By Megan Wadding, April 2017 Issue.

The show is billed as “not your grandmother's fashion show,” the 14th annual Möda Provocateūr: A Celebration of Style, Fashion and Compassion will hit the runway March 19 at the Tucson Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom.

The first Möda Provocateūr took place in 2004. In the years since, the event has not only steadily grown in attendance, but also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the care services, prevention programs and LGBTQ initiatives of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF).

Project Möda

Project Moda is a fashion design contest open to local budding designers who are looking to test their skills and creativity against other talented designers, according to the

Project Möda consists of three challenges or categories. Judges from throughout the community vote on the best of each of the following categories: The Red Dress, Repurposed with a Purpose and Femme Lace.

“The judges will [evaluate] the original designs and select 25 designs to be featured at Möda Provocateūr,” said Lindsey Jones, associate director of development for SAAF.

On To The Runway

Each year, Project Möda culminates with Möda Provocateūr, a fashion contest that showcases each designer’s creations on a 77-foot runway as they compete in best in hair, style and fashion categories.

“Young designers have the chance to showcase their designs … in the three categories,” Jones said. “[Then] at Möda Provocateūr, the Project Möda designs will walk the runway and be judged by the audience.”

Photo © Creatista Christian Griessel.

The Möda Provocateūr audience, which will likely exceed 900 attendees, get to vote for the overall Best in Show garment.

Each salon produces their own fashion segment for the show, which includes their interpretation of how HIV impacts them and how they are hoping to impact the epidemic.

This year’s participating salons, many of which are returning participants, include Spirit Salon, Beauty Brands, ÂME Salon featuring Studio X, Toni & Guy and The Industry Hair Studio.

“This means they select designers to work with, they select their music and video and they design hair and make-up,” Jones explained.

Creating Community

BreakOut Studios, which has been involved with Möda Provocateūr for the past seven years, will both open and close the fashion show with performances by the company.

“We are so excited,” said Todd Wilson, BreakOut Studios owner and Möda Provocateūr co-founder. “Our performers are members of our Life Moves Adult Company, a 18 [and over] diverse, multilevel community performance dance company. Each piece will be extremely high energy and sassy combining music, video and live performance. We look forward to another amazing show.”

Additionally, the event will include a performance by Artifact Dance Project, a raffle, a VIP dinner and more.

“The community comes together to show support for all of these talented artisans and, in turn, all of those individuals give their time energy and talent to provide a medium to get folks involved in HIV care and prevention in ways they may have not in the past,” said Jai Smith, a SAAF staff member who has attended the event for the past eight years.

An “amazing experience” is how Smith described the event.

“Attendees can expect to … see a variety of performance, fashion and artistic expression and to leave the space wanting more,” he added. “No two salons are the same and no to segments will be the same. It makes for an exciting and engaging night.”

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