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Marilyn Riseman, Boston’s beacon of style and fashion, dies at 86

Marilyn Riseman held weekly fashion shows at Brasserie Jo.
Marilyn Riseman held weekly fashion shows at Brasserie Jo.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/File 2012

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With her distinct midnight-black bobbed hair, kabuki pancake makeup, and blazing cherry lipstick, Marilyn Riseman was Boston’s beacon of style, an irreplaceable fixture on the city’s party circuit.

A tireless supporter of local fashion, she showcased up-and-coming Boston designers her weekly fashion shows at Brassiere Jo at the Colonnade Hotel.

Mrs. Riseman, 86, who at one time owned a chain of avant-garde clothing stores, died Tuesday in her Beacon Hill home.

“I can’t imagine the Boston fashion scene without Marilyn,” said Boston Fashion Week founder Jay Calderin. “The word loss doesn’t begin to cover it. Marilyn was always so accessible, engaged, and incredibly generous with anyone who sought out her opinion or asked her to lend her creativity and considerable clout to a project.”

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