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Packed house for Pittsburgh Fashion Week's final day at Highmark Stadium

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Pittsburgh Fashion Week's final night at Highmark Stadium looked a lot like its first -- a packed house.

Few seats were left empty while a few dozen people squeezed in to stand behind the rows of chairs to view the work of five designers: DebrAnn Weiss & Co., Allison Elizabeth Designs, Bradford Mumpower, Zeina Lou Designs: High & Tight Swimwear and Xalter Zaughn.

The evening opened with a twist -- and a flip. Acrobats and dancers jumped, turned and did back handsprings down the runway in between models in the DebrAnn Weiss show, which featured formal and everyday apparel created from natural fibers with an emphasis on Alpaca and organic cottons. The show closed with a couple guest models, including Shellie Hipsky, this year's Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame exceptional artist awardee.

Two designers spotlighted swimwear: Allison Elizabeth Designs and Zeina Lou Designs. The latter caters to women who crave a little extra coverage (while still wanting to feel sexy and in style) with higher-waisted bikini bottoms and tops that provide more support.

A pair of male designers rounded out the lineup. Mr. Mumpower played with bold prints and vintage-inspired silhouettes for his wonderfully wearable pieces. Xalter Zaughn largely stuck to grays and creams and clean lines for the brand's looks for men and women.

Jacqueline's Salon styled models for the night. Adding to the excitement, a casting director from the upcoming film "The Last Witch Hunter" was in the audience scouting models.

This was the first year for Pittsburgh Fashion Week to hold multiple days' events at a single venue.

"It's been helpful being at one venue," founder and executive director Miyoshi Anderson said earlier in the week. "I feel content."

Pittsburgh Fashion Week resumes for Day 6 at 7 p.m. at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, with the "Back to Basics" student designer showcase. Tickets: showclix.com.

DebrAnn Weiss & Co.

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Allison Elizabeth Designs

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Bradford Mumpower

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Zeina Lou Designs

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Xalter Zaughn

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Pittsburgh Fashion Week Shopping Edition: 5 cool vendors from Fashion Ave. market

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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The fifth annual Pittsburgh Fashion Week not only has brought together a unique mix of designers but also fashion and beauty vendors.

Each day that festivities have taken place at Highmark Stadium there's been a Fashion Avenue market place featuring jewelry, clothing, makeup and more.

Stylebook has been scouting the scene throughout the week. Here's some of the top picks:

Vintage Valet handmade jewelry

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Marissa Zimmerman, owner of the Vintage Valet fashion truck, recently added to her mobile boutique one-of-a-kind jewelry that she makes by hand with vintage beads and cameo pins. Her truck was parked outside Highmark Stadium earlier in the week with a table of the beaded beauties for sale. Find out where Vintage Valet will be driving to next on the PG Interactive Fashion Truck Tracker Map.


ReBag

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Got old pants? Why not repurpose them! ReBag refashions clothes into handbags and laptop cases. The startup is headed by Yi Wang, a recent transplant to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to learn more.


Creative rings from Facemadics

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Jabari Mason is CEO/president of Facemadics and specializes in creative accessories made from semi-precious stones, glass beads and other natural elements. Information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Silpada Designs statement necklace

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For fall direct sales jewelry brand Silpada Designs introduces the Blue Streak necklace. It has blue Swarovski crystals set atop tanned leather accents with a brassy finish. $159 at mysilpada.com.


Smudge-proof lip liners from Younique Makeup

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While the brand is known for its lash-enhancing mascara, it also boasts an impressive lip liner line that does not smudge. (Seriously, just draw a streak across your hand and rub, rub, rub -- it does not smear.) $15 a piece at youniqueproducts.com.

Tonight's event is the final day for the Fashion Avenue market place. It's free and open to the public from 5:30-9 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. Information: pittsburghfashionweek.com.

 

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Pittsburgh-based Simple Sugars to be spotlighted yet again on ABC's 'Shark Tank'

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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A lot has changed for Lani Lazzari of Fox Chapel since the skincare brand she started at age 11 called Simple Sugars was first spotlighted more than a year ago on the ABC reality TV show "Shark Tank." She secured a business partnership with Mark Cuban (another Pittsburgher!), expanded the brand's retail presence across the country and has kept sales going strong.

See the growth for yourself at 8 p.m. on ABC during the two-hour season premiere of "Shark Tank." Watch a preview of tonight's update below and shop Simple Sugars at simplesugars.myshopify.com(Photo: Lani Lazzari with a shelf of her Simple Sugars products. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)

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Pittsburgh Fashion Week impresses with strong designer lineup on Day 4

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Pittsburgh Fashion Week returned to Highmark Stadium near Station Square on Thursday for a night of impressive women's fashion.

The five designers -- V to V Custom Fit Clothing by Robin Whitmer, Leslie Harris, Glenda Bonds: 5.0 Sisterhood, Lorette Pendergrast: Lorette's Fashions and Tammy Jackson: Saani Mac -- all showcased looks that easily could be whisked from the runway to the real world. They catered to the everyday woman with figure-flattering silhouettes, practical prints and color schemes (largely neutrals with the occasional pop of cobalt blue or turquoise) that are on trend.

Among the standout looks was a pair of pants hand embellished with crystals (pictured below) by Ms. Jackson that closed the night to great applause. Ms. Bonds' collection designed with clothes for women 50 years and older in mind was another highlight with timeless pieces that prove strong style doesn't have to waiver with age.

Keeping with the "model mayhem" angle of this year's Fashion Week, each designer's showcase featured another fresh crop of models. More than 340 models will take part in Pittsburgh Fashion Week this season with no model walking in more than one show. Hair and makeup was styled by Nikki Thomas, Ashley Canada and Sherva MMO (Make Me Over).

Shows once again were well attended, with few empty seats in the front row and audience members staying engaged through the end. Throughout the night guests had the chance to shop jewelry, clothes and more at the Fashion Avenue market place on the lower level.

Pittsburgh Fashion Week picks back up at 5:30 p.m. today with the last day of the Fashion Avenue market place and another designer showcase at 7 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. Tickets: ticketmaster.com. Information: pittsburghfashionweek.com

V to V Custom Clothing by Robin Whitmer

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Leslie Harris

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Glenda Bonds: 5.0 Sisterhood

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Lorette Pendergrast: Lorette's Fashions

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Tammy Jackson: Saani Mac

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Student designers spotlighted at Pittsburgh Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Veteran designers aren't the only ones getting their time on the catwalk at the fifth annual Pittsburgh Fashion Week. Student designers and recent grads also have been in the spotlight throughout the week.

At the "Fashion Rocks" runway show at Macy's, Downtown, on Wednesday, the five student designers who were picked to participate in this year's events were introduced to the crowd and interviewed about their backgrounds and design inspirations. Meanwhile, one look from each of their collections was modeled on the runway. During Fashion Week, some of their creations also are on display in two of Macy's storefront windows.

The up-and-coming designers went through a "Project Runway"-style audition to make it to Fashion Week that included presenting past designs as well as ones made specially for the judges.

"It's giving them a chance to really see the real world and how fast-paced things are and how quickly they might have to produce something," says founder and executive director Miyoshi Anderson.

This year's featured student designers are Marissa Burd, Leesa Kassler, Anna Montano, Khaleelah Ali Muhammad and Sammi Parrish. See their work at the "Back to Basics" runway show at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown. Tickets: showclix.com (or learn more at pittsburghfashionweek.com).

Photos: (Above) A design by Leesa Kassler is featured at the "Fashion Rocks" event at Macy's on Wednesday, Day 3 of Pittsburgh Fashion Week. (Below) Looks from the student designers taking part in Pittsburgh Fashion Week are on display in Macy's storefront windows, Downtown. Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette

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