May/June

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M AY | J U NE 2 013

ART / C U LT UR E / FA SHI O N / C E L E B R I T Y . . . T HE I N N E R M A N I AC I N A L L O F US

ASHLEY TISDALE

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fashion technology

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WEB FAVORITES, STARTUP COMPANIES and OF THE MOMENT FASHION 1



Discover the beauty of blossoms

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New Orleans Jazz Brasserie.Nouveau Creole Menu

West Coast Kitchen and Wine Bar

Nuevo Latino Bistro with Seviche Bar

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MARCH | AP RIL 2013

ART / CULTURE / FASH IO N / CELEB RITY . . . TH E IN N ER MAN IAC IN ALL O F US

MAGGIE GRACE

What people are saying...

THE

luxury ISSUE

DRAMATIC FASHION INSPIRED INTERIORS and PERFECT PRODUCTS

@McManiac14: My mom won the autographed @ManiacMagazine from @ joemanganiello! So cool! So excited! #howlinglikeawolf ;) @TaceyMattingly: @MaggieGrace looks fantastic on the cover of @ManiacMagazine with makeup by @GPCBeauty @rachelmazur12: Just finished April’s @ManiacMagazine. A great way to end my weekend! @bmarycunningham @urbanPandaBear: Just won tickets to @cmoa’s #ArtinBloom Gala thanks to @ ManiacMagazine!!! Can’t wait to get my ArT on! #heartRacing #PlanningMyOutfit @alexbeepeterson: @VerdePGH thnx for hosting @ManiacMagazine’s amazing launch party & having @PCWGreenTeam tag along! Fantastic event!

April Hubal

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Bridgette Cunningham

Elizabeth Glaessner

Cody Nicole Wiegand

April Hubal, Richard Lohr, David Phelps, Bill Schmitt, Foo Conner, Cody Nicole Wiegand, Adam Butler

33 Terminal Way | Suite 533a Pittsburgh, PA 15219 cody@maniacmagazine.com

INSTAGRAM CREDITS

www.facebook.com/maniacmagazine www.twitter.com/maniacmagazine

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Bridgette Cunningham, Jonathan Young, Charissa Livingston, Stephanie Nolasco, April Hubal, Vincent Mok, Quinn Keaney, Juliet Van Wagenen, Morgan McCollum, Susie Meister, Sara Yockey, Zara Husaini

O N T HE C O V E R Photography by April Hubal, Styled by Nicolas Bru Green jumpsuit by Catherine Malandrino Vintage hat from The Way We Wore Los Angeles (323 937-0878) Shoes by Aldo

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more photos on page 25

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CONTENTS May / June 2013 12/ BTS Cover Shoot

14/ UNDERCOVER Ashley Tisdale

26/ FEATURE Chloe Warner

28/ TV Ashley Rickards

30/ STYLE PROFILE

Everpurse

56/ FEATURE Gin Lane Media

Richard Weston

60/ EVENT Fashion Fiesta

31/ SHOPS

62/ EVENT

34/ FASHION Modern Muse

44/ HEALTH Skinnytaste.com

36/ MUSIC Carmen Electra

48/ FEATURE Daisy & Elizabeth

50/ JET SET Cannes

PAGE 14

58/ ART

Dr. Kathy Yeo

Metallics and Transparents

PAGE 62

54/ TECH

Lunar Gala

64/ FEATURE Maniac Mom

66/ BEAUTY

The world as we know it is changing, and this issue’s theme came together quite organically. It seems that every brand and business has some kind of outreach via social media to leave a footprint in our minds. It all started with Ashley Tisdale’s enormous online following (which you can read about in our Undercover story). Once we confirmed her as our cover girl, it was sort of an aha moment. In our coverage of Carnegie Mellon University’s Lunar Gala, director Chris Iofredda said it best, “Fashion and technology are on a collision course.” Over 240 billion photos have been uploaded to Facebook since its creation. I’ve watched New York Fashion Week shows on my laptop from my bed. There’s a YouTube video of an infant swiping a magazine page as if it’s an iPad. The way that the world interacts is evolving. Instagram let’s me inside of Zac Posen’s model fittings. Twitter told me exactly when my crush quit the show Girls. I refer to fashion bloggers by first names in conversations with girlfriends. MANIAC is more than just a magazine. It has to be. If we didn’t send tweets or post pictures to Facebook from our events, would you guys even know that we care about you? Without all of these networks to keep in touch with our readers, would the magazine fall off of the grid and be forgotten? The amount of information shared is on an incredibly steep incline, and we are determined to keep up. It’s a strange world. The mystique is gone. Followers and fans want real-time updates. I don’t really care what old friends had for lunch or think about the election, but I get it anyway. Things that once seemed intimate, like couples smooching and sonograms, are now profile pictures. On the flip side, things that I genuinely do care about (my niece, new restaurants, my friends’ engagements), I get instant updates on those things too. Is this better or worse to have so much access to everything that the internet-connected world is putting out there? I can’t say, but I know it’s only moving forward from here. On the note of moving forward, don’t think that MANIAC will be going completely digital any time soon. Our team is going to keep joining all of the new networks that you’re joining. We’ll tweet and pin and... I don’t think there’s a clever term for Vine yet, is there? You get the idea. We’re going to interact with you in any way that we can and show you the cool new products that are coming out - A clutch that charges your iPhone in this issue. Genius. But we’re not going to stray from our roots, and that’s being a glossy print magazine. I have to admit that there is something so satisfying when each issue is fresh from the printer. These pages are something that I will keep forever. They might get buried in a bookshelf years from now, but a bookshelf is much easier to maneuver than my computer files. With more love than 100 emojis,

Magic Mirror

72/ FASHION Street Style

Bridgette Cunningham, Editor

74/ FEATURE Dream Downtown

76/ GUIDE Tech-Savvy

78/ LOCAL Porch at Schenley

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BTS

BEHIND THE SCENES

Behind the Scenes

Charlie Hotel

W H O Ashley Tisdale W H E R E The Charlie Hotel in Los Angeles W H A T We drew inspiration from the 1970’s and channeled the gorgeous, iconic Farrah Fawcett. A lush, serene, secret garden was the setting of our outdoor cover shoot, and Ashley’s adorable pup Maui even joined the set. What more could we ask for? Stylist Nicolas Bru combined authentic, vintage pieces with modern designer labels delivering a boho chic feel. With retro headpieces, floppy hats, jumpers, and platform shoes, he pulled out all the stops from head to toe. From vintage YSL headscarfs to modern day Juicy couture printed suits, Ashley transformed into a nostalgic Love Child, which proved to be bold.

Ashley’s pup Maui was on set

ASHLEY TISDALE

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Shoes by Brian Atwood, Giuzeppe Zanotti, and Ruthie Davis

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Ashley Tisdale

UNDERCOVER

T H E FA N FAVORITE

Purple swimsuit by TopShop Shorts Purplebyswimsuit Alice bybyTemperley TopShop Shorts by White Alice by hatTemperley by Milani White hat by Milani, White belt by Zara Bangles stylist’s own

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UNDERCOVER

UNDERCOVER

Ashley Tisdale has 14 million fans on Facebook, 9 million followers on Twitter, and over a million people waiting for her Instagram pictures. She’s one of the most popular stars on the internet, despite that she’s also one of the least controversial. Tisdale is the kind of girl that you want to have as a shopping date and talk about boyfriends. She’s the rare kind of girl that’s rooting for her girlfriends, no strings attached. Tisdale was accompanied to set by her mom, her niece, her publicist, her loyal hair and makeup team, and her pooch Maui. It was apparent from the start that she values her close relationships. They laughed and talked about her appearance the next day for The Kids’ Choice Awards and her scandalous scenes in Scary Movie 5. She was no stranger to the camera once the shoot started, and the “Tizzies” (the pet name for her super fans) eagerly waited for any news that might hit the web. As soon as our team tweeted a behind the scenes photo from the set, fans in Uruguay, Italy, and Argentina were in touch to know when and where they could get their hands on this issue of MANIAC. An Ashley Tisdale fan site picked up the photos before the day’s end with a user comment by morning that read, “I just DIED when I saw these pictures yesterday. She is beyond flawless and sexy!! And Maui is sooo cuuute!!” When the Tisdale fan whirlwind started, I knew that we picked the right girl for our fashion and technology issue. Named one of the “Social 50” by Billboard Magazine, Tisdale earned the ranking by a formula that takes friends and fans as well as page views and song plays into consideration. When I asked if she has to pause before sending a tweet to her millions of followers, she said, “Uh yeah, I definitely take that into consideration. I guess I feel pressure. It’s like, Oh my God. Did I spell everything okay?.” The thing that she stresses is that it’s not too thought out though. She doesn’t see keeping up with the fans as a chore. “I think it’s just something that I enjoy to do. I am so thankful to have them.” And who wouldn’t be thankful that 70,000 plus people across the globe are “liking” your latest manicure that you post to your Facebook wall? Her Facebook page even has a Fan Rewards program to earn points and win prizes. When I asked if she’s ever baffled by her massive fan base, she gives credit where credit is due. “I have to thank Disney for that,” she said. Disney appears to have some no-fail formula for success, and Tisdale is no exception. Her breakout role as drama queen Sharpay Evans in High School Musical landed her diehard fans, major 16

success, a spinoff Disney movie, and a crew of best girl friends. “I love to see what my friends do,” she said. “I love creating these little families everywhere I go.” These friends include a roster of major celebs like Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. While the media would love for rumors of jealousy to shake up the relationships between high-profile stars, Tisdale is all smiles beside these ladies at their event premieres. “There aren’t a lot of people in this business who are very supportive,” she said and continued to gush about Hudgens. “It’s awesome that we still have that bond.” Before she and the slew of other Disney starlets earned mainstream success, Tisdale asserts that she was just a normal girl. She grew up in a small town in New Jersey. “I went to a normal school my whole life,” she said. “I worked in clothing stores.” What Ashley doesn’t note is the more remarkable fact that she was discovered by an agent at the local mall as a toddler and went on to sing Christmas songs at the White House for President Clinton by twelve. She never had star status in mind when she started her career. “I never really thought about being in the spotlight. I just saw musicals and watched TV and thought, Oh my God, I want to do that,” Tisdale said. “I love being on set and working. I love to create. I don’t like to sit around.” And that’s what she did. Before even hitting doubledigits in age, she was booked for countless commercials, toured nationally with the world-famous musical Les Miserables, and then toured internationally in a production of Annie. Just shy of 28 years old, Tisdale is now part of an Emmy winning cast, a US gold-certified recording artist, and the proud owner of Blondie Girl Productions, a company that works to develop shows with networks like ABC Family, Oxygen, and Bravo. “I love having a production company where I get to be creative, not just as an actress.” When I asked what she’s most focused on, she answered, “Obviously my acting. I want to get back into music, but I just have to be inspired.” So to her hardcore music fans out there, you may just want to root for a breakup with longterm boyfriend Christopher French to get her back into the recording studio. At the time of our interview, Tisdale was anticipating the release of Scary Movie 5, her latest acting role. She’s the main female lead, filling Anna Faris’s shoes for the film’s fifth installment. “I can’t wait for the fans to see it,” she said. “Comedy is one of my favorite things to do. It’s very different for me.” She worked with a pretty buzzworthy cast including overexposed celebrities like Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan, but had little words for anyone other than Saturday Night Live’s famous comedian Molly Shannon. “Molly Shannon is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. She’s hilarious.” Tisdale said. “There’s a scene I filmed with Molly in the background in a bathroom stall. She’s like making these, uh, noises. I laughed every single time. There’s only one take that I didn’t laugh, and that’s the one that’s in the movie.” Tisdale’s next project to add to her long list of accomplishments and IMDB titles is the movie Left Behind, in which she stars alongside Nicolas Cage. “It’s an apocalyptic drama/action movie,” she confirmed. Based on the novel about the Biblical account of the Rapture by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, the world will see a darker side of the actress as she portrays a character at the end of the world. Like her acting roles, there’s another way that Tisdale is sure not to pigeonhole herself: her style. “I definitely love clothes. I feel like I express myself through my clothes,” she said. “I don’t like to say I’m one specific style.” She admitted to admiring Nicole Richie as a

Cardigan by Burton Necklace by Giles & Brother

White eyelet dress by Moschino Sunglasses Marc Jacobs Earrings stylist’s own

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UNDERCOVER style icon, and gave kudos to the Kardashian sisters. “I mean I have to give them credit. Like how do they do it? They look that good every single day. They are always in heels.” Tisdale’s closet isn’t lacking inspiration though. Featured on a number of different websites, her collection of Chanel bags and shoes is a far cry from fashion novice. The paparazzi love a chance to catch Tisdale and company on the prowl for new clothes or getting in a workout, but to her the exercise is serious business. What started out as a necessity from dancing injuries, fitness has become a lifestyle. She initially began a regimen to build her core. “The more I worked out, I wouldn’t feel the pain,” she said when I asked about a back injury. “I like to take just an hour for me. With a stressful schedule, I need that time with a trainer to just let it out.” Her hectic schedule doesn’t look like it will slow down any time soon, as unexpected new roles come her way. Even though her characters are maturing with her, Tisdale knows that her fans are watching. She claimed that she didn’t set out to be a role model. She said that she’s just being herself. Moms everywhere should be grateful that the way Tisdale wants to be is downright wholesome. Her realtime interactions with fans are usually pictures of coffee trips and outings with friends, goofy home dance videos and self-filmed messages of gratitude. She said of her celebrity status, “I’m like everybody else. I know that there are young kids looking up to me, but I don’t like to look at myself as a role model. I’m just acting the way that I want to act.”

Vintage linen shorts from The Way We Wore Los Angeles Vintage yellow shirt from The Way We Wore Los Angeles Floral headband by Cult Gaia Bangles stylist’s own

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UNDERCOVER UNDERCOVER

Printed short suit by Juicy Couture Brown bikini top by H&M Shoes by Ruthie Davis

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Green jumpsuit by Catherine Malandrino Vintage hat from The Way We Wore Los Angeles

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UNDERCOVER Mango Black Polka Dot Sleeve Dress, Betsey Johnson Tulle Dress, Mango Hat, Paige Novick Gold Ella Earrings, Mango Heels left hand: Paige Novick Phoebe ring

Yellow jumpsuit by Catherine Malandrino Vintage Yves Saint Laurent scarf from The Way We Wore Los Angeles Vintage lucite bangles from The Way We Wore Los Angeles

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White eyelet dress by Moschino Sunglasses Marc Jacobs Earrings stylist’s own

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Who w e’ re f ollow ing on Instag ram Our followers give us so much inspiration. Find Maniacmagazine on Instagram, follow us, and hashtag your photos with #maniacstyle for a chance to be featured in our next issue. 1. saydee82 2. chelseahawthorne 3. chattyxocathy 4. zach_young 5. cargarzar7 6. bridgettemary 7. codywiegand 8. mr_nicolasbru 9. sixnineosevenphotography 10. shaynecherie

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home

CHLOE WARNER’S

Custom Spaces

Architecture is not “jazzy” enough for Chloe Warner, acclaimed interior designer and owner of Redmond Aldrich Design Firm in San Francisco. 26

FEATURE

Chloe recalls her uncle, also an architect, describing it as an “old man’s profession,” which only drove her desire to break the mold. After graduating from Harvard’s Department of Architecture in 2005, Warner decided that the concepts of color, pattern, and texture associated with interior design channeled her more decorative, flamboyant style. Thankfully, the two professions tend to be intertwined, which gives her a leg up on the competition and undoubtedly contributes to her ongoing success. “I hung my interior design shingle the second I graduated from architecture school, and as I was getting started and didn’t have many projects I was offered a chance to write the back page of Lucky [magazine], which was great because it helped me meet people in San Francisco. Writing just one page a month is a nice compliment to doing design work,” Warner said. From an early age, Warner’s grandmothers played a major part in forming her impeccable sense of style. Her company, Redmond Aldrich, is actually a tribute to these women, combining her mother’s and grandmother’s maiden names. She blends her own modern decorating sensibility with the traditional twist of her grandmothers, whom she describes as “insane decorators.” Warner is also inspired by designers from the past, such as the acclaimed Albert Hadley, and influenced

by contemporary designers like Jeffrey Bilhuber. “I was inspired by the houses I grew up in -- my grandmothers’ fancy 1970’s houses. I remember thinking, This is how people should be living,” she said. Warner started taking in the scenery wherever she went. She traveled more and interior design became a pursuit she couldn’t ignore. “I remember going to The Delano in Miami when I was a student and having my socks knocked off. It was so theatrical, so beautiful, so comfortable, and so much fun. Philipe Starck really knows his stuff,” she said recalling the space. Born and raised in Missoula, Montana, and describing herself as the “least welltraveled person of all time.” Warner’s designs are nothing short of breathtaking. She adds warmth to her spaces using a variety of patterns, textures and bright colors, meticulously mixing the old with the new. She doesn’t worry about maintaining a certain style, but focuses on selecting or including pieces that her clients love and creating an environment that brings out the beauty of their unique details. Her portfolio consists of apartments, high-end residences, and restaurants, and making inroads into the hotel industry. Warner works with a variety of unique materials ranging from lilac colored onyx, herringbone walnut flooring, and panels of matte resin. Redmond Aldrich stays on the cutting edge not only with design, but technology as well. The firm now offers an online “Design Kit,” which allows clients from all over the country to create rooms without a traditional relationship with an interior designer. The Design Kit enables clients and designers to communicate via phone and email to create

a customized, glamorous space. The Kit caters to the discerning buyer and offers an a la carte service which includes pictures, swatches, floor plans and a shopping list of recommended items, along with instructions. “The Design Kit is so fun and the spaces turn out beautifully,” Warner explained. “You get to talk one-on-one about your hopes and dreams and describe what you are hoping to get out of everything. A few weeks later, you get blueprints, elevations, shopping lists, and you just do it! We love doing kits, and would love to do more of them. I love designing custom pieces for projects and at some point we will have a catalog of fabrics and wallpapers.” Chloe Warner is sure to continue taking the design world by storm. With a textile line that includes fabrics and wallpaper in the works, for Warner and Redmond Aldrich, the sky is the limit. Her advice for our readers who are thinking of making the jump to do their own start-up businesses, “It takes forever to be profitable, but it’s exciting every day.”

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television

ASHLEY RICKARDS A N Y T H I N G B U T AW K WA R D

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A fresh-faced brunette shines a new light and hope on young Hollywood. Ashley Rickards, best known as Jenna Hamilton on MTV’s hit series Awkward, is picking all of the right roles. The 21-year-old actress has secured spots on some of the most popular television series, including American Horror Story, One Tree Hill, and Entourage. Her lead role with MTV acknowledged Ashley for a Critics’ Choice Award, a People’s Choice Award, and a Teen Choice Award in recent months. But her onscreen alter egos aren’t the only muses in this star’s life. In the midst of filming the third season of Awkward, Ashley spent her first day off from filming chatting with MANIAC about her breakout role. Though Rickards didn’t have the typical high school experience (beginning acting at just age thirteen and graduating early at fifteen), she’s getting all of the missed experiences with her new role as a high school outsider. “I would never picture myself where I am now when I was thirteen.

Acting is so hard to predict. I never know what the next job is going to be. Turns out, it was Awkward,” she said of her new home at MTV. Her character Jenna, an average 15-year-old fighting to fit in and still keep her originality while dealing with the typical scenarios of teenage life, is the underdog that’s got everyone on her side. The American teen comedy Awkward is a comedic satire. The show has been praised for its realism, and MTV has earned kudos for its differentiation from previous series. “I’m always surprised when people show so much passion for the series, but I knew it would be a great success,” Rickards said. There’s no question that much of the show’s success is due to the viewers’ ability to easily compare to Jenna. “I never played anyone like Jenna before, Awkward was an opportunity for something totally different. Each role brings its own interesting facets to the table,” she said. Jenna’s hilariously addicting on-screen blog navigates the sharky waters of high school, boyfriends,

and mean cheerleaders. It reveals the average, sometimes humiliating experiences that occur in teen world. When Rickards garnered a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy Actress, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but she maintains that it did. “It was such a big deal to win that award, and I’m still in a state of shock,” she said. Her role in Awkward is just one displayed version of her acting expertise. Wide ranges of roles highlight the various talents Rickards has achieved in her early twenties. In the 2010 dramatic film, Fly Away, she was cast as a severely autistic girl, and sparked media attention. Her grasp of these characters shows the young actress’s ability to relate to numerous personalities, which isn’t something we’re used to seeing in young stars. In our interview, Rickards was similarly just as quick-witted and quirky as her current role as Jenna. The life of this MTV star is certainly not limited to her acting success thus far. She also contributes as a volunteer and organizer for the Somaly Mam Foundation, a group dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of victims of sex slavery and human trafficking. “My passion for this cause sparked years ago when I read a book at the library and first began volunteering,” she said. She now sits on the board of directors for the foundation. “I do whatever I enjoy, I do what makes me happy”, Rickards said. Off set, she keeps herself grounded with a love for the arts. She confessed her love for poetry and claimed Emily Dickinson as a personal favorite. As for her fashion sense, (of course we had to ask) she declared it as simple with accents. “My style is very fashion forward. I collect timeless closet pieces and obsess over my jewelry selection.”

Acting is so hard to predict. I never know what the next job is going to be.

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style profile KATHY

YEO

ASOS Metallic Leather Pencil Skirt, $124

ASOS LAUNCH Pointed Ballet Flats, $42.39

Elizabeth and James Anselm Trouser in coral, $325

Our chiropractor is cooler than yours. Kathy Yeo was an actress in Manhattan and world traveler before a holistic doctor. She’s into music. She sews and paints. Everything from her outfits to her approach to health is inspired and unconventional. Kathy tells us her inspirations, muses, and what we can find in her closet. www.drkathyyeo.com

MANIAC: What best describes your personal style? Kathy Yeo: Bold, detailed, fun, and versatile. My sense of style is a balance of inspiration and my innate creativity. I like to make a statement with my style and each outfit.

purse! Mahla - This is not a clothing store but a great antique shop in strip district. There are some amazing furniture and accessories

M: Who are your fashion muses? KY: Grace Jones! James Brown, Daphne Guiness, Shala Monroque, Lou Dillon, and Sophia Coppola. And tons of street style citizens.

KY: Amazingly structured coats, beautiful dresses (vintage, high end and handmade by myself). M: Your must-have items? KY: Well-made shoes, stylish shades, and a killer purse. M: You can’t live without your......

M: Your go-to Pittsburgh boutiques/stores? KY: I do most of shopping while traveling or online but every few months I clean out my closet and stop by at Avalon Exchange and get a store credit. It’s a hit or miss experience. For months I may not find anything. Then I would find a fabulous find, like my gold vintage Moschino beaded 30

Elizabeth and James Harper Top, $265 and Carson Trouser, $345

earrings. M: Labels you love? KY: If I had only one to choose, Ralph Lauren! Prada, Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Proenza Schouler, Chanel, Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Supreme, Helmut Lang, and I never thought I’d say this... Victoria Beckham. But let’s get real, do I shop these labels all the time? No! M: Do you have a celebrity style icon?

M: If we were to shop your closet, what are a few pieces we would most likely find?

KY: My fifteen-year-old Ralph Lauren wallet with my cat’s pic in it (it’s the only pic I have of him as a kitten). It’s simple but practical and the quality of leather is still amazing. And Nars mascara!

Lele Sadoughi Pavé Mini Cube Slider Bracelet Crystal, $275

that would easily sell for double or triple the price in New York City. There’s a small section of beautiful vintage jewelry, like my white gold ring with tear drop by Swarovski. Target- Their designer collaboration is absolutely genius. It’s my tradition to own one item from each collection. This season is Prabal Gurung, I mean come on, really?! BANANAS! Phipps Conservatory museum store- You can find cool jewelry and accessories-like my (real) dragonfly ring and pearl tree

KY: Audrey Hepurn. She’s the truth, because of who she is as a whole person. Being a holistic doctor, I always look at the whole body. If there’s a balance and consistency, then you know a person is healthy. It is the same way with style. Audrey didn’t just dress stylish but everything about her was consistently stylish - her smile, her voice, her posture, her gardens, her recipes, her fawn as a pet, and most of all, her work with Unicef. Often people associate her style with her movies but her street style was even more unbelievable (look at her last photo with Givenchy). My most memorable look of hers is in one of her trips to Africa. She wore a simple white polo shirt, a baby blue collar shirt over it (so two collars) with khaki pants and a ring on her pinky finger. Ah, so effortless.

Hip, Hip Brocade! Gold Brocade Dress available on Lulus.com, $61 Modcloth Kickin’ It Complex Sneaker in Gold, $69.99

Mango Crecle Ring, $19.99

MANIAC METALLICS ASOS Shirt With Cutabout Panels And Foil Print, $61.04

Miu Miu Glitter Arch Pump, $590 available at Barneys New York

M: What’s your favorite thing about wardrobe making? KY: Creativity. It’s such an honest way of expressing myself. There are things I could not have said nor done as bravely as I could wear my clothes. It’s liberating.

Like It Or Knot Gold Bow Ring available on Lulus.com, $11

Frankie B. My BFF Jegging in Metal Red, $187

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LIFE IS HARD.

Topshop White Skirt with Sheer Panel, $160

Unless you know where to go.

Karen Kane Embroidered Mesh Tank in White, $108

Betsey Johnson Having a Field Daisy Bag, $128 available on Modcloth.com

Topshop Unique Sheer Pink Dress, $330

Lele Sadoughi Nile Bracelet in Black & White, $235

Nestled amid the hustle and bustle of downtown Pittsburgh, the Cultural District and Market Square lies an oasis with untold amenities. Come to where the living is easy and deliciously elegant.

Manolo Blahnik Audi, $775 available at Barneys New York

TRENDY TRANSPARENTS EVENTS

A C C OM M ODAT IONS

HA B ITAT

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S PA & F I TN ES S

For more information, please call (412) 773-8800 or visit www.fairmont.com/pittsburgh

YOU’RE INVITED!

Mango Acresua Ring, $19.99 Lele Sadoughi Nile Earrings in Lotus Pink, $135

Modcloth Starfish of the Show Dress, $44.99

Dana-Maxx Rory “Aurora” Bustier, $284

Watch Sheer Back Ivory Cutout Dress available on Lulus.com, $36.50

Maniac Magazine and Lexus of North Hills are teaming up to present to you the annual

Dana-Maxx Tobi “Antigua” Full Skirt, $502

WHITE PARTY

When: Saturday, June 29th 2013 Where: “Smart House” | 207 Bailey Ave. | Pittsburgh, PA 15211 Attire: All White (of course) Christian Louboutin Manovra, $945 available at Barneys New York

$75 includes a tasting menu and open bar

ALISON black cutout vachetta leather tote $350

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ASOS Spot Mesh Trapeze Crop, $26

Stay tuned on Maniac’s website, Facebook and Twitter for further details. www. ManiacMagazine.com | www.facebook.com/maniacmagazine.com | www.twitter.com/maniacmagazine 33


FASHION

MODERN MUSE

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Faubourg Du Temple Blazer American Apparel Bikini Top Alviero Martini Skirt Olena Dats Belt Disney Couture Necklace H&M Hoop Earrings Urban Outfitters Bangle And Sunglasses

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FASHION Backstage Top And Pants Neivz Necklace Urban Outfitters Ring Style&Co Hoop Earrings Tatty Devine Sunglasses Blonde Ambition shoes

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2Wins Dress Faubourg Du Temple Bib Necklace H&M Ring

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FASHION Backstage Dress Tatty Devine Necklace And Earrings

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Olena Dats Dress Freddy Belts Worn As Harness Stylist’s Own Vintage Indian Bangles H&M Earrings

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Motel Rocks Romper Tatty Devine Lobster Necklace G-Star Vest Stylist’s Own Custom Hat H&M Bracelet

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health

GINA HOMOLKA OF

skinnytaste.com Gina Homolka changed the way the web thinks of healthy food. The author and photographer behind Skinnytaste is a wholesome eater by all accounts– but it isn’t all salads and juices with Gina.

Her blog, which earns 2.5 million hits a month, includes recipes for creamy pastas, cheesy dips, even decadent desserts. The longtime Weight Watchers devotee uses lighter ingredients to recreate the dishes many women thought were definitive nono’s – she even takes the guesswork out of it, including the WW points and alongside each recipe.

food writer/photographer when you were young?

Maniac: What inspired you to start a blog?

M: Have you always been a healthconscious eater?

Gina Homolka: I started my blog when I was getting married. I joined Weight Watchers and thought it would be fun to blog my recipe creations. M: Did you ever see yourself becoming a 44

GH: No. Prior to my food blog, I had a career as a digital photo retoucher and graphic designer. I actually studied graphic design in college and worked with many photographers, but I never really thought about being the one behind the camera.

GH: It started in my twenties. I used to read Natural Health magazine and worked with someone who lost their brother to cancer, and it shed light on the role food played on our health.

GH: I love connecting with people I would have never met otherwise. I love that at any time of the day, you can see what others are doing, eating, or saying.

GH: My advice is plan ahead. Make a menu in advance, make a shopping list, and get everything you need to make healthier meals. If you have a picky family, I tell them to let their family members go through my recipes and pick out what they want. It makes it easier if everyone is happy, so you don’t have to cook two separate meals.

M: Do you believe in banishing certain things from your diet?

M: What about advice for someone who is new to cooking?

GH: I try to avoid processed foods and GMO’s when possible, but I don’t believe in eliminating food groups. I eat grains, meat, seafood, dairy. I believe in everything in moderation and to find a balance.

GH: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. That’s how I learned. Following recipes is a great way to learn, people tell me all the time that I taught them how to cook, which I love hearing!

M: Do you ever slip up or give yourself cheat days to eat junk food?

M: What are some of your favorite stayhealthy tips?

GH: Yes, I allow myself to have a cheat day, usually a Friday or Saturday night, if I go out to dinner. I eat good all week and get plenty of exercise, so I don’t feel guilty about it. I’m not a junk food person. I’d rather save it for a really good meal.

GH: Get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Drink lots of water, avoid sodas. Plan ahead and keep a well stocked pantry and refrigerator full of healthy foods. Make extra food to make your own freezer meals for those nights you don’t have time to cook. This will help you avoid the drive-through!

M: What’s your favorite thing about social media?

M: What advice would you give someone who is trying to drastically change his or her diet?

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music

CARMEN ELECTRA BEYOND BAYWATCH Carmen Electra has captivated the hearts of men throughout the country by heating up the covers of Playboy with her heart-stopping curves. But few know that 20 years ago, aspiring dancer Tara Patrick of Ohio was discovered by Prince. Now at age 40, and still able to slip into her famous red swimsuit she wore at 25, Patrick’s sultry alter ego is ready to revisit her musical roots. 46

“I wasn’t necessarily looking to do music again,” explained Electra, whose name was given to her by Prince when she first released her debut album in 1993 before discovering fame in television. “But people from my past came back into my life and they were all very encouraging. For a long time I felt something has been missing, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. Now I’m getting back to doing what I truly love, which is performing and being on stage.” Electra’s journey in music first began after she graduated high school and left behind her native Cincinnati to the more alluring Los Angeles, where she yearned to become a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson or Paula Abdul. Instead, she would win over another star. After auditioning for an all-girl group Prince was putting together, he chose to produce her debut self-titled album on his Paisley Park label. But the bubbly brunette was quickly swept up by the glitz and glam of the Los Angeles entertainment scene, quickly garnering a role in Baywatch, while batting her baby blues as Hefner’s new Playmate. It seemed Electra’s assumption of never recording another dance track would be certain, but her relationship with Prince continues to play a role to this day.

“There have been moments when I didn’t like how I sounded, began to doubt myself and just felt like giving up,” Electra said. “But then I just remind myself that Prince believed in me!” And while she would consider rekindling her friendship in the studio with the same man who gave her a sizzling name, she’s also set on revisiting the role of singer on her own, the same way she has nurtured her career in the entertainment world. In 2012, she gave audiences a sliver of what was to come with “I Like it Loud,” which was produced by Bill Hamel, the Grammy-nominated artist who also worked with dance divas Madonna and Rihanna. The track, explosive with thumping 2 AM club beats and sugary sweet rapping, shows off Electra strutting the streets of New York City with her cleavage in tow, a moment she still relishes like a pubescent boy gawking at her running in slow motion for the first time. “I feel like I’m living again,” she exclaimed with a girlish giggle. “Dancing, feeling the energy of performing and giving that back has been the greatest high I’ve ever felt in my life. When I started music…I didn’t quite know what I wanted. But what a great experience that was because it gave

me the confidence to have the guts to get out there and make things happen again. From the beginning when I was performing, I was always opening up for someone else. Then throughout the years I was featured in a group. Now, this is me, all of me. I am doing this with just my name.” Electra, who remarked how she was still feeling sore since dancing and singing live in front of 30,000 people at March’s White Party in Palm Springs, isn’t missing a beat. She’s been perfecting her next single, “Bigger Stick,” which, contrary to popular belief, is actually a campy anthem on standing up for oneself. It’s a message that has been a personal one for Electra, who’s often first recognized as a sex symbol with a near-perfect figure. “I did go through a phase where I would eat protein and vegetables only and if I missed a day at the gym I would beat myself up,” Electra admitted. “I was really hard on myself. I decided that it’s okay to have curves and…who cares? We get stuck in this idea that the skinnier, the better. And it can consume your life. It can completely take over your life…I’m just at a point in my life where my body will never be perfect in my eyes. But I can still enjoy life, be healthy,

take care of myself and still have fun. I think in general people out there need to know we do get airbrushing, we do get wardrobe people and makeup artists that are making sure you look good. And I think image can put a lot of pressure on people that don’t realize that. I really admire women who just embrace their curves, go out there and are brave. I think that’s amazing. I strive to be that way.” Nevertheless, Electra isn’t ashamed about the crown she holds. “I love the title sex symbol,” she said. “You set up your life and your career the way you want to see it. I’ve never shied away from that.” As Electra continues to resurrect her music career by recording new songs in the studio and preparing for a potential tour, she also hopes to start another possible collaboration. “I’m open to having a family. I’m really open,” Electra said quietly. “I do get overwhelmed, and I’m at a place where I’m trying to find a balance and be able to have a relationship and also have the focus to work without making it about one or the other. I am single, I’m enjoying it, but I do believe in love.”

I feel like I’m living again.

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designer profile

Daisy and Elizabeth The Daisy and Elizabeth girl is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. She’s into vintage and is proud to be an American. She’s a girl who doesn’t quite fit in at Victoria’s Secret, but isn’t afraid to be sexy. I talked to the early twenties design team behind the brand just before they took off for a cross-country road trip to gain inspiration from New York to California, and here’s what they had to say about their tough girl intimates. 48

PROFILE

Elizabeth NeSmith and Daisy Hartmann launched their company one month after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. They had the product and who would be wearing their designs in mind long before the graduation date, because they’re their own muses. On designing for themselves, Hartmann said, “We were told not to in school. I mean they say you’re not going to be working for yourself; you’re going to be working for a company, and the customer is probably not going to be you. And we were like, We don’t want to do that. We want to have our own company. We want to design for girls like us.” The girl that wears their intimate apparel is easy to picture. “She’s a girl similar to us and our friends, but I think she’s very wellcultured and well-versed in music and art. But that also doesn’t mean she can’t just go to the local dive bar and drink a two dollar beer with her friends. She’s easy going and doesn’t depend on men to make her happy,” Hartmann said of their ideal customer. Just like Hartmann and NeSmith, the Daisy and Elizabeth girl is most likely someone who hailed from the country and found a home in Manhattan. “At least for me, moving to New York, it was such a big move and I looked forward to getting out of the south. But then once you leave home, you get a nostalgia for where you came from and those values and I think a lot of the inspiration for the brand comes from that,” NeSmith said. Both of the designers are from south of the Mason Dixon Line (Maryland and Georgia) and moved to the city as teenagers. Their line is heavily

influenced by American pride and after our interview, it was easy to understand why. Hartmann said of her upbringing, “Both of my parents are European, but they’ve been here for over thirty years, and they couldn’t be prouder to be Americans and have raised us in this country.” Their line is not only Americanainspired, but also prides itself on being made in America. “That’s sort of our definition of sustainable. It started out eco-friendly. That wasn’t really our brand. That wasn’t what it was supposed to be, and I think that was good for us to sort of explore that part of the industry. You know everything is trial and error, especially for a fledgling company like ours,” NeSmith said. Both designers agree that this aesthetic came naturally and ensures a high quality garment. “We’re able to keep a really close eye on the production. That means ethical labor and a high quality of the garment itself, and just supporting jobs here in the U.S. and not outsourcing,

and we think that’s really important - trying to move production back to the U.S. We fully support that movement that’s happening with fashion and other industries as well, and we want to be a part of that. While things may change in our company with branding, that’s one thing that we want to maintain throughout,” Hartmann explained. Their brand is changing, but their process was thought out even before Daisy and Elizabeth merchandise was for sale. Before they had their product line, they launched social media campaigns to grab attention. “At this point, without social media, I don’t even know how far you would get. It definitely helps jump-start a brand quickly. And you can connect with people all around the world which is incredible,” NeSmith said. “It’s a really great way to connect with people immediately. And I think people like to know what you’re doing every second of the day and instantly, so we try to keep up with that as much as we can.

It also helps to define our brand. People get to see what we’re doing day to day and see that we basically are living the brand and that it comes from a very genuine place for us. Social media is a great way to express that.” Hartmann and NeSmith both had traditional training while at FIT to provide them with the understanding of how a garment fits and its construction. Their influences, however, are more modern. They love model and Alexander Wang muse Erin Wasson. They don’t want any frills or too much lace. Hartmann said, “It’s a niche part of the industry that we’re trying to fill. It’s not for every girl, but it’s a different customer for sure than a Victoria’s Secret customer or an Agent Provocateur customer. Those are all amazing brands and they fill really great parts of the market, but we’re not trying to compete with them.”

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jet set

LODGING

THE FESTIVAL

Celebrating its 66th Year of Cinema by the Sea

T

he crème de la crème of the film world, The Cannes Festival (or more appropriately, Festival de Cannes) prides itself on discovering new talent, providing an international link for all film industry professionals, and boosting film creation and distribution worldwide. Cannes launched the careers of famous directors like Quentin Tarantino, who nabbed the top prize in 1994 with Pulp Fiction, and Steven Spielberg, whose blockbuster E.T. premiered at the festival 31 years ago. This year Spielberg will sit as President of the Competition Jury, and French darling, actress Audrey Tatou, will host the ceremonies.

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The Festival’s 66th year (It was slated to start in 1939, but was interrupted by World War II and was postponed until 1946.) is kicking off with Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby on May 15th. Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, which he completed not far from the Festival itself, the film is set in the roaring twenties. However, Cannes recognizes the of evolution of cinema, and the opening film will be a 3D screening. The Festival’s closing film will be Zulu with Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker, and the documentary of Carine Roitfeld (former French Vogue editor) is slated to show. Anyone can enter a film submission, but

it should be noted that the Festival is for professionals only. While the French Riviera has much to offer on it’s own, entrance into the main screenings at the Palais des Festivals is unlikely for a tourist. No tickets are sold, and access to the films in the competition is by invite only. The Festival has still managed to garner thousands of tourists eager to catch a glimpse of their favorite star or soak up some sun on the beach (Brigitte Bardot gained her pin-up fame from pictures on the Cannes beaches in the fifties.). For those that are still filmhungry, The Cinéma de la Plage is a public, outdoor theater that offers nightly viewings. Tickets are available at the Cannes Tourism Office.

The Intercontinental Carlton Cannes is home to the celebrities for the 12 days of the festival, and it always has been. Everyone from Grace Kelly to Angelina Jolie has stepped in to stay at the luxury hotel, and it has even served as the set to a few classic films like Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief. The Carlton boasts serving over 10,000 bottles of champagne during the Festival de Cannes, and has even accommodated a nameless Princess’s 120 suitcases with a separate room booked for her shoes. Being a host to so many stars, the staff prides itself on its discretion. The historical facade of the hotel faces the Mediterranean Sea, and there’s a private beach for its residents. There are two restaurants and two bars; but if you intend to catch Leonardo DiCaprio with a cocktail, you’ll need to book your room months in advance and have a substantial budget for the week.

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JET-SET

JET SET

For those who aren’t looking to live like a film star, there are plenty of villas off of side streets for rent and outdoor cafes to enjoy the view and do some celebrity spotting. The city of Nice is only a half an hour away, and where flights arrive, so staying there is always an option for those just looking to hop down to the Festival for the day. Antibes is another close option that boasts yachts as large as Cannes, but less of the jet set crowd.

TIPS FOR TOURISTS The main street is Cannes (You’ll know because it’s the palm tree lined boulevard packed with hotels and boutiques.) is called La Croisette. It’s the place in Cannes to

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watch people, shop, eat, and walk along the bay. Granted, the shopping is more Cartier and Louis Vuitton than a treasure hunt, it’s the glamourous street of Cannes that the world knows and loves from photos and films. Artists, musicians, and tourists will keep the area buzzing throughout the time of the Festival. The Forville Market (Marché Forville) is the number one shopping destination in Cannes. What does the market sell? Fresh French produce. With artisan cheeses, an array of fruits and vegetables, olive oils from Provence, fresh breads, seafoods, and meats, prepare yourself to splurge on the most glorious picnic of your life. This market is iconic, and always bustling, but not to be missed. The market is open Tuesday through Sunday, and on Mondays it serves as an antiques market. Rue Meynandier is a close by shopping street to the Forville Market for those who cannot afford the price tags on La Croisette. For those looking for a reprieve from the

busy Cannes streets, a 15 minute boat ride will land you on St. Marguerite Island ( or l’île Sainte- Marguerite, part of the Lérins Islands). It’s the perfect place to take your picnic and get away from the crowds. The water is beautiful and the views of Cannes are unbeatable. It’s peaceful and serene, and swimming is encouraged.

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feature

EVERPURSE

THE POWER PURSE BY BRIDGETTE CUNNINGHAM

P H O T O G R A P H Y C O U RT E S Y O F E V E R P U R S E / P R O J E C T C . O.

Jet Setter? Mom of five? Just forgetful? Everpurse has every woman in mind. The purse that’s as powerful as you are, Everpurse is changing minds about how technology looks with their all-in-one clutches that charge your smartphone as you go.

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When I think of technology, I think of cords and wires, industrial-looking appendages that only belong hidden beneath a desk. Everpurse is changing that notion. It’s the first purse that charges your smartphone. Women across the country are wondering, Why didn’t I think of that? and I need that. And here’s the best part: It’s totally chic. “Most companies making tech products today are entirely focused on the technological capabilities of their products; but what we’re trying to do is advance the idea that technology can be fashionable, and fashion can be technological,” said Jesse Pinho, Chief Information Officer and Co-Founder of Everpurse. Liz Salcedo is the brains behind the operation. As a social worker, she found that her phone just wasn’t making it through a full day of mapping and calls. So she called in her husband, Dan, to assemble the system into her purse. Her friends wanted them, and her husband saw that this idea was going to be a success. At the end of 2012, with just a prototype, the Salcedos launched a Kickstarter campaign. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, it’s an online allor-nothing funding campaign for creative projects. Everpurse more than doubled what they were asking for from backers, and went on the expand the line. The Spring 2013 collection is in high demand, and it’s

easy to see why. Everpurse doesn’t have any unsightly cords or wires to connect. There’s a charging mat that you just put the purse on when you get home. The purse charges there and it’s good to go for the next full day. The next day, you pop your phone inside a side pocket of the purse while you’re out running errands, and it’s charging the whole time you’re on the move. Everpurse is currently compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or Samsung Galaxy S III, and the charging system itself only weighs about six ounces. The purse needs about six hours on its mat to fully charge, but that will give you two about two twelve-hour rounds of charging on your smartphone. It’s the urban professional’s dream clutch, and everyone can relate to the moment when your phone’s battery just can’t keep up with your day. “The lifestyles of these successful women are our inspiration. You can see it in our fashion shoots, our messaging, and our product line designs,” Pinho said. “We want to empower real women and make products that complement their active lifestyles.” What helps make this Everpurse so successful is the beauty of the product. From sapphire leather and crocodile print clutches to bright nylon inserts that tuck into bigger bags, Everpurse’s design team

has nailed the fashion side of things too. “Everpurse is advancing the still-novel idea of wearable tech,” Pinho said. He even had a hard time picking his favorite design. “I was always partial to the Sapphire Leather clutch (it’s beautiful in person); but I’m leaning toward the Topaz Croc-Pattern Leather design now.” Yes, portable smartphone chargers do exist, but there’s no one that has done the all-in-one package like Everpurse. With this kind of technology, bigger steps and more products are undoubtedly coming from Everpurse in the near future. There are talks of big name designers picking up the docking system for future product lines. With a team of husband and wife, products for men seem also likely to be next on the radar. There have been rumors of suit jackets and pants that do the charging. “Part of what makes us stand out from other fashion-tech products is that we are focused on being functional, not just flashy,” Pinho said. “There’s a huge amount of potential in this space; and we have a lot of really exciting ideas in the pipeline on how to make the most of it. I can’t go into too much detail; but suffice it to say that phone-charging is just the beginning!”

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feature

GIN LANE MEDIA Want to tell a story? Forget about books. How about a floor to ceiling digital installation instead? In a world where consumers can compare prices and order anything from anywhere online, a brand needs an identity and an edge to succeed. Companies like Gin Lane Media have emerged to build interactive programs for customers to connect to businesses from their desktops, their mobile phones, and in-store. President of Gin Lane Media Emmett Shine and Senior Strategist Conor O’Hollaren share how they got their start and how they stay ahead as creative technologists. 56

Maniac: How did Gin Lane get its name? Emmett Shine: When I was doing a lot of freelance work, it was always hard to get people to pay me. I got upset one time, had a friend call in as a lawyer saying that I had worked for a design collective. Gin Lane is the boardwalk of streets, and that was the only thing I could think of that sounded prestigious, and I just added “Media” because it sounded legit, and it was to a record label. They got nervous because my friend was a really good actor, and they sent a check to Gin Lane Media, which didn’t even exist. M: That is so hilarious. I can’t even imagine. That’s hysterical. ES: I think every good brand has to have a good story, and I inadvertently, I think, stumbled into a good story. Slow and steady, we went from outdoor marketing, to doing some photography campaigns for Rocawear, to doing digital for Rocawear. Then we got picked up by Stella McCartney for Adidas. At this point, it was myself and a fifteen-yearold Bengalese kid from Queens, someone who was helping me with accounting, and a design intern. M: You just exploded into this, and some of it happened very organically. Did you ever find yourself in a sort of nightmare of a situation or something that went terribly wrong? ES: Yeah, in the first days of post-recession time, there were a lot of times where friends would say, “Hey, we’re gonna give you this contract.” And then three weeks later, you call a person and say, “Hey, where is that person?” and they’re no longer at the company. We almost had to restart from the ground up, because it didn’t look like we could go anywhere at that point. I had never really done business in that sense. So that was pretty difficult. AH: How did social media change the

fashion industry? Conor O’Hollaren: The role that social media plays for fashion is kind of funny. As a rule, social media tends to level the playing field between brands and consumers. Fashion brands, however, are supposed to have a certain kind of inaccessible mystique to them. All of the sudden, brands that were used to dictating the conversation and spotlight suddenly had to share it with their audience. They’ve had to adapt quickly to maintain their trendy edge. M: How did you cultivate new relationships with luxury brands such as Michael Kors and J. Crew? ES: I think birds of a feather flock together. We tried speaking with people who are thoughtful and discerning and care about our attention to detail, as well as communicating with their customers and putting customers first and pushing the envelope. I think both J. Crew and Michael Kors have exhibited wanting to do that. J. Crew was looking to do something progressive with in-store, interactive devices. It’s a great talking point in the store for customers to see and get furtherinspired outfits they can put together. And for Michael Kors, a friend of ours. We went to all of the Michael Kors stores in New York City. We asked the sales associates what people were looking for, what they did, and we just got a lot of information. We went to the pitch and told them everything that their customers were asking for and also the sales associates were asking for, and I think that helped form a more thoughtful experience for the first iteration. M: And what kind of salary can a college graduate expect entering an entry-level position in this creative field intertwined with social media like somewhere like Gin Lane?

CO: I did a little bit of social media consultation when I was fresh out of college, so I guess I can’t really speak to salary because I pivoted into project management and specific strategy after that, and that was after I had cruised some internship hours. So it’s hard to say. For a fresh grad, I could recommend doing as much interning as possible and looking for communitymanagement-type jobs because they are everywhere, and these are definitely things you learn more by doing. M: Right. What makes Gin Lane unique compared to New York creative agencies? ES: I mean, there’s a gamut. I think we have placed a lot of emphasis more and more on the technology side, and I think we think how startups think. We’re builders, and a lot of creative agencies are good with their creative direction for photo shoots, campaigns, for out-of-home, and we’re good at it too, but I like the phrase “Be creative. Don’t be competitive.” We place such an emphasis on innovation and understanding this massive shift in the undercurrent of the way that technology and digital is forming and redefining most fields and of life and human interaction. M: Where do you see Gin Lane in the next three to five years? CO: We’re firmly planting our feet in the realm of creating digital experiences that change physical spaces. We see ourselves as sensory experience-makers and innovation strategists, helping our partners to create digital toys and tools that ultimately transform them into more futurefriendly companies.

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art

FA S H I O N ’ S S U R P R I S E S TA R

WRITTEN BY VINCENT MOK P H OTO G R A P H Y C O U RT E SY O F R I C H A R D W E STO N A N D N E T A P O RT E R

Richard Weston is a professor, author, and award-winning architect. The jolly Weston has a head of graying hair and displays a grin as he heartily laughs, which he does often throughout the interview. With all of this, he very much looks the part of a professor. Much to his own surprise, however, he an unexpected title to his long list of endeavors: fashion designer. Weston’s scarves have created a splash in the fashion industry with their unique patterns and color combinations. His designs, which feature any shade from stunning blues to textured ochres, are actually high-resolution scans of minerals. His collection of scarves on satin silk are sold at various places including Liberty, a London department store famous for its scarves and its tradition of discovering upcoming talent. An architecture professor at Cardiff University in Wales, Richard Weston never intended to be thrust into fashion. In fact, he still seemed astonished at how it unfolded. When asked about it, he explained that it began nearly a decade ago with him trying to stay updated with the times: “I went to give a lecture in Scotland, and I carried my two carousels of glass-mounted slides, 58

which weighed I-don’t-know-how-much. Someone else arrived — a famous London architect — with a little memory stick with his entire lecture, and I thought, Hmmm. I’m going to have to switch over.” He then bought his first scanner, intending to digitize his building plans, but also began scanning rocks and leaves that he found on walks around his village. The results were interesting, but it was his subsequent discovery of an ammonite fossil in a shop in Cardiff that led him to his current work. He said that the mineral’s scans had “bottomless, fathomless detail. They are infinitely subtle.” A friend later encouraged him to print his images onto fabric. At first, he was unsure, but he brought them to a neighbor who assured him that it would be successful. He then began printing his designs from a small digital fabric printer in Worcestershire and worked with a local fashion school. “I called the line ‘Frocks from Rocks,’ which I thought was quite catchy. No one seems to have quite used this.” What led to his famous scarves was his exposure with London’s department store, Liberty. Listening to the radio one morning, Weston heard an interview with Ed Burstell,

Senior Vice President at Bergdorf Goodman, who was joining Liberty’s team as buying director. Burstell announced that they would take the store back to its roots of finding new talent and host open calls to anyone with designs. Weston registered for it, but he fell ill and couldn’t bring his work to the first venue. Fortunately, fate seemed to have bigger plans for him when his work was later broadcast on BBC. “I went to the second one,” he said. “Turns out that one was being filmed for [Britain’s Next Big Thing], so I was incredibly lucky, really, that I couldn’t make the first.” With that, Weston became known not only to Liberty’s clientele but also everyone watching the TV show. Since then, things have gone well for his designs, which have also been used for tech accessories. “They’re actually our biggest selling line — we are the top-selling tech accessories on Net-a-Porter,” he explained. This seems somewhat odd, as Weston did not always have an affinity for technology. In fact, his first ventures into it were done almost with reluctance. He admits to being “suspicious of the digital… I thought they were crude in comparison to real materials.” Despite this suspicion, he acknowledges how technology has allowed people to recognize

the beauty around them: “It’s just humanity to become jaded by the familiar… And these [scarves] are a way of bringing nature back into our daily lives, whether it be through fashion or interior fabrics or carpets or all of the different things you can name digitally.” Technology, of course, also is the basis of his whole production process. A design begins by scanning an object, which produces a digital image that is then cleaned up with Photoshop. The image then goes to a MAVER, a digital printing company in Como, Italy that inksprays images onto silk. “Those colors with silk printing are not the final colors because they’re called reactive dyes. What then happens is that is goes through a steaming process, and the steamer brings out the true colors. It transforms the dues into their final colors, and it fixes them into the silk. Then it goes into six or seven chemical washes [before heading] into giant tumbling dryers. Then it goes into a sauna for silk, a kind of drying room, which is obviously near to zero humidity, as it goes in very hot.” The design, having been set into the fabric with dyes and various processes, is then near completion. It goes to one final place to stentered. “As you can imagine, all of the fibers are a bit all over the place. The fabric gets quite out of true, and what the stentering machine does is gently straighten all of the fibers out.” The final result is the exquisitely lustrous scarf that is sold by luxury retailers like Net-a-Porter, Takashimaya, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Since his designs are so unique, there seems to be great potential for expansion beyond scarves and accessory cases. When asked about this, Weston enthusiastically responded that he’s been trying new lines although very few people have picked up his textiles for production into clothing. “I think part of the reason may be that the fabrics may be so distinctive that people would say, ‘Ah, there’s a Richard Weston fabric’ [instead of] ‘There’s a so-and-so dress,’” he laughed. He revealed that he has been experimenting with Johnson Tiles, Britain’s leading tile company, to transfer the mineral images onto ceramic. He has also branched out into other domestic goods. “Liberty is getting an interiors product range from us, and we’re also looking at doing some fabric for curtaining for them and so on. So fingers crossed.”

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events

Teaming up with Verde Kitchen and Cantina in Pittsburgh’s trendy Shadyside neighborhood, we pulled out all the stops at our Fashion & Fiesta event. The Penn Avenue hotspot set the stage to keep partygoers in high spirits all night long. From the sombreros adorning each sleek, stylish barstool, to the gorgeous, life-sized magazine covers featuring actress Maggie Grace, the event was a perfect, colorful mix of spice and style. Upon arrival, a large white tent greeted crowds of Pittsburgh fashionistas outside the restaurant, and inside it was all about this issue’s key theme: luxury. A red carpet and professional photographer were enough to make even the most camera-shy partier feel glamorous. Comfy couches provided the perfect place to sit while sipping on sangria prepared by vivacious Verde bar tenders with Black Box Wines and Clique Vodka. Meanwhile, stylist Sandy Wholey of Sandy Wholey Style dished out some coveted fashion advice and picked the night’s “best dressed” attendees. In typical Maniac tradition, we couldn’t resist spoiling our fabulous fans. Up for grabs for one lucky raffle winner was a piñata stuffed to the brim with over $500 worth of chic products and gift cards from Larrimor’s, Spa Jema, Jupe Boutique, Panello Boutique and makeup from NYX Cosmetics, Tarte Cosmetics, and more. It was a sangria-soaked night filled with fabulous people and fearless fashion we’ll never forget!

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“We made the conscious choice not to have a program but to instead have a web app with info on all of the designers and sponsors for the show. This let us provide more info on each designer and helped save some trees too. The app updated with a moving photo of each outfit as it came down the runway, making the show more immersive and let people even in the furthest row see the detail on each garment.” It’s no secret that the world of fashion and technology are merging. “Fashion and technology are on a collision course. Apart from the functional qualities that technology can bring to clothes, it also provides for new means of interacting with the garments, new ways to experience garments in retail, and most importantly new ways to bring fantasy to life. There is a famous Arthur C. Clarke quote that says, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” That is something that the fashion world will undoubtedly want to be a part of, especially

Bringing Fantasy to Fashion through Technology Inspired by Chinese New Year, Carnegie Mellon University’s Lunar Gala highlights upcoming fashion talent each February. The show brings together the school’s designers, technicians, dancers, models, and coordinators. This year’s theme, VENIN, paid tribute to the Zodiac Year of the Snake and used the idea of a snake bite to transition the fashion show from light to dark. “While the designer’s lines each had a distinct theme, they all fit somewhere within the gradient and we used that to organize the show. VENIN also provided for some incredible visuals; we even rented a snake to use in our video and print content for the show!” said Chris Iofredda, one of Lunar Gala’s producers. The show’s overall production was exceedingly advanced in comparison to most college productions. The event consisted of a follow-along web app, a 360 degree video, and a USB including all show visuals gifted to each guest, all custom designed by CMU programmers and visual artists. “With Lunar Gala, we wanted to take advantage of the talent that we had to do something that was novel but also very polished,” Iofredda explained. 62

CMU’S

when it comes to production,” Iofredda said. Though the use of technology enhances the design process, imagination and vision is still necessity. Third year participating fashion designer, Alanna Fusaro, describes her design process and what inspired her collection for this year’s Lunar Gala. While studying abroad in Italy, Alanna utilized her experience to visualize a collection that incorporated leathers, furs, and velvets. “I was inspired by color (dark blue, green, plum), and the street fashion that I saw in London and Italy. The finale piece of my collection was a modern gown created from leather, velvet, and mesh. I draped the plum velvet over the mesh in order to create an illusion that parts of the gown were floating.” Alanna is a junior Industrial Design major at CMU and has been designing for Lunar Gala since her freshman year, now holding the position of Design Coordinator. “From

Lunar Gala, I learned how to successfully lead and inspire designers, we frequently held critiques and lessons in order to help the designers create a cohesive and polished line.” Along with her first-hand experiences, she explored her passion for design at Florence University of the Arts and upon graduation, Alanna anticipates pursuing a career in fashion. Each student provided a unique set of skills to the creation of Lunar Gala. Typically, in the traditional fashion world, the primary focus is on the design and the clothing itself, rather than expanding to skills that may further the production. The producers of the CMU show were interested in collaborating talents by utilizing the university’s varied programs. Iofredda said, “If nothing else, I think we proved that CMU students can operate on a professional level and apply technology and design in new and interesting ways.”

LUNAR GAL A 63


feature

BOTOX FEMINIST 64

I’m not sure buying a Groupon for a medical procedure is the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but I was getting hitched soon. Like most brides I wanted to look lovely at half-price. I had never worried too much about wrinkles all those years as I baked in a tanning bed, but now I had a severe case of the thirties. There was only one cure Botox. Besides the obvious reservations one might have about purposefully injecting toxins into one’s skull, the only problem with this plan for a wrinkle-free brow was that this was going to make me a giant hypocrite. My whole life I judged women who got plastic surgery, and now at the sight of a few frown lines and an impending wedding, I was running to the luxury “spa” for injections. Such a measure to sustain youthfulness might seem less-than-newsworthy, but I have worked hard to maintain my substantive credentials. I am a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh (in Religious Studies, no less), a mom, and a feminist. On paper, I am supposed to be the kind of person who believes beauty comes from the inside, aging is unavoidable, and women shouldn’t be held to unrealistic beauty demands. So I became a hypocrite. With a beautiful brow. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve never been above vanity. I’ve been bleaching my hair, skipping sweets before bikini season, and gluing on fake eyelashes before big events for longer than I care to admit. There’s some sort of invisible line though, that you cross when you willingly paralyze muscles in your face or go under the knife in an effort to deceive people to think that you’re younger and/or more beautiful than you are. For me, I decided that I was okay with any cosmetic procedure that just puts things back the way they were, such as Botox for wrinkles or even a breast lift after your three babies sucked them into looking like empty tube socks with a roll of quarters in the toe (for example). To each her own, though. I read an article about Camilla Parker Bowles in which she said she loved every one of her wrinkles, because they were evidence of the wonderful life she led and the children she raised. While I admire her approach to aging, I simply don’t want to go gently into that goodnight. I’d rather cling desperately to my youth. What has been curious about my journey into the rabbit hole of the beauty industry is

how other women react when I tell them. If the subject of aging or beauty comes up (which it often does among thirty-something women) I admit to getting Botox and offer a demonstration of what my forehead looks like when I’m mad versus happy (spoiler alert: there’s no difference). What I notice is that women are almost always disturbed by the revelation that I succumbed to such a frivolous and superficial act. “Why would I give in to the culture of perfection, sexism, and anti-aging?” they ask with their judge-y eyes (which I can read since they don’t alter their forehead’s musculature with poison like I do). I realize, as we all do, that women in particular are bombarded with constant images of ultra-thin, ultra-young, ultrabeautiful ideals that we can never measure up to, and any effort to do so is futile and probably increases insecurity in the end. What seems odd to me about the silent shaming among women is that they are participating in the very thing that they are lamenting. When we look at each other and judge what we perceive to be superficiality, vanity, and insecurity, we are reinforcing the schism in the sisterhood. Remember how your grandma looked old from the time she was sixty? It’s because there was almost nothing previous generations could do to disguise the cruel truth of their ages. Oprah believes hair dye has changed aging for women forever, and I agree. One of the reasons that our mothers

generally look better at sixty, seventy, and older is because they have beauty options that allow them to look as vibrant and youthful as they feel on the inside. If women feel young, why should we begrudge them the opportunity to look like it even if they have to use Groupon (or Botox) to get there? Susie Meister welcomes you to continue the dialogue about beauty, aging, or anything else with her on Twitter (@ susie_meister). She also hosts a celebrity interview podcast called The Meister Piece available at susiemeister.com. @susie_meister and my podcast, The Meister Piece, can be found at susiemeister. com.

I decided that I was okay with any cosmetic procedure that just puts things back the way they were...

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MAGIC MIRROR Keeping an open mind is the best beauty advice I can offer. It will open your eyes to a whole new world. Technology has given us miraculous new products and transformed the world of beauty. The possibilities are now endless when you let your imagination run wild - which of course you are encouraged to do! Play dress up, rediscover the fun of makeup, and dare to dream. We’re living in a fairytale. Take advantage of your magic mirror and remember, you’re the fairest of them all! Jonathan Young, Makeup Artist 66

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1. Rouge Dior in Beige Angélique 2. Dior Addict Lip Glow 3. Ralph Lauren #4 Refreshing Body Mist for Women from the Big Pony Collection 4. Nude Perfect Polish face wash 5. NYX Cosmetics Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Sunbeam 6. Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation 7. Diorshow Mono Wet & Dry Backstage Eyeshadow in Pareo 8. Diorshow Black Out Spectacular Volume Intense Black Khol

9. Dior 3 Couleurs Glow Eyeshadow, highlighter & liner in Nude Glow 10. Diorskin Poudre Libre Matte and Luminous Hydrating Loose Powder 11. Yves Saint Laurent Perfume 12. NYX Cosmetics Love in Florence Eye Shadow Palette 13. Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner 14. Dior Addict Lip Maximizer

229 S. Highland Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15206 412.661.5656

1150 Smallman St Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.201.5656

2000 Smallman St Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.261.6565

5847 Ellsworth Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15232 412.362.5656

5849 Ellsworth Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15232 412.362.6198

Seven 71 Pittsburgh Locations madmex.com


FASHION

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Look No.

Look No.

Stephanie Campbell Top: Nicole Miller, Blazer: INC, Shorts: Urban Outfitters, Boots: Timberland, Purse: Forever 21, Watch: Rotary Watches

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Elisa Llera Coat: Private Boutique in Miami Dress: Ark & Co. Shoes: ModCloth Jewelry: Bora, Cartier

fashion

STREET STYLE Look No.

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Leeann Marie Golish Tee: Target, Scarf: Target, Jeans: Macy’s “ELSE”, Booties: Michael Kors, Crossbody Purse: Michael Kors, Watch: Anthropologie Bracelets: Chichime, Earrings: Target

Look No.

Look No.

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Aire Plichta Sunglasses: ModCloth.com, Necklace: ModCloth.com, Bracelet: C Wonder, Blazer: Forever 21, Top: Zara , Skirt: ModCloth. com, Shoes: Bloomingdales , Purse: Furla

Look No.

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Shayne C Zaborowski Top: J.Crew, Pants: 7 For All Mankind, Bag: Tory Burch, Necklace: J.Crew, Bracelet: J.Crew, Watch: Michael Kors, Shoes: Cynthia Vincent for Target, Sunglasses: Tory Burch

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Tori Mistick Dress: Twenty8Twelve from Dina Ellen, Leather Jacket: ALC from Choices, Shoes: Jimmy Choo, Earrings: Rachel Rachel Roy. Lola and Lucy are wearing pink tulle collar wraps DIYed by me! 72

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DREAM DOWNTOWN HOTEL 74

If you’re looking to completely submerge yourself in luxurious, modern side of New York City, the ultra-chic Dream Downtown hotel is everything you’re looking for and nothing you’ve seen before. Located in the meatpacking district, this cosmopolitan brainchild of hotelier Vikram Chatwal is built around work by famed artists, like NYC graffiti mastermind Harif Guzman and Pittsburgh’s beloved Andy Warhol. And if you know anything about Warhol (think silk-screened celebrities and The Factory: his artsy, amphetamineamped Manhattan studio), you can imagine the surreal, dream-like experience that envelops anyone who steps inside. With nautical-inspired porthole windows, metallic panels adorning both the inside and outside walls, glazed concrete floors, and mod white furniture, Dream is like some place you’ve only imagined. But for the MANIAC in all of us, the Safira boutique is the real dream come true. With a storefront bedecked in 250 records, Safira, located just behind the expansive lobby, is hard to miss. That’s just the outside, but we all know it’s what’s inside that counts. Unlike anywhere

ART

you’ve ever been, Safira boasts a luxurious “curated” shopping experience for its customers. Wondering what a curated shopping experience is exactly? Upon walking into the store you’ll find clothes, accessories, home goods, and fragrances tailored specifically with you in mind. With pieces chosen for the store based on quality, exclusivity and edginess, the stylists at Safira speak straight to your chic side. New York is known as the melting pot. Just like the city itself, the collection at Safira is carefully chosen from all around the world to give a taste of the best pieces from New York City to the beaches of Ecuador. Oh, and have we mentioned Safira’s customers are celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Joe Jonas, Venus Williams and Simon Cowell? New merchandise arrives as often as every four weeks, and the store’s stylists keep even its non-celeb clientele on the cutting edge of fashion. As if that’s not hot enough, the hotel’s other attractions like hotspot nightclub Ph-D and elegant restaurant Marble Lane complete a guests extravagant experience. So fall into the artsy elegance of Dream Downtown for a true New York experience. 75


guide

T ECH SAV V Y

Tech startups aren’t just found in Silicon Valley...they can be found right in your own backyard. Pittsburgh is

IN THE ‘BU RG H

emerging as one of the biggest tech-savvy cities and shows no signs of slowing down. These four companies are based right here in the Burgh and are making a difference in the world of technology. Pittsburgh is becoming the Silicon Valley of the east.

high speed

play

fuel SPIRALGEN

OPTIMUS TECHNOLOGIES

311 South Craig Street, Suite 303 | Pittsburgh, PA 15213 412-567-1010 | www.spiralgen.com

metal DIGITAL DREAMS LAB

LIQUID X

4814 Penn Ave | Pittsburgh, PA 15224

215.421.8842

4400 Fifth Avenue | Pittsburgh, PA 15213

(412) 727-8228 | www.optimustec.com

www.digitaldreamlabs.com

412-268-3136 | www.liquid-x.com

You might not even know it, but you may be using some of SpiralGen’s

Smell the scent of fried food coming from that giant fuel truck in front of you?

If you have children, you’ve undoubtedly found yourself at that challenging

Liquid X is a manufacturer of functional metallic inks located in Pittsburgh

technology at this very moment. SpiralGen started in 2009 when four faculty

Don’t be alarmed — it’s probably just one of the trucks that was designed

crossroad in what your child wants to learn versus what they need to learn and

that started in 2010. Their proprietary chemical compositions yield a particle

members and a graduate from Carnegie Mellon decided to create a business

in part by Optimus Technologies. The business, which currently works in

sometimes the two don’t exactly meet in perfect harmony. Digital Dream Labs has

free solution that can be deposited via numerous methods—such as

that focused on software technology. In order to tackle the problem of a sudden

conjunction with local groups, creates fuel systems that can operate on energy

managed to successfully bridge that gap and shift the learning process from work,

inkjet, or spin coating onto a variety of substrates. “The company was a CMU

halt in the rapid growth of computer performance, these five joined together

sources other than petroleum diesel. This allows them to tap into alternatives

to play. The locally owned and operated company was launched in July of 2012,

spinout from the lab of Dr. Richard McCullough, who was the Vice President

to create technology that would allow the functionality rate to once again rise.

— things like recycled vegetable oils, algae fuel, jatropha oil, and biodiesel —

and emerged as an Entertainment Technology Center project in conjunction with

of Research at CMU. A member of his group, Dr. John Belot, Co-founder

SpiralGen’s coding creation makes it so that software can often be written with

that leave low-energy footprints, are more environmentally friendly, and cost

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The company was formed by Justin Sabo,

and Chief Scientist of Liquid X, discovered the technology behind our printed

technologic and immediate precision, replaces potentially slow and erroneous

less than fuel at the pumps. Many enterprises like the Western Pennsylvania

Matt Stewart, and Peter Kinney, who saw that informal learning centers had a

metals and the business cultivated from there,” says Operations Manager,

work done by hand. In addition to higher accuracy and speed, it also is a

Operating Engineers, the Public Works Department, and Global Links have

lot of opportunity for innovation and they knew their dreamTableTop, really met

Beth Vasy. “We’re making it easier and more affordable for our clients to print

cost-effective product. In other words, SpiralGen’s system allows image and

joined in the project and are currently participating in more socially and

that need. “It was great to see kids learning, laughing, and having fun together.

with metals like silver and gold, without having to sacrifice the integrity and

video processing technology to run more affordably and efficiently, benefitting

environmentally responsible practices with the help of Optimus Technologies.

We then wanted to take that concept to the home market and began working

quality of the metal,” Well-established printing methods such as inkjet and

anyone from a specialist trying to obtain video off of imaging hardware to an

Now, Giant Eagle stores can even recycle the frying oil in their own cafés to

on a product that connects to tables and computers,” Sabo said. The genius

screen-printing are widely used in the printed electronics industry; however,

artist manipulating images on Photoshop. Its technology has been picked up

power some of their trucks. We dig the way that Optimus Technologies thinks

behind this concept is simply putting gameplay first. “We strive to make unique

the thought put of these processes can be limiting. There definitely is space

the Defense Sector, developers of high-performance applications for science

outside of the box, and we appreciate its steps towards a clean, efficient,

experiences that tackle interesting topics, like teaching children 4 and up: logic,

for alternative printing methods to accommodate the challenges of printing

computing, and even chip manufacturers like Intel, a multinational company

and cost-effective lifestyle. Though its members are keeping mum about their

sequencing, timing, and fine-motor skills.” So what brought this groundbreaking

electronics. One of the biggest impacts that Liquid X has made in modern

that is known mostly for its widely used processor technology. You might not

current project, we look forward to finding out what kind of exciting surprises

new company to our very own steel city, you ask? The co-founders simply “fell in

technology is making it more affordable for their clients to print with metals

know when you’re using technology made by SpiralGen, but you can be sure

they have in store. We’re sure that you’ll be excited, too.

love with Pittsburgh.” With the company’s innovative and nearly-instantaneous

like silver and gold, without having to sacrifice the integrity and quality of the

that it’s one of our unsung heroes. If nothing else, we can definitely appreciate

growth, don’t be surprised if Digital Dream Labs and their DreamTableTop quickly

metal. Innovation on their end helps create the opportunity for innovation in

the idea of faster and more reliable technology in a world that so depends on

become a common household product name.

the industries their clients are situated in. That is what keeps them ahead of

76 it.

the game and evolving with the printed electronics industry.

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local

BY BRIDGETTE CUNNINGHAM P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y M I S S L P H OTO G R A P H Y AND BRIDGETTE CUNNINGHAM

The Porch is the first real restaurant to arrive at Schenley Plaza. What was once a pretty desolate area full of food trucks is now something a little more refined. Nestled in the heart of The University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland campus, seriously it’s right between the library and the Cathedral of Learning, The Porch is taking campus dining up a notch, without adding any pretentiousness - meaning they’ll take your campus dining dollars. The meals are reasonable, ranging from a 10 dollar burger to the 21 dollar prime rib. 78

Even after going to the Porch at Schenley for dinner, I kept learning more cool things that this restaurant offers - like half-price pizzas on weeknights after 9:30 and homemade donuts for a weekday breakfast on the go. To keep things campus-friendly and cater to local residents, The Porch is casual dining by day (order then seat yourself or grab takeout) and full-service dining by night. They call it a “come as your are” philosophy. The menu boasts an eclectic mix of familiar foods with everything from pizzas

Oakland was previously offering. General Manager Mike Damas also let me in on some features that make The Porch different from the rest. “We have grass on our roof,” he said. “We have two beehives on the roof (about 120,000 honey bees). We use the honey they make in some of our recipes.” The restaurant is LEED certified with a rooftop garden that the chef uses for seasonal ingredients. There’s even a water tower that collects rainfall to water the plants. “Hopefully our rooftop garden will get bigger and bigger, so the produce will be from the roof to your dish,” Damas said. Damas also gave me some insight on the restaurant’s local support. “We create simple, delicious, scratch-made food that we love to cook and eat. The freezer is no bigger than a small closest. Everything is fresh.” The Porch uses everything from local meats and greens to beverages. They support local craft breweries like Wigle Whiskey and Pittsburgh Winery. “The menu will keep on evolving using nothing but local fresh items,” Damas said. “We are involved with Grow Pittsburgh, and we buy a lot of fresh produce from them. They actually grow a spring mix lettuce for our restaurant.” Beyond just fresh ingredients, the space itself is full of green. Outdoor dining offers a perfect place for people watching in the sun. The setting is literally a lawn, and a major upgrade from what was once Oakland’s worst parking lot. Even when the weather isn’t sit-outside warm, The Porch is full of windows (50% of the building is glass, which helps with its Silver LEED certification). There’s a mix of long slab tables, regular dining tables, booths, and bar seats by the brick oven with industrial-looking soft lighting. Just like the diverse and flexible menu, the atmosphere aims to cater to every type of party. The Porch had some lofty goals when it arrived on Pitt’s yard, and it’s succeeded. Aiming to please nearly every group of folks, from late-teens hustling to class to highbrow foodies on their way to the museums, is no easy feat and The Porch has risen to meet the challenge. As for the manager’s recommendation? “Bianca Pizza Pie. I can’t go one day with out eating it,” Damas said.

to filet mignon, a side of crispy taters recommended with all. I had a full-on carb fest for dinner sampling the pizza (which comes with extra parmesan and chili flakes for customization), shrimp and grits, crispy taters, and the homemade donuts. Bread lover’s should definitely pop into The Porch. The donuts were warm and the strawberry jam was a nice accompaniment. The pizza was fresh and delicious, by far the best in the area and unbeatable at its late-night price. I mean, they have their own brick oven. That should be a sign that this is better than what 79


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3801 Butler Street, Lawrenceville 412.683.8153 www.jeffreysmithstudio.com 81


Don’t be a wallflower — Get down under glass!

Select Fridays

May 24 • June 7 • July 5 • Aug. 2 Sept. 6 • Oct. 4 • Nov. 1 • Dec. 6

7 – 11 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 82 Entry free with Phipps admission • 21+ only • Visit phipps.conservatory.org for details

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