ReFined Culture is having an OPEN ENROLLMENT!!!


ReFined Culture is having open enrollment for all children from ages 5 -12 yrs old!

At the Pittsburgh Center for Arts. For the next few weekends!!



So if you think your little one has what it takes to become a model/actor. Please email me

All Print and Acting Classes will be held at The Pittsburgh Filmmaker’s. If you think your little one has a gift for the arts Contact us!


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Remember, Runway classes are held at the Pittsburgh Center for Arts on Sundays from 1-4 pm

Don’t wait until the last minute to get your small star on the path to success!!!

C0ntact us @ register online under book Online /Private Consultation or email




Helmut Lang |

Helmut Lang (born March 10, 1956 in Vienna is an Austrian artist who lives and works in New York and on Long Island.

When he was five months old Lang’s parents divorced and sent him to live with his maternal grandparents in Ramsau am Dachstein in the Austrian Alps. When he was ten his father remarried and brought Lang back to Vienna to live with him and his wife. Lang moved out of his father’s house at the age of eighteen, and began to teach himself clothing design. A few years later he opened a made-to-measure shop in Vienna.  In 1984 he closed the shop and two years later showed his first runway collection in Paris at Centre Georges Pompidou.  In 1997 he moved to New York.

Lang used unconventional materials such as rubber, feathers and metallic fabrics and redefined the silhouette of the 1990s and early 2000s. He broke away from the runway show-as-spectacle in the height of the 1980s opulence and was the first to ever stream his collection online. As one of the most important designers of our times, his work left an undeniable imprint on contemporary culture and his influence continues to reverberate among the fashion community today.

Lang’s seamless relationship with art has included collaborations with artists Jenny Holzer and Louise Bourgeois.  His recent works explore abstract sculptural forms and physical arrangements and space beyond the limitations of the human body. Lang had his first solo art exhibition ALLES GLEICH SCHWER at the Kestnergesllschaft in Hanover in 2008.

Lang has published excerpts from his ongoing art projects Long Island Diaries  and The Selective Memory Series  in a number of publications, such as BUTT Magazine, Fannzine 137 , Visionaire and most recently The Travel Almanac.

In 1999, Lang sold a 51% stake in his company to the Prada Group, with Prada running distribution and manufacturing and Lang controlling design and advertising. Afterwards, Prada developed a line of Helmut Lang accessories such as shoes, belts and bags, and opened Helmut Lang stores in Hong Kong and Singapore.

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Helmut Lang is a cult figure and, despite leaving fashion in 2005, his legacy lives on. Everything he made carried his distinct fingerprint – from his jeans to his perfumes. He was hyper-attentive to detail and Viennese through and through – he was born there in 1956.

Having shown on the Paris catwalk once, Helmut Lang returned to Vienna until 1997, when he finally moved to New York. Austerity and cerebral couture have characterised his work throughout. He was one of the first designers to embrace the internet and, in 1998, broadcast his new show on it.

• Lang only decided to move into fashion after he failed to find the perfect jacket and T-shirt in the shops and was forced to make his own
• Prada bought a 49 per cent stake in the Helmut Lang business in 1999. Unhappy without 100 per cent creative control, Lang walked out five years later
• Since then the brand has carried on without him. In 2006, Prada sold it to link Theory Holdings Co, which hired design duo Michael and Nicole Colovos to explore Lang’s signature high-tech fabrics and modernist looks and colours – but, said Theory president Andrew Rosen at the time: “The door is always open for Lang if he chose to return”

In August 2008 an exhibition of his art goes on show at Kestnergesellshaft in Hannover, Germany.

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BALLY | Building Brands Breaking the Mold

Carl Franz Bally

Born October 24, 1821, founded the Bally Shoe company in 1851.

Carl Franz Bally was the 11th of 14 children of Peter Bally (1783–1849) and Anna Maria Herzog. His grandfather, Franz Ulrich Bohli (1748–1810) immigrated as a young man from Vorarlberg in west part of Austriato Schönenwerd in the Canton of Solothurn in Switzerland, working as a mason for a manufacturer of silk ribbons. Later, he established his own silk ribbon manufacture in that town, relying mostly on work outsourced to local weavers. His sons Peter and Niklaus continued and enlarged the firm producing also suspenders and elastic fabrics and building an extensive second facility in Säckingen, (Germany). Carl Franz, one of the ten sons of Peter, entered the business at age 17 concentrating on the newest products. During a business trip to Paris he visited a shoe manufacturing plant and began to think about producing shoes, founding his own small facility in 1851. After initial difficulties the business began to flourish and in the early 1870s he established sales organizations in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Montevideo, (Uruguay) and Paris, (France).

By 1880 Bally had transformed Schönenwerd from a sleepy farm village to an industrial center offering employment to hundreds of workers from the town and surrounding towns in what developed into one of the world’s leading shoe manufacturing enterprises. Leather goods are the heart and have lead BALLY’s Company.

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Carl Franz was a progressive liberal, pushing forward many new ideas in the town, now taken for granted. He and his wife opened a special education school for girls, a kindergarten, an old-age home and a public swimming facility at the bordering Aare river. He built homes for workers and converted a flood region of the Aare in town into a luscious, publicly accessible park. He fought battles to break the long established bond between school education and religion (Schönenwerd is the location of a small monastery originally built around 600 AD) and supported the establishment of improved schooling facilities for grade schools and a regional middle school. To fill the need for workers he opened small manufacturing facilities in several towns in the surrounding region. He also served as a lawmaker in various local and federal positions. Carl Franz and his wife Cecile Rychner (1823–1893) had two sons, Eduard and Arthur, who continued their father’s business under the name C. F. Bally Söhne. Around the turn of the century, the firm employed some 3200 workers and produced over two million pairs of shoes a year. Carl Franz Bally died in Basel in 1899.

The Bally company was founded  in the basement of their family home in Schönenwerd in the Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland and created through the passion and vision of pioneer Carl Franz Bally. His original family business was the manufacture of elastic ribbon but a journey to Paris and a gift of love forever changed Bally’s destiny.

During a business trip to Paris in 1849, Carl Franz wanted to buy his wife some lace-up booties – the popular shoe of the day. Unable to recall her exact size, he decided to buy twelve pairs in a range of sizes, knowing that one would certainly fit. Upon visiting the Parisian factory where the booties were made, he noticed that each shoe featured buttons with elastic closures similar to the kind his family produced in Switzerland. Inspired by the possibility of creating more jobs and improving the lives of local residents, he decided to expand his business into shoe production. Together with his brother Fritz, Carl Franz employed designers to assist and together, they began producing shoes made entirely by hand in the cellar of his Schönenwerd home.

The Bally Company was established in Schönenwerd in 1851 and three years later, the first factory located in the village centre was built. In 1854, Fritz Bally retired. By the 1870s, Bally was recognised as a footwear industry leader. The company’s name changed to CF Bally, and then to CF Bally & Sons when the brand’s founding pioneer handed the company reins to his sons in 1892. Carl Franz died in 1899 but undeniably passed on his pioneering spirit to his sons.

Bally grew internationally and opened stores in Geneva and Montevideo (Uruguay) in 1870, followed by Buenos Aires (1873), Paris (1879) and London (1882). In the 1880s, Bally was also one of the very first European luxury goods brands to open in post-reform and opening China. By now the brand had also extended its offering to include clothing, handbags and leather goods for both men and women (1976), and in 1990 would become truly global, opening in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Lebanon and Turkey.

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Bally is currently under the leadership of CEO Frédéric de Narp (November,2013), with Pablo Coppola as Design Director (February, 2014) and parent company JAB Holdings at the helm. Anne-Marie Gaultier has also joined the brand as Vice President of Global Marketing & Communications. She started in April 2014.

BALLY companies continue to strive for what it was originally known for when first started in the basement of C.F. Bally’s home in 1851, high quality and luxury. More than 200 Bally stores around the world, as well as the opportunity to purchase Bally products on-line, gives consumers the products and the quality that C.F. Bally envisioned.


Some photo are Copyright © 2013 infinitas. s

RALPH LAUREN | Tyed and True…

Ralph Lauren (born Ralph Lifshitz; (pronounced [ˈlɔːən])  in the Bronx, New York City,October 14, 1939) is an American fashion designer, philanthropist, and business executive, best known for the Ralph Lauren Corporation clothing company, a global multi-billion-dollar enterprise. He has also become well known for his collection of rare automobiles, some of which have been displayed in museum exhibits. On September 29, 2015, it was announced that Mr. Lauren would be stepping down as C.E.O. of the company that he founded, but intended to remain active at the company in the new roles of executive chairman and chief creative officer.

Born in the Bronx, New York City, to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants, Fraydl (née Kotlar) and Frank Lifshitz, a house painter,] from Pinsk, Belarus.

Lauren attended day school followed by MTA (now known as the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy), before eventually graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1957. He has said he had had heroes such as John F. Kennedy and James Stewart, hoping to acquire a “movie star” type of personality. In MTA Lauren was known by his classmates for selling ties to his fellow students. In a later interview about his early ambitions he referred to his Clinton yearbook, in which it stated under his picture that he wanted to be a millionaire. There has been a lot of debate over the correct pronunciation of the designers name, however his niece Jenny Lauren clarifies this issue on her website. She states that Lauren is pronounced as the girls first name [laur-un] and not the same as Italian actress Sophia Loren [lo-wren].

He went to Baruch College where he studied business, although he dropped out after two years.  From 1962 to 1964 he served in the United States Army and left to work briefly for Brooks Brothers as a sales assistant before leaving to become a salesman for a tie company. In 1966, when he was 26, he was inspired to design a wide, European-style necktie he had seen Douglas Fairbanks Jr wearing, but the idea was rejected by the company he worked for as not being commercially viable. He left to establish his own company working out of a drawer in the Empire State Building, taking rags and turning them into ties. He sold the ties to small shops in New York, with a major turning point when he was approached by Neiman Marcus, who bought 1,200.

In 1967, with the financial backing of Manhattan clothing manufacturer Norman Hilton, Lauren opened a necktie store where he also sold ties of his own design, under the label “Polo.” He later received the rights to use the trademark Polo from Brooks Brothers; however, Brooks Brothers managed to retain its rights to the iconic “original polo button-down collar” shirt (still produced today), in spite of Lauren’s Polo trademark. In 1971, he expanded his line and opened a Polo boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.


The Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store occupying the Rhinelander Mansion on Madison Avenue in New York City

In 1970, Ralph Lauren won the COTY Award for his menswear line. Around that same time he released a line of women’s suits that were tailored in a classic men’s style. This was the first time the Polo emblem was seen, displayed on the cuff of the suit. Ralph Lauren released Polo’s famous short sleeve pique shirt with the Polo logo in 1972 and unveiled his first Ralph Lauren collection for women.[13] It came out in 24 colors and soon became a classic. He also gained recognition for his design after he was contracted to provide clothing styles for the movie The Great Gatsby as well as for Diane Keaton’s title character in the 1977 film, Annie Hall.

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In 1984, he transformed the Rhinelander Mansion, former home of the photographer Edgar de Evia and Robert Denning, into the flagship store for Polo Ralph Lauren. This same year de Evia photographed the cover feature story for House & Garden on the Lauren home Round Hill in Jamaica, which had formerly been the home of Babe and Bill Paley. On June 11, 1997, Ralph Lauren Corporation became a public company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RL.

By 2007 Ralph Lauren had over 35 boutiques in the United States; 23 locations carried the Ralph Lauren Purple Label, including Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Boston, Charlotte, Washington DC,Chicago, Costa Mesa, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Manhasset, New York, Palm Beach, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Short Hills, Montreal and Troy. The Financial Times reported in January 2010 that the firm had revenues of $5 billion for fiscal year 2009.

On September 29, 2015, Ralph Lauren announced that he would be stepping down as Chief Executive, to be replaced by Stefan Larsson, the President of Gap’s Old Navy chain.


Zuhair Murad | Star-Studded Sophistication

Zuhair Murad

Lebanese fashion designer Zuhair Murad grew up in Baalbek, Lebanon. Since his early childhood, he always dreamt of evading to a world of fantasy. Zuhair Murad started sketching dresses at the age of ten, quoted as saying “I don’t recall a day in my life without a pen in my hand!”. In 1997, Zuhair Murad opened his first atelier in Beirut, catering to a growing private clientele. In 1999, Zuhair Murad celebrated his international debut at the Alta Roma Fashion Week, following an invitation from the Camera Nazionale della Moda. In 2001, Zuhair Murad presented his couture collection for the first time during Haute Couture Week in Paris, gaining momentum with international media. He expanded towards a ready-to-wear collection, with a more simple yet glamorous approach back in 2005. In 2012, the Zuhair Murad Fashion House relocated to a new, eleven-story building in Gemayzeh, in the heart of Beirut. The majestic space houses not only the corporate offices, but also the heart of the Zuhair Murad Design Studio, including designers, pattern makers, tailors and embroidery experts. Zuhair Murad was elected as a new guest member to the Haute Couture fashion week calendar by the supervisory board of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris.



Zuhair was born to a maronite family in Beirut. Shortly after high school, Zuhair Murad moved from Beirut to Paris where he obtained his degree in fashion.

In 1999 Murad made his first appearance on the catwalks of Rome with an acclaimed collection that led to his participation in the Italian calendar. In 1995, Murad opened his third head shop in Beirut. His extensive lines encompass haute couture,ready-to-wear, accessories and eyewear. Plans to expand the fashion line are underway to include beauty products,perfumes, swimwear and lingerie as well as furnishings. Two boutiques (including showrooms) have been opened. The first in Beirut on Charles Helou Avenue and the second on rue Francois I in Paris. He also has a showroom in Milan on the Via Borgogna.


Marion Cotillard, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Ivana Trump, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Kellie Pickler, Najwa Karam, Shakira, Katy Perry, Christina Applegate, Vanessa Williams, Ana Ortiz, and many more have been seen wearing his dresses. He has also dressed the likes of Najwa Karam, in her video clips, “Lashhad Hobbak” and “MaFi Noum.”

Miley Cyrus was seen wearing one of his creations at the Academy Awards, and most recently Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez wore his creations at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards. He also designed Miss France’s dress Chloé Mortaud for Miss Universe 2009 and 5 dresses for the final of Miss France 2010. Florence Welch was last seen wearing one of his creations during the Brits awards. His dress was silver silk with gold and silver beaded designs.

Nina Dobrev, Christina Aguilera, Wanda Sykes, and singer Jewel were seen wearing Zuhair Murad dresses at the 2010 Emmy Awards. Kerry Washington wore one of his gowns at the 2011 Emmy Awards. Cheryl Cole wore one of his designs on The X Factor. Fergie has аlso worn his designs. Princess al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia wore his creation when she attended the wedding of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Blake Lively was also wearing a Zuhair Murad dress  from his Spring 2012 Couture collection at the worldwide premier of her new movie “SAVAGES” at Westwood Village. She had also previously been seen in a beautiful Zuhair Murad dress in a Season 4 episode of Gossip Girl entitled ‘Juliet doesn’t live here anymore’  Kristen Stewart wore a Zuhair Murad dress at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival for a screening of her 2012 film On the Road and also at the premiere in Los Angeles of her film The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2


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ALTRUZARRA |Self-Made Confidence

Joseph Altuzarra is a luxury women’s ready-to-wear clothing designer. He launched his brand, Altuzarra, in New York in 2008. His brand is influenced by his multicultural upbringing and his international education in fashion. Born in 1983 in Paris, Altuzarra was raised by a Chinese-American mother and a French Basque father. As a boy he studied ballet for eight years.  Joseph graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Art and Art History. Upon heading to New York, he interned at Marc Jacobs before his post at Proenza Schouler. Seeking to further enhance his technical construction skills, Joseph then apprenticed with patternmaker Nicolas Caïto, the former head of the Rochas atelier. Joseph later returned to Paris, working as first assistant to Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci.

Altuzarra was awarded the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design in 2012 and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2011. His other awards include: Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40, Fashion Group International Rising Star of the Year,  Out100 Vanguard of the Year, Ecco Domani Award and Forbes 30 Under 30. In 2014, he was awarded the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.

He may have made his name by developing a strict and sexy silhouette for the urban-savvy swan—the one with the big job and the budget to afford it (and why not? In this health-conscious era of personal training and medical advances on subtle time-defying upkeep, the idea of “ageless dressing” has never felt more relevant)—but it was Truman Capote’s version, specifically eighteenth-century dandies, and the “Gloria Vanderbilt era,” that he had in mind for his fall 2015 collection. “A lot of it was about taking pleasure in dressing up,” the designer said at a preview yesterday, and fans needn’t fret—those trademark slit skirts are still here, only now with fluted hems for a key bit of flounce, and so, too is that oft-cited gypsy-like romanticism, in weightless flowing velvet devoré and gold-paillette embroidered silks inspired by the pattern of a Tibetan carpet.

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White lace ran through the collection in a thicker lacquered take and a thinner chantilly, here cleverly layered for a deep V-shaped seam that subtly mimicked the neckline of a cricket sweater, there in a dreamy frilled frock. Wide, regal fox collars adorned wool crepe and wool jacquard coats with those same fluted hems; a Prince of Wales check topper in warm, autumnal tones and honey caramel–colored fox was something that would put a back-to-school skip in anyone’s step, come fall. (And the perhaps less practical—but where’s the fun in practical, if you can afford not to be?—pale pink and icy blue fox fur clouds of coats that could have been candy-coated, for the reaction they inspired in showgoers. But it was the final series of evening looks—those slinky burnished navy and burgundy velvets and silks, some topped with high patrician lace collars (and there is a perennial allure to white lace that can’t be ignored, and in the case of the designer’s frilled socks and knee-high boots in the fabric, won’t be), some bare to the sternum, that truly raised the collective pulse.

Altuzarra has been working with a new art director—Thomas Lenthal, the publisher of Paradis magazine and cofounder of System—on developing his house codas and thinking brand first, what he called “a lot of little things coming through,” and here that translated into new, maritime-inspired A-emblazoned buttons on a shearling collared peacoat and a brand new line of bull-whip accented bags (shown on the runway in hobo and saddle shapes, as well as a Dupont lighter–inspired clutch). “It’s nice when you reach a certain point where people start to understand what you’re about so you can sort of break out of it and take it somewhere else,” the designer said, and with each passing season it’s become increasingly apparent that wherever he leads, he will find no lack of followers anytime soon. (some excerpts taken from article by Alessandra Codinah)

JEAN DESSES | Mastered Elegance (draped)

e2b05dad9f4bf58c505f5583c398fcb6Jean Dessès (6 August 1904 – 2 August 1970), was a world leading fashion designer in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. His designs reflected the influences of his travels, specializing in creating draped evening gowns in chiffon and mousseline, based on early Greek and Egyptian robes.

Born Jean Dimitre Verginie in Alexandria, Egypt, to Greek parents, he originally set out to study law, but, in 1925, he abandoned his legal studies and began working for Maison Jane, a Parisian couture house where, in 1937, he opened his own couture salon. After World War II, he traveled extensively throughout the world. His work was influenced by his travels, creating draped evening gowns in chiffon, embroidered dresses, sheath dresses with tight jackets and flowing skirts. His fashion was very popular with European royalty and movie stars. Among his clientele were the Queen and royal princesses of Greece, the Duchess of Windsor, Madame Jean (Lilia) Ralli, the first Mrs. Aristotle Onassis and society hostess Elsa Maxwell. In 1962, he designed the wedding gown worn by Princess Sophia of Greece (later Queen Sofia of Spain) for her marriage to the future King Juan Carlos of Spain Valentino worked with Desses for several years in the 1950s and gained much hands-on experience, as did Guy Laroche who in the 1950s was Desses’ assistant.

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In 1963, at age 60, he retired to Greece because of poor health, where he ran a small boutique which he had opened eight years earlier. He died in Athens in 1970. In the 1990s, his fashion designs saw a revival with the interest in vintage dresses. Naomi Campbell wore a vintage boned bodice and ruched silk Desses gown in May 1999 at a Christie’s party. Later, in 2001, Renée Zellweger wore a lemon yellow strapless 1950s Desses gown to the Academy Awards. Similarly, Jennifer Lopez wore a vintage moss green Desses gown, made with 50 yards of chiffon, to the 2006 Academy Awards.

HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 05:  Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez arrives to the 78th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on March 5, 2006 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD – MARCH 05: Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez arrives to the 78th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on March 5, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


His collections were hailed by the press as being very original. Time and again the showstoppers were his intricate flowing chiffon evening dresses. For these he used ombre fabrics, a favourite effect. His fur coats were shaded light to dark. He tried to dethrone the colour black, by use of soft hazy colours in dresses that involved much plaiting and twisting, as one or more fabrics were joined with ribbons or bands of mink. Often scarves trailed from neck to floor, and rippled, like his uneven hems.  In 1945, Desses participated in the fashion doll exhibition held in Paris called “Theatre de la Mode” held by the Chambre of Couture in the Louvre Museum. Approximately 172 dolls dressed by 40 couturiers were shown. This exhibition subsequently went on tour all over Europe and the USA.  In 1949 Desses began producing ready-to-wear lines for the US market.  In the 90’s, with the surge of interest in vintage dresses, the gowns of Desses have been in great demand.

The fashion designer Jean Desses produced perfume two are significant “Kalispera & Celine”

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He died in 1970 at the age of 66.