Tarvydas to debut in Paris
Ruth Tarvydas, left, Brendan Parker, Louise Howden-Smith, Simon Stewart and model Gabriel. Picture: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

After almost five decades in the fashion industry, Perth designer Ruth Tarvydas will fulfil a lifelong dream when she makes her Paris debut in July at Paris Fashion Week.

For the show, Tarvydas is teaming up with esteemed local dance identity Louise Howden-Smith and her contemporary Aboriginal and non-indigenous dance company Ochre.

The haute couture autumn-winter runway presentation will start with a bespoke dance performance, transitioning into a collaborative dance fashion spectacle combining the talents of the Ochre dancers and the models on the catwalk.

"It is more than strutting down the runway, it is about presenting fashion with a whole different energy," Tarvydas said. "It was a vision that I had to bring life to the catwalk and Ochre were totally on my page."

The show is being backed by the If Foundation and its sponsors because it will provide skill development opportunities and mentorships at an international level for local and regional Aboriginal dancers, designers and arts administrators.

"It's exciting to see local and global opportunities are increasing for Aboriginal and regional art, including fashion and dance," Brendan Parker, chief executive of the IF Foundation, said.

"Supporting the Tarvydas fashion label and the Ochre Contemporary Dance Company in this show is perfectly aligned with how we see benefits flowing back into the various communities across WA."

Of the partnership, Ms Howden-Smith said: "It has been a long-held dream of mine for this company to provide a platform for young Aboriginal people to gain professional development opportunities which enhance their skills and career prospects.

"With our aligned values, I can see the potential for this relationship to provide exceptional and unique opportunities for emerging dancers and creatives going forward."

The news is positive for Tarvydas, who continues to work tirelessly to rebuild her fashion business from financial crisis.

"It (the financial difficulties) has created a new me," Tarvydas said."

You have to go through everything in life to grow."

It is about presenting fashion with a whole different energy." Ruth Tarvydas

The West Australian

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