YOLO COUNTY NEWS

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Project Runway celeb brings cutting-edge fashion for a good cause

By From page A2 | April 02, 2014

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Fashion designer Timothy Westbrook, who gained fame on Lifetime Network’s “Project Runway,” will showcase his designs at the Yolo County Children’s Alliance’s fifth annual fashion show Thursday evening in West Sacramento. Courtesy photo

Forget your Prada. Pack away your Armani.

Come “Yolo County style” and enjoy an evening with fashion designer and Project Runway contestant Timothy Westbrook as he brings his high energy and creative artistry to the Yolo County Children’s Alliance’s fifth annual fashion show Thursday.

The “Project Prevention” event begins at 6 p.m. in the West Sacramento City Hall Galleria, 1110 W. Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento. Local youth leaders and foster teens will model featured designs from Westbrook’s three previous collections. Proceeds will support the Yolo County Children’s Alliance and Child Abuse Prevention Council.

Westbrook, who hails from Wanakena, N.Y., was a contestant on Lifetime Network’s hit show “Project Runway” during season 12, which aired the second half of 2013. He first gained national attention by speaking at the GreenBiz conference in New York City.

Westbrook identifies himself as a sustainability-driven fiber artist, meaning he builds his artwork out of materials rejected by society. Using fairy tales as an environmentalist metaphor, he attempts to approach his fashions with playfulness and loose sensibility.

Reflecting on the fact that many children don’t have the benefit of being raised in nurturing homes, Westbrook considers himself very lucky, saying he grew up in an “incredibly nurturing home devoid of the typical ‘angsty teenager’ phase.”

Speaking to why he wanted to be part of preventing child abuse in Yolo County, Westbrook said, “I have always been aware that not everyone has the upbringing my parents provided. If my heart and arms and talents/skills/gifts can be shared to help someone who doesn’t have a strong support system, then that is what I am meant to do.”

Joining Westbrook and modeling some of the fashions on display will be his stylist partner, Alexis Rose of Alexis Rose Style, a child abuse survivor. As a survivor of child abuse and witness of domestic abuse, Rose’s focus has always been to utilize her survival and testimonies in ways that inspire, uplift, and infuse faith into others.

Sharing why she is excited to raise money for child abuse prevention, Rose said, “It’s important to me because I’ve lived it and I’ve survived it against all odds — and, so have others. So many others.”

Katie Villegas, executive director of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, said organizers hope to raise at least $30,000 at the event to ensure that their programs continue at current levels.

“We hope at least 200 people will come to enjoy sophisticated fashion, tasty food and hosted wine for those over 21, while raising vital dollars to combat child abuse and neglect in our communities,” she said.

To reserve tickets or make a donation, visit www.yolokids.org/events; stop by the Yolo County Children’s Alliance office at 600 A St., Suite Y, in Davis; or call 530-757-5558.

Chris Jarosz, West Sacramento Chamber’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year, and the staff at West Sacramento’s Broderick Roadhouse will satisfy appetites with original New American bites. Dessert will include the always-popular chocolate fountain with fresh fruits; and Clarksburg favorite, Carvalho Family Winery, will pour its most popular varietals.

The lead sponsor for the event is the Rotary Club of Davis. Other major sponsors include Sutter Davis Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Hallmark Inn of Davis and California Fuel Cell Partnership.

Lori Aldrete

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