“Project Runway” party planners rally for Timothy

15 Jul, 2013

by Molly Snyder

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When I saw Elyse Cizek, Megan Zarnott and Alexis Rose sitting at the Lobby Lounge, I instantly knew they were up to something great. Not only were they dressed in fashionable and inspired attire, but there was a magnetic energy about them that I was immediately drawn to.

I quickly learned they were at the hotel to have a meeting about an upcoming event they were hosting in honor of Timothy Westbrook, the Pfister’s former artist-in-residence who was selected to be on “Project Runway” this season.

“We’re bringing Timothy back to the Pfister to honor his work and his success,” says Alexis, the driving creative effort behind the event. “We are doing a fresh, mod theme that was created by Elyse.”

Elyse, a model and the creative director for the event, also has a business called Miche Made Up. Megan is a student and assisting in various ways from design to promotions for the event.

The event takes place Thursday, July 18, from 6 to 11 p.m., in the Pfister’s stunning Imperial ballroom. It will include a cocktail hour, fashion show, music by Thriftones and a screening of the premiere episode of “Project Runway.” The cost is $10 at the door. Find more details here.

Attendees are encouraged to wear “Timothy Westbrook inspired” clothing. Timothy is primarily a fiber artist who creates garments from recycled and organic materials. Prizes will be awarded for the top three outfits.

Timothy, who is originally from New York, stayed in Milwaukee following his Pfister residency. He is garnering much-deserved national attention for his exquisite work, and at the same time, is doing something extremely valuable for local artists.

In a town that sometimes struggles to molt the misperception that we’re subpar to larger metropolises, Timothy is investing in the city and believing in its potential. By doing so, he is encouraging and inspiring the local art community.

Alexis says the first time she met Timothy was backstage at a fashion show where she was a volunteer dresser. He noted her dedication and talent and walked up to her and asked, “Who are you?” She told him her name and he said, “You’re great!”

The rest is history; the two have been friends and working together ever since.

“He started mentoring me and bringing me under his wing and it’s just been experience after experience, show after show, love after love,” says Alexis.

Timothy had a similar swooping approach with Elyse.

“I first met him as a model. As soon as I walked into his studio, I thought ‘this guy is brilliant,’” she says. “He has such a dynamic personality and wants to make sure everyone who’s an artist, an expression, works together.”

The women are contributing to the growing creative network of Milwaukee artists by tapping many local artists and stylists for the event.

“We are pulling together a lot of people who are really inspired and want to be artists as their main gig,” says Elyse.

The three women look forward to continuing to work with Timothy and to support his work in any way they can.

“The three of us met through Timothy and we’ve grown together because of him,” says Alexis. “We’ve received so much inspiration from him and it’s amazing that now we get to put that inspiration into a show that’s honoring and showcasing him.”

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About the author

Molly Snyder

Molly Snyder has lived in Milwaukee her entire life. She started keeping a diary when she was four and published her first poem at age 10 called “The Unicorn” in the now-defunct Shorewood Herald. Today, she writes less about mythical creatures and more about Milwaukee people and places. She is a senior writer at OnMilwaukee.com, where she has worked for the last 12 years. Telling people’s stories is her passion.

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