Friday, April 11, 2008

How a woman evolves

Fashion highlights phases of recovery

Express Staff Writer

Lara Spencer holds some of the affirmations that are the essence of the Advocate’s work and the Advocates’ Fashion Show.

What's fashion? It is the trend, the nouveau, the talk of the town. It is green. It is non-profits raising money through interesting events. It is supporting women in ways that were unheard of a couple of decades ago. It appeals across age groups.

The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence second annual Advocates Fashion show is being dubbed Remix.

Remix will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 12 at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum and will feature recycled fashions, including re-mastered looks from The Advocates Attic as created by the winners of Fashion Progression: A Design Contest.

The inspiration behind this year's event is the "evolution of women through fashion," said Advocates Board Member Lara Spencer, who is also a survivor. Shown in four acts the fashion show will be produced by Spencer and represents the path of her own growth from abused to empowered woman.

"Months and months ago, my brainchild was to create the contest that would broaden the spectrum of people who would participate, Spencer said. "'The TV show) Project Runway' is such a big thing."

Contestants were asked to purchase an outfit at the Advocates Attic in Hailey, deconstruct it and create something new. The idea was a winner. More than 20 entries were submitted: one from an 8-year old girl.

"This was done not just to support the Advocate's Attic but to increase creativity through the community," Spencer said. "We want the designers come to the show, so we could start the education about domestic violence. We're really excited. There is a wide spectrum from casual to funky. It's pretty impressive."

There are two parts of the runway show: one will be the design contest; the second will be fashions from the Advocates Attic and Spencer's shop, The Dollhouse in Ketchum. After the show all the fashions will be on racks and for sale.

Younger kids will have an opportunity to create their own tee shirts based on slogans the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence created, such as "I deserve to maintain my individuality."

These slogans refer to their "nomeansknow campaign."

Hailey resident and Community School junior Bronwen Raff is a member of the coalition.

"I met her at a teen council and asked her if she'd like to represent the teen set (for the Advocates) and to help educate teens earlier," Spencer said. "We'll have wristbands, stickers, lanyards, and education material for parents and youth."

A raffle contest has three prizes: a new $2,000, handbag donated by Davis, a new Dolce & Gabbana $1,000 handbag and a new iPod. Tickets are $10 each or 6 for $50.

VIP tickets—premiere seating and a "bag o swag"—to the show are nearly sold out. But there are reserved and general tickets still available. They can also be purchased at the door.

"We scheduled it early so that people can still go to the Spring Prom or go out, Spencer said. "We hope people will dress up and have fun."

The event will also feature drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and desirable door prizes. All proceeds will benefit The Advocates, a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Tickets are $150 VIP, $100 reserved, $25 general and $15 student. For details and tickets call 788-4191 or visit

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