Conscious Party: High-end drama

With an ornate gown made of flowers and foliage, Amanda Tucker of Blossoms at Biltmore Park won Costume Drama's 2014 award for "Best in Show." Photo of model Sarah London by Almond Leaf Studios

WHAT: Costume Drama: A Fashion Show

WHEN: Friday, July 10, 7:30 p.m. (Pre-show party at 6:30 p.m.)

WHERE: Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St.

WHY: “Last year we had a whole dress made out of roadkill,” says Sara Fields, director of Costume Drama: A Fashion Show. Born from Asheville Community Theatre’s desire to attract a wider audience, the competitive runway show sees 40 local designers vying for titles in four zany categories: tape, nature, inflatables and Christmas in July.

“Upcycled fashion — or ‘trashion’ — has become a national pastime, and it’s receiving a lot of attention,” Fields says. “We love it when designers jump outside the realm of what we expect.”

If the gown of carcasses wasn’t enough of a surprise for last year’s crowd, perhaps the little black dress made of condoms or babydoll face pasties widened eyes. Still other contestants, like reigning champion Amanda Tucker of Blossoms at Biltmore Park, opted for softer garments adorned with nature’s artwork.

Audience members have more to do than gawk at the eclectic creations though: A ballot-style vote determines which designer takes home a winning title in each category, along with $200 in cash. From that pool, one overall champion receives a “Best in Show” prize of $500.

Even with those expenses, the showcase raises thousands of dollars to further Asheville Community Theatre’s nonprofit mission to entertain and enrich. Plus, this year’s showing includes a silent auction (including select garments from the show) and cash bar.

Costume Drama employs creators of all success levels, Fields says, “but mainly people that you’ve never heard of before, and that’s what makes it so amazing. They make art in their basement, and they’re not known to either the art or fashion world in Asheville.”

“It’s so much more than just fashion,” Fields reflects. “It’s really a feast for the senses.”

Visit ashevilletheatre.org for information or tickets to this annual sell-out show.

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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