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Arts & Entertainment

'Seams and Scenes' to showcase unforgettable costumes, sets

| Friday, Oct. 6, 2006

Memorable costumes and sets created for theater productions by designers and members of the International Costumer Guild of Western Pennsylvania are exhibited in "Seams and Scenes" at the Sirani Gallery, in Squirrel Hill.

An opening reception tonight begins a two-week presentation of costumes, sets, models and photographs that illustrate the collaborative process between costume and set designers working in the theater arts.

Sponsored in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, "Seams and Scenes" is the second exhibition organized by the year-old Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the International Costumer's Guild that began by founding president Igor Roussanoff, director of Theatre and Dance Costume at California University of Pennsylvania; and Joan Markert, vice president of the guild and director of Point Park University's costume shop.

"The guild was formed to support each other, educate the public about what we do and to introduce people here to the costuming arts and broaden their appreciation," Markert says.

"The fact that it ever comes off is amazing," says Markert, a veteran of 25 years as Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse costume shop, a director who has seen many designs successfully executed for opening night.

Roussanoff, who came to the United States in 1988 from the Soviet Union, leaving behind a career in ballet costumer design, began his fashion and design career anew. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York City, Roussanoff founded the Pittsburgh Fashion Academy, a program for fashion-design students ages 14 and older, based in Squirrel Hill, this year.

"I think I just wanted to see people working together on something, getting people excited about something and simply to show, 'I have this profession to do this wonderful work that people can see," Roussanoff says.

A fashion show component of the exhibition begins at the gallery parades around the block on the sidewalk, featuring costumes by Mt. Washington designer and guild member Kari Kramer. A wardrobe master at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Kramer also independently designs architectural, colorful -- often surreal -- dresses under her iroNiece label.

"What I do at the theater is sew others' designs and maintain the costumes. When I went to a meeting for exhibition, I didn't know if I could be a part of it because I haven't worked with set designers like costumers have, but Igor said, 'Why don't you do a fashion show,'" Kramer says.

Additional Information:

Seams and Scenes

What: Exhibition, opening reception and fashion show

When: Through Oct. 14. Gallery hours: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays, noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays. Opening reception 5-9 p.m. today. Fashion show of designs by Kari Kramer 3-4 p.m. Saturday beginning at entrance of Sirani Gallery. Closing reception 5-9 p.m. Oct. 14.

Admission: Free

Where: Sirani Gallery, 5875 Forbes Ave.

Details: 412-422-2121

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