Stylebook: 2 shows Sunday to showcase bridal dresses and services


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Before a girl can say "I do" to the guy, she's got to say "yes" to the gown.

Pittsburgh brides-to-be can get some help finding a dress for the big day at the Wedding Extravaganza bridal show presented by WeddingClickers.com 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Some of the latest bridal trends will be featured in a fashion show, and more than 100 vendors will be on hand, including Monte Durham from TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta." In a Q&A session, Mr. Durham will share style insights from his 26-plus years in the beauty and bridal industry.

"We're seeing a much more organic and relaxed feel in the wedding gown aimed at its natural waist, and it falls straight down," he says, with minimal trains. Ornamentation on gowns also has become less about beading and more about appliques and textured skirts.

Women should be careful with color, Mr. Durham warns. What's called blush by one designer might be ivory to another, so be sure to check fabric swatches. Brides are choosing to incorporate color into gown sashes and shoes, he says, but "95 percent of all brides will wear white or all ivory."

He advises doing some research before hitting the shops and browsing boutiques alone or with a close friend before bringing an entourage along. Looking at photos from real weddings, rather than ads from fashion magazines, will provide realistic inspiration, he says.

Brides also shouldn't feel blue if they fall for a gown that's beyond their budget.

"Everybody copies everybody," Mr. Durham says. There might be another gown on the market with a nearly identical style at a more affordable price.

"Be open to what the consultant says and also what the shop has to offer."

Brides also can head to the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center in Greensburg to browse more bridal vendors from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday as part of the 22nd annual Cavanaugh's BrideShow. There will be a fashion show, giveaways and more. Registration: www.brideshow.com.

Pittsburgh fashion and beauty front ...

City a step closer to starting local Fashion Group International chapter: The Pittsburgh fashion and retail community will likely learn this week if it will be granted permission to start a local chapter of Fashion Group International, a global nonprofit that helps unite and promote fashion insiders from around the world. To be eligible for consideration, the city had to submit to FGI's headquarters in New York City information highlighting Pittsburgh as a diverse fashion market, a viability statement listing some of its regular fashion events and a letter of intent requesting provisional status.

If provisional status is confirmed, a board of directors will be assembled to lead the local group through its first year. Available positions include co-regional director, membership director, programming director, social media/public relations director, treasurer and website manager. Stephanie Taylor, who heads the fashion retail management and fashion design programs at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, will serve as regional director.

Interested candidates should submit a resume and letter of intent to Ms. Taylor at staylor@aii.edu by Feb. 13. Candidates will be interviewed from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 27. Positions are open to industry professionals; students may apply for the website manager role only.

The next public meeting will be 6-7:30 p.m. March 27 at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Information: www.fgi.org.

Canadian Fur Co. to remain open: After announcing last year that the 90-year-old business at 625 Smithfield St., Downtown, would close in January, a new lease option will keep it open for at least two years.

"I was prepared to retire for a number of reasons, the primary being an old five-year lease option," owner Keith Rosenstock said in a statement. "However, I'm thrilled a very attractive new agreement was reached and Canadian Fur Co. will stay open for the foreseeable future."

The store carries brands such as BLACKGLAMA mink, Belle Fare knitted fur accessories and Loro Piana by Dominic Bellissimo outerwear. It also maintains an e-commerce site at www.canadianfurco.com and a fur cleaning and storage operation in the store.

Information: 412-471-1330.

Winter indoor sidewalk sale at Serendipity, Market Square: Beat the winter blues with bargains on accessories, handbags, jewelry and cosmetics. Prices will be reduced by up to 75 percent through Wednesday.

Information: www.serendipityaccessories.com or 412-325-1122.

Haute Connections fashion showcase at Perle, Market Square: See business and casual attire by local designers and businesses at a fashion show 6-9 p.m. Thursday. Renee Klaas Piatt of Wanderluxe Designs and James Houk of Jet Street Designs are two of the designers to be featured. Guests also will see fashions from Charles Spiegel for Men, Doncaster, the Mackenzie Collection and mobile boutique Broke Little Rich Girl.

The event will be presented by the Pittsburgh Global Connection, a networking group geared toward uniting the city's business and social organizations. RSVP: www.PGHCHauteConnections.eventbrite.com or 724-933-6902.

Diving for Diamonds at Perlora, Strip District: Treat yourself to champagne, camaraderie and the chance to win a diamond Thursday at 2837 Smallman St. The Pittsburgh Social Exchange, along with Perlora, Garcia Jewelers and N2 Publishing, will pass out 200 flutes of champagne. Two of them will contain diamonds: one valued at $1,995 and the other appraised for $4,295. The rest of the glasses will hold a cubic zirconia. Jewelers will be on hand to verify which stones are which.

Festivities will start at 6 p.m. with an open bar and networking. A toast will take place at 7 p.m., followed by the diamond verification from 7:15-8 p.m. Registration: www.pittsburghsocialexchange.com.

Daughters of Simone trunk show at Glitter & Grit, Lawrenceville: Browse bohemian-inspired bridal looks Friday through Feb. 13 at 5300 Butler St. The soft, romantic vintage-inspired gowns are made in San Francisco.

Schedule an appointment at www.glitterandgritpgh.com or 412-781-2375.

River City Brass benefit fashion show: Enjoy an afternoon of music and fashion Sunday at Le Mont Restaurant, Mount Washington. Lunch will be served at 1 p.m., followed by a fashion show at 1:45 p.m. spotlighting selections from Patricia Boutique. There will be a cash bar. Doors open at noon.

Tickets are $40 per person at 412-434-7222, ext. 102.


For more from PG style editor Sara Bauknecht, check out the PG's Stylebook blog at www.post-gazette.com/stylebook. Follow her on Twitter @SaraB_PG. To have a fashion or style event considered for Stylebook, send listing to sbauknecht@post-gazette.com.

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