Watch: What Makes This Pittsburgh Fashion Show Unique?
Models wearing masks and social distancing was just the beginning.
The idea for Fashion Under Quarantine began when Pittsburgh designer Bradford Mumpower was working on a new concept for the annual Fashion with Compassion show scheduled for early spring. He wanted all of the artists and designers to create outfits from clothing donated to Thriftique.
Then the pandemic changed everything.
“As an artist, I was feeling the frustration of having multiple projects and events I was working on this year canceled or indefinitely postponed,” says Mumpower. “So I looked to see what project I could salvage, and I began to focus on creating a virtual event where the work the artists had started for the Fashion with Compassion event could be shown in a different way, a way that was safe but interesting.”
The fashion runway was moved outside to Point State Park along the city side of the Allegheny River. The models were socially distant from each other and all work masks. The only spectators were passers-by out for a stroll on a cloudy Saturday morning in August.
“In addition to being great for keeping distant from each other, it allowed for the backdrop behind the models to constantly change, from showing the Point, the Pittsburgh skyline, Heinz Field, PNC Park, the three rivers, our bridges and the new Black Lives Matter mural along the Allegheny River,“ says Mumpower.
As was part of the pre-COVID plan, each of the designers created outfits out of items that people had given away. Common items included ties, jackets, linings from clothing, pants, dress shirts, sweaters and blankets. Designers were allowed to use their own sewing notions, like zippers, buttons, snaps and trims. Designers also had to make and incorporate a mask into every look.
Designer: Bradford Mumpower
Model: Delana Flowers
Designer: Matthew Stephen Smith
Model: Mahogany La Piranha
Designer: Stephen D Kuhn
Model: Hector Santos
Designer: Richard Ramirez
Model: Hannah Gorby
Designer: Elaine Tierney
Model: Sarah McKinney
Designer: Laura Goris
Model: Lilly Goris
Model: Keith Foster
Designer Sean E. Ramirez-Matzus
Model: Mindy Jo Miller
Designer: Carolyn Rakiewicz
Model: Katie Whitco
Designer: Nicole O’Brien
Model: Erin Lastnik