There was plenty to do and see Wednesday evening at the opening night of Style Week Pittsburgh, held for the first time at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty.
The fashionable festivities poured into the street outside the venue, where the Style Truck and Vintage Valet mobile boutiques were set up selling apparel and accessories to help fashionistas transition their wardrobes from summer to fall. The buzz continued by the door with a red carpet and step-and-repeat area where guests could pose for pictures before entering the lobby.
Inside, a pre-party was under way with music, cocktails, a photo booth by TapSnap, a cosmetics table featuring Younique products and a station where people could get a henna tattoo.
Then came the main event -- the fashion showcase in the theater. Former Post-Gazette fashion editor LaMont Jones served as emcee for the night and welcomed to the stage fashions by four designers: Lana Neumeyer, Diana Misetic and Jazmin Jackson (all of whom are based in Pittsburgh; pictured, at right, from left to right) and Toya Taylor, who is from Jamaica. The collections complemented each other well. From Ms. Misestic's more muted color palette and skilled feminine details to the vibrant prints presented by the other designers, each collection had a unique aesthetic.
After the show, the audience had a chance to learn more about the designers' backgrounds and approaches to their work in a Q&A moderated by Mr. Jones. The designers spoke candidly about their views on fashion, including what celebrity they'd like to design a red carpet look for if they had the chance. (Ms. Misetic: Brad Pitt, Ms. Neumeyer: Lady Gaga and Ms. Jackson: A woman with curves.) Style Week Pittsburgh founder and director Wadria Taylor (pictured, from left to right, with Kia Wormsley of City Style 412) and the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater's executive director Janera Solomon also addressed the crowd.
Monica Mendez, executive director for Dress for Success Pittsburgh, shared a few words about why she was gracious to Style Week for being selected as its non-profit partner for 2015.
"Clothing means a lot to people. It shows everyone else who we are," Ms. Mendez said. "It's about fashion. It's about feeling good about yourself. That's why I like Style Week Pittsburgh."
A portion of the event's proceeds will be donated to Dress for Success Pittsburgh to support its mission of outfitting women who are trying to enter (or renter) the workforce.
After the show came the after party. DJ Selecta provided the beats as guests turned the lobby into a dance floor into the night.
Check out scenes from the opening event in the video above. Photography by Bill Wade/Post-Gazette.
Learn more about Style Week Pittsburgh HERE.