Alegria III

by Katherine Bosio on September 11, 2010

photo by Jason Kruppa

On Saturday, September 11, New Orleans-based fashion designer John Joseph Delgadillo and a panel of highly trained fashion professionals will be selecting six designers to compete in the third annual Alegria design competition. Sponsored for the second consecutive year by The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA), Alegria: The Fashion Show is a competitive fundraiser offering local designers the opportunity to showcase a cohesive collection of eight original designs. The winner will receive $500 in cash, a new sewing machine, a cutting table and mannequin, a full magazine spread featuring designs from the winner’s collection and more.Alegria: The Fashion Show began in 2009 when Delgadillo and local designer Aurora Knox first showed their designs in the name of animal welfare. “Alegria was much simpler then,” Louisiana SPCA event coordinator Lisa Keitges said. “It wasn’t until Alegria II, in 2010, that the LA/SCPA joined forces and we decided to add both a silent auction and a design competition,” Keitges said.

photo by Mark Glaviano

Alegria II was hosted at the W Hotel in Downtown New Orleans in February of last year. With a total of five competitors and roughly 400 attendees, the 2010 Alegria event raised more than $12,000 for the Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic. “The money raised for Alegria III will go to the LA/SPCA Clinic this year as well,” Keitges said. “The Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic offers a variety of high volume and low-cost services to Greater New Orleans.”

The Louisiana SPCA is a non-profit organization which provides care and basic medical services to thousands of homeless and unwanted animals each year. Chartered in 1888, the Louisiana SPCA is the state’s oldest organization dedicated to the elimination of animal suffering. “Our mission is to advocate for the animals of Louisiana by advancing their welfare,” Keitges said. “We promote their interests and foster the human/animal bond through innovative programs, education and service.”

photo by Mark Glaviano

In honor of Alegria II, this year’s fashion event will feature a twelve-piece exhibition from the competition’s most recent winner, Bernadette Klotz. “My collection was based on the concept of who would wear the clothing,” Klotz said. “Like the costuming for a character in a play… she is intelligent, creative, sophisticated and has a social consciousness of recycling.”

According to Klotz, the competitive aspect of Alegria left a lasting impression on her. “Alegria was life-affirming as fear, self-imposed pressure and self-doubt combined to make me feel alive,” Klotz said. “The hours were long, designing and re-designing, not finding exactly the thing you have in your mind’s eye which requires trips to all the fabric stores to discover it’s nowhere in the city,” Klotz said. “But I didn’t give up, because the final showing was exactly as I saw it could be.”

Klotz will both assist the panel of judges in selecting this year’s competition designers, and act as a mentor to all finalists, offering her copious sewing and design knowledge in the months preceding Alegria 2011.

“If you’re a designer and you’re unsure about auditioning, just go for it,” Klotz said. “It’s not something you will likely regret.”

Auditions will be held at the Bridge Lounge, 1201 Magazine Street, from 1 – 5 p.m. by appointment only. Designers are expected to bring in a complete Alegria Audition Packet, three samples of his or her work, and photographs of several designs.

To apply for the 2011 Alegria auditions contact Lisa at (504) 762-3307. A limited number of spots are available, so contact her as soon as possible. For more information on Alegria III, click here.