Revealing red raffle

One lucky woman is going to arrive at the Capital Area American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon Feb. 7 in a red gown created just for her by Suzanne Perron, the New Orleans designer with an international reputation for couture wedding, debutante and Mardi Gras gowns.

The Perron gown is part of the Go Red in Couture package that will be raffled Aug. 14 at the Go Red Kickoff at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. The package also includes a limousine ride to New Orleans with three friends for the initial consultation with Perron, lunch for four following the consultation, a custom fitting with Perron and the unveiling of the dress at the 2014 Go Red for Women Luncheon.

The drawing is in August to give Perron time to make the custom dress. “The winner of the raffle will be the finale in the fashion show,” said Kerin Spears, director of development for the Capital Area American Heart Association.

Perron, whose works are on exhibit at the LSU Museum of Art through Aug. 18, got her first sewing machine from the Easter Bunny. She used it to make elastic-waist skirts that she wore to kindergarten. Her mother and grandmother were her first teachers.

After graduating from LSU with a degree in apparel design, Perron enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s accelerated program in New York City. Designer Carolina Herrera, the critic for the student fashion show, saw Perron’s work and told her teacher that Perron should interview with her.

“I headed there immediately,” Perron said. “I was running down the street with my portfolio. I could not believe that it could happen. I started sewing when I was 5, and now I’m going to work for Carolina Herrera.”

Perron’s 13-year career in New York included three years with Anna Sui, freelancing for Ralph Rucci and the position as head draper and pattern maker with Christina Perrin. In 2001, she joined the Vera Wang design team. Her work there appeared on the covers of major magazines.

In the spring of 2006, Perron established a custom bridal business in New Orleans, where she says it “makes sense to make beautiful romantic wedding gowns in a beautiful historic city.”

The LSU Museum of Art exhibit, “Revealed: Exquisite Gowns by Suzanne Perron,” features 13 bridal and Mardi Gras gowns she designed between 2008 and 2013. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the LSU Textile & Costume Museum.

Perron says she is donating the dress because of her friendship with Dr. David Carmouche and his wife, Amy, her college friend. David Carmouche, now senior vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is a proponent of preventing chronic illness through healthy lifestyle choices. He is a member of the board of the Capital Area American Heart Association.

The idea of the raffle of a Perron gown was his. “I was single for a long time,” Perron said with a laugh. “The Carmouches were important for my (matters of the) heart health and other things during that time. I was happy to do something for a near and dear friend.”