Print

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.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Dispatches from Italy: Mountains, water a majestic backdrop to Lake Como District's villa gardens

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog carlotta view of lake como

It didn’t seem possible that our bus could fit through the narrow streets driving through the Lake Como District in Italy on the way to Villa Carlotta.

Many times our driver stopped the bus as a truck approached from the other direction, there was no way both would have made it through. I was so glad he was driving and not me.

Lake Como is breathtaking and so different from Venice and Verona. The mountains rise over the deep water to form the perfect micro climate for plants.

This is a place to see palm trees growing in consort with rhododendrons.blog carlotta front viewThis is the view which first greets visitors to Villa Carlotta.

Villa Carlotta itself is a masterpiece built in the 17th century, the gardens are mostly formal and with the lake and mountains as a background the two play together like a good orchestra.

Entering the villa offers a look at what life must have been like so many years ago. The fountain welcomes visitors as they gawk at the facade of the mansion.

Each step through the garden offered something different. At first it was roses covered in droplets of dew which gave way to an amazing bed of annuals topped off with a palm tree.

The lake and mountains seem to call to you every few steps. Sometimes they are framed by a weeping beech other times they serve as a background to kissing topiary swans.

There is a steep climb through a shady, tropical garden. Palm trees flank a small waterfall which eventually finds its way to the lake. Near the top visitors are rewarded with Japanese maples and a forest of bamboo. This is where one of the first surprises appears. I had never seen turtleshell bamboo before, the name explains it’s growth habit.

The second big surprise came in the form of bright yellow blooms, were they little daffodils in September? Even though walking on the grass is forbidden, I had to figure out what they were. Luckily, no one was around and the Italians are a pretty relaxed about rules and regulations. When I got closer I still had no idea, although the flowers resembled crocus, I had never seen a yellow, fall blooming crocus. I showed the pictures to some of the plant experts touring with me and still no luck. It wasn’t until one of the tour guides, Anna Marie saw the photo that it was confirmed as a fall blooming crocus. I have to find some bulbs to plant this fall.

Our tour ended in the shadow of a beautiful white marble statue in the atrium of the villa.

The first day in Lake Como was amazing, I can’t wait to explore another villa tomorrow.

 

blog carlotta bck lit begonias

The light illuminated these begonias in a shady bed at Villa Carlotta.

blog carlotta fall blooming crocus

I had never seen bright yellow, fall blooming crocus before. I have to find bulbs for this plant to put in this fall.

blog carlotta flower bed

This annual flower bed was filled with an assortment of flowering plants topped off with a palm tree.

blog carlotta grotto

Isn't this a wonderful little grotto?

blog carlotta kissing ducks

There's no escaping the spell of the lake and mountains. Topiary kissing swans are in the foreground to complete the view.

blog carlotta shady water

This long waterfall leads to the lake and is flanked by palm trees.

blog carlotta strange bamboo

Turtleshell bamboo was a surprise, I've never seen anything like it.

blog carlotta wet rose

One of the first things to see when visiting Villa Carlotta was this dew covered rose.

blog carlotta statueOur tour ended in the atrium.

(Top image: The view of the mountains and Lake Como is spectacular from Villa Carlotta. Doug Oster photos/Post-Gazette)

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Pantone announces top colors for spring 2015

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Pantone

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.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Party like a rock star with Tommy Hilfiger

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

webinstance TH SP15 Collection Atmosphere 3

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

webinstance Look 01

Georgia May Jagger

webinstance Look 18

Ella Richards

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Dispatches from Italy: Spectacle and magic in the gardens of Verona

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog flowers and statue

Sometimes the stars align to make a garden visit magical, that’s what happened at Giardino Giusti in Verona. The spectacular views standing on top of the towering "Mascherone" were sweetened by songbirds hidden in the spires of cypress trees. At noon, the city’s church bells sang in concert with the birds creating a natural symphony performance. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, the uplifting music of a piano accompanying ballet dancers drifted out of the windows of an adjoining school as I worked my way downhill on a winding stone path.

blog mascheroneThe Mascherone -- This is the first thing you see in the distance when entering the garden. Should it breath fire?What’s a "Mascherone" you ask? It’s the first thing you see when walking in the garden and was built to emit tongues of flame from its mouth.

Giardino Giusti was the first major garden we’ve seen since getting to Italy and it’s simply spectacular.

The cypress trees reach for the sky creating axis points for long paths which are bordered with perfectly trimmed shrubs. There are mazes and topiary, everything an Italian garden should have.

Even though most of the garden is perfectly formal, one of the things that makes it so wonderful are the edges, which are whimsically planted with an assortment of innovative and fun combinations.

Ordinary orange lantana is allowed to intermingle with tall, stoic anemone with tasteful results.

Soft pink begonias are permitted to go wild along an ancient rock wall.

The hillsides are filled with drifts of blue plumbago which were constantly being visited by several hummingbird moths. Even though we only had an hour to explore the garden, it was imperative to watch the moths work their magic searching for nectar.

One of the things many European gardeners embrace is to let beautiful weeds bloom freely too, it's something I admire. The tiny flowers of wild, yellow mustard were the perfect foil for the blue blossoms of the plumbago.

Only in Italy would you see a long line of clay pots filled with lantana perched single file along a weathered rock wall. The display drew visitors to it and made gardeners smile.

In many ways, this was the perfect Italian garden, mixing formality with chaos and doing it with a sense of humor.

 

blog detail italy

Above: Italian gardens are filled with the most interesting details made from stone.

blog garden rocky top

There are many stunning views from the top of the garden.

blog italy begonias

These pink begonias are allowed to go wild along a rock wall.

blog italy formal 1

The formality of the garden in the center works perfectly here.

blog italy nice view

Walk up to the top of the garden to be rewarded with a beautiful view of Verona

blog lantana and windflower

Common lantana is allowed to intermingle with beautiful, tall anemone.

blog lined up pots

Only in Italy would you see something like this and it makes me smile.

blog overall view

Climb to the top of the "Mascherone" for an amazing view of the garden and Verona.

blog yellow and blue

Wild yellow mustard is set off by blue plumbago.

(Top image: The beauty of a formal Italian garden is unmatched. Doug Oster photos/Post-Gazette)

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.