Rising fashion star Lara Kovacevich will pay tribute to her mentor Ruth Tarvydas at this year's Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.
Kovacevich was Tarvydas' right-hand woman for 3 1/2 years during one of the late fashion designer's most successful periods in the 2000s.
After leaving Tarvydas in 2010 to branch out with her own label Zhivago, Kovacevich and her design partner Lydia Tsvetnenko have fast established themselves as one of Australia's hottest properties in fashion.
"Ruth pioneered fashion in Western Australia, she was the first Australian designer to export overseas, so she was my first choice for internship when I graduated," Kovacevich said.
"When the time came for Lydia and I to launch Zhivago, my first-hand experience for Tarvydas was invaluable."
During her early years working for Tarvydas, Kovacevich was fresh out of college with no experience but Tarvydas quickly took a shine to her and gave her the position of brand manager.
"Ruth demonstrated complete trust in my abilities, she gave me complete freedom to manage her brand, including her retail outlets," she said. "Which when I think about it now, was a very unique position for me to be in.
"Thanks to Ruth I was fully prepared when Lydia and I launched Zhivago and I in turn was able to pass those skills on to Lydia.
"Tarvydas was a great launch pad for me into the industry. Zhivago's core business values are definitely due to the experience I garnered at Tarvydas."
Kovacevich will sit front row at Ruth Tarvydas - A Celebration at Ascot Racecourse on September 19 to see a retrospective of Tarvydas' career paraded on the biggest catwalk in the festival's history. The show is supported by The West Australian.
"I am looking forward to her show and to see 40 years of her incredible creative story be told one last time," she said.
"The show will be a fitting tribute to her legacy and the finale she would have wanted."
Zhivago will also pay homage to Tarvydas by showing some of its garments in the Galvanised - Ultimate Show-Stoppers event following the Tarvydas show at Ascot.
Galvanised will feature five leading designers, including Alex Perry, who embody the glamorous spirit of Tarvydas
"With everything Lara learnt from Ruth, she was able to teach me so many invaluable skills that I am still learning today," Tsvetnenko said.
Perth’s fashion community opens up about Ruth Tarvydas in a special Telstra Perth Fashion Festival edition of West Weekend in The Weekend West tomorrow