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Ballet West, boutique team up for fashion show

Published: Sunday, May 2 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

Art and fashion are a sweet combination, especially when Ballet West dancers are the models for the clothing and accessories created by a group of emerging fashion designers.

Ballet West and Park City's online boutique Farasha have joined forces for the "Couture in Motion" benefit fashion show for the dance company.

Artistic director Adam Sklute wanted to follow up last year's fashion-show event, which was held at Pierpont Place, with one similar, but at the same time newer.

"(Last year) was so much fun," Sklute said. "It was so well-received, and the energy was so electric. We determined it was a wonderful, enjoyable and successful event, and we wanted to build on it a little bit."

This year, the event will take place at St. Regis Deer Crest in Deer Valley.

"We wanted to maintain our Park City connections," said Sklute. "Last year we were able to do a full performance in the Eccles Performing Arts Center, but this year, we weren't able to do that. So we thought the fashion show would be a wonderful way to keep the connection with Park City and open up the event, not only to our wonderful people here in Salt Lake City, but also to our Park City people, and perhaps new people as well."

Farasha owner Vanessa Di Palmer Wright said she is excited to be a part of the event.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to do this," Wright said. "It is a huge complement to my concept."

The concept of Farasha is simple, she said.

"We don't have a storefront," she said. "In response to the retail climate and economy in the last year, Farasha is an incubator space for emerging global designers. I represent them and introduce them to markets they wouldn't otherwise have access to, and I do pop-up boutiques.

"I partner with either an art gallery, advertisement agency or community center and we set up stores for a day, or a month, in those spaces, and we drive sales to our website, www.Farashastyle.com."

Farasha's partnership with Ballet West will include clothing and accessories, including handbags and jewelry, from Brazil, Japan, Russia, Peru, Italy and Costa Rica.

"We'll also have items from Kansas, New York City, Texas, Utah and Chicago," she said. "There is a lot of talent emerging from Illinois."

Wright's involvement began in December.

"I know (Ballet West director of development) Denise Begue and ran into her at a holiday event," said Wright, who had always wanted to own a clothing boutique. "We got together for breakfast with Adam at the beginning of the year and they offered the opportunity to partner with them."

Sklute said he was happy Wright agreed to come on board.

"She has a wonderful eye and sense of taste and style," he said. "We're excited to be partnering with her."

In addition to the items from the national and international designers, the event also will feature pointe shoes and a fantasy tutu.

Earlier in the year, Ballet West called for local artists to submit ideas of decorated pointe shoes for the "Shoe-In" segment of the event. The winning submissions will be showcased and set out for auction during the "Couture in Motion," Sklute said.

"This project has really taken off in the three years we've been doing it," he said. "The flights of fancy that these fantastic artists do is really incredible."

The designs are part of Sklute's vision for Ballet West to reach out to local artists and designers. That's why they are introducing another design aspect, the Fantasy Tutu.

Three local designers created tutus for the dancers to model during the early part of the fund-raiser, Sklute said.

"I've asked the artists to be fantastical with the tutus," he said. "I told them not to be practical with them. You know, be wild. This isn't about being functional. It's about being spectacular."

Then he added with a laugh: "I just ask that they remain tasteful."

e-mail: scott@desnews.com

If you go...

What: "Couture in Motion" — Ballet West, Farasha

Where: St. Regis Deer Crest, 2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City

When: May 8, 8 p.m.

How much: $40

Phone: 801-323-6917

Web: www.balletwest.org

Also: "Couture in Motion" pre-show party at 6 p.m. includes drinks and hors d'oeuvres; reserved seating, $100.

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