Fashion show celebrates LGBTQ+ community at Center for the Arts

The “Spring Fling Fashion Thing” features runway looks designed by local artists.
(From left to right) DJ The Western Gem (aka Zoe Curran) and Jackson Hole Pride steering committee’s Grant Gallaher joined KHOL to promote their upcoming event “Spring Fling Fashion Thing” at the Center for the Arts Lobby on Friday, May 3. (Photo: Jack Catlin/KHOL)

Jackson Hole Pride is an organization that supports the local LGBTQ+ community primarily through events meant to foster inclusivity and joy.

Over the last several years their events have grown in number and popularity with 2023 featuring their most ambitious schedule to date while also marking the second year the town of Jackson had an official Pride month in June.

Pride can be for everybody

“[JH Pride] started as a grassroots community effort that over the past few years has gotten more and more organized, through a lot of work from Karyn Chin, Andrew Munz, and Susan Scarlata, folks that have been carrying this banner for Pride for years and years,” Grant Gallaher of JH Pride’s steering committee said. “And now we’re at a place where we are trying to do more year-round events and events that appeal to folks from all different corners and walks of life in the community so that Pride can be for everybody.”


The “Spring Fling Fashion Thing” will take over the Center for the Arts lobby on Friday, May 3, from 7:30 p.m. until Midnight. Presented by the Center for the Arts and JH Pride, the night features looks designed, styled, and modeled by local designers scheduled to hit the runway at both 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. with music and sound throughout the festivities curated by KHOL DJ Zoe Curran aka The Western Gem.

When talking about the concept of “Spring Fling Fashion Thing,” Gallaher mentioned being inspired by Bravo’s Project Runway, RuPaul’s Drag Race and the landmark 1990 documentary film, Paris Is Burning, which chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. What inspired him most, however, was an autobiography by André Leon Talley a journalist, stylist, creative director, and the editor-at-large of Vogue magazine for 30 years.

“[He was] a giant in the fashion industry and someone who was pushing boundaries and asking questions about who belongs in fashion and what it means to be fashionable,” Gallaher explained. “I was captivated by the way he was able to bring me into his world and make it feel so real. I thought to myself ‘This is so cool. How could we bring something like this to Jackson?’” 

Increase in visibility

The fashion on display Friday night will be from local designers with varying levels of experience showing off their looks centered around themes that were voted on in the pre-production process by the artists involved. 

DJ The Western Gem aka Zoe Curran will aim to complement the energy and vibe of each category to keep the evening flowing smoothly and encourage participation.

“We’re really trying to not only have it be accessible for the designers, but for the community that comes to see it. So one of my goals is for the music to be really fun and accessible so that people feel comfortable getting up on that runway and having a good time,” Curran said.

The free, all-ages event is billed as “Paris is Burning meets Project Runway with a unique Wyoming flair” and offering a unique opportunity for the community to experience the glamorous world of fashion in their backyard. Something that wasn’t always available in Jackson. 

“A lot of [past events] were only accessible if you were 21+. And so something that’s really awesome about this event is that it is all ages,” Curran said. “When I was 18, I was beginning to gain awareness of this increased visibility of the Pride community and just more queer people in town. But you couldn’t necessarily go and participate, or there weren’t a lot of options.”

Fortunately, the options and opportunities for the local LGBTQ+ community will continue to grow. The “Spring Fling Fashion Thing” will announce JH Pride’s upcoming calendar for June which features exciting new partnerships and the return of some beloved festivities from years past.

“I think the more that we have events like this and Pride things all year round, it gives people more opportunities to connect with a community that they resonate with,” Gallaher said. “I think we’re going to see that continuing to grow, not just here in Jackson, but across the state of Wyoming in general.”

“There’s definitely been an increase in visibility and types of people that’s been so encouraging,” Curran said. “I never thought I’d be able to be part of a queer fashion show in my hometown, but here we are.”

Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with JH Pride steering committee’s Grant Gallaher and DJ The Western Gem, aka Zoe Curran.

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About Jack Catlin

Jack is KHOL's music director. He says all music is in some way connected no matter the style and his mission is to provide listeners with a unique and memorable experience each time they tune in to KHOL or see him DJ live.

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