Ruth’s tribute show on Day 3 of Telstra Perth Fashion Festival was absolutely stunning and the work that went into honouring this incredible woman was clearly apparent, making it all the more heartfelt. From the second I got out of my Uber I could see that this event was true to Ruth’s essence from start to finish. There were hundreds of candles framing the long bitumen path on the walkway to Ascot Racecourse, the night was still, it was twilight and up ahead was a sea of sparkling chandeliers high up above a mountain of deep red roses with even more candles all over the ground making me feel like I had walked onto the set of Romeo and Juliet.
I knew this was going to be emotional, I feel like I had a strong connection with Ruth – I suppose everyone who knew her felt that way but what I didn’t realise was how emotional I would get. When I found the backstage area, the second I walked in, I saw all the models getting dressed in the archives and strangely a thought popped into my head.. “Oh where’s Ruth?” followed by the realisation that of course she wouldn’t be making it today. The first time in 7 years I have not seen Ruth’s glowing face and heard her happy voice when I entered her show from back of house. Well at least she wasn’t there in the physical form but I really do think she was there – believe it or not, I could feel her presence. Knowing Ruth, she wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I immediately started crying. I was due to be filmed for this upcoming Channel 9 segment and so after wiping away my tears, I got miked up and started doing my SV thing.
There was definitely a sombre mood amongst the models and backstage crew – a quietness, an extra level of politeness and a hush of the eerie. That wasn’t the only time I cried that night. In fact, I cried about 4 times – a second time before the show started, this time I was being filmed and the camera followed me everywhere, even to take a moment to pull myself together, wipe my eyes with a napkin (haha – classy) and whilst bent over, I spotted a sea of black gift bags that looked so cool – so teary and a mess, with make up running down my face, I got the camera and got that shot. My life through a lens. The third time was just as the show started because the music was so incredibly cool (orchestra playing over the top of a punk rock type song with violin screeching in the most epic way) – she would have loved that music! Then once again between changes and you know when you try to hold it back but at this point it was too hard, I had literally opened the flood gates and ended up blabbering – everyone could see, I was being filmed for crying out loud (again literally hahaha) and Elle the lovely show caller hugged me to show her sympathy. No one else was crying backstage. I heard that a few people were in the show but others had cried so much at the time, they found the event a beautiful relief. I was at Ruth’s funeral but I really felt like this was a sort of second funeral for her, just the way she would have dreamed it up for herself, if she could have.
Well done to everyone involved, Mariella, the team at TPFF, Aly May for helping with the archives and David Britton for producing the show. It was absolutely stunning in every single way.
Ruth’s signature backless gowns, heightening the sensuality of a woman in the most beautiful way. A model told me after the show that she once wore a Ruth dress and she will never felt how incredible it made her feel. That was Ruth’s gift, selflessly bringing power, confidence and inner and outer beauty to everyone who wore her magic
Mathew Knight, the Director who captures everything, including the loss of my dignity haha
The mid-cry gift bag photo
Carol Mackie working her make-up magic
Caitlin Lomax and Rebecca Twigley who made it over for the show – Caitlin actually wore ‘that dress’ in the show and she rocked it, true to form
Vale Ruth Taryvdas
xxx SV xxx