Dallas Opera to Launch FIRST SIGHT Fashion Show and Luncheon, 10/24

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The Dallas Opera, inspired by the incredible success of FIRST NIGHT festivities that mark the opening of each new season, is delighted to introduce an extraordinary spin-off: The FIRST SIGHT Fashion Show and Luncheon featuring the work of five outstanding and internationally renowned Dallas-based designers with their breathtaking interpretations of the operas that will take centerstage next season in addition to sumptuous fashions by ESCADA, an international brand synonymous with the highest quality and luxury. This celebration of great opera and fabulous fashion will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2013 in the acclaimed Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, presented by J.P. Morgan.

The pre-show reception beginning at 10:00 a.m. will set the mood for the fun that follows as the Shannon and Ted Skokos Stage is transformed into a glamorous high-fashion runway to showcase the imagination and talent of five of fashion's most creative designers:

ELIZABETH ANYAA

MICHAEL FAIRCLOTH

ABI FERRIN

KHANH NGUYEN

And NICOLAS VILLALBA

The fashion show will be capped by a sit-down luncheon at 11:45 a.m. in the Winspear Lobby, artfully prepared by Puck Catering.

Explains FIRST SIGHT & FIRST NIGHT Chair, Lynn Mock: "The overwhelming public interest in the fashion element of FIRST NIGHT prompted us to expand our vision to match the creativity of an iconic brand, ESCADA, as well as these five incredible designers. By giving them the spotlight, exclusively, in this very special event, we hope to excite and engage our patrons while giving art and fashion their due.

"It's a perfect extension of the FIRST NIGHT celebrations," Ms. Mock adds.

Following their unveiling at FIRST SIGHT, these one-of-a-kind creations inspired by the operas and theme of the 2013-2014 "By Love Transformed Season" will lend an additional air of excitement to the red carpet on Opening Night.

Several fashion-savvy style leaders are lending their expertise to the Dallas Opera's inaugural FIRST SIGHT, including Event Architect Jeffrey Horn FPLtd. and Event Designer Larry Leathers.

"There is nothing more glamorous and elegant than our talented designer creations, with ESCADA fashion; all showcased inside the beautiful Winspear Opera House," says Fashion Show Producer Rhonda Sargent Chambers. "I am thrilled!"

Table sales packages are now available for FIRST SIGHT & FIRST NIGHT that offer additional invitations to exclusive patron parties and events. Individual seats will be made available at a later time (subject to availability). For more information or to reserve your table now, contact Dallas Opera Special Events Manager Tracy Mott at tracy.mott@dallasopera.org or by calling 214.443.1063.

FIRST SIGHT DESIGNERS

Elizabeth Anyaa, Fashion and Textile Designer: Born in Sierra Leone in West Africa, Elizabeth Anyaa began sewing her own clothes by the age of seven. The winner of scholarships and grants to study textile design in Finland, after earning her B.A. in Fine Arts, she became the head textile designer for a prestigious Scandinavian architectural firm before emigrating to the U.S. in 1996. Ms. Anyaa pursued graduate studies in fine art, marketing and fashion design in Maryland and Texas, winning the "Best of Show" Career Day fashion competition organized by Fashion Group International and a scholarship which enabled her to continue her studies in London. Today, she is a resident artist at South Side at Lamar in Dallas. Her fashions have appeared on singer Erykah Badu, and in publications including Women's Wear Daily and The Dallas Morning News.

Michael Faircloth, Fashion Designer: Michael Faircloth opened his first couture salon in Dallas thirty years ago and today enjoys an international clientele that heralds his sense of cut, and discriminating eye for graceful detail. Former First Lady Laura Bush, a long-established client, thrust him into the national media spotlight when she asked Michael to design her first inaugural wardrobe. His elegant designs are geared toward women who recognize the beauty of a refined aesthetic: "mix the classic with the dramatic and come out with something really feminine."

Abi Ferrin, Fashion Designer: An award-winning designer who strives to empower women to look and feel their best, Abi Ferrin's brand is being launched nationally by better boutiques and retailers like Nordstrom. Elements of her collection are made by Cambodian women rescued from the sex trade and, through the philanthropic arm of her company, The Freedom Project, they are provided with counseling, training, shelter and alternatives to abusive employment. Abi includes a hand-crafted Freedom Project element on every Made-in-the-USA garment, bringing her motto, Fashion+Freedom+Purpose, full circle.

Khanh Nguyen, Fashion Designer: She is the award-winning Creative Director and Designer of her own label, Nha Khanh, consisting of designs that focus on modern glamour, inspired by art, architecture and most importantly, nature. The designs are ethereal; meticulously constructed, and host an ease about them that allows for an effortless sensibility. The company offers seasonal "advanced contemporary" ready-to-wear; a custom Atelier collection, which hosts one-of-a-kind and custom pieces; as well as a bridal line. The Nha Khanh mission is to empower a woman with inner-strength through her clothing with a focus on "elegance with a modern edge".

Nicolas Villalba, Couturier and Fashion Designer: The international award-winning owner and principal designer of Nicolas Villalba - COUTURE. Originally an evening wear designer, Nicolas now specializes in all things custom, including bridal, menswear, costumes, and linens. After graduating with a BFA in Fashion Design, Nicolas was chosen to represent the U.S. in the European design competition, "Etoilles de la Mode" where he became the first American to win the "Prix du Public." He was also honored with the Fashion Group International "Rising Star Award," the "Excellence in Design" award and the DIFFA "Legend of Style" award. He was a two-time winner in the 2011 Dallas Voice Reader's Choice Awards for Best Designer - a first for the magazine. .Villalba does private label work for Stanley Korshak, Neiman-Marcus, TODD Events, and other high-end retailers. He can be reached at his design studio for new client consultations.

ESCADA Today: Today ESCADA has interpreted its brand values in a new, updated way: cool glamour, sensual femininity and modern elegance are the hallmarks of the ESCADA brand line. ESCADA stands for fashion dressing women appropriately for every occasion. The brand offers a lifestyle concept filled with everything from must-have everyday items for business and leisure to red carpet occasions. The ESCADA women is naturally drawn to the limelight and loves a feminine and glamorous yet fresh, modern style. The ESCADA SPORT line today creates casualwear for sexy, dynamic women with a youthful spirit who love an easy, uncomplicated and relaxed chic. The collection focuses on knitwear, jersey, outerwear and denim and offers items that can be mixed and matched. Exclusive, enchanting color palettes highlight seasonal trends and prints in every collection. Innovative fabrics, high-quality detailing and embroideries as well as excellent fit and exclusive workmanship reinforce the high-end level of all ESCADA collections.

Events, guests and artists subject to change. Additional information about "July at the Dallas Opera" is conveniently available online, 24/7. Visit www.dallasopera.org and check the calendar listings.

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Subscriptions are now on sale to the general public, starting at just $76. Single Tickets starting at $19 and Flex Subscriptions are also on sale. Family performances are $5 (Family Performance Subs are $12 for three family performances) and are on sale now. For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.