Elle spotlights young designers from Western Pennsylvania

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

It's the dream of novice fashion designers to have their collections featured on the runway at New York Fashion Week.

The dream came true for Kara Fenoglietto, 22, a Mars Area High School graduate, who presented looks through a partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Elle magazine.

“It was such a great experience,” says Fenoglietto, who uses non-traditional materials and fabrications.

“Addressing identity, my work explores existence through methods of camouflaging the body, looking at the hyper-feminine woman's role, and it explores the consequences of introspection,” the 22-year-old Fenoglietto says.

She finds inspiration at hardware stores, second-hand shops and from everyday surroundings.

“I believe fashion is a reflection of what you are thinking, and I think my work is the opposite of my personality, kind of my alter ego,” she says. “Being able to show my designs at New York Fashion Week was amazing. I was fortunate to have that experience, which was quite special.”

Fenoglietto is a finalist in the publication's program to support young designers. Voting for the People's Choice Award ends Oct. 21 online at www.elle.com. The winner receives $10,000.

More Elle connections

Jazmin Jackson of Wilkinsburg is one of five finalists for an Elle magazine fashion contest. Elle is teaming up with Byco, the first fashion crowd-funding site, to discover the fashion designer of the future.

The winner will be featured in the January issue, documenting the creation of the dress that Byco will produce and sell, as well as a story on the designer.

Elle editors selected 25 finalists over 250 entries. Readers narrowed the field to five. Jackson's design is called The Carolina Kaleidoscope Fit & Flare Dress, a digitally printed silk twill, cap-sleeve dress that has a fitted bodice, a slightly dropped waist and a gathered skirt that hits just above the knee.

Jackson learned fashion pattern making and draping under the instruction of the PlayMakers Repertory Company at the Center for Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received her bachelor's degree in business administration.

Jackson's collection is available for purchase online. She also does custom work.

“It would be wonderful to win this,” says Jackson, who has been designing since she was 10 years old and sewing since high school. “I would be so proud to have my garment chosen. It would be like winning a ‘Project Runway' challenge. It's a great way to discover up-and-coming designers.”

Details: www.jazmeen.org or www.elle.com

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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