Former Project Runway contestant, ROCKONE1 founder and Mode Fashion Week Co-Host Anthony Ryan Auld mingles with guests at his recent Perkins Rowe studio opening "Don't Feed The Designer." (Credit: Ferris McDaniel)
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By Ferris McDaniel | LSU Student
Former Project Runway contestant Anthony Ryan Auld goes from the runway to The Rowe in preparation for Baton Rouge's first major fashion event — Mode Fashion Week.
Auld recently unveiled his open-concept design studio in Perkins Rowe at the "Don't Feed The Designer" event. The studio invites the public to enter Auld's world and gain insight on the inner-workings of fashion.
A typical design studio is closed-off, but Auld's, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, bares it all. The space will be open on weekend evenings for visitors to track Auld's progress, ask questions or just stop in for a chat.
Fashion reality television, such as Lifetime channel's Project Runway, demonstrates the steps in creating clothes, notes Auld, "and that fascinates people." His studio brings the show to Baton Rouge, he said.
"This (will) allow people to see what it takes to build a collection as far as resources, fabric, going through the actual phases."
Plans for Auld to partner with Perkins Rowe on April 27 for a designer meet-and-greet event already were paved when the idea to turn an empty office space into Auld's temporary studio was spawned.
Auld suggested the studio would promote Mode Fashion Week as well as draw visitors to a less-visited area of the shopping center.
"Since we have so many fashion stores, we thought the design studio would be a good fit," said Paula Biggs, Perkins Rowe marketing director.
Biggs said that although the studio is temporary, it's intriguing because people can observe how a designer works. She said the studio would draw attention no matter its location in the shopping center, but the current spot will lure more people to an area with fewer shops and restaurants.
Posters on the storefront will also raise awareness for Auld's cancer charity, ROCKONE1, which he founded after battling testicular cancer. Proceeds from Mode Fashion Week, April 24-28, will go to ROCKONE1.
Auld currently is the only designer using the studio. However, it will hold the collections of other Mode Fashion Week designers once they arrive for the event. Fittings and adjustments with models also will occur at the studio during the fashion week.
The studio wasn't the only thing Auld revealed at the event. He also released the names of two more designers — Project Runway co-stars Olivier Green and Bert Keeter — who will join him, Joshua McKinley and Laura Kathleen at Mode Fashion Week.
A full schedule of events includes slating fashion workshops throughout the week, the ROCKONE1 and Mode Fashion Week launch party on April 24 and the runway show and Scene Magazine's after-party on April 28.
Auld said he's learning how to relinquish the reigns of responsibility to focus on his 20-25 piece collection. "It's busier than ever, but I like what I'm doing. I'm very fortunate."