Pageant finalists pay tribute to Tarvydas
Beachside tribute: The Bali memorial. Picture: Jarrad Seng

It was a sparkly yet solemn farewell for the woman who had acted as a mentor throughout their pageant.

WA's top six Miss Universe finalists gathered to pay tribute to Ruth Tarvydas on Monday, setting up a beachside candlelight memorial for the fashion designer at Karma Kandara resort in Bali.

Stephanie Wake, Courtney Read, Georgia Gibbs, Bree Wilson, Lucy Ross and Felicia Kendrick were on a group trip to Bali when they learnt of Tarvydas' death last week.

The designer had long supplied gowns for the pageant and also appeared on the judging panel.

The toast was planned by event organisers Troy and Sophia Barbagallo for the Perth women to pay homage to the style icon's memory, spelling out her name in paper lanterns on the sand surrounded by a giant heart.

Mrs Barbagallo said it was a special way for the team to say goodbye to Tarvydas and the contestants would treasure the custom gowns that were part of their winner's prize.

The finalists returned from Bali last night and are preparing for the national Miss Universe final in Melbourne on June 6.

Known for her glamorous evening gowns, Tarvydas was found dead at her East Perth apartment on Friday. There were no suspicious circumstances.

The designer had to close her King Street store in October 2012 because of debts of $1 million but friends said she seemed positive about the future in recent months.

The Tarvydas family issued a statement yesterday, saying they were mourning the loss of a "beautiful and eccentric" light.

"We are incredibly proud of her professional achievements that paved the way for many young Australian designers, we take comfort in the knowledge that the legacy of our darling Ruthie will live on for many years to come in our memories and in her designs," they said.

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14

The West Australian

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