It’s about time for the second annual Style Week Pittsburgh to sashay its way into history.
The seven-day event loaded with fashion-focused festivities across the city concludes today with a private brunch at a Mount Washington residence.
“This year was all about quality,” says founder and director Wadria Taylor. The additions of a runway coach and a team of ambassadors who helped to organize and promote events were a couple of attempts to make the week unfold more smoothly and successfully.
Another goal for the sophomore outing was to incorporate a blend of designers and brands based in Pittsburgh as well as abroad. One such case that combined both international roots and a Pittsburgh presence was fashion designer Portia Brady, a featured designer at the opening night runway show at The Priory Grand Hall. Ms. Brady moved to Shadyside in June from Dublin, Ireland, and has since set up a design studio in Forest Hills.
“My boyfriend and I decided together that Pittsburgh had the greatest mix of features for us both,” she says. “He is a doctor, and he was drawn to the great medical facilities in Pittsburgh, while I loved the up-and-coming fashion scene and beautiful scenery and architecture.”
At Style Week Pittsburgh, she showcased a vintage-esque collection of formal looks in classic neutrals, including black, white and champagne.
“I believe in classic style,” she says. “The great icons were not followers of trends but had a timeless style that suited their shape and personality. I try to create garments that will stand the test of time.”
She’s fine-tuned her craft over time and has sketched designs and made her own clothes since she was a child.
“My father’s wise words of advice were that you should build your career out of the things that you love to do in your free time,” she says, “because if you do, you’ll never truly work a day in your life.”
During the kick-off event, she gushed with gratitude about the Pittsburgh fashion community for embracing her so early on after her move and for the opportunity to present her pieces. But Ms. Brady is no stranger to having her styles in the spotlight. Last year Irish singer Andrea Nicole wore one of her designs to the Grammy Awards.
“I felt such pride seeing my gown on the red carpet,” she says.
With Style Week winding down, she’ll continue to work on her collection, as well as complete custom looks on request. And she’s setting aside time to explore Pittsburgh’s fashion offerings, too. Her favorite discovery so far?
“Style trucks! They are absolutely ingenious,” she says. “I had never seen or heard of style trucks in Europe. I can’t wait to shop in a truck.”
Shop Portia Brady’s collection or inquire about custom clothes at www.portiabridalboutique.com. To see more highlights from Style Week Pittsburgh, check out the Post-Gazette’s fashion blog Stylebook at www.post-gazette.com/stylebook.
For more from style editor Sara Bauknecht, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SaraB_PG or email email@example.com.