By Audrey Prisk
Point Park News Service
Ever since GQ Magazine jestingly let it be known that Pittsburgh’s “Game Day Casual” style sense made it the third worst-dressed city in America, Pittsburgh’s savviest stylists have surprisingly been going about business as usual.
Renee Piatt, a personal stylist who represents Doncaster, located on Pittsburgh’s Fifth Avenue, and J. Hillburn, a men’s custom clothier found online at www.jhilburn.com, was not even phased by GQ’s report.
“I vaguely heard of it once,” Piatt said in an email interview. “Personally, I think it’s silly.”
Piatt’s work with Pittsburgh’s corporate elite has taught her the truth about Pittsburgh’s style.
“If they took a sampling of some executives I see on Fifth Avenue… I highly doubt they would come to that conclusion about the city’s style,” Piatt said.
Piatt is not the only femme fashion stylist who thinks this way.
Personal shopper and costume stylist Rachel Vallozzi is a Pittsburgh native. Vallozzi was not even aware of the poor report on Pittsburgh’s fashion sense.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know that happened,” Vallozzi said.
Vallozzi currently owns Pageboy Salon and Boutique located on Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
“I don’t think dressing is a competition,” she said. “I think it is each individual’s choice to dress and present (themselves) how they wish.”
While these ladies are taking GQ’s report with an air of jest, they are certainly serious about fashion and personal style.
Piatt has been working as a personal stylist for close to eight years and cites first impressions as being a motive for business professionals to seek out her services.
“An ill-fitting suit or clothing that looks like it’s wearing you will turn off potential clients and not give you the respect you deserve,” said Piatt.
Vallozzi states many reasons why clients come to her for style help.
“To get organized, to make getting dressed easier, and to know that they have outfits to wear for every occasion in their lives,” Vallozzi said.
Vallozzi has been working with film wardrobes since 1999 according to her website, www.rachelvallozzi.com, citing Legally Blonde and Rat Race as being among the sets she worked on.
Her serious thoughts about style stand out in her work.
“Style is an opportunity to visually express your authentic self,” Vallozzi said. “It has the ability to build people’s self-confidence and to help them move through their days with more ease, comfort, and strength.”
Piatt also cites confidence to be one of the reasons clients seek her out.
“Your personal style is extremely important because when you look good, you feel good,” Piatt said. “I believe clothing that makes you feel confident, genuine, attractive, smart, and sharp makes an incredible difference.”
GQ’s opinions have not and will not influence the thoughts these women have on their city and their style, they said.
“Style is your own artistic outward expression of how you want to be perceived,” said Piatt.