Sunday, September 28, 2008

Designer Spotlight: Nami Ogawa

Nami Ogawa grew up in Tokyo where her mother, who was an excellent seamstress, inspired her to start sewing when she was 11 years old. Nami designed and created her own clothes for many years but it never occured to her to become a fashion designer. Her first career was a ballerina, where she quickly volunteered to help with costume design. She soon realised that fashion was her true calling and began working in the fashion industry as a buyer and a designer.

She launched her line Zeto in 2001 as a clothing line with a keen focus on innovation and attention to detail. The line uses only the highest quality of fabrics and custom dyes to showcase a Japanese and an American influence in the sophisticated and contemporary designs. Zeto is sold in Nami's store Apartment in the Southside, on her website and in boutiques from New York to Alabama to Japan.

This is the fourth year that Nami will be designing for Madcap, in 2006 her design for the event was recognized as a fan favorite by Metropolitan Magazine.

Source:, WQED

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Designer Spotlight: Kiya Tomlin

Kiya is the first designer we will be spotlighting here with a brief bio so you can get to know her before the show on October 25th.

A native of Morristown, New Jersey, Kiya Tomlin began sewing when she was 10. She asked her mother for a sewing machine and rapidly progressed from a pillow to a duck to women's apparel. After recently moving to Pittsburgh with her family, she still manages to find time to focus on fashion despite a busy schedule. The wife and mother of three somehow fits in about six hours of designing in an average weekday. She sews from 6 to 8 a.m., resumes from 1 to 3 p.m. while their two sons are in school and their toddler daughter is napping, and then picks up again from 9 to 11 p.m. when the kids are in bed in their Shadyside home.
Her favorite styles to design are women's formal wear and she caters to many private clients as well as making gowns for herself.  One of her clients, singer Brynn Williams, wore one of Kiya's gowns in the 2005 Broadway production of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

This is the first year that Kiya will be designing for the Madcap Masquerade.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Video Coverage of the 2005 Madcap Masquerade

We are so excited for this year's Madcap Masquerade to move to the Schenley Plaza in Oakland this year. The past four years have been at Shadyside's Hunt Armory which was a fabulously spooky venue for the Halloween bash. Check out this video, courtesy of Mike Lee, of the 2005 event at the Hunt Armory. The fashion show that year had a Couture Noire theme which inspired designers to create extravagantly dark gowns.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Designers For This Year's Show

Over the course of the next few weeks we will be posting bios on all of this year's designers so you can get to know them and their style.  We have an amazing line-up of 16 Pittsburgh-based or Pittsburgh-connected designers who have already begun creating their looks for this year's show.

Carousel Couture will feature:
Brittney Thieroff for Babylove Designs
Carl Williams
Emma Shutko
Jennie Canning for Diondega
Karen Page
Kiya Tomlin
Lets Get Trashed!
Marla Parker
Mary McVay
Nami Ogawa for ZETO
Nicole Scarpone
Richard Bryan
Tori Mistick
Zoe Collins for Threadneedle Street

We are so appreciative of the designers for generously creating the amazing looks for Madcap every year. The results are so impressive each year, I cannot wait to see what comes down the runway this year!

The Date is Set for this year's Madcap Masquerade

On Saturday, October 25, 2008 the fourth annual Madcap Masquerade featuring this year's fashion show theme
Carousel Couture will take place at Schenley Plaza in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  The event is one of the annual fundraisers for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, funds raised at the first Madcap went towards creating Schenley Plaza where the event will take place this year.

This year, the Parks Conservancy expects 600+ guests, many of whom return each year to see the spectacular fashion presentation. It is unlike any other fashion show in Pittsburgh in that it features one-of-a-kind original creations by Pittsburgh designers. This year's show features 16 designers who will create black-tie couture gowns inspired by the carousel at Schenley Plaza. Past themes for the show have included Couture Noire, Black&White, and International Masquerade.

Check out this blog often for updates on the event as well as bios on all of the participating designers.