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Setting the SEEN: Fourth of July edition with food and fun

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

What are you doing to celebrate America's 238th birthday? How about throw a party with some festive food and drinks!

In a very special holiday episode of "Setting the SEEN," SEEN editor Natalie Bencivenga and I stopped by Grit & Grace, Downtown, for tips on drinks and dishes for summer celebrations. Plus we checked out the newly renovated Mellon Square Park and talked tips for throwing the perfect summer party.

Find it all in the video below. If you like any of the treats that you see, some recipes are below, too.

Happy Fourth of July, and until next time -- we'll be seeing you!

 

 

RECIPES FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY (or any summer celebration ...)

Jungle Bird cocktail
1.5 oz Goslings dark rum
1.5 oz smoked pineapple juice (or regular pineapple juice if you don’t have access to a smoker)
3/4 oz Campari oz Fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple sugar (simply equal parts sugar to water; you will want to bring up the water to a high heat in order to properly incorporate the sugar)

Mix all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake. Strain over one large ice cube, if possible, and garnish with leaves of the pineapple. If you are featuring this cocktail for a party you can pre-batch the cocktail and put in a decorative glass bottle so guests can help themselves and nobody has to play bartender all night. Just keep the ice full!

Summer Refresher mocktail
3/4 oz house-made Orgeat
3/4 oz house-made lime preserves
1 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
Top with soda water & Peychauds Bitters

Mix all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake and strain over ice. Top the glass with soda water. Add Peychauds’s bitters for a bright red contrast in color and a balance if bitter flavor. Garnish with fresh fruit.

To make Orgeat ...
8 oz almond meal
5 cups sugar (divided)
8 cups water
5 drops rose water
8 drops orange blossom water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Combine almond meal + 1 cup sugar + water on high heat, bring to boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit overnight. Next day: strain through cheesecloth + China cap into saucepan. Add 4 cups of sugar and on a medium heat, dissolve sugar. Cool. Add rose water + orange blossom water + almond extract.

NOTES: Makes 5 Cup Serving; can be made in larger batches and frozen

Asparagus salad with tarragon Dijon dressing, bulgur wheat, pickled egg, radish and bibb lettuce
Roasted asparagus
1 bunch large asparagus
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove woody stems and toss in olive oil salt and pepper. Roast for 6 min and chill.

Tarragon dressing
2 tblsp
1 large shallot
2 oz white balsamic vinegar
1 oz water
6 oz canola oil
1 tblsp tarragon
Add all ingredients except the tarragon and oil in the base of a food processor or blender. With the motor running slowly emulsify in the oil and fold in the tarragon. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pickled eggs
4 hardboiled eggs
1 quart red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar

Bulgur wheat
1 quart bulgur
1 1/2 quarts boiling water
Bring water to a boil and pour over bulgur wheat and wrap with cling film. Let stand 5 min and fluff with a fork and cool.

 

 

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Style Week Pittsburgh announces 2014 event lineup

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

StyleweekPgh

Style Week Pittsburgh has a full plate of posh fashions from Pittsburgh and beyond on tap for its second annual outing.

This year's theme will be "En Vogue" and promises seven days of style-centric events celebrating the fashion industry in Pittsburgh and abroad.

Here's what to expect:

Aug. 11: Opening night kick-off party at The Priory Hotel's Grand Hall, North Side (6-10 p.m.). Tickets: $35 for general admission in advance, or $65 for VIP.

Aug. 12: Accessory trunk show presented with Fashion Group International Pittsburgh featuring fashion trucks, cocktails, DJ and more at LUXE Pittsburgh showroom in Indigo Square, East Liberty (6-9 p.m.). Free admission.

Aug. 13: Jewelry showcase presented with Macy's featuring styling sessions, beauty treatments, music, refreshments and more at Macy's, Downtown (5 p.m.)Free admission.

Aug. 14: The Style Awards honoring members of the Pittsburgh fashion and beauty industry, Blue Line Grille's rooftop lounge, Uptown (6-9 p.m.). Tickets: $35.

Aug. 15: Fashion soiree spotlighting ready-to-wear styles from Pittsburgh boutiques and vendors at IVY Pittsburgh, Strip District (6-10 p.m.). Tickets: $25 for general admission in advance, or $50 for VIP.

Aug. 16: Lawrenceville boutique crawl featuring discounts and promotions at select boutiques in the neighborhood (noon-5 p.m.). The first 300 people to register online will be entered to win $500 worth of products and gift cards from local businesses. No cost to participate.   

Aug. 17: Invitation-only brunch summit with key stakeholders and leaders of the city's fashion community to discuss the future of fashion in Pittsburgh.

A portion of the proceeds from the week will go to Strong Women, Strong Girls, a national non-profit with the mission to empower girls and women through mentorship. Philip Pelusi Salons will style models, and Jaylee Lemon of Refined Culture will provide runway coaching.

Tickets are on sale now at www.styleweekpittsburgh.wordpress.com.

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Brooks Brothers names designer-to-the-stars Zac Posen creative director of signature women's collection

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Steven Pan - ZAC HiRes 2 - 004From red carpet to ready-to-wear, designer Zac Posen's got enough glamour to go around.

His gorgeous gowns have garnered a Hollywood clientele, and he's collaborated with mainstream stores and brands such as David's Bridal and Kenmark Optical on collections. The latest one he'll be teaming with: Brooks Brothers. The retail chain has named him the creative director of its signature women's collection and accessories.

"As soon as we met, it was clear to us that he had a true understanding of our brand and its storied 196-year heritage as well as the creativity to modernize our offerings within the category," said Brooks Brothers chairman and CEO Claudio Del Vecchio.

Brooks Brothers started introducing women's wear to its inventory as early as 1874 and got a boost in 1949 when a pink oxford shirt was featured in Vogue. The complete women's department opened in 1976 with seasonal collections, and today women's apparel makes up about 20 percent of the retailer's sales.

Mr. Posen's debut collection for Brooks Brothers will be available worldwide in spring 2016.

Photo: Fashion designer Zac Posen by Steven Pan. 

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This weekend in Pittsburgh style+society: Fundraisers and fashion galore

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

In this week's episode of "Setting the SEEN," SEEN editor Natalie Bencivenga dishes on the latest social happenings across town, including a first-of-its-kind "Denim and Diamonds" party in Market Square.

Meanwhile, I have details on what to expect in August and September -- among the busiest months on the fashion calendar -- at some of Pittsburgh's biggest fashion events.

See it all in the video below. And, until next time, we'll be seeing you!

 

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FGI Pittsburgh proposes inaugural events at latest meeting

Written by Mila Sanina on .

FGI Pittsburgh board members

The provisional Pittsburgh chapter of Fashion Group International held its monthly meeting Thursday evening at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown.

Since the city is at the peak of summer vacation season, the turnout was only about 24 people, the lowest since FGI Pittsburgh started gathering. Stephanie Taylor, the chairwoman of the board, indicated that it's an aberration and noted that she is happy so far with how the chapter has been shaping up. The New York headquarters of FGI, which is tracking the Pittsburgh group's performance and will decide on its permanent standing, has been surprised at how engaged and active the Pittsburgh chapter has been, Ms. Taylor said.

FGIShe is hoping that the chapter will gain its permanent status by the end of the year.

"Everyone says there is no fashion in Pittsburgh, we have to prove them wrong," she said.

The agenda for the meeting included a discussion of membership and the formation of the aspiring fashion professionals committees, which will include fashion students and youth interested in fashion. The board emphasized the importance of attracting younger generations to help insure the Pittsburgh chapter's sustainability.

Vanessa Fellers, head of the programming committee, talked about plans to hold an event at the Heinz History Center in September, when the recently-closed Emphatics boutique, which for decades was a hub for high-end fashion in Pittsburgh, will exhibit its archival collection. She also hinted that FGI Pittsburgh might organize a mixer in September in its efforts to introduce itself to a wider audience across the city.

The board also talked about Style Week Pittsburgh as an opportunity for FGI Pittsburgh to connect with the fashion scene and recruit new members. Style Week will be August 11-17 at various venues throughout Pittsburgh. Style Week Pittsburgh founder Wadria Taylor is a member of the FGI Pittsburgh board.

Thirty minutes into the meeting, the board members and attendees broke into three committees to devise new ideas and advance future plans in programming, social media outreach/public relations and membership. The participants voiced an interest in having FGI Pittsburgh orchestrate events that are more neighborhood-oriented and invite speakers that represent fashion microcosms of Shadyside, Lawrenceville, East Liberty and other parts of Pittsburgh. Some members said they would like the group to have professional seminars and panel discussions on marketing trends, best practices in growing small business, blogging, etc.

Some more ideas: How about doing video blogs? Or featuring the "impeccably dressed" from various parties in Pittsburgh? What about engaging with the blogging community? Maybe doing interviews with Pittsburgh designers and "heavy hitters" and have a mentorship program for younger groups seeking careers in fashion?

The last part of the meeting featured a "fashion speed round," where attendees had an opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about fashion events in their communities, special promotions and/or their work.

The next general meeting will be 6 p.m. July 31 at Macy's, Downtown. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit www.fgi.org.

Photos: Above, FGI Pittsburgh board members address attendees. Below, board member Vanessa Fellers (standing) leads a discussion group. Mila Sanina/Post-Gazette

FGI Pittsburgh June 2014 meeting

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