The Icing on the Cupcake: A Night of Fashion Supports a Local Nonprofit

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Local fashion designers. A wonderful nonprofit. A whole lotta cupcakes. It all sounded perfect to us and the 4th Annual Local Motion Fashion Show did not disappoint. Presented by All About Youth and Pittsburgh City Paper, this year’s show, held on September 18th, was a jam-packed celebration of local designers, models, and stylists. There were drinks, great music by Pittsburgh’s own DJ Nugget, a great raffle (featuring some ModCloth goodies), and lots and lots of food (Dozen, one of our favorite bake shops, was a food sponsor and ensured that we stumbled upon a cupcake cache every several feet in the James Center: circulating on trays, organized in elaborate towers, and waiting for us on our seats…yum!).

ModCloth Writer Maggie Glover asks “waaa??” at this cupcake castle.

I've never been to a fashion show and I have to admit that I was expecting a continuous stream of stoic models with pursed lips and an air of dissatisfaction, stonily avoiding the people and camera flashes around them. Instead, most of the designers seemed to make a priority of entertaining the crowd just as they wanted to highlight their collections. Some presentations were prefaced with a dancer and all were set to great music. The "runway" lived up to its name with the opening act, Caution Crew: a breakdancing team who impressively bounded, jumped, and spun on their heads down the length of the narrow catwalk.

Local Motion says their "aspiration is for Pittsburgh to be placed on the map as a hub for fashion," and judging by the collections we saw, it seems they are well on their way. And speaking of the collections...

"The Happiness of Carnival" definitely wins top prize for, well, happiness. The first model buoyantly sashayed down the runway, adroitly balancing a massive headdress, while simultaneously dancing and twirling the ends of her draping floral dress. The rest of the models followed suit, sporting an array of floral and bird prints in vibrant colors and wooing the crowd with their exuberance. Lana Neumeyer, Brazilian architect and fashion designer, says she designs clothes to "bring happiness into people's lives"and her 10-minute show definitely lived up to its aim. Everybody in the audience was dancing and clapping to the Brazilian beats.

A gorgeous model for 'The Happiness of Carnaval' balancing quite a lot of feathers.

One of our favorite collections was 'Dangerous Angels.' Designer Margot Geller says she "finds most of her inspiration through nature and interior designs" and that was apparent from her show, especially with this coat/dress. Military-inspired buttons and a corset-like closure projected this beautiful floral-patterned coat with a dramatic collar into the style stratosphere. We loved the whole look, especially the red pumps!

One of our favorites: an innovative floral coat by 'Dangerous Angels.'

There was even an entire line of aprons! 'Kitchie' by Ciara Simon designs functional and stylish aprons in contrast to the rectangular canvas ones that dominate the apron market. "'[The collection] utilizes retro-inspired prints and silhouettes more similar to a dress than that of a rag-like apron." Ranging from 50s-housewife-inspired pieces with gingham and petite floral patterns to bolder pieces like a giant flower petal, this line made me wish I was a professional baker and could wear one of these around all day. Then again, maybe Simon's line will spark an apron trend and this will become perfectly acceptable office-wear. I'm crossing my fingers.

One of 'Kitchie's more traditional apron designs.

It was wonderful and enlightening to see the work of some of Pittsburgh's established (and up and coming) designers. But it's easy to forget among the carnival and confectioneries that the night's nobler purpose was to raise money for a fantastic cause. Pursuing higher education is not an easy feat for anybody and for local youth who have aged out of the reach of social service agencies, it can be even more difficult without mentoring and economic assistance. Family Services of Western Pennsylvania's Education Assistance Initiative helps these youth meet their dreams by providing them with computers, transportation assistance, funding for rent and living costs, and payment of college or vocational training fees. Please check out their website if you're interested in learning more or donating!

We send our congratulations and thanks to everyone who helped organize and stage such an incredible show. It certainly made me hungry for more fashion fun in Pittsburgh, but until next time, I'll satisfy a different craving; I'll don my cutest apron and bake some cupcakes of my own!

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