Ozcar G. couture

Ozcar G. designs for the Miami City Ballet silent auction (Photo by Yobe Crespo / October 15, 2012)

So much of fashion is timing.

Take the upcoming fundraiser "Project Pointe" during the October 19th opening night of the Miami City Ballet at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami. At the silent auction - starting at 6:30 p.m. and remaining open through the second intermission - a gown by South Florida designer Ozcar G will be up for the highest bidder.

The Cuban-born designer got the photographs of the evening gown, modeled by principal dancer Jennifer Kronenberg, done just under the wire.

"A week later we found out she was pregnant," says Ozcar G from his atelier in Coral Gables. "All the ballerina are always busy. It was harder to schedule for them than me."


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Not that it was all that easy. When Ozcar G (who never uses his last name Garcia-Lopez professionally) and Kronenberg came up with the idea eight months ago to auction off "haute couture" to help the dancers offset some of the spiraling cost of their ballet shoes, they weren't thinking of a huge campaign involving dancers as models and embellished-by-hand ballet shoes that will also be auctioned off.

"And I knew some artists," Ozcar G. says. "The photographer Yobe Crespo and the painter Leonor Anthony. The timing was right for them too. It just all went together."

Both Crespo and Anthony's work will also be at the silent auction along with hand-crafted Shiroiy. D. Cama white sapphire earrings.

The whole project was serendipitously inspired when about a year ago Kronenberg strolled into Ozcar G's boutique where cocktail dresses range between $1,000 and $3,000 while gowns go for $2,000 and up.

"I knew right away I wanted her to model for me. And I already loved the ballet. We became dear friends. She told me about how the ballet shoes...was a big [cost] for them. I said we should do a gown and auction off and she loved the idea."

Later he decided to add ballet shoes to the auction. "I decorated them by hand with couture elements. I really see those as pieces or art. It took me two or three weeks to decorate by hand."

And the gown - an entrance-maker with an illusion tulle paneled skirt and a floral-motif embroidered bodice lined in black crystals - took even longer.

"Just to cut the dress, cutting the panels, took like eight hours," explains Ozcar G. "Draping the dress took three weeks. The embroidery took three days. Trimming took three days. It really is couture, made by hand. Not like those designers who say couture but then everything is made in China on a machine. This was made here in the United States, right here."

The gown is a size six, but made to expand to a size 10. For event details go to MiamiCityBallet.org/shoefund.php.