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Wisconsin's (Last?) Winter Fashion Show looks on the sunny side of our warming winters

Wisconsin's (last?) Winter Fashion Show Flyer
Wisconsin's (last?) Winter Fashion Show Flyer

All week WUWM's Thin Ice series has been sharing stories about the impacts Wisconsin’s warming winters has on our health, agriculture, and way of life.

For former Lake Effect producer Ben Binversie, this past winter was one of the weirdest he’s experienced. But instead of grieving the winter activities he didn’t get to enjoy, he plans to send off this warm winter with a fashion show.

The outdoor fashion show at Bradford Beach on March 17 from 3 p.m. to sundown will celebrate Wisconsin style and winters. "I wanted to create a new kind of ritual as a way of sending off winter and welcoming spring. I had this idea to have a fashion show where we demonstrate like how we weather the changes of whatever winter brings to us," Binversie says.

The show will feature classic Wisconsin Winter clothes like wool, orange hunting wear, and whatever else the participants creatively think of. "As far as like the fashion itself, I want people to bring whatever their weirdest or normal winter clothing ideas are," says Binversie. "I have friends who have made and maybe are gonna keep making for the show dresses out of plastic bags and stuffed animals."

Food, tanning Dick Bacon style, and a bonfire will also be involved. The event will be hosted at Bradford Beach's northernmost point, where prominent willow plants will serve as a natural runway.

Binversie seeks to add a new, more positive perspective around Wisconsin's changing climate. "I don't know what tomorrow's gonna bring. I don't know what next winter's going to bring ... but I know that there's still a little bit of maple syrup left; I know that there's still going to be cold days, at least for a while. And so when the sun shines, and it's 70° in the middle of winter, I'm going to say, 'yes' to that because, why not?"


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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