Jenn Hyman is no stranger to red-carpet events. As co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway, a members-only website that allows women to rent rather than purchase designer dresses and accessories for special occasions, she’s attended her fair share of parties. Hyman sat down with Capitol File to discuss some of her top tips for preparing for a black-tie affair and the trends that will be circulating faster than Champagne at galas this season.
Understand that luxury is about convenience.
“Our customer is the go-getter girl who has it all,” Hyman said. This does not, however, include an excess of time, and that’s where Rent the Runway comes in. The e-commerce site boats a plethora of designer dress options, personal styling consultations, and door-to-door delivery of styles in multiple sizes—cutting out a lot expenses, not to mention the time spent searching brick-and-mortar stores for just the right party frock.
Make getting ready an important part of the fun.
When it comes to black-tie events, Hyman is adamant that preparation is key to looking your best. To maximize comfort, she suggests cutting salty food and caffeinated beverages before an event, and says starting the celebration early—before the actual party—is part of the fun. Hyman’s personal prep routine? Relaxing with friends beforehand; playing her favorite hip-hop music; dancing and sipping cocktails.
Take a cue from top spring trends.
Hyman, who’s noticed that red always seems to be a color of choice for high-powered Washington women, suggests other bright hues—jewel tones or electric splashes of color—to stand out in the crowd. For spring 2012, she says yellow or orange gowns, as well as statement bags, will be at every gala. As for cocktail fêtes, Hyman recommends day-to-night maxi dresses, which allow women to transition from the office to events with ease throughout the summer months.