Stylebook: A new line for Betsey Johnson -- plus Pittsburgh Fashion Week update, new store openings and more

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Bankruptcy and shuttered boutiques can't keep Betsey Johnson down.

The year hasn't been the greatest for Ms. Johnson, whose licensing company, Betsey Johnson LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. But now the East Village pink-punk designer is back with a new dress line. Look for it next spring and summer with a price range of about $99 to $249.

She's also cooking up a special "retrospective" fashion show for New York Fashion Week next month. Fans can enter to win a chance to attend by visiting the designer's Facebook page and submitting photos of their favorite Betsey Johnson vintage pieces from the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

To top off the blitz of recent Betsey news, she turned 70 last week.

This week's events ...

Pittsburgh Fashion Week traveling photo shoot: Gear up for the third annual event, Sept. 24-30, with "Fashions on Fifth," a staged photo shoot that will begin at noon Wednesday and travel along Fifth Avenue, Downtown. Stops will include Grant, Smithfield and Wood streets and Liberty Avenue near the Fairmont Hotel. In addition to promoting Pittsburgh Fashion Week, the tour will highlight student designers and rising models. Hair and makeup will be styled by Harmony Salon and Jacqueline's Salon. Serendipity, Market Square, will provide the accessories.


Social Status cookout to celebrate new location: Pittsburghers craving another place to turn for fashion-inspired streetwear apparel, shoes and accessories are in luck. Social Status, 717 Liberty Ave., Downtown, will open on a store in East Liberty at 5929 Penn Ave. on Sept. 1. To show off its new space, there will be a free cookout from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday with WAMO radio. It also will re-release two sought-after styles of Nike sneakers.


Launch party for local designer Jazmin Jackson: Enjoy cocktails, music, hors d'oeuvres and more at a party and runway show to unveil JAZMEEN, a women's wear collection for sizes 6-18 by Jazmin Jackson. Fashions from Anything but Style vintage ( and 720 Music, Clothing and Cafe also will be featured. Ms. Jackson's collection promises rich colors, bold prints and flattering silhouettes that combine sophistication and fun.

It's 7-10 p.m. Sunday at MINI of Pittsburgh, 4900 Baum Blvd., Shadyside. RSVP at VIP admission is $10 at the door. Cocktail attire is required.

Also in the news ...

Famed fashion journalist Anna Piaggi dead at 81: The zany, eccentric and colorful Italian fashion writer passed away last week at her home in Milan. In addition to her bold personal style, she was known for years of her contributions to publications like such as Vogue Italia.

The global fashion community mourned the loss on Facebook and Twitter. Burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, designer Cynthia Rowley cq and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana were some who shared their sympathies in 140 characters or less.

Bill Blass fires design staff, cancels spring 2013 show: It's "so long" for women's designer Jeffrey Monteiro and his team of collaborators, Women's Wear Daily reported last week. The surprise exits mean no spring runway show for the label, even though much of the preparations for it had been completed.

The dismissals are the latest in a string of firings and resignations for the brand in recent years, prompting a decline in prestige for its women's collection and a drop in interest from high-end retailers.

Marchesa to debut first fragrance: What can't Marchesa do? Earlier this year, the name synonymous with red carpet-worthy couture announced it would put together an affordable daywear line. Its next endeavor: perfume. Designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig employed the expertise of perfumer Annie Buzantian for its first foray into fragrance making. Parfume d'Extase is a melody of jasmine, freesia, iris root, violet leaves, ambrox and musk.

Find it later this month for $25-$85 at and Sephora stores in September.

Saint Laurent Paris creative director responds to brand change: After months of listening to laments about the overhaul of the former Yves Saint Laurent name and logo, the mastermind behind the makeover, Hedi Slimane, is speaking out. He told Vanity Fair that the new vision is motivated by the look and vibe of the line's branding in the 1960s.

"It is interesting to see how much reaction this retro branding has created. ... Clearly, this period of the history of the house was not well-known, which I trust was a surprise for Pierre Berge [Saint Laurent's long-term partner]. I went back to 1966 -- just before the events of 1968 [when 11 million workers revolted against the conservative politics of France's then-President Charles de Gaulle -- the biggest general strike in history]. But the awakening of youth was in the air, and Yves Saint Laurent wanted to dissociate himself from the clientele of haute couture and embrace this new generation."

Victoria Beckham does eyewear: Hot off her reunion with the Spice Girls at the London Olympics, the singer-turned-fashion designer is spreading the word about her new eyewear line. Apparently, her vision requires corrective lenses, but she has never found a pair of eyeglasses that suits her style. The solution? Design her own. The six styles will be handmade in Italy and start at about $410.


To have a style or fashion event considered for Stylebook, send listing to Sara Bauknecht at First Published August 14, 2012 4:00 AM


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