Longchamp Bag Gets a Leather Makeover
Longchamp's classic tote debuts in leather.
March 26, 2012
A staple in nearly every Washington woman’s repertoire, Longchamp’s classic Le Pliage nylon bag receives a notable makeover: a new look in smooth, structured leather. In 40 different color varieties, the tote will function just like its predecessor, folding into a pouch small enough to carry to and from the Hill every day, but big enough to function as a weekend shopping carryall ($525). Saks Fifth Avenue, Chevy Chase, 301-657-9000
Flashback Fashions for Men
The spring collections take a nod from generations past.
March 12, 2012
From left: Clean lines: A look from Michael Bastian Spring/ Summer 2012; Gucci Spring/ Summer 2012
Spring’s rising hemlines, from shirtsleeves to pant legs, should receive a warm welcome among local fashionphiles. The spring and summer subtropical heat is the perfect excuse to don crisp short-sleeve dress shirts from Dolce & Gabbana and DKNY. Jacket required? Try Gucci’s Savile Row plaid suiting with ultra-thin button-downs and linen trousers, to give necks and ankles a breather. Collections from Canali to Zegna point to the 1950s as inspiration for the designs that walked the American and European runways for spring. Allusions to the decade can be seen in many shapes and forms, but a few trends are universal: Suiting fits closer to the body than seasons past, and color is for playing. From Moschino’s pastel tuxedos, which look as though they were lifted directly from a young Elvis Presley’s closet, to Michael Bastian’s reincarnation of James Dean, the retro-American preppy rock inspiration is obvious. Subtler touches of the era exist as well, such as Lanvin and Prada’s modern takes on timeless fabrics like denim, repurposed in slim silhouettes with impeccably tailored details. Try styling these suits with crisp white dress shirts and black (instead of the traditional brown) lace-ups for a meeting on the Hill or a night out on the town.
Step in Style
Unconventional hues modernize the standard wing tip for Washingtonians with panache.
February 27, 2012
Lucinda Air oxford pump, Cole Haan ($298)
Oxford fatigue was bound to set in after numerous seasons of churning out the familiar style in the same stale adaptations. Fortunately for our lackluster soles, Cole Haan has introduced a fresh take on the classic in its Spring footwear collection, including candy-colored flat and heeled creations in multicolor varieties. From beet red to chickadee yellow, these vivid shades will add some spring to your step and a muchneeded lift after months of cold, somber tones. Hand-painted leather and innovations in textiles such as Cole Haan’s patented Nike Air technology lend the high-heeled brogues a chic makeover and surprising comfort. Color-coordinate with the cherry blossoms: Take a stroll around the Tidal Basin in a pair of these beauties, and feel winter melt away. Tysons Galleria, 703-506-2115.
Photography by Brian Klutch
J. Mendel Wins an Award
J. Mendel receives the National Design Award for Fashion Design.
December 15, 2011
Natural golden sable horizon coat, J. Mendel ($85,000)
Beginning with the pop of flashbulbs and praise received for his Spring 2012 collection, Gilles Mendel, designer of the much sought after J. Mendel gowns seen on glamorous women from the runway and the red carpet to the ladies of Chevy Chase, has been on a superbly long-running hot streak. In addition to the accolades received for his latest collection, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum awarded Mendel with the National Design Award for fashion design, closing out 2011 on quite the high note. “I’m incredibly honored. It was a dream come true to be invited to the White House and seated next to the First Lady at the luncheon; she’s truly an inspiration,” gushed the French designer. As a fifth-generation furrier, Mendel made the leap to expand the family-owned business into ready-to-wear, introducing the brand to a wider audience and gaining recognition for his feminine, wispy gowns. Mendel creates designs that fall delicately on the body while flattering a woman’s figure with an effortless pleat or drape of fabric. Eight years after the launch of his first ready-to-wear collection, Mendel is still growing his brand and improving upon his seemingly perfect craft, an attribute Washingtonians are sure to notice. Saks Jandel, 5510 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, 301-652-2250
Diamonds, Cartier Style
Cartier crafts a precious collection worthy of the refined Washington woman.
December 01, 2011
The Sortilège de Cartier, set with one brown diamond, one amethyst, and brilliant-cut diamonds
Carving gemstones is a painstaking task, a form of artistry that requires passion and patience, as well as a steady hand and a cautious eye. Years of apprenticeship and dedication are required for even the most adept practitioners to perfect the skills needed to achieve the level of expertise top jewelers demand.
Representing the work of Cartier’s most talented craftsmen is A Gem Within a Gem, a premiere collection composed of rings carved from precious stones set inside a cut semi-precious stone. It insists upon the intricacy and beauty of the cut, the color, and the setting; inspired by the natural fragrance of flowers and fruits, designer Jacqueline Karachi ensured that the stones of each ring unite perfectly while retaining a distinct identity. Celebrate the rich elegance of our nation’s capital with one of these elaborate creations. Sortilège de Cartier ring, Cartier (price on request). The Collection at Chevy Chase, 301-654-5858
The overhaul of a classic piece and the introduction of a new men’s line ring in Louis Vuitton’s arrival at Tysons Galleria.
October 21, 2011
|Speedy Bandoulière 30 ($1,090) and Damiere Infini PDV briefcase ($2,330). Tysons Galleria, 703-883-8927; louisvuitton.com|
Louis Vuitton’s Speedy bag has been the choice of sophisticated women the world over since its debut in the 1930s, appearing on the arms of fashion royalty from Audrey Hepburn to Madonna. But, as with all good things, the Speedy needed a modern face-lift. The brand made a few minor improvements, such as adding a shoulder strap, that make a major difference in bringing the famous carryall up-to-date. Louis Vuitton did not forget about its loyal male following, either, introducing the Damier Infini collection. Comprising the Keepall, reversible belts, and the Porte Document Voyage, the line features the maison’s signature Damier check embossed in supple, specially selected calf leather, giving the iconic design a soft yet masculine virtue. Both styles can be found at the new Tysons Galleria boutique, the largest to date in the Washington metro area, opening in November.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID HAMSLEY
Ann Taylor launches the District’s first concept store.
October 04, 2011
The newly opened South Coast Plaza Ann Taylor concept store
Don’t walk, but run to the new Ann Taylor store, where the inaugural concept store boasts plush seating, vanity dressing rooms and elegant chandeliers. New head designer Lisa Axelson has created a catered and attentive shopping experience with framed art and fashion look books lining the walls, high-tech touch-screen monitors to locate products easily within the store and online, and a centrally-located focus on the best new looks of each season. Shop ‘career chic’ designs, wedding and events looks, shoes and accessories in one location come November 11th—the first of its kind in the District. 600 13th Street, 202-737-0325
An Interiors Sample Sale
The Washington Design Center Sample Sale provides you with a unique shopping experience.
September 28, 2011
Oso Sofa ($1,199)
The exclusive Washington Design Center’s Sample Sale for trade members opens its doors to the public on October 1 (10 AM–3 PM) and an elite shopping experience awaits. The Design Center will provide on-site shipping services and has invited interior designers to advise customers on color selection and styling, while fine furnishings and high-end accessories will be available for as much as 75 percent off. Proceeds from the $5 entrance fee will support Georgetown University Hospital’s pediatric oncology programs. Can’t make the sale? The Center curates a permanent sample room in suite 410 with year-long discounted décor. 300 D Street SW, 202-646-6100
Scout by Bungalow
September 06, 2011
FROM LEFT: Scout by Bungalow’s original Deano tote; the Mini Deano tote
As a former Vogue editor, Scout by Bungalow founder and design director Deb Johns has seen innumerable trends come and go. Interestingly, this never-ending cycle of here today, gone tomorrow is what informs her brand. “We need to create patterns that continue strong directions we have established in the Scout line, while at the same time creating patterns that are fresh and directional for our customers across the country,” Johns explains. “I am inspired by what is new yet familiar and fashionforward but is rooted in timeless looks.” Like fellow designer Jules Reid, Johns examines interior design patterns—specifically, floral tapestries, liberty prints and jacquards—for inspiration with her collection. For her, the key to incorporating flowery flourishes into your fall wardrobe is subtlety: Pair a solid look, preferably rich in texture, with just a touch of floral. Unsurprisingly, her bags, regularly toted around Georgetown, have the perfect amount of delicate whimsy to accompany the boldest autumn ensembles. Periwinkle, 3815 Livingston St., NW
Pretty People Vintage
What’s old is new again, and what’s new is essential this fall.
August 31, 2011
A sampling of the store’s vintage clutches
|Pretty People Vintage owner Annie Lee|
Boutique owner and vintage queen Annie Lee opens up about her newest endeavor, Pretty People Vintage, in Old Town.
Tell us about the concept behind Pretty People Vintage. How does it differ from your previous work at Annie Creamcheese?
During my career in the vintage industry, I was drawn to the easy, laid-back style of the California girl who was not afraid to mix vintage into her wardrobe. I love how a girl can wear cowboy boots in 80-degree weather! Through Pretty People Vintage, I can bring that influence here to the Washington area. Annie Creamcheese is about the loud, bright colors of the ’60s and ’70s; it had more of a mod and rock-’n’-roll approach to its concept.
Why is this vintage collection so great for the Washington woman?
I have hand-selected and edited the best pieces of vintage for my customers, so they do not have to worry about style, condition or wearability. Everything at Pretty People Vintage can work in any modern woman’s wardrobe today.
How can stylish women incorporate vintage pieces with new trends from their wardrobe?
Either pair vintage clothing with modern jewelry to avoid a look that is too costume, or a modern outfit with a vintage accessory— try a vintage necklace, boots or a hat—to give your modern outfit personality.
What is your holy grail of vintage—what do you obsess about getting your hands on?
Chanel is always the holy grail of vintage: jewelry and handbags, mostly. Christian Louboutin shoes, DVF wrap dresses and, for myself, anything Missoni, Pucci and Chloé.
What are some of the store’s most exceptional pieces?
A Chanel 1980s heavy gold chain-link belt/ necklace ($590), a Monique Lhuillier dress from a consigner and soon to be vintage ($795) and an American Indian vintage turquoise nugget necklace ($795).
What would you consider the must-have items for this season?
Five must-have items for fall are a pill-box hat, oversize statement necklaces, dressy leather shorts that you can wear day or night, an oversize cable-knit sweater, and a cool leather satchel or briefcase-style purse.
108 N. Patrick St., Alexandria
Celebrating the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner at Carnegie Library.