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Music from Washington Performing Arts Society members highlighted the evening. By Washingtonian Staff
Guests pose with their Ann Taylor tote bags. Photograph by Rick Lippenholtz.

Last week Ann Taylor hosted an exclusive preview of its new store in Union Station. Guests enjoyed cocktails, Champagne, hors d'oeuvres, and music while shopping the fabulous winter collection. The evening also included special remarks from Ann Taylor PR manager Arlena Pordoy and Washingtonian fashion editor Kate Bennett, as well as a violin solo by Evelyn Song of Washington Performing Arts Society, Ann Taylor’s partner for the evening.

Posted at 12:20 PM/ET, 11/21/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Help us share what you saw when the storm rolls through the area.

We hope everyone in the region stays safe during Hurricane Sandy’s arrival to the area. While we encourage you to remain safe (maybe sing a few of Sandy’s favorites from Grease to pass the time and stay positive), we hope you’ll send us your best photos at or upload them to Flickr and tag The Washingtonian.

See also:

Hurricane Sandy Storm Photos

Posted at 09:43 AM/ET, 10/29/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
The best reader submissions to this year's photo contest. By Tanya Pai
Photograph of Oxford (left) by Katey Clark. Photograph of Lala (right) by Charise Ditalo.

If you’re even a little familiar with our website, you know there’s nothing we love more than photos of cute animals. Except, that is, for photos of cute animals in costume. We asked you to send your cutest (or funniest) photos to, and our editors chose their favorites to feature on the website. Your pet’s dignity is a small price to pay, right?

Let us know what your favorite is in the comments!

Posted at 09:30 AM/ET, 10/16/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Nearly 1,800 people came out to our biggest event of the year last night. Here's what they had to say about it. By Washingtonian Staff
The entrance to the AT&T Best of Washington party. Photograph by Washingtonian staff.

Last night, The Washingtonian celebrated the July Best of Washington issue with a party at the National Building Museum. The event featured food from more than 60 of the 100 Very Best Restaurants, cocktails, and an old-fashioned candy bar. We asked guests to tweet their thoughts, photos, and favorite parts of the event with the hashtag #bestof. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Posted at 09:20 AM/ET, 07/12/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Reader-submitted snapshots from the hottest weekend of the year.
By Washingtonian Staff
Yum—sidewalk eggs. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

On Saturday, Washington officially broke its record for longest heatwave, with nine straight days of temperatures above 95. Yesterday we asked you to send us photos of how you spent the blistering weekend. Did you brave the 105-degree heat to visit the Folklife Festival? Did you stand in your air-conditioned apartment and look out the window, pointing and laughing at the sweat-soaked masses below? Or did you indulge in that time-honored tradition of attempting to fry an egg on the sidewalk? Below, a few of our favorite reader-submitted snapshots.

Photographs courtesy of Shannon Finney.

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Posted at 11:25 AM/ET, 07/09/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Belgian painter Isabelle de Borchgrave and her trompe l’oeil paper dresses were feted with a dinner by candlelight. By Carol Ross Joynt
Isabelle de Borchgrave explains the technique behind her trompe l’oeil paper dresses to guests at the opening party for her “Prêt-à-Papier” exhibition at Hillwood Museum. Photograph by Jeff Martin.

I don’t want to put a date on it, but when I was a teenager (a while back), the rage was to wear paper dresses. They were very Warholian, A-line with a white background and black designs we colored with magic markers. They cost about $14 and lasted maybe a month. 

Cut to now, and the elegant dinner party Thursday night at Hillwood Museum, where guests ogled an entirely more advanced version of the paper dress: the exquisite and elaborate designs of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. These are paper dresses no one would dare try to wear, despite the yearning, and they are meant to last.

The exhibition, “Prêt-à-Papier” is all about eye-popping prettiness, and the al fresco dinner by candlelight to open the exhibition was exceedingly pretty, too: pretty weather, pretty tables under a white tent on the lawn at Hillwood, pretty flowers, pretty women in pretty summer dresses. The de Borchgrave creations, more than 25 in all, are arrayed in the public rooms of the mansion, which guests toured before the themed dinner of Belgian endive salad, filet mignon and salmon with Belgian frites, and pink peppermint ice cream with Belgian chocolate ganache.

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Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 06/15/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
The “whale movie” was inspired by real-life events—and a real-life local love story. By Carol Ross Joynt

Drew Barrymore with her new fiancé, Will Kopelman, at the premiere of Big Miracle. Photograph by Jeff Martin.

The so-called “whale movie” came to town last night with a splashy screening and a Potomac waterfront after-party for some 1,400 people. Big Miracle is the film’s official name, and it has an interesting, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting local angle. First, you need to know the name Bonnie Mersinger Carroll.

It was 1988, and Carroll—then Bonnie Mersinger—was working at the White House as the executive assistant for Cabinet affairs. President Reagan stopped by her West Wing office to inquire about an incident that was unfolding in Alaska, where three whales (two adults and a baby) had become trapped in the Arctic Circle by rapidly forming ice. The drama was receiving national media attention. “He saw that the National Guard was involved,” says Carroll, “and he wondered what the White House could do to help. And that’s how I met Tom Carroll.”

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Posted at 04:09 PM/ET, 01/26/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
A book-signing party for Smith’s new book on the Queen attracted quite a crowd. By Carol Ross Joynt

Chris Matthews with author Sally Bedell Smith. Photograph by Jeff Martin.

There are book parties—and then there are va-va-voom book parties fit for a queen. That’s what Sally Bedell Smith got this past weekend with the Washington celebration of her new biography, Elizabeth the Queen. I daresay even the Queen herself would have been gobsmacked.

Hosts Bernard and Joan Carl—he seriously rich with private equity money, together the owners of the French luxury linen company D. Porthault, and with homes in the Loire Valley, London, and Southampton—filled the rooms of their Kalorama mansion with the prettiest spring flowers, candles, and framed photos of the royal family at work and at play, and served a comforting Anglo menu. There was even a receiving line at the front door, as Joan Carl welcomed Washington’s version of aristocracy, high and low.

Smith, for her part, never budged from the library, where she sat near a fire signing copies of the book. Her husband, Washington Examiner executive editor Stephen Smith, worked the other rooms on her behalf. There were many rooms—even a carpeted tent—and many friends.

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Posted at 04:28 PM/ET, 01/17/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Wares on display this year include a one-of-a-kind porcelain plate used by both JFK and Jackie. By Carol Ross Joynt

Alice Cowie, Carolyn Jones, Doug Jones, Leslie Jones, Gouverneur Siegel, and Lauren Duffy. Photograph by Jeff Martin.

Even with 44 exhibitors offering antique wares for sale, probably the most talked-about item at the Washington Winter Show on opening night was a plate that’s not on even the market. The one-of-a-kind Lenox porcelain dish, white with a yolk yellow border, has a historic and intriguing backstory—had President Kennedy not been assassinated it could well have been the chosen pattern for the Kennedy White House china service.

Both JFK and First Lady Jackie Kennedy ate off the plate, taking turns, as they decided whether it should be their White House pattern. The legend is they liked it and wanted to go with it. But due to the President’s death in 1963, the full service was never made, and only this one plate remains.

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Posted at 03:52 PM/ET, 01/06/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photos from the intimate Kalorama cocktail party celebrating the season. By Carol Ross Joynt

Christopher Reiter, Juleanna Glover, Becca Glover, Pepper Watkins, Kristin Glover, and Elizabeth Glover. Photo by Erik Uecke.

Who: Juleanna Glover, Elizabeth Glover, Kristin Glover, Christopher Reiter, Pepper Watkins

What: The “night before the night before Christmas” cocktail party

Where: Juleanna Glover’s Kalorama townhouse

When: Friday, December 23, from 8 PM on


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Posted at 04:48 PM/ET, 12/27/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()