Fashion show to highlight Western Pa. talent

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, March 27, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Rae Coleman wants to give local designers of all diversities a runway to walk on together.

Owner of Pittsburgh-based Enhanced Creativity, a company that specializes in ethnic and traditional events, Coleman created the Come Couture Fashion Series. The first event in the series is a mini fashion show on March 29 to showcase the clothing of creative individuals with Pittsburgh ties.

Designer Lana Neumeyer, a native of Brazil who lives in O'Hara, says Coleman's desire to recognize talent from this area is wonderful because there are so many creative people making everything from wedding gowns to jumpsuits.

“Being part of this fashion show, I can bring a new way to wear couture,” says Neumeyer, who is known for her bold collections that include lots of color and the finest fabrics. “Couture doesn't have to be about a high price tag or big brand name. It is about a feeling that you are one-of-a-kind. It's about confidence and being in control on the runway and beyond.”

Part of the proceeds for the evening will benefit the Children's Institute of Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill.

Neumeyer will be featuring outfits from previous collections as well as a few new looks, which will include bright and bold dresses, skirts and jackets.

Fellow designer Malcolm Williams, who lived in Clairton and Squirrel Hill before moving to Atlanta and who owns the Willie Gee clothing line, will be showing 10 looks at the event. His forte is custom-designed gowns.

“I am a gown guy,” he says. “I love full, detailed gowns with big trains. I love all fashion. It is my life. It is everything to me. And when I create a piece for my line, it is like a work of art. My clothes come to life on the runway.

Williams says he wanted to be part of this show because of Coleman and her support of local designers. The fundraising component also was attractive to Williams.

“Designers love to give back,” Williams says. “And it's an opportunity to help someone else through fashion, and all the designers bring their unique styles to the runway.”

Being around other talented designers was one reason designer Armani Doley of the North Side wanted to be involved.

“I enjoy shows like this where I can see different types of designs,” Doley says. “I live and breathe fashion. I think we all do.”

Fashion is an art and a way of expression for designer Terry Jolo, who has a studio in East Liberty and lives in Washington, Pa. She creates outfits that have detachable pieces, such as arms on jackets and bottoms of longer skirts so they can be mixed and matched to create different looks.

“I like the fact that I can express myself through fashion,” Jolo says. “People are happy when they wear fashion, and everyone can relate to fashion.”

Coleman says she hopes the series will be a way to introduce the people of Pittsburgh to all of the talent in fashion right here. She says the designers support each other, because they understand what it takes to be successful in the fashion world.

“They work well together, and they create beautiful, amazing garments,” Coleman says. “The purpose of the event is to celebrate diversity and provide a unique opportunity for local designers to showcase their talents.”

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

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