Sunday, April 25, 2010

michaelTHOMAS Menswear is a House of Style

Menswear designer Michael Warren feels the weight of a house on his shoulders. The 26- year-old designer hails from a family of trendsetters, following their lead to create a smart collection of the ultimate men’s accessory: the bowtie.

The DC native affectionately labeled his line, michaelTHOMAS, after his cousin, Thomas. “michaelTHOMAS is the direct extension of not just my personal style but character,” Warren says. “The bowtie and necktie are traditional items, but my evolved style allows them to speak a new language to the new modern gentleman around town.”

Warren uses fabrics ranging in natural and synthetic fibers from denim to colored linen, sourced from Los Angeles, New York and DC, cut to the tie’s iconic angular shape. The collection, produced in New York, features prints and bold colors to suit every man’s point of view.

Of course, the question begs, can a young professional male sport a bowtie without appearing grandfatherly?

He only has to follow Warren’s lead. Warren modernizes the style by pairing his ties with a vest, sweater, button-downs tucked squarely into fitted jeans and sneakers.

“My target audience is the young modern man of the great metropolitan cities. These gentlemen range from the age 19 to 33 years of age. These gentlemen are the pace-setters amongst their friends, the staple of style in their office, and the gentleman that turns the eyes when he walks in any room.

“The gentlemen of this age segment are gaining much momentum in their career and don’t intend to stop. From fashion to government to entertainment. These men within the next 10 years will be the major influencers of their fields and michaelTHOMAS is that brand that will grow with them. Everyman my not be for michaelTHOMAS, but I there is piece of the brand in every man outside of the target audience, I just seek them out,” Warren explains. Point taken.

When Warren is not designing, he is working as a visual curator and independent wardrobe consultant in Los Angeles. Warren recently showcased his collection at DC’s vintage treasure trove, Treasury.

Friday, April 9, 2010

M29 Lifestyle Boutique

Stay-cation holds new meaning after visiting M29 Lifestyle boutique. Georgetown’s newest shopping destination localizes its parent company, Strategic Hotels Inc., international presence to give the customer a resort experience without leaving home.

Visually speaking, the store’s d├ęcor successfully invites the consumer to romanticize about long walks on the beach donning a flowing kaftan (for her) and summer-appropriate tees (for him) or taking a bike ride on an Areaware bike (lightweight and foldable!). A faint breeze reminiscent of Cabo San Lucas or the Bahamas permeates the 1,000 square foot space. Think haute gypsy jetsetters versus Lily Pulitzer-bound for the Hamptons. Art commissioned from two national galleries juxtaposes the industrial walls, complementing the colorful print floor pillows and rugs. Candles and scented soaps by Lucia and coffee-table books disguise as set props. All for sale, of course.

That is the danger M29 presents to the consumer’s wallet. Everything is for sale when everything works perfectly into your ideal resort-inspired home and lifestyle.

The staff’s selection of clothing, jewelry, and home accessories highlights their panache for luxury goods while being eco-conscious. You will find tunics by Calypso, one-of-a-kind tanks and tees by Alp-N-Rock, and kaftans by Chan Luu. There is something for him, too. Sunglasses by Beryll and Robert Charles’ silver cufflinks increases the cool-factor. For tots, dress in darling tees or watch them play with handmade Jess Brown dolls or doodle on the “White” box.

“Every designer we bring in has a story and we want our consumers to have that dialogue with them when they buy their product,” says store manager, Allison Wylder. “We carry limited items to ensure shoppers have something exclusive.” The store plans to host monthly trunk and meet the designer events.

Mental note: Stay-cation at M29 Lifestyle allows you to escape without the airfare. Shopping for yourself or a loved one just got easier. M29 is located at 2900 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Aveda raises funds for clean water

Aveda continues its support of clean water initiatives this month by raising funds for local projects. What began as a day of awareness in 1990 has grown into a month-long international effort, raising $14.2 million.

Did you know that 1 in 7 people lack access to clean water? The Aveda Institute of DC draws attention to this alarming statistic through an awareness campaign aptly during Earth Day month. The eco-friendly salon and retail chain is hosting store events to raise money for Potomac Conservancy. The Institute aims to raise $12,000.

Events (Gallery Place location, 7th Street NW)

April 14: $15 haircuts at 5:30 p.m., RSVP 202.824.1624

April 17: Belle Couleur Jewelry Trunk Show – handmade wire wrapped, pearl and beaded jewelry.

April 20: Special services only from 5:30-8:00 pm, RSVP required:
• $10 express facials,
• $10 shampoo blow-outs,
• $10 cuticle treatments and polish change with our new luxury vegan nail lacquers,
• Umbrellas for first 40 guests that come in.

May 1: Earth Day Fashion Show - $20 tickets; 7:30-10:00 p.m. featuring DC Fashion Week designers, drink specials, door prizes and a silent auction. Call Aveda for tickets, (202) 824 -1624.

The Potomac Conservancy aims to protect water quality through land protection and land use practices in the greater Washington area. On Saturday, April 10, the Conservancy will be hosting clean-up events at several sites throughout the watershed, including:

• The River Center at Lockhouse 8, Cabin John, MD
• Bear Branch Stream Valley, Adamstown, MD
• Fletcher’s Boathouse, Washington, DC
• Theodore Roosevelt Island, Washington, DC
• Tenfoot and Sharpshin Islands via Algonkian Regional Park, Sterling, VA

To volunteer, contact Deanna Tricarico, of (301) 608-1188 x204.