03/19/2012 01:39 pm ET Updated May 08, 2012

Art Director's Club Of Denver Produces Nation's Bigest Paper Fashion Show To Support Youth Arts Program

As spring nears, fashion in the northern hemisphere is lightening up, but last week in Denver it was paper-thin.

This year the Art Directors Club of Denver hosted what has become the biggest paper fashion show in the nation, with over 50 design teams that cut runway looks almost entirely out of paper to benefit the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA). DAVA in turn benefits urban youth ages 3-17, with free after school art education programs.

Denver's 8th annual Paper Fashion Show was sold out this year and has donated more than $22,000 to DAVA since it began, and this year Denver native Fallene Wells--a season nine Project Runway contestant--joined the judging panel.

Five paper trophies were given to the winning design teams and three of the runway designs were even created by DAVA students themselves.

Last year's winning paper designer Barry Brown, won first place again this year with a dress that he says was inspired by butterflies and the infamous wings featured each year in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Last year his first place paper creation weighed 30 pounds, so this year he opted for a lighter design--though it still took his team over 300 hours to create.

"This year I was inspired by the idea of the butterfly effect, the notion that even the fluttering of a butterfly's wings can change the world. I love the thought that we can change the world with our design," Brown told The Huffington Post.

Brown explained that his passion with paper design began at an early age when his father was an auctioneer at a print shop, but that it wasn't until he was laid off three years ago that he got to return fully to the possibilities of paper.

"We all affect the world even if we don't know it. So the question is what can we do for good? I would love for people to consider how they can change the world in a positive way, and you can really understand it in the context of this show--the notion of taking something impossible and making something amazing out of it."

All photos by Veronica Rael.