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Phoenix Art Museum to acquire fashion archive of Pittsburgh's Emphatics boutique

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Emphatics Grid

For 50 years James and Karin Legato curated and sold pieces by some of fashion's premier designers of the 1960s through the early 2000s at their Downtown boutique, Emphatics. Now those historic pieces will be preserved for future generations of fashion enthusiasts to enjoy.

The Phoenix Art Museum has acquired more than 400 garments and accessories, as well as rare photos and videos of runway shows and original runway show invitations, from Emphatics boutique, which closed early last year due to a serious health matter in the Legato family.

The acquisition is a "transformational gift" for the museum, its curator of fashion design, Dennita Sewell, said in a video about it.

"This collection is really important to our archive because it fills a gap of works that we don't have," she said. "It allows us to tell a story about a really golden moment in fashion design."

During its 50 years in business -- first at the former Jenkins Arcade and then at One Oxford Centre -- Emphatics carried such designers as Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Thierry Mugler, Christian Lacroix, Alaia and the avant-garde designs of several others. It also was the first place to carry Jean Paul Gaultier designs in America. After the boutique closed, a reception was held last summer for invited guests to preview Emphatics' archives in hopes that a permanent home would be found for it.

The Legatos received serious interest and offers from several parties, they said, and at one point there was talk of possibly mounting a temporary exhibit of the archives at the Heinz History Center. The acquisition by the Phoenix Art Museum is the first of a number of significant acquisitions and events the institution has planned to mark its 50th anniversary in 2016.

RELATED MEDIA: HISTORY OF EMPHATICS BOUTIQUE

(Photos: Designs from the Emphatics archive featured at a preview reception at the boutique last summer. Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

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Point Breeze man wins Wahl 'best facial hair' contest

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Conor-Barrett

Pittsburgh is home to the American Mustache Institute and to a former Mustached American of the Year title holder. Now that winner is in good company.

Conor Barrett (pictured above; courtesy of Wahl), 25, of Point Breeze is the Wahl Man of the Year for best facial hair in the nation. He was one of 12 finalists who went "face to face" for the title. The public had the chance to vote for their favorite on Facebook, and that pick made up 40 percent of the score. The rest was based on a review by a judging panel, which ranked finalists on general enthusiasm for facial hair, media readiness and potential brand ambassadorship for Wahl.

Wahl visited places its research deemed to be the "Most Facial Hair Friendly Cities in America" and brought along a mobile barbershop to scout men with the best beards and mustaches. Mr. Barrett's full, burly beard earned him the name of Wahl Man of Pittsburgh and got him in the running for the grand prize.

And the grand prize is (drum roll) ... $1,000, a national advertisement spot for Wahl grooming products and all the bragging rights and glory that go along with being Wahl Man of the Year. Yet another accolade for the City of Champions!

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Big changes ahead for New York Fashion Week in 2015

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

NYFW

Everything you think you know about Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is about to change in 2015.

Starting with -- the name itself. Mercedes-Benz will no longer be the title sponsor, so the weeklong marathon of runway shows will simply be called New York Fashion Week. There also are reports that WME-IMG, the owner of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, will buy Made Fashion Week, a rival that holds its own series of fashion shows during New York Fashion Week at Milk Studios in downtown Manhattan.

February's shows also will be the last time for the tents at Lincoln Center. Last month it was announced that the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled that Lincoln Center will not renew its sublicense agreement with IMG Fashion to continue to hold Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Upper West Side location. Darmosch Park -- the exact location of MBFW at Lincoln Center -- has been in dispute since May 2013. Historically Lincoln Center has had autonomy over how the public park space has been used, but the court ruled that any future changes or events at the park must be approved by the Parks Department and other local community groups.

Read more about these developments at WWD.com, Fashionista.comHarpersBazaar.com and post-gazette.com.

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Pittsburgh-based fashion designer Kiya Tomlin to be featured on HBO 'State of Play' series

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

KiyaTomlin HBO

Pittsburgh-based fashion designer Kiya Tomlin, wife of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, will be profiled on the HBO topical series "State of Play."

In the episode, which will air at 10 p.m. EST tonight on the network, Ms. Tomlin is one of three women spotlighted for their relationships with men whose careers are in professional sports. She's joined by DeLana Harvick, wife of NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick, and Megan Lehnhoff, who's married to Steele High School (Cibolo, Texas) head football coach Scott Lehnhoff.

"They wanted to see how women who are married to prominent sports figures, just how we support our husbands and the different ways we do it," Ms. Tomlin told KDKA-TV, the Post-Gazette's news partner.

The episode also focuses on Ms. Tomlin's career in fashion as she continues to build her ready-to-wear brand, Uptown Sweats.

"I am the only, if not one of the only, head coach's wife in the NFL that works, so that was intriguing to me," she said.

See more in the trailer below, and tune in tonight!

Photo: Kiya Tomlin looks on at Heinz Field in HBO's "State of Play: First Ladies" episode.

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It's here! Pantone announces 2015 color of the year

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Pantone Introducing Color of the Year Marsala banner

Drum roll, please ... the Pantone color of 2015 will be Marsala.

The earthy wine hue will replace Radiant Orchid as fashion and design's "it" hue in the new year and is expected to "make for an elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors," color experts at Pantone declared.

So what do you think: will Marsala be hot as predicted or a flop?

 

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