Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Walish Gooshe = Class and Sophistication

For his new label, WG for Walish Gooshe, Greg Taylor turns to his trusted source of inspiration for the yet-to-release collection of men and women casual wear. Since the launch of his company in 2004, Greg’s designs mimic his surroundings. “I grew up in a very stylish family,” says the DC native. “But I seek inspiration from architectural buildings and nature.”

The collection will unveil Greg’s introduction to menswear, an audience he hopes is receptive to the line of jeans, hoodies and tees – simple shapes with a hint of buzz.

And buzz is what has followed Greg since opening his showroom in his adopted Philadelphia in 2007. What started as custom tailoring with Greg as the designer, sewer, and manager has expanded to a staff of eight coordinating client consultations, events, and of course, three collections to date. All thanks in large part to Greg’s exposure in the Philadelphia and Washington media and red-carpet gowns for celebrities such as Laila Ali, Sheinelle Jones, Angela Russell, and former America’s Next Top Model winner Naima Mora.

Humbly, Greg appears unfazed by the accolades given by the models and spectators alike at his recent showing at the CW Beauty and Style Expo in Washington. I for one gushed at the origami-shaped crop jackets and a pair of black cigarette pants made of silk layered in intricately woven tulle. Ok, poor description but trust me, these pants were amazing!

Underneath his mild nature is an ambitious designer. He is currently scouting the DC area for a second showroom and a third in Boston. His team is feverishly working on a fashion show to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a partnership established two years ago with the first fashion charity event. The show will be held in December in DC. After a holiday break, Greg returns to DC in February for the 2nd annual Northern Virginia Fashion Week (NOVA Fashion Week).

Walish Gooshe is exclusively sold in small boutiques (five in Philadelphia) just as Greg intends. “We are a very special brand meaning we don’t want to work in large quantities,” says the young designer. Greg travels to NY for his fabrics and production.

“I think happy people take more risks,” Greg says. And by any indication of his new collection and company expansion, Greg is pretty happy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Beth Bowley Trunk Show at Lettie Gooch

Tonight’s unseasonably warm night (a much welcomed reprieve from days of rain) sent me indoors, uncharacteristically of me, to view the Beth Bowley fall collection at Lettie Gooch. The one-night only trunk show unveiled classic pieces on trend with faux fur, jewel embellishments, and Mad Men-esque influence. The hammered silk bird top and zebra print halter dress appealed to my sweet-natured side; however, it was the range of coats and cropped jackets that set my heart aflutter. Alissyn Gettenberg, a Beth Bowley Account Executive present for the only trunk show, confirmed this sensation. “An essential for this fall is a great coat,” she said emphatically. And from the pictures below, I think you will agree.
Cropped Leopard
Teal houndstooth, $414
Teal mohair vest, $352
Teal pullover, $308
Black coat, $450

Shop the collection through October 25. Love an item but not in your size? The sales associates will place an order. Beth Bowley is carried only at boutiques and in the DC area, Lettie Gooch and Sugar,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

DC Fashion Shows Spotlight Ethical Designers

Carolina Herrera left me breathless. And the designers showcased at the 5th Annual Fashion Fights Poverty Fashion Show reaffirmed a role for independent designers in the industry. A handful of local and international designers, among them Nudie Jeans from Sweden and local newbie MPerial, previewed collections inspired by the environment's social and economic landscape. And some showed us a completely different world. Each conveyed a story rich in detail, perspective and the unimaginable - ideals Washington nurtures. I had the fortune of working with the representative, Diego, for Nudie Jeans. The models channeled James Dean in the ethically-produced premium jeans, organic tees and lumberjack shirts, and sporty jackets and coats. He emerged as a cool cat too cool to notice the cheers by both male and female guests. Let's just say I didn't complain dressing the models!!!! The night also introduced the guests to model/environmental activist Summer Rayne Oakes as she shared co-hosting duties with Fox anchorman, Will Thomas. Her commitment to environmental advocacy as earned the recognition of the international community and multiple awards. Her presence reminded us all why were there to support the organization - eco-chic plays a vital role in alleviating poverty and saving the planet one garment at a time.

A few weeks ago, I found myself working backstage again at another show - multiple shows that is during the CW Beauty and Style Expo. The GWFCC and cable network, CW-sponsored event attracted fashionistas and inquirers alike to shop local beauty and fashion vendors as well as be treated to on-the-spot hair and make up demonstrations and fashion shows. The line up of shows included local designers Tashia Senn, Chez Kevito, Walish Gooshe, CG Originals (congrats to jewelry designers Cecilia and Patricia for venturing into clothing!), jewelry designer Evelyn Brooks, Tsyndyma, and wedding couture designer Helen Kimmer and retailers Betsy Johnson (the designer herself made an appearance at her store earlier in the week - and yes, the hair is real!), South Moon Under (I love this Annapolis-outpost for it's west coast feel - ahh, how I miss California at times...), and Ed Hardy. America's Next Top Model fans gushed at the sight of previous contestants walk the catwalk, and perhaps, the most eye-catching was Bravo TV filming Washingtonian socialites in the upcoming Housewives of DC "socialize". And yes, that is me dressing the models for the CG Originals collection behind two stars of the gab about something.....

What's next for MSL? Well, find us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mysignaturelook tweet about store sales, fashion dos and don'ts, and shows behind the scenes. See us mingle at an upcoming fashion event in support of Suited for Change at Old City Taven in Georgetown on Oct. 21 and check out the Eva Khurshid Trunk Show at Terra in Dupont Circle on Oct. 23. Also, save the date: Tuesday, December 1 as MSL celebrates 3 Years at Carbon. Consider this a Client Appreciation and Support Local event! RSVP at katherine@mysignaturelook.com.