When Christopher M. Carber moved to Grand Junction three years ago, he didn't know monument from mesa or barely anyone between.
"It just kind of was overwhelming. I didn't know anybody. I hadn't gone to high school with anybody," said the Carber, who founded Running Director Productions and has worked in film and photography since 2014 while living in Iowa.
"The community just opened up. I started meeting amazing talent out here," he said.
One place he found talent was with Geek Parties of the Grand Valley, which pulls people in by supporting their interests — "Star Wars," Jane Austen, Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Poe (watch for those Poe events in October) — and "helping brand new people take the stage," he said.
Another place he found talent was in clothing and retail brands being created in Colorado and in Grand Junction.
Granted, on both professional and personal levels "I sought this stuff out," he said.
But he wanted to find and support the local brands that were part of his new home, and "I love the idea of clothing as art," he said.
To that end, Carber organized the Express Yourself Fashion Show that will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at Red Lion Arts Gallery & Studio on the lower level of The Mercantile Building, 546 Main St.
"I think a lot of people will be, first off, 'oh my god, I had no idea this was here,'" Carber said.
There will be a variety of clothing and accessories, some inspired by nature, others handmade for entertainers, and then "punk alternative in your face" and still more, he said.
First Friday was chosen for the show to encourage the idea of clothing design as art "not just something you put on because you have to legally," Carber said.
In addition, local designers need local awareness and support, he said.
Fortunately, Jonathan Gosser and Michelle Pattee, owners of Red Lion Arts, liked the fashion show idea.
"I think he's (Jonathan) excited to see something new downtown," Carber said.
The brands with designs that will be worn by local models on the runway at the gallery are Freya Demure, Psych Earth, Whisper Unlimited, Seeds of Revolution, Punk-O-Punx Design, Devil Child and Designs by Natalie.
The first 30 minutes of the event will be social, so people can mill about the gallery, enjoy food and wine and take in the art on display.
For the first 30 people in the door, there will be grab bags with items from local business, including the show's designers.
At 6:30 p.m., the designers will talk about their brands and the work they created for the show.
Following this, the models will walk and pose with Heather Carson announcing the show, Carber said.
Afterward, those who attend can meet and talk with the designers and models.
Information about Geek Parties of the Grand Valley and its upcoming events also will be available during the evening.
Carber is hopeful this fashion show will lead to more because he knows of other local brands with work out there that also needs local support.
Fashion isn't just for New York City or Paris, "it can happen anywhere," he said. "Grand Junction has an amazing artistic community."