Monday, December 12, 2011

Green Your Holiday Fashion

In the spirit of giving this holiday season, don fashions made with a low carbon footprint. Thanks to a growing trend in eco-conscious consumerism in 2011, there are more options when it comes to your wardrobe to ring in the New Year. I have rounded up my favorite online and brick-and-mortar stores catering to eco-friendly and fair trade holiday attire.

Nana – A beloved source for sustainable fashion and accessories, the locally-owned boutique favors the likes of Preloved, Meg, and Dagg & Stacey. Jackie, Nana’s owner, has curated a beautiful collection of dresses and locally-made jewelry worthy of wearing to a performance of the Nutcracker to an office party. We especially love the Hollywood-esque satin side triangle dress by Meg, pair with strappy silver heels and a beaded clutch.

3068 Mt. Pleasant Street NW
Washington, DC 20009 (you can now shop online, too!)

Caramel – Sarah Watkins stocks her store with men’s and women’s apparel and accessories made with urban dweller in mind. Her collection of vegan and eco-friendly products proves that eco + fashion forward is an organic combination. For her, I recommend a little black dress by Theme. For him, go bold with a blue-plaid dress shirt by local menswear designer, Andrew Nowell.

1603 U Street NW
Washington, DC

Ginger Root – When besties Erin and Kristin opened their alterations studio a year ago, you could hear a collective sigh of relief. Their creative spirit and determination to retrofit our wardrobe has received praise and admiration. The design duo recently added their own collection to the mix in addition to showcasing local eco-friendly designers. Update your go-to holiday dress with a vintage-inspired ascot or bolo necklace made from a computer circuit board! Guys, don’t fret there is an ascot and tie for you, too! I love the Preston, made from reclaimed materials.

1530 U Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Adolfo Dominguez – Exquisite doesn’t even begin to describe the Spanish designer’s custom-made cocktail and floor-length gowns. The luxe fabrics may not include 100% organic cotton but are produced in the slow fashion category. However, the store boasts eco-friendly ready-to-wear options for him and her. What also makes them an eco-shopping destination? The store’s organic feel is reflected in the recycled fixtures, reclaimed wood for shelving, and pledge to support the environment.

5310 Western Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

VirtuArte – Debbie Miller scours the globe for unique, handmade crafts for her online fair-trade boutique, VirtuArte. Warning: Shopping the world with a click of the mouse can be dangerous. The temptation is great to want to support each designer whose story is as compelling as the product they make. What is on my wish list? A faux-leather, fabric shoulder bag by Yvette Floro from the Philippines and acai bead wrap bracelet by the Andean Collection from Ecuador.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Guy Alert: Oliberte shoes offer comfort and style

Guys, wish you could pull off your "Casual Friday" look every day of the week? The gest is in the shoes. Update the khakis and polo ensemble or add interest to your pinstripe suit with a pair of Oliberte shoes. The handcrafted, leather shoes offer comfort, functionality, but also a beautiful statement. The Canadian-based company operates in socially-responsible factories in Africa in an effort to promote economic development. Their "eco-consciousness" goes so far as to ensure the cows consumed are grass-fed, guaranteeing a higher quality leather. All the factories adhere to a strict code of conduct and protect their worker's rights. So while you like to keep the outfits simple, let the shoes do the talking.

Oliberte is sold at CARBON (2643 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Green + Blue Runway Show and Fundraiser

CARBON rolls out its “green” runway to showcase the fall eco-collection of women’s ready to wear label by a.d.o. clothing and vegan shoe label, Neuaura. The collections will appeal to the Washingtonian professional woman interested in fashion that is sleek, with tailored construction, and comfort.

Join us on Friday, September 23, 2011 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Carbon located at 2643 Connecticut Ave NW in Woodley Park for an eco-fashion experience. Meet New York-based eco-fashion and shoe designers Anjelika Krishna, of a.d.o. clothing and Arti Upadhyay, of Neuaura, respectively. Enjoy vegan treats!

Who doesn’t love a little blue to go with their green? That’s why we’ve invited our friends from The Ocean Foundation to help us celebrate the other 71% of our planet that regulates our climate, provides us with fresh air to breathe and sustains us with delectable delights. We’ve been putting a lot of pressure on our oceans and taking more than we give back. Join us on Friday and come talk to a representative from The Ocean Foundation, learn about all of the new and innovative approaches their community of donors, projects and grantees are taking to ocean conservation, and find out how you can be a part of the solution.

CARBON will be collecting a suggested donation of $10 to $20 in addition to selling $2 raffle tickets for a pair of Neuaura shoes. Money raised will be benefit The Ocean Foundation.

Both a.d.o. clothing and Neuaura create collections sensitive to the impact on the environment. Ms. Krishna uses primarily plant-based fabrics and non-chemical dyes where Neuaura favors sustainable manufacturing and materials. The designers also approach production responsibly by hiring skilled artisans in the New York garment district and an eco-certified factory in Brazil.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lillybee for CARBON

CARBON welcomes local shoe heroine, Kassie Rempel of Simply Soles, to its fall/winter line-up. Her line of professional, smart, and sassy shoes give the working women (and Super Mom) a lift in her stride throughout the day. All are made with leather upper and soles, made in Brazil. Kassie travels frequently to Brazil to ensure product quality and worker fairness (yay!). Pair these darlings with a CeciG (local designer, Cecilia Guerra) signature shift dresses for day and throw on some sparkly jewels for glam evening!

CeciG Dresses at CARBON

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mid-City Dog Days Weekend, Aug 6-7

Over 100 stores, boutiques, restaurants and art galleries throughout MidCity will participate in the 12th Annual Dog Days of August Sidewalk Sale on August 6-7. Much more than a sidewalk sale, Dog Days of August features special events, sales, family events and restaurant deals throughout the 14th Street (MidCity) Corridor, which comprises the area up 14th Street from Florida Avenue to Thomas Circle and just off U Street from 9th to 17th Street.

The weekend is anchored by cultural events including the Studio Theatre Prop & Costume Sale, the highly anticipated annual sell-off from the 2010-2011 season.

On the fashion front, area boutiques including Junction, Urban Essentials, and Rue 14 will feature sales of up to 60% on current season clothing and accessories and other sidewalk specials. Restaurants will be holding special events and offering patrons Dog Days specials on food and libations including Busboys & Poets, CakeLove, and Policy. In addition to the great sales, Dog Days will also feature art, literature and cultural exhibits and performances from Twins Jazz Club and The DC Center for the LGBT Community amongst others.

“Dog Days showcases the incredibly vibrant destination MidCity has become,” says Pixie Windsor, owner of Miss Pixie’s Furnishings and Whatnot. “In one weekend, it brings together all of the best things about the area. It's a yearly tradition for local residents. For visitors, it’s a great weekend to get to know one of DC’s most unique, thriving, and historically rich districts.”

The MidCity district is home to many of Washington’s most historical and well-known cultural landmarks, such Ben’s Chili Bowl, the Lincoln Theatre and the Taylor Motors Building that is now home to Room & Board.

From its origination as home to the city’s motor dealerships at the turn of the century, the MidCity district evolved into the preeminent jazz corridor, anchored by the world-renowned Club Bali during the 1940’s; the area fell into disrepair after the riots of 1968. Now, MidCity is one of the rare Washington neighborhoods that features both thriving business and residential streets, filled with original brick rowhouses, along with murals, parks, music clubs, art galleries, restaurants and retailers, which together have made MidCity a burgeoning arts district.

In 2010, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington honored several MidCity restaurants with its highest accolades including Best New Restaurant (Birch& Barley), Best Neighborhood Restaurant (Cork Wine Bar) and Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene (Churchkey). This year, Birch & Barley’s Kyle Bailey was awarded Rising Culinary Star.

Organized by the MidCity Business Association, Dog Days of August brings together a diverse group of businesses, developers, community and arts groups. Dog Days is sponsored by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Cork Market & Tasting Room, Cork Wine Bar, Vida Fitness, Miss Pixie’s, Room & Board, Busboys & Poets, Bar Pilar, CafĂ© Saint-Ex, and Whole Foods.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Photography Opening Reception at CARBON

In our continuing commitment to feature local talent, CARBON has invited local artists and photographers to grace our walls with their masterpieces! CARBON is currently showing photography by Melissa Lew and Joshua Hoover. Melissa's nature upclose series complements Joshua's black and whites of Atlanta's city life. View their series on display until May 21. Opening Reception, Friday, April 1; 7 - 9 p.m. Light refreshments served.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pre-Valentine's Day Event at Carbon

As you may know, I am expanding the My Signature Look empire (hehehe) to include boutique ownership! Starting March 1, MSL will operate at Carbon boutique (2643 Connecticut Ave., NW; across from Woodley Zoo Metro station), DC's home for high-quality, affordable, functional-yet chic men's and women's shoes such as Gidigio, Tsubo, Blackstone, and more. I plan to round out the store with eco-clothing, accessories, and handbags produced by independent designers, local as much as possible. Of course, MSL is available by appointment. Stay tuned for new Website,

Upcoming store events
Saturday, Feb. 12 - Pre-Valentine's Day shopping event
Saturday, March 19 - Melissa Lew Jewelry Trunk Show, proceeds benefiting Becky's Fund
Saturday, April 9 - Grand Opening party
Friday, April 22 - Eco-fashion show featuring NY-based eco-designer, Auralis Studio

See you at Carbon!