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Pittsburgh approved to set up provisional chapter of Fashion Group International

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Pittsburgh's budding fashion scene is about to get a shot in the arm that could propel its reputation on the national, or even international, front.

The city has been approved to start a provisional chapter of Fashion Group International, a nonprofit that helps unite and promote fashion insiders from around the world. The group would serve as a unifying force for the Pittsburgh fashion scene and a network through which events could be held and professional connections could be established. Membership also would give Pittsburgh a common ground through which to communicate with fashion communities in other cities that belong to Fashion Group International.

About 20 years ago Pittsburgh had a Fashion Group International chapter. However, its leadership was rooted in the major department stores in the city at the time, and when they went under so did the group.

Under the direction of Stephanie Taylor, department chair for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh's fashion retail management and fashion design programs, exploratory meetings have been held since July to gauge local interest in reviving a Fashion Group International chapter. The city had to submit to Fashion Group International's headquarters in New York City information highlighting Pittsburgh as a diverse fashion market, a viability statement listing some of the city's regular fashion events and a letter of intent requesting provisional status.

In the next year if Pittsburgh continues to prove its fashion, beauty and retail communities are viable enough to support Fashion Group International, it will then become a full-fledged chapter. Ms. Taylor will serve as regional director for the initial year.

The next public meeting will be 6-7:30 p.m. March 27 at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown. Email Ms. Taylor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.fgi.org to learn more.

 

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So long until next time New York ... it's been real (snowy)

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

NEW YORK -- Another New York Fashion Week has come to an end.

It saw it's ups (stunning fashions from some of the world's top designers). It had it's downs (a foot of snow, rain and tiny ice balls that smacked pedestrians in the face while walking outside). It had it's so-so moments (the mixed reviews to changes made to the tents at Lincoln Center, home to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week). 

Now industry elite are headed off to shows overseas in such fashion epicenters as Paris and Milan in the coming weeks. 

Overall trends were wearable, with cozy chic sweaters, boyish silhouettes, dark earthy hues and neutrals, all-over sequins and hints of winter pastels being among some of them. For the most part, many seem as though they'll be able to make the successful transition from the runway to retail.

Before Stylebook signs off from the Big Apple, here's a sampling of some of the Twitter moments from the final days of New York Fashion Week:

 

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Backstage beauty tips and tricks from Zang Toi at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

NEW YORK -- No one does drop-dead-gorgeous glamour quite like Malaysian designer Zang Toi. (It's the only fashion show I've ever been to that each season people clap for the clothes during the show.)

For his fall/winter 2014 collection, Mr. Toi was inspired by Shanghai 1930s and translated the theme into sexy-yet-sophisticated gray executive-style suits for women and glorious black and emerald gowns encrusted with crystals, plus a few things for men.

Experts from Zoya nail polish, Rene Furterer hair products and Dea Terra Italia, a new skincare line yet to hit the market in the U.S., helped bring the look together.

The Nails
Zoya created a trio of custom colors based on fabric swatches from Mr. Toi's collection. They included Peony Princess (brilliant jade), Shanghainese Songstress (opium) and Art Deco Goddess (onyx). Nail technicians created two manicure looks for the show: a two-toned style featuring a half moon in Art Deco Goddess at the base of the nail and Peony Princess at the top and all-onyx nails with a sprinkling of .6 millimeter hex sequins. 

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The Hair
The hairstyle channeled the drama and air of danger of Shanghai in the '30s, said celebrity hairstylist Eiji Yamane (pictured below). Models' hair was pulled back into a chignon, and Mr. Yamane clipped in pre-set hair pieces to add some wave to the look. Rene Furterer's Vegetal Styling Wax was used to control hair and give the wave extra shine. A spritz of Glossing Spray provided even more sheen, and the style was set with Rene Furterer's Vegetal Finishing Spray.

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The Skin
To give models' faces a porcelain glow, their skin was prepped with a facial using yet-to-be-released domestically products from Dea Terra Italia. Ingredients are harvested from plants and fruits across Italy, beginning with the white truffle of Alba. Products are free from parabens, mineral oils and petrolates and relax and refresh skin. 

The facials allowed models' makeup to be applied more smoothly and rejuvenated their skin after days of wearing heavy makeup for fashion shows.

Zang skin

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Forward Township native Devin Goda keeps busy modeling in his first New York Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- Devin Goda is an aspiring modeling on the move. 

The 24-year-old Forward Township native broke into modeling a couple years ago when he attended an open call for models in Pittsburgh. Now he's taken his career to new heights, signing on with world-renowned agency Wilhelmina in New York.

This season was his first New York Fashion Week, and he kept busy modeling in five shows, including Asaf Ganot and Guess.

"With this being my first New York Fashion Week, I kind of just had fun and enjoyed the atmosphere," he said. 

He's serious about making a name for himself in the industry and hopes to become a top model for fitness and print work and sign on with agencies across the world.

(Photo: Devin Goda, far left, models in the Asaf Ganot presentation at the High Line Hotel in Chelsea during New York Fashion Week. Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

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New York Fashion Week: What I wore ... last installment

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

The final day of New York Fashion Week is traditionally highlighted with shows by some of the industry's most prestigious brands, including Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein.

They are attended by some of fashion's top editors, stylists, retailers and more, so looking chic is important as to not look out of place.

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Gray and black ruched illusion dress, from Express, and gray and black button poncho by Hot in Hollywood for HSN: Fashion audiences typically are a sea of black and gray, so I decided to incorporate both into my look. I paired them with black fleece-lined leggings (there was a foot of snow outside!) and some nearly-to-the-knee black boots by White Mountain.


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Gold statement ring, from Banana Republic, and gold dangle earrings with rhinestone accents, from J.C. Penney: The buttons on the poncho are gold toned so these costume accessories complemented them well.

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