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Designers play time travel at New York Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- Everything old is new again, right? That might as well be the motto for fashion come fall.

At New York Fashion Week, underway through Thursday, plenty of designers are pulling inspiration from past decades for their upcoming collections.

Hot on the heels of a '70s style resurgence for fall 2015, some designers once again are channeling the groovy era. At the Alice + Olivia presentation, sets resembling New York City's downtown arts scene during that decade filled a large gallery space, complete with vintage LIFE magazines and newspapers, disco balls, oriental rugs and records. As for the fashions, there were fresh twists on patchwork dresses, high-waist flare pants, wide-brim hats and printed vests, maxi coats and pantsuits galore. Likewise, Diane von Furstenberg's fall collection was an homage to the time, with sexy slips, vivid prints and glitzy gowns worthy of the disco.

At Jeremy Scott, there were some nods to the '90s. In keeping with his signature playful style, pieces were wallpapered with popular cartoon characters from the decade, like Nickelodeon's Ren and Stimpy. Meanwhile, Tommy Hilfiger delivered nautical staples (peacoats, sailor pants, etc.) through a 1940s filter.

Photos: Alice + Olivia's '70s-inspired fall 2016 collection, presented Wednesday at New York Fashion Week at Skylight Clarkson Sq., SoHo. Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette

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Fox Chapel twins go behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Polyvore Twins

NEW YORK -- Fashion is more than just a hobby for Kaitlyn and Arianna Costanzo, 21-year-old twins from Fox Chapel. It's a career goal and a passion.

They're both fashion bloggers (Kaitlyn's site is The Layered Lineup and Arianna's blog is Flawed Paradise). Plus, this past summer they interned for the Brooklyn-based jewelry band K/LLER Collection. They also study public relations and advertising at Point Park University.

But one of their biggest breaks to date is being tapped by the shopping website and app Polyvore to attend New York Fashion Week as community correspondents, who go behind the scenes and attend shows and report on them for the website's fashion followers.

Stylebook caught up with the twins as they headed to the Big Apple.

What was your reaction to being invited to New York Fashion Week?

Kaitlyn: It's always been a dream, so it's pretty exciting.

What do you hope to take away from the experience?

Arianna: We both just want to grow ourselves. Being in Pittsburgh, we don't have as many opportunities in the fashion industry.

Has being in Pittsburgh made it challenging for you to break into the fashion industry?

Kaitlyn: I think it's been a little difficult. I've always been slightly afraid to fully express myself fashion-wise. There definitely are some people in Pittsburgh who are fashionable. Some people look at you the wrong way if you're wearing something that's different other than a sports jersey.

So how would you describe your personal style?

Kaitlyn: Edgy, but calm and cool. I really look up to designer Saint Laurent.

Arianna: My biggest inspiration ever since I was young was Alexander McQueen.

Where's your favorite place to shop in Pittsburgh?

Kaitlyn and Arianna: Ross Park Mall

What's your fashion dream job?

Kaitlyn: I would love to either possibly be a stylist because I've always looked up to Rachel Zoe, or just be able to work under or in the company of a high-fashion brand.

Arianna: I agree. Or eventually having something of my own.

See more from Kaitlyn and Arianna on Polyvore at kaitlyncostanzo.polyvore.com and flawedparadise.polyvore.com. Read more about other Pittsburghers taking in part in New York Fashion Week HERE.

Photos: From left, Arianna and Kaitlyn Costanzo. Courtesy of Polyvore.

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NYFW: Shades of blue to be hot hues for Fall 2016, Pantone says

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Pantone

NEW YORK -- In time for New York Fashion Week, color experts with Pantone have announced their picks for hot hues for Fall/Winter 2016.

Tranquil shades of blue are expected to dominate fashion and style later this year, along with grays, pinkish purples, red tones and spicy mustard yellows, according to Pantone. As in recent seasons, the latest color report is made up of several hues that are fluid from gender to gender.

Pantone’s top 10 color picks for fall are: Riverside (a new denim blue), Airy (a softer blue), Sharkskin gray, Aurora (a rich red), Warm Taupe, Dusty Cedar, Lush Meadow (a vibrant foliage-inspired green), Spicy Mustard, Potter’s Clay and Bodacious (soft grape).

Learn more at www.pantone.com.

RELATED MEDIA: Pantone picks Serenity, Rose Quartz as 2016 colors of the year

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Mark your calendars: Style Week Pittsburgh announces 2016 dates

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Style Week Pittsburgh will be back for its fourth year come summertime. 

From Aug. 18-21, the fashion-focused affair will roll out a series of runway shows, mixers and more for Pittsburgh style enthusiasts to enjoy. Another highlight of the week will be the annual Style Awards, which recognizes some of the city's arts and style influencers.

Wadria Taylor started Style Week Pittsburgh in 2013 as a way to spotlight some of Pittsburgh's hidden style gems and to give members of the local fashion community a platform for networking and collaborating.

Learn more at styleweekpittsburgh.com.

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Pittsburgh-based Simple Sugars talks plans to become $30 million company on ABC's 'Beyond the Tank'

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Business is pretty sweet these days for Pittsburgh-based Simple Sugars, the all-natural face and body scrub line that Fox Chapel native Lani Lazzari created when she was just 11 years old. It soared onto the national, and even international, stage when Ms. Lazzari, 21, pitched the brand on ABC's TV show "Shark Tank" back in March 2013, when she earned an investment from Mt. Lebanon native Mark Cuban.

Simple Sugars was back in the spotlight Thursday night when it was featured on the "Shark Tank" spin-off series "Beyond the Tank," which shows what life's like for businesses after being on the reality show.

In the episode, Mr. Cuban visited Simple Sugars' 10,000 square-foot facility at RIDC Park, where it moved last year from its previous home in a 1,700 square-foot storefront in Sharpsburg.

It's "fancy schmancy," he says about the headquarters, decked out in the brand's signature pink.SimpleSugars Headquarters

He's pleased with Ms. Lazzari's success and hustle; Simple Sugars has done more than $4 million in sales since it made its "Shark Tank" debut.

"I saw a mini me in Lani," Mr. Cuban says about why he invested in her business. "She's driven."

But is the brand growing fast enough? During his visit, Mr. Cuban advised Ms. Lazzari to find someone who knows things about business that she and her mom Gina, who's the company's vice president, don't know and bring them into the Simple Sugars family to help accelerate its growth. He also liked Ms. Lazzari's idea to invest in rebranding and better promoting Simple Sugars' men's line Smooth for Men, in hopes of boosting its sales and tapping into the fast-growing men's personal care market.

They also talked social media strategies. With Mr. Cuban's guidance, Simple Sugars is launching a Facebook video series that offers tips on business and entrepreneurship, among other topics.

"Her goal is not 10, not 20, but at least $30 million in sales," Mr. Cuban says. "She's got what it takes."

Read more about Simple Sugars' story here. Check out this video to take a behind-the-scenes look inside the Simple Sugars headquarters.

Photos: At top, Mark Cuban and Lani Lazzari at the Simple Sugars headquarters on ABC's "Beyond the Tank." Above right, the Simple Sugars production facility. Photos by Scott Evans/ABC

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