Pittsburgh fundraiser takes its 'Q' from theater designers

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Sunday, March 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

When Diana Misetic was 8 years old, she would buy a ticket the minute they were available to see the latest production at the city theater across from her home in her native Yugoslavia.

“I would sit in the first row, the first seat,” says Misetic, a fashion designer who owns Diana Misetic Studio in Shadyside where she creates custom apparel. “I loved the theater. It wasn't something my parents made me do. It was something I loved doing, just like I love creating beautiful clothing. They are both my passions.”

Misetic's passions will collide March 15. She and other designers have created garments for Quantum Theatre's QBall — Hot Qture: An assemblage of theater, fashion and culture. Misetic has incorporated some of her fall line for the show. Her clothing will be displayed in what's to be set up as a bar area, so she designed a jersey-fabric cocktail dress. She also is donating a cocktail dress to be specifically designed and made for the highest bidder in one of the evening's auction items. The event benefits Quantum Theatre, which is known for staging productions in places that aren't theaters.

“I have always been inspired by and had a connection to the theater,” Misetic says. “I am so excited about the entire evening, as well as the auction. It is my contribution to give back to the community. I was happy to be a part of this event because there is so much magic in theater — it all starts when they dim the lights and you wait for the curtain to come up and the first scene to commence.”

She, along with Kiya Tomlin, Lana Neumeyer, Richard Bryan and Montie Cholmeley-Jones, has been collaborating with Quantum Theatre's designers to create the looks.

The fashion designers were chosen by Demeatria Boccella, founder of FashionAFRICANA, an African-inspired fashion and art event, and co-founder of Utopia Model Agency. She and her husband, J.G. Boccella, are chairing the event with Tracy and Nick Certo.

This will be the first time a fashion element will be part of the evening, says Karla Boos, artistic director for Quantum Theatre. The theater designers and clothing designers have been working together, and it is wonderful to see the fashion component and the theater component, Boos says. They all bring their own unique style to the event.

Unlike a typical runway-style show, this fashion event will have technical installations that will house the models wearing the designs.

“I can't wait,” Boos says. “I think it will be very beautiful.”

More than 250 guests are expected.

“I love both fashion and the arts and anything that is creative, so I am happy to be involved,” says Demeatria Boccella, who also serves on Quantum's board. “This is going to be a really great event.”

What Demeatria Boccella says she appreciates about Quantum Theatre is how Boos hosts productions throughout the city of Pittsburgh. That introduces those who come to the shows to great neighborhoods and amazing venues, Boccella says. The ball is being held on the eighth floor of 933 Penn Ave., Downtown.

“If you think of couture fashion, it is very theatrical,” Demeatria Boccella says. “So to see the two being fused together it's a beautiful thing. The models will bring the garments to life.”

Those large “Q's” you see around the city are part of the advertisement for the QBall. To help commemorate the 10th anniversary, 10 artists were recruited to make a “Q” that would be placed in visible locations throughout the city.

They will be auctioned the night of the event. Daria Sandburg is the curator of the pieces, which range from the light boxes of Ron Copeland to the paper cuts of Kathryn Carr to the mixed-media sculpture of Seth Clark to the Q-covered wooden bench of Jennifer Bradley Morris.

Most are three-dimensional and in the range of 5 feet square or larger.

Some locations are the Koppers Building, Fifth Avenue Place lobby and the former Saks Fifth Avenue window.

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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