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"Setting the SEEN" Celebrates Latin Culture with Cafe con Leche

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

Hola mis amigos!


This week, style editor Sara Bauknecht and I chat with Cafe con Leche founder, Tara Sherry-Torres. Ms. Torres started this pop-up cafe (in the old Quiet Storm location in Garfield) to help foster Latin culture and community here in Pittsburgh. Be sure to check out all the great events (dancing, food, and art) happening at Cafe con Leche. And enjoy our video as we learn to make plantains...which by the way, are deliciosa!

Check out Cafe con Leche HERE

Follow on Instagram and Twitter @cafelechepgh

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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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Talking mums on KDKA-TV

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog mums rule b

I talked with Kimberly Gill about making mums last for fall and hopefully until spring. Here's the segment from Pittsburgh Today Live.

The hazy world of "hardy mums" causes both confusion an consternation for gardeners. "Why don't they come back," I'm often asked.

First, lets talk hardy. Some mums sold as hardy mums aren't, others are. That's easy, right? I always buy mine from a good nursery where the good folks there will know the variety and if it's actually bred to overwinter in our climate.

Bet even though a mum is tough enough to make it through the winter, there's only a 50 percent chance it will.

Here's how mums are forced to bloom in the fall. Growers pinch back the buds at least two times so the plant will be filled with flowers now. Since the plant has used so much energy to produce all those flowers, it's usually just too tired to get established in the ground.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your mums and attempt to get them to winter over.

Always buy from a place you trust. A good grower will never let the plants dry out and starting with a healthy plant makes all the difference in the world.

Pick plants that are still budded tight and not already flowering. You can usually get a good idea of what the color and flower type will be by looking and the plant tag and other blooming plants nearby.

Improve the soil with compost to make the plants happy. Buying a bag or two of good compost will go a long way to giving the mums everything they need.

Keep the plant watered and deadhead the first flush of blooms. When the mum has bloomed once, there should be more buds ready to bloom. Remove the spent flowers and the plant should bloom again.

At the end of the season, don't cut back the dying branches. There's research showing leaving the plant alone and cutting back in the spring is better for over wintering.

Mums are a big part of our fall gardens, enjoy the blooms now and cross your fingers for the plant to return in the spring.

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'Fashion Rocks' at Macy's for Pittsburgh Fashion Week Day 3

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Pittsburgh Fashion Week brought the action Downtown for Day 3 with a "Fashion Rocks"-themed runway show and shopping party at Macy's Wednesday evening.

Pittsburgh-based event stylist Bill Chisnell transformed part of the fourth floor into a stage and zig-zag catwalk with platforms for posing, all awashed in magenta and purple lighting with accents of black and silver. Live music from Deep Faith got the party pumping while guests munched on light bites from Savoy.

For the main event, Shellie Hipsky, this year's Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame Exceptional Artist awardee, was the host and talked through a list of trends for fall while models showed them off on the catwalk.

Some of the top styles for the season are:

-My cool edge: Moto jackets with skinny pants, graphic tees, blazers and boyfriend cardigans.

-My mystique: Muted floral prints

-My blues: All things blue, from navy to bright cobalt done in velvet, faux fur and leather details

-Clean and tailored: Polished yet fun and flirty with classic prints and textures

The runway layout was the first of its kind for the department store, which has taken part in Pittsburgh Fashion Week for three years. This year's event attracted about 150 in the audience with another 25-50 in standing spaces. 

"I see so much growth," said Pittsburgh Fashion Week founder and executive director Miyoshi Anderson (pictured below with one of the featured models). "It's just continuing to evolve."

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