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Runway recap: Pittsburgh Fashion Week opens with packed night of shows

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

 

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There were dancers, a singer, body jewels and a boy with a golf club -- and that was all just in the night's first collection.

Yes, the opening night program of Pittsburgh Fashion Week was packed with diverse collections (six of them, in fact) that each took their turn on the runway Monday at Highmark Stadium near Station Square.

The evening kicked off with a collection inspired by the four seasons from Fashion Forum by DebrAnn Weiss. She featured flirty but classic pieces, many of which were done in monochromatic colors with a couple of hi-low hemlines mixed in.

Next up, KAMmaze Fashions, Inc.'s signature line of RIPpurr Wear lingerie, which (staying true to its name) can be ripped off and then reattached for future wear. Models slinked down the runway in masquerade masks and the brand's sexy, silky wears.

At just 21 years old, the designer behind Mayfield Avenue is the second youngest designer on the roster this year at Pittsburgh Fashion Week, said Miyoshi Anderson (pictured above), the event's founder and executive director. The brand impressed with its clean separates for men and women done in solids and the occasional vivid print. It had a strong hip, streetwear sensibility to it that was reflected in its styling and the presence each model brought to the runway. (Stylebook says: This aspiring Pittsburgh-based brand is, indeed, one to watch!)

Some serious eye-catching statement jewelry and seemingly sky-high stilettos were standout pieces from Exotic Hush, another of the night's featured designers. Then, Jenkins & Baldwin Originals dazzled the crowd with striking formal wear with impressive embellishments and embroidery.

Rounding out the runway show were hats by Faith n' Khaos, which has become a regular on Pittsburgh Fashion Week's opening night program over the years. This time her collection was called "Silicone Soul," a blend of unexpected materials with everyday objects to make wearable art, designer Faith Pongracz explained in the program notes. As a canvas for the headpieces (wool felt caps, pillbox hats, headwear with metallic embellishments), models wore head-to-toe nude body stockings splattered with paint and accessorized with unexpected things -- plastic bags, bolts, chains, an abundance of tulle, etc. In the past, the brand has been at the center of some criticism from those who thought its practice of covering models' faces with a black mask or stocking was a nod to blackface, although Ms. Anderson insisted that was not the intention. This season, the designer went with nude body stockings extended over their heads, with a heart that resembled red Lego pieces placed over their mouths.

Pittsburgh Fashion Week returns tonight for another evening of back-to-back runway shows at Highmark Stadium. See the full schedule here.

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A dancer opens the Fashion Forum by DebrAnn Weiss runway show. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)


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A formal look from Fashion Forum by DebrAnn Weiss. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)


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An off-the-shoulder evening gown from Fashion Forum by DebrAnn Weiss. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)


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A RIPpurr Wear lingerie design by KAMmaze Fashions, Inc. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)


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A masked male model in an all-black look from KAMmaze Fashions, Inc. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)


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Street chic wear from Mayfield Avenue. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)


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Palm tree prints were a staple of the Mayfield Avenue collection. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)


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Models wearing Mayfield Avenue designs take a final walk down the runway. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)


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A model dressed in pieces from Exotic Hush. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)


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A classic little black dress by Jenkins & Baldwin Originals. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

 

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Menswear by Jenkins & Baldwin Originals. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)


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Headwear by Faith n' Khaos. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)


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Final look from Faith n' Khaos. (Photo by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

 

 

 

 

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Crazy for the Caribbean New York Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- Each season there's at least one place, period or color palette that's a key go-to for designers' inspiration at New York Fashion Week. This time it's the vibrant shades and easy-going spirit of the Caribbean.

In the wake of Cuba opening up to Americans, several designers have shaped their spring/summer 2016 collections with a south-of-the-border sensibility in mind.

Dennis Basso's elegant interpretation of the theme mixed bold prints and hot hues to channel, as he put it, "visions of strong, glamorous and alluring women from Mexico City to Havana to Rio to Buenos Aires and all of the cities in between." There were floral printed pieces, high-cut shorts done in island-inspired prints, exquisite embroidery details and, of course, plenty of his signature textured and multicolored furs done in broadtail, sable and fox.

Angel Sanchez's "Tropical Couture" collection was sparked by the Caribbean flower the Cayena (also known as the Hibiscus). This prompted his usage of an intense color palette of citrus yellows, mango oranges, grassy greens and fuchsias, balanced by pure-white pieces. The Cayena also came to life in his artful floral details done in leather and acrylic that adorned many designs, plus some more sculptural bodices crafted to resemble flower petals.

Tommy Hilfiger (pictured above snapping a selfie with his cast of models; photo courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger) delivered one of the week's more literal takes on island fever with his elaborate lagoon and sand runway set and a playful collection packed with Caribbean-appropriate casual wear, including swimwear, crocheted separates, tees and sweaters, flowing maxis, bucket hats and backpacks.

See more from these collections below ...

ANGEL SANCHEZ (photos courtesy of Angel Sanchez)

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NYFW Runway Hot Pick: Tommy Hilfiger's island-themed fashion show

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- There's nothing like an island getaway to get a week off to a good start. That's what designer Tommy Hilfiger delivered in his spring 2016 runway show Monday morning at New York Fashion Week -- and that's why he's one of Stylebook's NYFW runway hot picks!
 
He created a piece of paradise (set pictured above) inside Pier 36 at South Street in lower Manhattan, a change of scenery for a brand that usually takes over the mammoth Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side for its elaborate fashion shows. 
 
Mr. Hilfiger, always the master of meticulous details, brought the island theme to life with a wooden plank runway that wrapped around an indoor lagoon with sand, palm trees and even a cabana, where island folks enjoyed a carefree day near the water.
 
The fashions were a vibrant display of colorful patchwork pieces, rainbow crocheted swimwear and separates, effortless maxis and casual printed pajama suits, topped with the occasional bucket hat and geometric bag. When models reemerged for their final walk, they left the runway to playfully splash in the lagoon. 
 
The collection had a deliberate Jamaican flavor, seasoned with Hilfiger's signature polished, cool-girl punch.
 
Check out more photos of the sunny styles below! (Photos courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger)
 
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Stylebook at NYFW: Weekend runway recap {VIDEO}

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

NEW YORK -- Despite a couple of furious downpours, fashion fans still were out in full force over the weekend checking out the sights and styles of New York Fashion Week. Check out the video recap below for footage from Stylebook's point-of-view inside some of the shows.

(Faces in the crowd: Can you identify the young reality TV starlets from Pittsburgh seated in the first row at the Sherri Hill fashion show? Look quickly -- before the clip dances by *hint hint* your eyes!)

 

 

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Stylebook at NYFW: Pantone predicts top color picks for spring 2016

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- South-of-the-border culture, a calm sensibility and blurred gender lines are just a few of the inspirations behind Pantone's top color picks for spring 2016.

Pantone, the industry's authority on all-things color, released its bi-annual trend report in time for New York Fashion Week, which previews through Thursday across the city collections for next spring and summer.

The anticipated hot hues for the season include: Rose Quartz, Peach Echo, Serenity (a soft blue), Snorkel blue (a rich blue), Buttercup yellow, Limpet Shell aqua, Fiesta (a fiery, yellow-based red), Iced Coffee and Green Flash.

"Colors this season transport us to a happier, sunnier place where we feel free to express a wittier version of our real selves," Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman said in a statement about the spring 2016 report. "With our culture still surrounded by so much uncertainty, we are continuing to yearn for those softer shades that offer a sense of calm and relaxation."

As is to be expected in spring fashion, many of these color choices are nods to nature's renewal this time of year. But Pantone also notes Cuba's resurgence as a global destination as a key influencer behind some of the report's more unboundedly vibrant color combinations

Unlike seasons where Pantone releases picks for men and women, the spring 2016 colors make up what it's dubbed a "unisex palette."

"There are truly no perceivable distinctions in color choices between men's and women's collections, both of which focus on a desire to breathe and reflect, then play," the report states.

To read the full report, go to www.pantone.com.

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