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Models 'take the plunge' in Betsey Johnson's 'Prenup' fashion show at NYFW

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- You knew Betsey Johnson had something unique in store for her runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week when the invitation was a pouch of rice.

For her spring collection, she sent drag queens, "Real Housewives" and models down the catwalk (or, the aisle, in this case) in a wedding-themed show. Transgender model Isis King and Sharon Needles (a Pittsburgher!) from "RuPaul's Drag Race" also were among the models.

In true Betsey style, there was lots of color, ruffles, over-the-top accessories and slapstick style. Lingerie in pretty pastels, floral baby doll pieces and a tuxedo-style body suit also paraded down the runway.

While it was lots of light-hearted fun, it carried an undertone of commentary about marriage in today's society, with references to same-sex weddings and traditions in other cultures that kept it all from feeling cliche.

Besides Fashion Week, Ms. Johnson is gearing up for her turn as a celebrity on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and closed the show with her partner for the program, professional dancer Tony Dovolani, and her signature catwalk cartwheel and split.

Photos: Dan Lecca

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Pittsburgh-based fashion designer Kiya Tomlin to be featured on 'Entertainment Tonight'

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Designers showing their collections at New York Fashion Week aren't the only ones in the spotlight.

Pittsburgh-based fashion designer Kiya Tomlin will be featured at 7:30 p.m. tonight on television show "Entertainment Tonight."

A crew stopped by her studio in East Liberty to film (pictured above via Instagram). The segment will include looks from her "Uptown Sweats" collection, paired with footwear from Emy Mack Shoes (which is having a strong week in its own right with an appearance on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week).

Ms. Tomlin specializes in customizeable apparel but recently has been expanding her reach into the ready-to-wear world with "comfy-chic" pieces, such as her signature sweatshirt dress.

Find when and on what channel "Entertainment Tonight" airs in your community here.

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Pantone announces top colors for spring 2015

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- What will be the top colors for spring 2015? Step outside and look around!

Color experts at Pantone took a cue from nature when compiling the list of hues that will be hot come early next year. In line with what's been trending on the runways of New York Fashion Week, soft cool colors punctuated with warmer tones will be the popular palette.

"There is a growing movement to step out and create 'quiet zones' to disconnect from technology and unwind, giving ourselves time to stop and be still." Pantone states in its announcement. "Color choices follow the same minimalistic 'en plein air' theme."

Here are Pantone's picks:

-Aquamarine

-Scuba blue

-Lucite green

-Classic blue

-Toasted almond

-Strawberry ice

-Tangerine

-Custard

-Marsala

-Glacier gray

See more at pantone.com.

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Party like a rock star with Tommy Hilfiger

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- Some designers know how to turn every detail of their runway show into an eye-catching production.

Tommy Hilfiger is one of them, and his elaborate sets, clever invitations and, of course, all-American fashions never disappoint. But this season he raised the bar yet again with a fashion show-meets-rock-concert event at the Park Avenue Armory on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The musical references started with the invitations, which were plastic record albums that when slipped out of their protective paper sleeve revealed the guest's seating assignment. At the venue, guests were given "All Assets" passes (a fun riff on backstage pass wristbands) to slip on their wrists with the designer's social media info on them. A stage was built at the start of the runway where Tara Ferry, son of singer/songwriter Brian Ferry, played the drums alongside musician Steve Hash.

Multi-colored flowers were strategically placed to form a path where the models walked. Flowers also were arranged to shape a giant rainbow star and the designer's name and initials. The sights even continued on the ceiling, where strings of lights and banners were hanged.

Booming rock music kicked off the "Music Festival Muse"-themed runway show. Some of the models and audience members were picked to be there because of their ties to famous musicians, including Georgia May Jagger (daughter of Mick Jagger), Ella and Alexandra Richards (granddaughter and daughter of Keith Richards, respectively), Amber Le Bon (daughter of Simon Le Bon), Tali Lennox (daughter of Annie Lennox) and Tennessee Williams (daughter of Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas).

Photos courtesy of the designer

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J.Crew keeps things casual for spring 2015

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

NEW YORK -- J.Crew's usually preppy personality channeled a laid-back vibe at its presentation Tuesday at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, perfect for a spring state of mind.

Women's pieces pulled from muted hues such as moss, khaki and denim with occasional pops of shimmering yellow and tangerine. Nautical details were noticeable, including a rope necklace and belt and netted separates, and layering was key to pulling it all together. Fits were relaxed, even boyish at times, flavoring the fashions with a hint of androgyny. As usual for J.Crew, printed pumps and strappy stilettos were aplenty, with a couple eye-catching iridescent handbags here and there.

Earthy colors and layering lingered in the men's collection, too, with some Mediterranean references mixed in (bandannas knotted around the neck, a poncho and brimmed sailing hats, for instance). Even more polished pieces like a slim suit stayed casual thanks to sneakers, a trend that's been spotted all week on the runway.

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