Denver's most fashionable and charitable denizens turned out last night to attend a special Project Runway All Stars viewing party at Beauty Bar hosted by contestant and Denver designer Mondo Guerra. While Guerra hosts a viewing party at the venue every week, last night's event featured silent and live auctions, a performance by drag queen Mina Karen and a guest appearance by fellow Project Runway contestant Peach Carr, all to benefit the Denver Colorado Aids Project.
More than one hundred people packed into the small space, and the first hour was filled with drinks and bidding on the silent auction; items included pieces from Project Runway judges Michael Kors and Isaac Mizrahi, outfits designed by former contestants including Carr and Guerra, cosmetics packages by L'Oreal and gifts from Tiffany & Co.
"It's really refreshing to see someone like Mondo who goes away and comes back and remembers the people and the organizations who took care of him before he got famous," says Tim Schuetz of the Denver Colorado Aids Project, which benefited from the evening.
Before Mondo was robbed of victory on Season 8 of Project Runway, he was just another struggling designer. But Mondo was also struggling with HIV, something he revealed on the show that year. The Denver Colorado Aids Project helped him get tested for free and provided services to help get him to his doctors appointments and be able to pick up his prescriptions. He even utilized their food bank.
"Before I got on Project Runway I was a client of DCAP, frequenting not only their social services but their food bank, so once I got some visibility it was important for me to give back not only to DCAP and their mission but back to the community," he says, adding that he couldn't have had so much success without the support of the community as well. "The response is amazing. We always have a full house [at the viewing parties] and everyone that comes here is a little family, everyone who comes here is really participating in the fun. It's about being with friends and enjoying the show. We definitely have our regulars that are here every week so it's good to see them."
The second hour of the event was dedicated to watching last night's episode of All Stars, which Guerra won, much to the excitement of the crowd.
"We love Project Runway. We've read about it for a while but this is the first one we've been to. We read about it in the paper and said lets go down! So this is a great first one to attend," said Sherry Rosendale, who along with sister Colette Mcray were enjoying the festivities and bid on several of the items up for auction.
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If you missed out on the big event, don't fret. There are viewing parties at Beauty Bar every Thursday night at 6 p.m. And while the silent and live auctions closed last night, there is an online auction currently going on at Guerra's website with proceeds also benefiting the Denver Colorado Aids Project.