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Membership growth, new events focus of latest Fashion Group International Pittsburgh meeting

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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An end and new beginnings were among the talking points discussed Thursday evening at Ross Park Mall during the latest general meeting of the Fashion Group International of Pittsburgh provisional chapter.

The group has been meeting and inviting the public to attend for months as a way of educating the Pittsburgh community about the mission of FGI, a non-profit that seeks to unite and promote fashion communities across the globe. But in order for FGI's headquarters in New York City to approve Pittsburgh for a full-fledged chapter, the city needs to demonstrate that it can hold a series of successful fashion-focused events.

In 2015, FGI Pittsburgh plans to organize six events: a panel with industry professionals from some of the city's major retail corporations (e.g., ModCloth and American Eagle, among others) in February, a discussion with local boutique owners and a trend report in April and a designer showcase in June. Dates, times and locations are yet to be determined, along with the rest of the events for the year. The board also is striving to book a major designer from New York City to be featured at one of the events -- something the group would like to make an annual affair, chair Stephanie Taylor said. Events will be open to group members and the public but will be ticketed, with discounts for those who belong to FGI Pittsburgh.

The goal of the events will be to familiarize Pittsburgh's fashion scene with what's happening locally and beyond.

"Part of our job as FGI is to educate the fashion community about things that people may not be aware of," Ms. Taylor said.

Moving forward, FGI Pittsburgh will no longer hold monthly public meetings while it shifts its focus to prepping for these events. The board will continue to meet each month, and those who've applied and have been accepted into FGI Pittsburgh membership are welcome to attend those meetings.

Twenty-three people have been approved so far for membership. The board's goal is to have 40 members paid and approved by the end of the year. Attendance at the public meetings has remained steady at at least 40 or 50 people each month, with the lowest attendance at about 25 in the summer while many of the group's regular participants were on vacation, Ms. Taylor said. On Thursday about 30 people turned out, with rush-hour traffic and a new meeting location possible factors for the slight dip in attendance, Ms. Taylor said.

Those interested in learning more about FGI Pittsburgh or applying for membership can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit pittsburgh.fgi.org.

Photo: The FGI Pittsburgh provisional chapter board members, from left Janey Cink,Wadria Taylor, Miyoshi Anderson, Stephanie Taylor, Vanessa Fellers, Marissa Zimmerman and Renee McCafferty, address attendees at the October general meeting on Thursday at Ross Park Mall. Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette

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Fashion world takes to Twitter to remember Oscar de la Renta

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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On Monday night it wasn't Oscar de la Renta's clothes that were trending.

News of the fashion designer's death was a top topic on Twitter and other social media platforms. 

Messages from those who knew him, as well as from those who admired him from afar, regaled readers with quotes, photos and tales from the 82-year-old's personal and professional life.

A sampling of them are curated below. #RIPOscar

(Photo: Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. Mark Mainz/Getty Images for IMG)

 

 

 

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Renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dies

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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A somber spirit enveloped the global style community Monday with the news that famed designer Oscar de la Renta had died. He was 82 years old. As recently as last month he was showing his latest collection to the industry's who's who at New York Fashion Week and also made headlines as the man behind Amal Clooney's wedding gown when she married George Clooney last month.

Read more on his life and passing below and view some photos from his career.

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Reuters - Oscar de la Renta, one of the most sought-after fashion designers of the last half century, dressing American first ladies and Hollywood stars in his classic silhouettes, died on Monday at the age of 82.

An individual taking calls at the designer's home in Connecticut on Monday night confirmed his death. The Spanish-language television network Univision reported that de la Renta died after a 10-year battle with cancer.

De la Renta, who was born in the Dominican Republic and went to Spain to study art, made his name in the 1960s dressing one of the major fashion icons of the day, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

He was known as one of the industry's classic designers, famous for floral, feminine, classy, elegant designs, flattering silhouettes with full skirts, cinched waists, often in soft hues.

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Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta and actress Dolores del Rio in May 1981 pose at the Casita Maria Benefit dinner at the Pierre Hotel in New York where the two were honored. The designer was a favorite of socialites and movie stars. (Associated Press)


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Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta watches as the final model walks the runway during the presentation of his Spring 2013 collection at Fashion Week in New York in September 2012. (Kathy Willens/Associated Press)


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Vogue editor Anna Wintour with Oscar de la Renta arrive for the Diane von Furstenberg Fall/Winter 2012 runway show at New York Fashion Week in February 2012. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)


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Designer Oscar de la Renta acknowledges the audience after his Fall 2014 collection show during Fashion Week in New York in February. (Jason DeCrow/Associated Press)

Photo at top: Oscar de la Renta takes a bow with models Karlie Kloss, left, and Daria Strokous, right, after his Spring 2015 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York in September. (Diane Bondareff/Associated Press)

 

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Get your 'rogi' fashions at Pittsburgh Pierogi Fest

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Grab your sunglasses and silverware and head to Stage AE today for the second annual Pittsburgh Pierogi Fest.

In addition to food from several vendors, spice up your style with pierogi fashions from the vendor marketplace. There are earrings, T-shirts, baby clothes, pillows, aprons -- all inspired by Pittsburgh's favorite food!

See more of what to expect in this week's "Setting the SEEN" episode. Watch it here or in the video box below!

Have a nice weekend, City of Dumplings!

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'Style evolution' in progress at South Hills Village with renovation, new stores

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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For its 50th birthday, South Hills Village is getting quite the present -- a multi-million dollar renovation that's on track to be completed by the end of the year.

Members of the media got a preview today of the progress. A number of stores that are new to the mall already are open, including Destination Maternity and Lane Bryant. Another highlight is the addition of Forever 21, among the largest of the mall's new retailers. The annex across the street also welcomed Ulta and DSW Shoe Warehouse.

Some stores are still slated to open, including Soma, Eddie Bauer and Sweet & Sassy, a full-service salon that's geared toward children. It offers special birthday party packages, such as a pink limo to pick up guests.

Other existing retailers and services expanded and/or moved to new locations within the mall as part of the project. Among them are Europe Nails, Men's Wearhouse, Johnston & Murphy and Kay Jewelers.

South Hills Village's corporate-level managers paid great attention to feedback from shoppers when planning the new retailers and expansions. One request was for stores that have local ties or a boutique feel, such as Primadonna that specializes in Italian-made shoes and accessories. It's owned by Barbara Gambotto, who moved from Rome to Fox Chapel about two years ago.

Maintaining a family-friendly environment with something in store for all ages was another important goal of the renovation. The makeover also includes interior and exterior structural upgrades, major updates to the food court (including redesigned restrooms and a new eatery), fresh features for the children's play area and more.

Look for more improvements and store openings leading up to Black Friday and through the end of the year!

Photos: Above, a sign entering the food court informs shoppers about renovations under way. Below from top: (1) The exterior of the new Forever 21 on the upper level. (2) Upgrades to the children's play area. (3) Renovations outside the Dick's Sporting Goods/Target corridor, where about 100 mall events take place each year. (Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

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