Nicole PopovichBig Night: Designers Mona Lucero (left) and Deb Henriksen get ready to show off their Ace Hardware designs for the second challege of the Tamarac Square Fashion Project.
Nicole PopovichShow Offs: The models primping before hitting the runway.
Nicole PopovichFamily Affair: Designer Tricia Hoke spends some quality time with those near and dear to her.
Nicole PopovichCrowd Control: Throngs of people have packed Tamarac Square for each of the challenges -- which is good since all the proceeds from ticket sales benefit Dress for Success. So far, $3,500 has been raised.
Nicole PopovichHostesses with the Mostest: Rocky Mountain News Style Matters columnists Judie Schwartz and Evelinda Urman lead the festivities. Now bring on the models...
Nicole PopovichFirst Up: Design by Alexander Smith.
Nicole PopovichDesign by Armando Guerra.
Nicole PopovichDesign by Crystal Sharp.
Nicole PopovichDesign by Deb Henriksen.
Nicole PopovichDesign by Gino Velardi.
Nicole PopovichDesign by Jose Clark.
Nicole PopovichDesign by Kandyce Hudson. (P.S.: Happy belated b-day!)
Nicole PopovichDesign by Lisa Ramfjord Elston.
Nicole PopovichDesign by Mona Lucero.
Nicole PopovichDesign by Nancy Sedar Sherman. (This model worked the runway for Nancy, even pretending to be on her cell phone when she came out. Excellent theatrics, Nancy!)
Nicole PopovichDesign by Stephanie Ohnmacht.
Nicole PopovichDesign by Tricia Hoke.
Nicole PopovichHome Stretch: The designers prepare to hit the stage with their models -- and discuss what they used from Ace Hardware.
Nicole PopovichBeing an Aries, Kandyce went for an Athena theme for her challenge design. She swathed her model in dust cloth, gave her a golden staff and finished her off with trash can shield -- complete with Medusa head.
Nicole PopovichA lot of webbing and washers went into the garment designed by Lisa. If Cat remembers correctly, the cloth is from canvas bags. (She will update if she is wrong.) Great detailing on the sleeves and a knockout bag complete the outfit.
The Ace bag.
Nicole PopovichArmando, Armando, Armando...how Cat loves your creative mind. For this confection -- and really, is there another word? -- Armando created a fitted bodice out of carpet runner, then built a skirt cage out of chicken wire and stuffed it with more than 700 rosettes made of garbage bags. The headpiece was the perfect finishing touch, with feathers pulled off of a duster. And the necklace is made of gumballs and plumbers chain. Gorgeous.
Nicole PopovichCat overheard many women in the audience coveting this dress. And really, Cat could only wish that she looked so pulled together every day. Stephanie used duct tape and bird seed for the "trim", made her own macrame webbing for the bodice, and finished it all off with a hat made from dent-repair kit. Lovely.
Nicole PopovichDeb put together a full outfit, with functioning handbag, for her design. She started with hand towels -- brilliant! -- and cut them up to make fabric for her dress and hoodie. She took the trim off other towels to create the floral accents, and finally used S hooks and key chains to keep it all together. The piece de resistance, however, was the skull appliqué on the back of the jacket.
Nicole PopovichSo, so, so cute. Cat may have to commission a jacket like this.
Nicole PopovichCrystal could not do her normal elegant look, so instead she went...barbaric. He look starts with leather car chamois -- excellent use of materials! -- and is then accented with door-hinge jewelry and brass metal plating. Nice to see Crystal stretch so sucessfully outside of her comfort zone.
Nicole PopovichCat always looks forward to the unique, innovative designs Tricia sends down the runway. She always pushes boundaries and furthers the idea of fashion. Kudos to you, Tricia. For this adventure, Tricia started with painters plastic and trimmed it out with metal hearts and duct tape. The long train is actually on rollers attached to garden lattice, making it easier for her model to carry. Finally, the metal numbers that adorn the train are actually the combination that opens the padlock, which is how her model gets in and out of the dress. So fun.
Nicole PopovichGino, mixing it up on us! Normally his dresses are elegant affairs, but Gino went truly wild with the Ace challenge. The dress is, obviously, made of chains, but the real innovation is the bra: He placed dust masks over her breasts and then covered them with duct tape. Clever, clever.
Nicole PopovichMona was on point with her garment, in terms of the Asian theme that is showing up everywhere right now. Mona, who has long been influenced by the East, started with a base of weed suppressant, trimmed it with duct tape and then put on appliqués cut out of seed packets and fertilizer bags. Her model looked super slim and sexy.
Nicole PopovichBy the time Jose was done with his dress, he had bloody fingers from working with the metal mesh that is the silver portion of the skirt. The black is weed suppressant, and the perfectly shaped bodice is made out of metal ducting. The end result was definitely worth spilling a little blood.
Nicole PopovichMore weed suppressant here. Nancy used it as the slip for her dress, then did a layer of bubble wrap and topped it off with netting. She painted rope to make the decorative swirls, and attached a crate "purse" to carry a faux dog. Maybe Paris Hilton needs one?
Nicole PopovichAlec always comes up with something fascinating, but this time he took inspiration from his model, who wanted to wear the red shoes. From there, we get a warrior princess. Cat cannot remember what the cloth was, but Alex spray painted the bottom gold to create gradation in color and then stitched it all together with the red plastic. Simple and tres sexy.
Nicole PopovichAnd the winner is...Second runnner up: Jose Clark.First runner up: Armando Guerra.Winner: Stephanie Ohnmacht.
Nicole PopovichAnd for next week, we have the DLeas Fashion Challenge. DLeas owner Dianne Denholm provided each of the contestants with the same fabric, same notions, same everything, and their challenge is to create something that expresses their various styles and tastes.