Pittsburgh designers set for fashion marathon

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 9:12 p.m.

There will be a fashion marathon Saturday.

Fifteen back-to-back runway shows will keep the day stylish from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the third annual Pittsburgh Fashion Week.

Shows include everything from denim to bridal. In between events, shopping will offered at the Vendor's Fair, where 17 displays will showcase everything from jewelry to clothing to handbags.

“It will certainly be a long day, but one that will produce an adrenaline rush of fashion,” Pittsburgh Fashion Week executive director Miyoshi Anderson says. “It's explosive. Everyone involved is so excited of this day of shows.”

The all-day extravaganza will be at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Green Tree.

For the first time, there will be a bridal-only show. Bridal store co-owner Carrie Ann Newhouse of Carrie Ann's Bridal Boutique in Canonsburg is ecstatic about being in the lineup. She won't use typical models, however.

“I wanted real women to model,” she says. “I am a woman with curves, and I wanted women to model who have curves.”

Denim designer Paula Minydzak of West Mifflin was a little skeptical about participating in the runway shows. She decided to give it a chance after talking with friend and designer Lana Neumeyer, who has been involved in the event since its inception.

Minydzak recently launched a denim collection with pieces that are alterable.

She has learned pattern making all over the country and worked with Levi's, which she says helps in the design. A former teacher at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, she was inspired to create the jean line while helping students with design. She had trouble finding jeans that fit properly. After researching women's angst over buying jeans, she decided on the concept you see in men's pants, where there the waistband can be let out. She plans to add a men's line next year.

The day will include student designers such as Noa Wolff-Fineout, a senior at Winchester Thurston School. Her company Matia Collections features apparel.

“I have always loved fashion and am so excited about having a show in Pittsburgh Fashion Week,” she says. “It is so nice they are including student designers.

Wolff-Fineout creates dresses and skirts and tops and pants that she says are “very girly but sophisticated,” using designs that are more subdued.

Among the vendors will be Joyce Rollins, who has participated every year. She is with Traci Lynn Jewelry and will be showing some new pieces to the line — from earrings to necklaces to rings to bracelets. The line is used for a lot of special events and sold through shows.

“I love being involved in Pittsburgh Fashion Week, because I love fashion and I love all of it,” Rollins says. “It is a wonderful atmosphere, and it's something that is fresh and new in Pittsburgh. Miyoshi has brought life and energy to this event, and she has worked so hard. That's why I continue to support this event.”

Monika Gibson created the clothing line ZuzaBlue, which she describes as urban oriented. She is one of the vendors.

“It is for women who want to look unique,” Gibson says. “The person who wears it will be viewed as someone who cares about fashion and looking a unique way.”

She is an architect full time, but her passion is designing and hand-making each garment, which she hopes to do on a bigger scale. The Poland native lives in Lawrenceville.

“I am excited about Saturday,” Gibson says. “I am really looking forward to being a part of it. I still have some work to do to get a few items finished, but I love what I do, and it will be fun to be at such an exciting fashion event.”

Representing Boutique 208 will be Lynn Forman, of textilegifts by Lynn Forman of Point Breeze. She is one of 15 members and 20 consignment artists from the Downtown shop. She creates scarves and reversible handbags from interesting fabrics, such as vintage kimonos and old handkerchiefs. She also does custom work from a material supplied from a customer.

“You might have a dress you don't wear anymore but you like the fabric and it is memorable to you,” Forman says. “I have been reading about fashion week for a few years now and decided this would be a good opportunity to highlight the boutique. It is such an intriguing idea. It is about time Pittsburgh had something like this.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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