Backstage with Pittsburgh stylist Philip Pelusi at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- Day 3 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week wrapped up with a selection of stunning gowns (76 of them, to be exact) from Venexiana. The models' richly colored dresses, many with all-over sparkle, were by designer Kati Stern. But the elegant hair with dramatic side sweep and twist in the back was the creation of Pittsburgh native Philip Pelusi, a hair stylist with salons across Pittsburgh and New York City and two product lines, Tela Beauty Organics and Philip Pelusi P2.

Saturday night marked the seventh time Mr. Pelusi has collaborated with Venexiana. The look this time was Parisian-inspired, he said, achieved by wrapping hair around a spongy styling rat and pinning it into place. 

He used a Tela product called Boost to help give models' hair some texture and make it easier to manipulate after being styled and sodden with products from earlier shows. To smooth and secure it into place, without the stiffness of hair spray, he applied a honey-like substance called Composer, also from the Tela collection.

The energy backstage was buzzing, with stylists churning out looks up until the final minutes before models had to sashay down the runway. Mr. Pelusi had assistance from about a dozen stylists, many of whom were from Pittsburgh.

Also of note: This latest Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week appearance isn't Mr. Pelusi's only recent accolade.  His Tela Beauty Organics Balance shampoo and conditioner was featured in the Wall Street Journal as one of its top tested organic beauty products.

Here's a look at more of the backstage action (photos by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette) ...

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