An Indiana Township seamstress will have one of her creations in an upcoming Pittsburgh fashion show.
Elaine “Lane” Root has a few weeks left to perfect “Pangaea,” a dress to be modeled by longtime friend Suzan Falvey in this year’s Ecolution Fashion Gala titled, “Earth Matters Now: For The World We Dream Of & The World We Have Now.”
The event is scheduled for April 13 at the Carnegie Museum Hall of Architecture, 4400 Forbes Ave. It is presented by Pittsburgh Earth Day.
“I love her stylish clothing, and she has an eye for active wear because she is active,” Falvey said. “It’s comfortable and stylish.”
Root, owner and operator of Mossy Lane Products in Aspinwall, said she decided to name her creation after the super-continent of about 200 million years ago in which all of today’s continents were one giant land mass as a way to celebrate Earth Day and promote unity.
“That to me means we’re all one,” said the 1976 Springdale graduate. “There’s no difference between Europeans and Americans or Africans. We all came from the same place.”
More than 20 other designers are expected to participate in the gala.
Root, 63, is no stranger to fashion shows. She took home top price at the 2019 Salvation Army Garbage Bag Gala with a dress made from bicycle tubes and Kaufmann’s bags. Designers are challenged to take everyday items like plastic bags and create wearable fashions.
Root said a judge from that show invited her to be a part of the upcoming show, and she is excited about the opportunity to showcase her creativity.
“I love it because I get to kind of go a little further with designing than you can with everyday wear,” she said. “It’s a time to really let loose and have no inhibitions. I don’t have to try to please people and have them wear it. This is going to be something crazy and beautiful, hopefully.”
Designers are being tasked to integrate sustainable, recyclable, and organic materials into their environmentally savvy outfits.
Other creators expected to participate in the show include Freddie Bainbridge, Kathleen Belsky, Nisha Blackwell, Cheryl Capezzuti, Brian David, Katy DeMent and Hannah Edelstein.
Four prizes will be awarded to the most creative Ecolution runway couture fashions, courtesy of Lab-Grown Diamonds by Caesar’s Designs Fine Jewelry Creations.
Root knows she will be going up against tough competition.
“There’s a lot of designers that have been doing it a lot longer than I have, and much more regarded,” she said. “It’s nice to be in that company. It’s like people that get nominated for an Oscar. It’s great to be nominated, but you always want to win.”
More information about Ecolution is available at pittsburghearthday.org/ecolution.
Mossy Lane Products has been on Loop Street in Aspinwall a little more than a year. It was founded in July 2018 in Sharpsburg.
The owner said she moved her shop in December 2020 to what she called a busier business district.
Root, a special education teacher from Avonworth School District, knew it was time to thread the needle in 2017 when called it a career in 2017 after a 15 years in public schools.
She also taught special education at Fox Chapel Area School District.
“This is a really strong passion I had, and I needed a career change,” Root said.
The business is named after her and and her mother, Mossy Lenosky, who taught the designer how to sew and would often make clothes for the family.
“She made our clothes growing up, and every Saturday we would go to the fabric store,” Root said. “(She was) really stylish. When we went to church, we were dressed to the nines. Everywhere we went we it was like, ‘OK. What are you going to wear? You’re going to look nice.’ It didn’t matter where you were going. We actually sew differently. She very much used the pattern where I kind of go free-form.”
The clothing boutique is packed with original designs handcrafted by Root. She also does custom creations.
“The day I start trying to make something that I think someone’s going to like, that’s not what they buy,” Loot said. “They buy the more weirder things. Something that you’re not going to find anywhere else, a one-of-a-kind thing. They don’t come here looking for normal.”
She uses a lot of bamboo fabric as well as hemp and 100% cotton. Some of the outfits are inspired by, or feature, bicycle parts.
Prior to sewing and teaching, Loot and her ex-husband Maurice Tierney, founded Dirt Rag, a mountain bike magazine based in Pittsburgh. It was in circulation from 1989 to January 2020.
The former couple was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2002 for their efforts in highlighting mountain-bike culture.
The shop also features jewelry made by her daughter, Miranda Root, and artwork made by her son, Maurice Tierney VII.
More information about the business is available at mossylaneproducts.com or call 412-795-8423.