Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Stella McCartney Handbags priced from $1200

Designers used to flaunt the label, “Genuine Leather”.  Handbags and shoes were considered inferior if they were not crafted out of animal skin. However, in our evolving society, consumers are conscious of the suffering that occurs in order to produce a fashionable garment. New, innovative developments in textile technology mimic the look and feel of leather.  MuSkin, a new type of vegan leather is being produced using the caps of mushrooms.  With a nontoxic tanning process, the final product is water repellent, more breathable than leather and unlike many of the previous vegan leathers, biodegradable.

Design houses like Stella McCartney, established in 2001, offer high end couture clothing, shoes and handbags, all designed and manufactured without the use of animal skins.  Not only is the line committed to ending animal cruelty, it also points out the environmental hazard of the tanning industry.  Using toxic chemicals to tan leather hides including chrome, a known carcinogen, critically high levels of lead, formaldehyde and cyanide, which are known to cause fatal illness and cancer  to nearby residents of the tanning facilities.McCartney’s luxury designs come at a premium price, with the average handbag just around $1200, and a Black “Suede” Pump priced at $755.

 Other designers and retailers have followed the fashion progression offering lower cost alternatives Vaute Couture (Houte couture with a V for Vegan), is an independent fashion house by Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart. She dedicated herself to creating a line taking animals out of the the “fashion equation”, using recyclable and recycled vegan fabrics.

Big Buddha bags are animal-friendly, stylish and priced at around $100. Available in a variety of colors and styles, these bags are a great vegan choice.
Through technology animal cruelty is no longer necessary to achieve a luxurious, fashionable garment. With 375 million vegetarians worldwide, and the development of quality  textile alternatives to leather, the vegan fashion progression is here to stay.

Big Buddha Bag Priced at $42
Stella McCartney Black "Suede" Pump $775

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy 20th Anniversary Celebration


Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy 20th Anniversary CelebrationMarylnnn Uricchio

Marylynn Uricchio, the long time Seen and Style Editor for the Post Gazette and a style icon in Pittsburgh.
Dr. Ellen Roth and Dr. Loren Roth

Celebrating 20 years of restoring and maintaining our city parks, The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy welcomed 230  guests to an elegant evening of cocktails, silent auctions, and dinner at the Omni William Penn Hotel on Wednesday, September 14.

Honoring Susan Dorrace, Sylvia Hill Fields, Teresa Heinz, Prosser Mellon and Mark Nordenberg for their commitment and support of the Parks Conservancy, with the Mary Schenley Medal for Parks Stewardship.

Event Co-chairs included, Vivian and Bill Benter, Diane and Jerry Holder, Peggy and Stephen McKnight, Jessica and Tim O'Brian, and Gabriela and David Porges.

Extravagant floral arrangements by Toadflax Florist, graced the silent auction table as well as the beautifully appointed ballroom.

As always, the staff of the Parks Conservancy assured that each guest felt welcome.

To date, 14 major capital projects have been completed by the Parks Conservancy , including restoration of the Frick Park Gate House and the Frick Environmental Center.

To donate and learn more about the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, please visit

Ritchie Battle

Yvette Yescas, Bethe Bodamer, and Joyce Collier of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Sophie Gage Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Event Coordinator

Shawn Fertitta of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy


Monday, August 29, 2016

Fashion For a Cause

Presented by The Realtor's Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh Foundation, “Fashion for a Cause” featured eleven top Pittsburgh designers, showcasing their work.

The event began with a VIP Champagne reception to Meet the Designers, followed by silent auctions, vendors and the main event, the fashion show.

From Alexis Meeker and Carson Wolfe's award winning duct tape design, to Beth Shari's romantic vintage lingerie, the eclectic mix of designs proved to entertain.

Always inventive, Bradford Mumpower's fringe style dresses were a favorite of the crowd. James Houk's evening wear designs, including the innovative “chain” dress, modeled by Diane Withrow, wrapped the show up in style.
The event was held to raise money for Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, For more than 20 years, Emmaus has been providing permanent homes, respite care, in-home services, and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities and autism. anon-profit organization built upon a vision of people with and without disabilities sharing their live

Diamonds and Denim on Market Square

Diamonds and Denim on Market Square
Diamonds and Denim on Market Square
Laura Kronk with Joan Fazio

Third annual Diamonds and Denim on Market Square


Jungle Bash, Call of the Wild, Pittsburgh Zoo Gala

Jungle Bash, Call of the Wild, Pittsburgh Zoo Gala


Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Spring Hat Luncheon

PNC Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy 18th annual Spring Hat Luncheon

With sunny skies and temperatures near seventy degrees, 650 guests convened at Frick Park for the 18th annual PNC Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Spring Hat Luncheon on May 7, 2016. The luncheon, traditionally held on Kentucky Derby day, took place on May 7. The 600 acre city park also hosted the first Pittsburgh Hat Luncheon in 1998


A perfect evening for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Patron Party

A perfect evening for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Patron Party


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