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A.C. fashion show to feature local designers, body paint

A.C. fashion show to feature local designers, body paint

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ATLANTIC CITY — Tonya Wright is already envisioning a red carpet runway stretching down the middle of the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University.

The garage’s dining area will be transformed with vendor tables and a few high tops for socializing.

It’s all coming together for the Art of Fashion Show, set to take place Saturday.

The show will feature more than nine designers — local and international — as well as 30 models. In addition to modeling the designers’ attire, the models will be painted by a body artist throughout the show.

It’s a unique show, said Wright, whose company, Wright Touch Productions, will host the event.

“As soon as I walked in (to the Noyes Arts Garage), I just knew it. I was like, ‘This is it — this is the spot,’” said Wright, of Egg Harbor Township.

Wright said she’ll have one designer flying in from India. A pair of 9-year-old twins will be designing clothes, and Ariel Lewis, 16, of Atlantic City, will be designing for her second fashion show.

“I love it because I get this experience, and I was also in the Atlantic City Fashion Week,” Lewis said.

“The fact she’s experiencing this is incredible and showing younger generations that they can get involved,” said Heather Deegan Hires, of Somers Point.

Deegan Hires will be the body-paint artist Saturday, and she said she is looking forward to the spontaneity the evening will offer. She said she won’t know what she’ll be painting until she sees the colors and designs the models wear.

“I’m really just going to fly by the seat of my pants. It’s very up in the air, but hopefully I will be able to add another flare and help make these designs come to life,” Deegan Hires said.

On a recent Wednesday, Tonya Wright is adjusting the neck piece for a dress she designed as Justice Ross walks up and down the arts garage.

Ross will be one of the 30 models participating in the show.

She said she hopes to have a career in modeling but doesn’t consider what she does work. She’s also excited to be painted Saturday.

“I think it’s so exciting. I love doing this and it’s not just work. It’s more fun and you get to meet so many interesting people,” said Ross, of Mays Landing.

That seems to be the whole point of the show: bringing designers and artists of different generations and cultures all under one roof.

“We need more of this. I strongly believe that,” Wright said. “I have different relationships with all of these ladies here. I was attracted to Ariel Lewis’ work and someone recommended Heather Deegan Hires for body paint. All of these designers and artists bring something different to the table.”

“This is great because it shows what’s going on in our hometown and it shows all of our local artists here in Atlantic City,” Deegan Hires said.

About 13 vendors will be on-site during the show and light refreshments will be available for sale. A meet and greet with the designers will take place after the show.

Tickets are available for $35 online at or can be purchased for $40 at the door.

Contact: 609-272-7258 Twitter @acpressmaxreil

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