The West

Maddox back in black for Tarvydas
Maddox back in black for Tarvydas

Bree Maddox remembers the first time she met Ruth Tarvydas.

It was 10 years ago and the famed designer offered to create a dress for the rising socialite to wear to a charity ball.

The gown in question was the black version of the "Masterpiece" - the same jaw-dropping creation worn by Rebecca Judd, nee Twigley, to the Brownlows a few months after.

That dress set in motion a decade-long friendship between the two, with Maddox donning countless Tarvydas garments, each one more extreme than the last.

But the Court Hotel co-owner admitted she did not understand their bond right away.

"I think at the start I was hesitant not to take the relationship for granted," Maddox told AAA Weekend.

"I probably didn't realise how well we clicked until a few years into it and then we just started to be able to do some crazy things together.

"She knew she could ring me - she once was designing a dress for Kim Kardashian and she said 'Bree, get your boobs over here, I need to fit a dress'. Our relationship moved from being just about the clothes into being a friendship.

"If she had something crazy, she knew I would be the one who would wear it. That ended up with me wearing a resin number that had to be melted on with a hairdryer."

Ruth Tarvydas fits Bree Maddox into one of her creations.

Maddox will be leading a pack of the late designer's supporters when she sits front row at Ruth Tarvydas - A Celebration at Ascot Racecourse next month. It is being put on by Telstra Perth Fashion Festival to honour Tarvydas, who died in May.

The businesswoman and former Penthouse Pet of the Year said an event celebrating her friend's life was needed.

"It's a tribute to her and how many lives she touched," Maddox, who starred in ABC's Boomtown with Tarvydas, said.

"Ruth wore her heart on her sleeve and she celebrated people. She was a very giving and generous spirit and I think that shows in the number of people who are hurt so much by the fact she is not here anymore.

"There is something very inspirational about someone who is not afraid to put their true selves out on display, despite the critics and the judgment. She had the courage to not put on a facade for society."

Bree Maddox, right, with Ruth Tarvydas' beloved late brother Harvey in 2008.

Also difficult for Maddox is the fact that she never had a chance to tell Tarvydas she was expecting her first child with partner Nick Hayler.

But she knows the designer is probably "squealing in excitement" about the news somewhere.

"It is bittersweet because I am so blessed to have known her. I am so sad that she's gone but I know that for her, even until the end, she would have been very true to her beliefs."

The West Australian

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