Smithfield Herald

Fashion designer at Ava Festival

“Project Runway” contest Justin LeBlanc will be in Smithfield Oct. 4.
“Project Runway” contest Justin LeBlanc will be in Smithfield Oct. 4. AVA GARDNER MUSEUM

Justin LeBlanc, a contestant on season 12 of “Project Runway,” will appear at this year’s Ava Gardner Festival.

From 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Ava Gardner Museum, LeBlanc will talk about his fashion line and his 3D printing process for fabrics. The museum is at 325 E. Market St. in downtown Smithfield.

“We are thrilled to have Justin LeBlanc visit this year’s festival; we are big fans of his work,” said Deanna Brandenberger, museum director.

As part of the festival, the museum will debut “Ava’s Closet,” an exhibit of the late actress’ personal clothing.

“Ava’s popularity and influence on today’s designers like Justin remains strong, and we wanted to contrast modern design with the Golden Age of Hollywood designs worn by Ava,” Brandenberger said. “It was clear he was well liked as a contestant on ‘Project Runway,’ and we feel visitors will enjoy meeting him.”

LeBlanc will be bring with him a piece from his 2014 spring/summer collection shown in New York. The collection, titled “Sound Waves,” reflected his journey from deafness to hearing, a journey depicted by a gown, made from pipette tips, that sounded like rain as the model walked. Visitors will have a chance to see the gown and learn more about the process of making the one-of-a-kind design.

At the Fashion Fling on Friday, Oct. 3, guests will enjoy a musical tribute to Frank Sinatra, and the museum will unveil the Ava’s Closet exhibit, which will run through end May 2015. Tickets to the Fling are $25 per person, and all-day admission to the museum Oct. 4-5 is $8 for all ages.

On Oct. 4, heritage tours will take visitors points of interest in Gardner’s hometown, including her birthplace, the teacherage where she grew up, the Howell Theater where she first went to the movies and her gravesite at Sunset Memorial Park. Heritage tour passes are $15 per person.

During the festival, three Gardner films will showcase the director John Huston, who was the actress’ close friend. The films are “The Killers,” “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” and “The African Queen.”

At 7 p.m. Oct. 4, the museum will partner with the Clayton Piano Festival to showcase movie tunes and a tribute to the musical “Show Boat” at The Clayton Center. Tickets for the Clayton Piano Festival are $200 each.

Individuals may purchase the Ava’s Closet Festival Package for $75. This includes a pass to Friday night’s Fashion Fling reception, admission to the museum all weekend, a ticket to Saturday night’s Clayton Piano Festival and one heritage tour on Saturday. The deadline to purchase the package is Sept. 26. For more information, call 919-934-5830.

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