Local designers create gowns for the Pittsburgh Film Office's Oscar Party fashion competition
The best actresses and actors in movies won't be the only names you will hear announced at the annual Pittsburgh Film Office's "Lights! Glamour! Action! Gala" on March 4. This evening that celebrates the Oscars at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, in Pittsburgh, also will recognize a dozen area designers in the Film Office's first-ever Rated PGH Red Carpet Design Competition.
This contest invited artists to create a gown, which included the "Rated PGH" logo in the design. The best dozen were chosen and their garments will be worn on models who will walk the red carpet on Oscar night at a stylish party that draws nearly 700 guests each year. A panel of judges will select a winner.
Let your support of the Pittsburgh Film Office shine bright this holiday season! Tickets to Lights! Glamour! Action!™ Presented by Highmark BCBS are so much more than just a present. Become a Hollywood Star and walk the Red Carpet with us March 4th, 2018! https://t.co/nKNz7XKnhM— PGH Film Office (@PghFilmOffice) December 5, 2017
"We were amazed, but not surprised at the incredible local design talent in our area," says film office director Dawn Keezer, who hosted a review of the submissions last week. "The designs are beautiful, unique and we cannot wait to see them all on the red carpet."
Keezer says she believes the dresses will be well-received at the soiree, because the Oscar event is always about fashion. Guests don amazing gowns for Hollywood's big night to salute the best of the best in film. Keezer says she is pleased be able to add this style element to the festivities.
"We hope to continue this contest as part of our annual event," she says. "The designers have been incredible to work with, and we know that there is even more design talent out there that may want to join us in future years."
The finalists were selected Jan. 13 and each given a $50 stipend to be used on materials from Loom Exquisite Textiles, a fabric store in the Strip District.
Pittsburgh Film Office 'Lights, Glamour, Action!' Runway Fashion Competition https://t.co/oUfIf3L6LR— lisa wagner freeman (@pittsburghstyle) February 27, 2018
Suzanne Mauro, Pittsburgh-based stylist and adjunct fashion instructor for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, is part of the team hosting the competition.
"These designs are really fabulous," Mauro says. "It should be a fun experience for all the designers."
Garments will be judged on fashionable interpretation of the theme, originality, creativity, technique and construction.
The grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate from Loom, a trophy and media recognition.
MEET THE DESIGNERS
Here are three of their stories:
Lisa Marie Bruno
The McKees Rocks resident spent years as a costume designer and fashion consultant. She is currently an educator, recently devoting her time to making adaptive clothing and apparel as well as jewelry and other accessories. She teaches individuals how to sew, hosts fashion events, and has a flair for vintage style.
For her submission, she says she was inspired by Pittsburgh's rich steel history, which gives the gown a little bit of an edgy style. She created her own pattern and used fabric that looks like steel beams with grommets and has embellished the garment with metal studs and rhinestones.
"I really enjoyed my work in the film industry," Bruno says. "I hadn't made something like it in years, so I was happy to do it. I don't care if I win. I just like to try new things and push myself to enter competitions like this one."
The owner of 2nd Avenue Boutique in Elizabeth says has been her dream to dress a celebrity for the red carpet — so this will be almost as good as being in Hollywood. She designed a gown of embroidered black lace and sequins. She chose that hue as a nod to the Time's Up movement, which signifies the clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.
"I want to do something for women," Kassler says. "They need support. This dress can make a positive statement. I am looking forward to seeing how it's received. I am so thrilled to be part of this event."
The 2016 graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh was inspired by the thought of upcoming spring. Love, of Coraopolis, says there are so many talented designers and he is proud to be included in this group. He says you will see 12 different points of view, and that each designer appreciates what the other designers have created.
"Spring will soon be here, so I wanted to add some colors and prints to my dress," Love says. "I wanted the model walking the red carpet in my dress to have a different look. This has been an amazing experience. I can't wait for the event. I am excited to see how people react."
Other designers include: Eva Dixon, Gabriela Droz, Joshua Hodgson, Kelly Long, Brooke Mordaunt, Stephanie Moye, Bradford Mumpower, Christianna Murray and Jonathan J. Robinson.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.