, much higher. Rather than milking every cliche out of the American Dream, TAB’s fashion show is equal parts fashion and compassion, the legacy of fabric artist/costumer Robert Presley, TAB’s muse and guiding angel.

The AIDS plague was one of the news items that polarized the Reagan nation back in the 1980s, with religious zealots preaching that its cause was God’s revenge on homosexuals for crimes against nature. AIDS had the opposite effect in Telluride. The virus united the community around Presley, whose mounting medical bills became the reason a group of locals started the Telluride AIDS Benefit in 1994 with a street dance, then a fashion show, which, at first, featured outrageous threads designed by Presley himself.

The little fashion show, first staged at the historic Sheridan Opera House, grew into an extravaganza, mounted at the Mountain Village Ballroom (once Telluride Conference Center) uptown in Mountain Village, that is also the engine for the funds TAB raises each year in support of its six beneficiaries, who help those living with HIV/AIDS in Colorado all the way to Africa.

(See our past posts on the beneficiaries by following these links: /2011/03/chip-the-telluride-aids-benefit-art-auction-and-something-more.html


This year’s show is directed by long-time TAB supporter, Katy Parnello, and choreographed by Parnello and local Amanda Carlson, a gymnastics coach and teacher of hip hop, jazz and contemporary dance at The Ames Conservatory (once the Telluride Dance Academy).

To find out more about what to expect if you are one of lucky ones with a ticket for Saturday night, click the “play” button and listen to Katy and Amanda’s interview.

(To learn more about Katy, a triple threat, clothing designer, actress and dancer, go to /2011/02/katy-parnello-directs-telluride-aids-benefit-fashion-show-1.html)

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