When Victoria Richard should've been in ballet class, she could often be found tagging behind Patty Heath at Lafayette Ballet Theatre more interested in Patty's sewing machine than her pliƩ.

"She would ask me how to sew a tutu," Patty says with a smile.

All that yearning for sewing has paid off and tonight when the ladies of Alla Prima hit the stage, Victoria's hometown will get a glimpse of a talented designer. And earlier this week, Patty and crew gave IND style a little sneak peak at the fashion forward costumes designed by Victoria (which Patty helped execute) for the Acadiana Center for the Arts event tonight. The brainchild of board member Kelli Kaufman, Alla Prima is a much "jazzier" affair than what usually comes from Lafayette Ballet Theatre.

Co-visual arts artistic director Shannon Heath says the production is a "step in a completely different direction."

And the costumes created by Victoria who is studying at Parsons in NYC and recently hired at Ralph Lauren is a part of that different direction.

"They have a very artistic appeal," Shannon says.

Victoria brought 25 sketches to Shannon and Mitzi Heath(the co-director with Shannon and her sister) to begin the process.

"She put a lot of work into it," Shannon says.


And while Victoria is certainly a gifted new designer, she hasn't forgotten her ballet roots. It is a blonde ballet clad Victoria who appears on the Alla Prima posters painted by George Rodrigue.

Patty gave us a glimpse of two of the pieces for the performance tonight and both certainly give the feel of ballet marries art. With painterly details and soft colors, the pieces are a romantic marriage of design and ballet in a way that can certainly only come from the hands of someone who has both in their soul.

Alla Prima is the kick off for a fundraising campaign aimed at a new facility for the 30-year-old nonprofit and will include dozens of pieces in live and silent auctions.

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