Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fashion's Night Out DC Style

At the stroke of 6 p.m. EST yesterday, DC kicked off its second annual Fashion's Night Out party with nearly 100 stores - boutiques and department stores - participating in the world's biggest fashion party.

First stop, M29 Lifestyle boutique. Guests gnoshed on miniature cupcakes and sipped on champagne as they shopped the store's unique collection of apparel, accessories, and gifts.

Hu's Wear customers ignored the late-night construction on the store's expansion project and poured through the racks of the industry's most coveted designers such dsquared, Cacharel, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and most recently Proenza Schouler.

While over at Simply Soles, shoe-lovers received a complimentary Stiruppz, gifted in person by founder Lisa Church and shopped DeNada's fall collection of cozy scarves, knit caps and gloves. Simply Soles owner Kassie Kempel will continue the festivities to next Saturday, when she celebrates the grand opening of her second store at the National Harbor.

Two hours later and my trusty Tsubos carried me three miles west to the U and 14th Street corridor to check out the scene there. Lettie Gooch owner Theresa Watts rolled out the red carpet with the requisite "paparazzi" eagerly snapping away - I couldn't help but feel like a fashionista SuperStar! Not surprisingly, Theresa and her staff pumped up the volume and created a nightclub environment where customers rocked pieces from her fall collections.

At Rue 14, the crowd grooved to a live DJ, waiting patiently for local band U.S. Royalty frontman/GANT model John Thornley to grace the store with his presence. I walked away with a Eryn cute tee by Eryn Brinie and headed across the street for Redeem, my final stop of the night.

Entering Redeem is like walking into a den inhabited by creative spirits. Greeting guests was one of them, Thomas Griffeths, local designer behind Couture Saboteur. He is the reason for Fashion's Night Out, to celebrate the industry's talented artists. His collection of intricate, bold designs casts a shadow over his silent demeanor. But ask Thomas about each piece, and behold an animated response. More on Thomas in a forthcoming blog. I would be remiss though not to acknowledge Lori's other special guest, artist Shawn Helton. His interpretation of the human condition leaves you mesmerized - fitting for a night intent on celebrating the arts on a global stage.

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