Runway recap: Pittsburgh Fashion Week opens with packed night of shows

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .



There were dancers, a singer, body jewels and a boy with a golf club -- and that was all just in the night's first collection.

Yes, the opening night program of Pittsburgh Fashion Week was packed with diverse collections (six of them, in fact) that each took their turn on the runway Monday at Highmark Stadium near Station Square.

The evening kicked off with a collection inspired by the four seasons from Fashion Forum by DebrAnn Weiss. She featured flirty but classic pieces, many of which were done in monochromatic colors with a couple of hi-low hemlines mixed in.

Next up, KAMmaze Fashions, Inc.'s signature line of RIPpurr Wear lingerie, which (staying true to its name) can be ripped off and then reattached for future wear. Models slinked down the runway in masquerade masks and the brand's sexy, silky wears.

At just 21 years old, the designer behind Mayfield Avenue is the second youngest designer on the roster this year at Pittsburgh Fashion Week, said Miyoshi Anderson (pictured above), the event's founder and executive director. The brand impressed with its clean separates for men and women done in solids and the occasional vivid print. It had a strong hip, streetwear sensibility to it that was reflected in its styling and the presence each model brought to the runway. (Stylebook says: This aspiring Pittsburgh-based brand is, indeed, one to watch!)

Some serious eye-catching statement jewelry and seemingly sky-high stilettos were standout pieces from Exotic Hush, another of the night's featured designers. Then, Jenkins & Baldwin Originals dazzled the crowd with striking formal wear with impressive embellishments and embroidery.

Rounding out the runway show were hats by Faith n' Khaos, which has become a regular on Pittsburgh Fashion Week's opening night program over the years. This time her collection was called "Silicone Soul," a blend of unexpected materials with everyday objects to make wearable art, designer Faith Pongracz explained in the program notes. As a canvas for the headpieces (wool felt caps, pillbox hats, headwear with metallic embellishments), models wore head-to-toe nude body stockings splattered with paint and accessorized with unexpected things -- plastic bags, bolts, chains, an abundance of tulle, etc. In the past, the brand has been at the center of some criticism from those who thought its practice of covering models' faces with a black mask or stocking was a nod to blackface, although Ms. Anderson insisted that was not the intention. This season, the designer went with nude body stockings extended over their heads, with a heart that resembled red Lego pieces placed over their mouths.

Pittsburgh Fashion Week returns tonight for another evening of back-to-back runway shows at Highmark Stadium. See the full schedule here.

A dancer opens the Fashion Forum by DebrAnn Weiss runway show. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

A formal look from Fashion Forum by DebrAnn Weiss. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

An off-the-shoulder evening gown from Fashion Forum by DebrAnn Weiss. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

A RIPpurr Wear lingerie design by KAMmaze Fashions, Inc. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

A masked male model in an all-black look from KAMmaze Fashions, Inc. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

Street chic wear from Mayfield Avenue. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

Palm tree prints were a staple of the Mayfield Avenue collection. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

Models wearing Mayfield Avenue designs take a final walk down the runway. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

PFW ExoticHush
A model dressed in pieces from Exotic Hush. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

PFW JenkinsBaldwin
A classic little black dress by Jenkins & Baldwin Originals. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)


PFW JenkinsBaldwin2
Menswear by Jenkins & Baldwin Originals. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

Headwear by Faith n' Khaos. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

Final look from Faith n' Khaos. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)





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