Filthy Gorgeous: Designer moving to next phase after TV exposure

Published November 26, 2008 6:00 pm
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You won't see some of fashion designer Keith Bryce's best creations at his boutique, Filthy Gorgeous in Salt Lake City's Artspace.

"As soon as I do it, it's out the door," Bryce, 27, said of his one-of-a-kind dresses -- some of which were worn by Ballet West dancers at the troupe's November gala.

Bryce's custom dresses go for "a few thousand dollars," he said, which is a bargain in the world of high fashion. "You may get something for $800, but it's made in China. What you're getting here is handmade, and I just sketched it out for you and we've done six fittings," he said. "I'm just trying to make a living and have security. I'm not trying to get rich."

Filthy Gorgeous, which Bryce founded two years ago at 351 Pierpont Ave., to foster "an artists' network" of designers, is in a state of transition -- thanks to what Bryce calls the "life-changing experience" of appearing this fall on Bravo's "Project Runway."

"Everybody's been kind of buzzing on that," Bryce said, adding that he received hundreds of e-mails after appearing on the reality-competition show.

Bryce was eliminated about halfway through the season, but the exposure and the opportunities for networking are still paying off, he said. He also received a consolation prize: Actress Brooke Shields wore an outfit he designed on her TV series "Lipstick Jungle."

The store features lines of denim and T-shirts that Bryce created before "Project Runway" and a new line of sweat jackets -- hoodies -- that people requested after seeing him wear one on TV.

And while he works to refocus the store's mission to give a showcase "as a place for young artists and designers … who are looking for an outlet," Bryce is making plans to hire a full-time assistant, to revamp the store's Web site and to write a new business plan. He's also launching the next phase of his fashion career.

First up is the Paper Doll Arts Show, an exhibit at Park City's Silver Queen Fine Art gallery that opens in January during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. In that show, Bryce will create cardboard-cutout dresses, which will be worn by models in stretch-velcro body suits.

But Bryce's big splash will come in May, with a full-blown fashion show he's planning for the Union Pacific Depot at The Gateway. Bryce said he has enlisted 15 dancers from Ballet West to model his line.

"It's what I would have done for New York Fashion Week," Bryce said, referring to the show that is the destination for "Project Runway's" final three competitors.

On his work bench, Bryce has sketches of what he'll make for the May show. He also has magazines opened to pictures of works by famous designers -- John Galliano, Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana -- for inspiration.

"I really want Salt Lake City to realize that I'm going to make my mark in fashion, if I don't already," he said.

Filthy Gorgeous

351 Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City

Store hours » Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Phone » 801-870-4878

Web site » http://www.filthygorgeous.com" Target="_BLANK">http://www.filthygorgeous.com

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