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Old bridesmaid dresses get new life

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

By LaMont Jones, Post-Gazette Fashion Editor

After having their old bridesmaid dresses redesigned by designer Nicole Miller, four Pittsburgh women will appear tonight on WTAE-TV's "Inside Edition" in a segment that chronicles the fashion makeovers.

"Bridesmaid Dress Makeovers" features Rebecca Whitlinger of Penn Hills, Kimberly Flaherty of the North Side, Mary Beth Johnson of Mt. Lebanon and Kim Rohrer of Irwin. Miller turned Whitlinger's 14-year-old gold lame and sequin dress into a short three-tiered skirt with a hot pink lining, Flaherty's pink gown into a shorter version with lace inserts, Johnson's 1979 gown into a dress and Rohrer's black dress into something more contemporary.

The segment features "before" footage taped at Whitlinger's house and "during" and "after" film from New York.

Accompanying the quartet to New York to meet with Miller last Wednesday were the "brides" for whom they wore the original dresses: Saundra Grant of Marshall, Patricia Iannotta of Mt. Lebanon, Meg Morris of Erie and Amy Rodgers of Irwin.

Leading the group was Whitlinger, whose notoriously ugly bridesmaid gown has been spotlighted numerous times by local and national media. She's also the author of "Always a Bridesmaid: 89 Ways to Recycle That Bridesmaid Gown."

The eight women plan to watch the program at Olive or Twist, a Downtown lounge. Whitlinger expects to announce a new twist to the bridesmaid-dress fund-raiser she created in 1998 to benefit the Burger King Cancer Caring Center.

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