Last week the spotlight was on Pittsburgh as Pittsburgh Fashion Week took over the city with six days of events featuring both local and national designers. Now in its third year the annual event has revolutionized the Pittsburgh fashion scene and improved the city’s credibility in the fashion industry.

“I see growth. I’m definitely seeing more and more local designers emerging from the hills of Pittsburgh,” said Miyoshi Anderson, PFW’s founder. “We’re continuing to bridge the gap between the fashion industry and the Pittsburgh community.”

ECO CHIC—Pittsburgh Fashion Week Founder Miyoshi Anderson at the opening event. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

The weeklong event kicked off on Sept. 24, with the Opening Night Extravaganza “Green is the New Black,” Eco-Chic Fashion Show. Designers Lana Neumeyer, Mary Margaret and Faith Pongracz showcased lines made of sustainable fabrics and materials.

Local Brazilian designer Neumeyer showcased her line of vibrant pieces made from eco-friendly fabrics such as burlap and Chita. The show juxtaposed simple halter dresses made from Brazilian flags with luxurious full-length coats.

Margaret’s line iman B. featured minimalist pieces in muted neutral tones. Paired in threes, the models showcased intricately painted dresses with similar detailing in different variations.

The show’s finale, Faith and Chaos by New York based designer Pongracz capped off the event with a line that was more art installation and performance piece than retail. Among pieces which included a pizza box clutch and studded leather leggings, the most wearable pieces on Pongracz’s robotic zombie models, draped in tulle and neon pvc, were military inspired hats that radiated a German vibe when juxtaposed with other models wearing gas masks.

The landmark event continued with a menswear show on Sept. 25 and a “Pink” fashion show on Sept. 26 to commemorate breast cancer awareness. Sept. 27 took PFW out of Pittsburgh to the Tanger Outlets in Washington, Pa. for the Pink Partini & Fashion Bash hosted by fashion style guru LaMont Jones.

“I was in Pittsburgh Fashion Week when it first started, in the first one. I think it’s good because it brings Pittsburgh into the limelight,” said Ebere Onuoha, a model in the opening show. “When people think of Pittsburgh they don’t think of Fashion. So it’s great exposure not just to have local but national designers.”

PFW’s main event was on Sept. 29 when local designers, retailers, and student designers were featured in back-to-back runway shows. Fashions included Capricorn II, KAMmaze Fashions, Inc., Paula, Armani Nejor Designs, Brown Custom Clothier, Sofiya Mozely , Amy Ursiny, Matia Collections, Concepts by Cary Heard, Elaine Healy, A & B Styles, Gwendolyn Kiste, Carrie Ann’s Bridal Boutique, Debra Weiss and SteinMart.

“I think Pittsburgh Fashion Week is important to make Pittsburgh more cultural,” said Shayla Kemp, another model from the opening show. “Pittsburgh fashion is different because we have a variety of different background in this city.”

The week concluded with the Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame Luncheon on Sept. 30. This year’s fashion icon inductees were Nick Bracco, Demeatria Boccella, Norman Childs, Violet Gallo, Ilene Waldman and Dolores Warwick.

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