Monday, May 31, 2010

Fashion Show Round-Up, May 25 and 27th

Last week, designer labels hit the runway for two charity events benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Dress for Success.

The Woolly Mammoth Theater transformed itself into Bryant Park for the DKNY Spring 2010 collection as part of the second annual Couture for a Cure. Founders DC United’s Bryan Namoff and wife Nadine secured the collection through the generosity of Ms. Karan. Karan, who lost both her husband and friend to the disease, stated her support in a release, “Cancer has touched all of our lives in one way or another. To fight this dreadful disease, we have to come together as a community of compassion and consciousness.” The event attracted 400 on-trend guests to celebrate survivors and honor those who lost their battle. A percentage of the ticket sales will help underwrite the medical expenses for Joe Vide, Bryan’s former DC United teammate who was diagnosed with the disease in April.

At the National Museum of Women in the Arts, models walked gingerly through the main lobby in vintage French couture to raise funds for Dress for Success. The French-American Chamber of Commerce teamed with local fashion stylist Elizabeth Gibbens, to stage a fashion retrospect. The ensembles, apparel and accessories selected from Uesa Goods Vintage, Second Time Around, and Art & Soul, incorporated vintage pieces into a modern-day look. The event also included a silent auction and raffle for a trip for two to Paris. C’etait magnifique!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

GWFCC hosts a day of fashion advocacy on Capitol Hill

The Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce (GWFCC) has spent the last year hobnobbing with the politicos to draw their attention to the district’s fashion interests. Their efforts have recently paid off with the formation of the Congressional Apparel Manufacturing and Fashion Business Caucus. To celebrate, the GWFCC in collaboration with Fashion Washington, DC50 home of the CW and Yelp DC are hosting the first annual State of Style Awards and Advocacy Day on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at the U.S. Capitol, Room H-137 from 8:30a.m. – 2:00p.m.

Global radio/TV personality Jeannie “Kitty of the City” Jones of WKYS will host a fashion benefit at The District in Adams Morgan, proceeds going to the DC Fashion Foundation, Thursday, May 20 from 7 to 11p.m. presented by House of Echo and Curtis & Amanda Polk. The evening includes a fashion show featuring collections by Tashia Senn, Evelyn Brooks, Tsyndyma, Cecilia Guerra of Ceci G, and Kenny “Kas” Flanagan. Guests will nosh on hors d’oeuvres by Gina Chersevani of PS7’s Restaurant and drink signature cocktails by Versailles King’s Vodka and Emperor Vodka mixed by Famed Mixologists. The DC Fashion Foundation supports fashion student scholarships “Project Fundway” and student fashion camp “DC Camp Runway” in the greater Washington area. To purchase tickets to attend the awards luncheon and evening fundraiser please visit:

Honorees who will be accepting an award from GWFCC on Thursday, May 20, 2010 from 12p.m. – 2p.m. in the Capitol Visitor’s Center (CVC) building on Capitol Hill include the following:

o Elements of Fashion Legacy Award – Fern Mallis, President of Fern Mallis LLC, Fashion Business Pioneer
o Honorary leadership award – Rep. Diane E. Watson (CA) D-33, Co-Chair of Congressional Apparel Manufacturing and Fashion Business Caucus
o Fashion Advocacy of the Year award – Save the Garment Center, Inc.
o Leadership in Emerging Business Award – Lara Miller, Executive Director, Chicago Fashion Incubator & Emerging Designer
o GWFCC Fashion Scholarship award – Adegbemisola Ademisoye, 2009 Project Fundway Winner
o GWFCC Fashion Chamber Choice award – Evelyn Brooks Designs, GWFCC Member of the Year

The annual State of Style awards reception and advocacy day brings together the efforts of major national trade organizations, non-profits, industry veterans and designers involved in the development and preservation of the American fashion industry. To register for Advocacy day forums, meetings and activities please visit:

The GWFCC is a 501(c)(6) trade association that serves the greater Washington metropolitan area. Its purpose is to promote the business interests of the national fashion industry in addition to promoting Washington as a Global Fashion Capital.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The simplicity of a tee

Everyone has a definition of “comfortable” wear. For some it is a breezy cotton dress that moves with them and another a fitted velour tracksuit. We’ll withhold judgment on the latter, but consensus says there is nothing better than the feel and simplicity of a basic tee.

Unlike other garments, the tee translates across socio-economic boundaries; therefore making it a wardrobe essential. There is a price point for everyone, a shade complementary to any skin tone, and necklines fitting for long and short necks. And in the spirit of entrepreneurship, the tee has ventured into the realm of dresses (i.e., Alexander Wang’s slim halter tank dress) and promotion of social issues (i.e., The Gap’s RED Campaign or celebrity designed graphics to support a cause).

But there are a few rules to get the most for your buck.

o Invest in quality fabrics – think about it, spending $80 on a high-quality tee is cheaper in the long run: last longer than the $10 tees you end up replacing bi-monthly (high quality doesn’t necessarily mean thick fabric)
o Choose tees that are tailored, rather than boxy
o Shoulder seam should sit right at the widest part of your natural shoulder
o No extra fabric under your arm
o Cap sleeves flatter most figures (broadens shoulders)
o Long sleeves should hit at the heel of your hand
o Ribbing is a big no-no – it loses shape after a few washes (again, always think in terms of clothes as an investment) and adds bulk
o A lightweight, fitted cotton tank worn as an undergarment will save you from soiling your top and additional trips to the dry cleaners!

Ladies, when aiming for a “comfortable” outfit, consider a well-cut tee with jeans, a pencil skirt, or shorts and add interest with jewelry and appropriate bag depending on the occasion. For guys, there is nothing wrong with jeans and a tee but opt for vintage tees to enhance that cool factor.

Tees making the cut

The Atlanta-based Alternative Apparel has dominated the tee market since 1995 with their ├╝ber-soft fabrics and bright colors. The Alternative Earth eco line includes tees and pants made from organic cotton, recycled polyesther and man-made fibers derived from sustainable raw materials. Sold at Rue14, 1803A 14th Street NW, Washington DC.

Guys, stock up on tees by Comune, sold at South Moon Under (2700 Clarendon Ave., Arlington, VA), and Worn Free vintage tees and Nudie Jeans “Miles the Night Before” tee at the Denim Bar (Pentagon Row and 4939 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, MD). While there, surprise her with a Worn Free tee as well or the “Kathi Wrap top” by Velvet.
Worn Free

Nudie Jeans


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Eco-gifts for Mother's Day

This Sunday, we celebrate the family matriarch with breakfast-in-bed, flowers, or a long-awaited phone call. Mother’s Day is payback day. After years of being told to turn off the lights when not in the room or wearing hand-me-downs, you’ve become the poster child for environmental stewardship. Thank her with an eco-friendly gift.

Give her that Calgon "take me away"-moment with a gift-set of natural bath salts from Joyful Bath Co. Chief Bath Mixologist, Rochel Roland, creates organic concoctions with therapeutic benefits from healing muscle aches and pains to promoting energy and mental clarity. The Bethesda-based company has six signature bath salts (8 – 10 oz. jars).

Say I Love You with an “Envelope Letter” charm necklace by Lanyapi Designs. The repurposed charm holds a fingernail-size thin gold-filled sheet revealing a secret message (of course, we can’t tell you or else it wouldn’t be a secret!). All charm necklaces from Lanyapi Designs are one-of-a-kind.

Even mom’s can look sexy. The figure-flattering Twistflower Dress by ecoSkin hugs the curves while playing it modest with the arm and hem lengths. The super-soft, environmentally sustainable fabric is woven, dyed and sewn in the USA. ecoSkin is sold at Hysteria.

Complement the ecoSkin dress with an oversize clutch by Nazly Villamizar. Working with Colombian artisans, Villamizar uses jute, a natural fiber sustainably grown in Colombia. The clutch is fully lined and hand dyed with 100% vegetable products. Sold online at Virtuarte.

Better yet, treat her to an eco-fashion styling service by My Signature Look. After a mini-lesson on “eco-fashion”, she will be introduced to DC retailers stocked with eco-friendly clothes and accessories. She will walk away eco-chic!