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You won’t want to miss this cool collective of local brands. By Diana Elbasha
Shop the quirky-cool designs of Rachel Pfeffer, shown above, along with six other local brands at SWANK. Photograph via Rachel Pfeffer Designs.

We’re more impressed every day by DC’s emerging creative community—its growing number of designers, stylists, and artisans are changing the face of Washington with each fashionable event. Morgan Hungerford West is a prime example. Panda Head’s editor, also a stylist, studio owner, and Topaz + Arrow cofounder, is at the forefront of some of the city’s coolest collaborations, supporting and bringing together the best of Washington’s creative talent. Next week, she brings back SWANK, an awesome ten-day pop-up shop that showcases the works of seven local jewelry makers.

Held at Monroe Street Market’s Wild Hand Workspace, which West co-owns with photographer Victoria Milko, SWANK returns for a second time with a refreshing new group of DC-based brands, some of which you might recognize from Etsy: DigDogDigElaine BBeth LaurenMallory ShelterNMCParis Air, and Rachel Pfeffer. The jewels will be arranged in gallery-like fashion at the studio from April 24 through May 3, shoppable by appointment on the weekdays and publicly from 11 to 4 on weekends.

The event kicks off with a cocktail reception Thursday, April 24, from 6 to 9, at which you’ll be able to mingle with the designers over drinks and small bites.

SWANK. April 24 through May 3. 716 Monroe St., NE, Studio 8.

 

Posted at 02:32 PM/ET, 04/18/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Owner Kelly Muccio announced the news in an e-mail Thursday. By Diana Elbasha
Kelly Muccio's menswear boutique, Lost Boys, has been in Georgetown for six years. Photographs courtesy Lost Boys.

We’re suckers for great menswear here at Shop Around—and thanks to a growing number of indie brands and local boutiques specializing in guys’ fashion, Washington has become a great fashion source for the dapper man. That’s why we’re sad to report that one of the city’s longest-standing menswear shops, Lost Boys, is soon closing its doors for good.

Owner Kelly Muccio—the blonde bombshell known for her impeccable styling skills—announced via e-mail today that the store will close in two weeks due to “an opportunity that has come along that [she] couldn’t refuse.” Her store, which offers a breezy shopping experience involving beer and plenty of personal attention, has been a Georgetown staple for six years, and was one of the first to bring a high-end, rugged edge to Washington’s now rapidly expanding menswear scene. Band of Outsiders, Theory, and Rogan are just a few of the breakout labels carried in the exposed-brick space; its Black Room, a luxurious personal shopping service that offers cocktails and exclusive clothing options, is sure to be missed.

There’s no word yet on what Muccio’s big opportunity might entail, but we, for one, are hoping she sticks around town.

Lost Boys. 1033 31st St., NW.

See also: 

The Best Men's Stores in Washington + Local Labels We Love

Posted at 04:17 PM/ET, 04/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The First Lady’s go-to makeup guru shares his own beauty must-haves. By Diana Elbasha

Photograph courtesy of Carl Ray.

When it comes to beauty, no one in Washington has a more impressive résumé than Carl Ray. Best known for his official gig as personal makeup artist to Michelle Obama, Ray has worked for the Four Seasons’ luxe George Salon for more than a decade. He’s attracted powerful fans over the years—Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, Paula Abdul, Kerry Washington, and Jordan’s Queen Noor are just a few of his A-list clients—and his work has graced the pages of fashion glossies (Vogue, Allure, Elle) and the runways of bridal and couture shows. So what products does the beauty guru turn to when it comes to his own skin? Read on for five of his must-haves.

1) Nivea A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon Lip Balm

“I’m a lip balm addict; I’ve tried them all, and I change brands and formulas often. But this is one of my favorite lip conditioners—I love the feel, the taste, and the scent.” $3 at Ulta.

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Posted at 05:13 PM/ET, 04/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Mark your calendar for April 21 through 27—and book fast. By Diana Elbasha
Treat yourself to a $50 massage during Spa Week—you deserve it. Photograph via Shutterstock.

No one knows stress like Washington—and sometimes, all you really need at the end of a long week or a day full of meetings is a relaxing, secluded hour or two at the spa. Crave the Zen but cringe at the $200-plus price tag? We feel you. Luckily, thanks to Spa Week, you can get the pampering you deserve at a fraction of the cost. The annual event brings together area spas, salons, and wellness centers for seven days of discounted offerings, from hot stone massages to skin-clearing facials to blowouts. The best part? Many of the services are capped at $50. Below is a list of ten luxurious ways you can treat yourself next week—but don’t wait, as appointments fill up at warp speed. You can thank us later.

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Posted at 02:17 PM/ET, 04/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
See-worthy swimsuits in the season’s hottest colors and fits. By Irina Grechko
Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

Above:

1. Eres “Puzzle” one-piece, $415 at Sylene (4407 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-654-4200)

2. Cat-eye sunglasses in dark tortoise, $175 at Tory Burch (1211 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-337-1410)

3. Blush Blends Sun-tastic SPF 45 protector, $50 at Blush Med Institute (4915 Cordell Ave., Bethesda; 301-312-6728)

Click through our slideshow to see more.


This article appears in the April 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 09:44 AM/ET, 04/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This way for stylish bloggers, cute puppies, and to-die-for shoes. By Diana Elbasha

The Old Town accessories shop Bishop Boutique is known to go all out when it comes to lookbooks—previous works have featured beautifully elaborate sets and local bloggers in place of models. This season, the store took a new approach to to its catalog by partnering with a handful of nearby businesses—retail and otherwise—to create a joint lookbook that the team has dubbed the Cobblestone Runway.

Named after Old Town’s charming, signature streets, the lookbook brings together a talented mix of local forces: Styled by SpicyCandyDC’s Carlis Sanchez and primped by the Sugar House Day Spa, Rachel of My Fair Vanity, Tammy of A Loyal Love, Wendy of Old Town Home, and Bryarly of Everything That Flickers are the stars of the book, modeling not just Bishop’s latest goods (such as bubblegum-pink pumps and bright baubles) but also those of nearby Zoe Boutique. A partnership with the Dog Park and Operation Paws for Homes brought in some cute companions, and neighboring Jackson 20, Hotel Monoco, and the Morrison House Hotel hosted the photo shoots. Take a peek at some of the book’s best shots below, and head to Bishop’s blog to see the full version.

All photographs by Susannah of Alumbra Photography.

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Posted at 01:16 PM/ET, 04/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The upcoming collection might be the best designer collaboration yet. By Diana Elbasha
Alexander Wang (left), and his spring 2014 runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Photos by Anton Oparin / Shutterstock.com.

For better or worse, designer Alexander Wang is notorious for nailing the art of surprise. His presence at fashion-packed Coachella this weekend was no exception: Attendees received invites to a party he was hosting, without any clear indication of the cause for the celebration—but as soon as the words “Alexander Wang x H&M” were projected onto the walls of the Indio Performing Arts Center, the reason became clear. H&M confirmed the news a day later: The beloved designer is creating a fall collection for the wallet-friendly retailer.

Cue our uncontrollable excitement for what could be among the best of the (arguably overdone) retailer-designer partnerships: Wang, whom H&M creative advisor Margareta van den Bosch calls “one of the most important voices in fashion today,” is poised to bring a coveted edginess to fast fashion that is so often missing at the young-professional-friendly price tag. The label’s high-end aesthetic, channeled through sleek silhouettes and a neutral palette, exhibits the type of stylish minimalism that looks equally at home in the office as on a night out on 14th Street: Think white button-down blouses, knee-length skirts, and structured jackets, all with such trendy upgrades as perforation and asymmetric cuts. Less girly prep; more sophisticated edge.

The collection hits stores November 6—and lucky for us, DC’s three new H&M locations (in Chevy ChaseGeorgetown, and soon downtown) will make shopping the line much easier than collections past. We’ll update with more details about the partnership as they’re revealed.

See also: 
How to Shop a Target Collaboration Like a Pro

Posted at 11:40 AM/ET, 04/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your guide to the week's most stylish events. By Diana Elbasha
This weekend, you can shop Bahar Jewelry (left) at Wink and Rebecca Minkoff handbags at Urban Chic. Photographs via Instagram and Anton Oparin / Shutterstock.com.

Rebecca Minkoff Trunk Show at Urban Chic

The beloved local boutique kicks off the season with a Rebecca Minkoff trunk show, showcasing the girly brand’s signature Mini Mac handbags and other accessories at a 15-percent discount. There’ll also be Champagne, sweet treats, and gifts with purchase. 10 to 7 Thursday through Saturday. 1626 Wisconsin Ave., NW.

Topshop at Nordstrom Launch Party

It’s no question that DC is a fan of the cool British retailer Topshop. Emulating the shop-in-shop concept in Pentagon City, the brand heads to Nordstrom Tysons Corner this weekend, and celebrates launch with an in-store event. Get styled by fashion pros, enter to win a $250 shopping spree, and score a free lip balm with any Topshop purchase. Saturday 10 to 4. 8075 Tysons Corner Center, McLean.

“Speggtacular” at the Pink Palm

In celebration of the upcoming Easter holiday, this preppy retailer is having an egg hunt of its own: All day Saturday, customers can drop by the store’s Old Town location to pick up an Easter egg containing a special coupon for the day. Saturday 10 to 6. 1127 King St., Alexandria.

Dior Makeup Event at Lord & Taylor

Drop by a makeup counter at Lord & Taylor Tysons to make an appointment for its beauty event this weekend, featuring makeup artists from Dior. Slots are available for consultations with the experts on spring beauty trends. Saturday 10 to 9:30. 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean.

Bahar Jewelry Trunk Show

Curated by native Washingtonian Bahar Snowden Caulfield, this statement jewelry brand unveils new products from new New York- and Turkey-based vendors on the fifth of each month. Get an up-close look at this month’s vibrant collection—otherwise only sold online—when it pops up at Wink this weekend. The best part? All items are $30 or less. Saturday 1 to 5. 3109 M St., NW.

Posted at 11:32 AM/ET, 04/14/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
En route to style-packed Coachella, the blogging duo teaches us how to pull off the free-spirited look. By Diana Elbasha

The weather is warm (finally!), outdoor venues are opening, and music fans are gearing up for Sweetlife and Firefly—it’s officially festival season. Which event hosts the best musical talent is up for debate—but when it comes to fashion, the indisputable frontrunner is Coachella.

Recognized by such high-fashion authorities as VogueHarper’s Bazaar, and the Man Repeller as a hub for the best of bohemian style, the California-based festival is as much about the clothing as it is about the music, and is attended each year by countless impeccably dressed A-listers. DC-based sisters Natalie and Erika Pinto, the authors of local style blog The Fashionably Broke, are headed to this year’s star-studded event, which kicks off Friday. In preparation for the festive weekend, they’ve rounded up days’ worth of outfits that nail the breezy vibe. Read on for some of their looks and their tips for achieving the easygoing look.

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Posted at 04:44 PM/ET, 04/10/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: a look at six local boutiques on wheels. By Diana Elbasha

You’re already familiar with the food trucks that line DC’s busiest streets each day, offering a convenient source for time-crunched professionals and bringing new lunch options to suburban workers who may otherwise not have access to the city-based vendors. Inspired by this success, local boutique owners have begun to apply the same concept to clothing and accessories.

A growing number of Washington-based entrepreneurs are exploring these flexible, cost-saving “mobile boutiques,” loading their inventories of jewelry, handbags, dresses, and more onto trucks that stop in high-traffic neighborhoods throughout town. (Some powerhouse labels such as Warby Parker have also embraced the concept.) Haven’t spotted one yet? Here are six boutiques on wheels to look out for.

Nollypop Mobile Boutique

The exterior of this handpainted, robin’s-egg-blue camper perfectly reflects the vibe of the inventory within. Nollypop, which travels throughout Northern Virginia, specializes in locally handmade pieces such as jewelry, scarves, and stationery. The boutique can be booked for events, is known to pop up at local charity fundraisers and open houses, and often holds sales and happy hours of its own.

Best way to track it: Facebook.

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Posted at 11:43 AM/ET, 04/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()