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More and more women are getting behind derriere enhancements, even in Washington. By Kate Bennett
Photograph by Getty Images.

Ours is the age of the celebrity rear end.

Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Iggy Azalea, to name a few. Their fannies may not be quite as famous as their faces, but they’re close.

America’s growing cohort of surgeons who perform buttock augmentation may want to send these booty-flaunting celebs a thank-you card: Last year, the number of procedures increased by 58 percent.

“Such a dramatic increase reflects two changes,” says Michael Olding, chief of plastic surgery at George Washing-ton University Hospital. “One would be the conceptual shift of buttock beauty to a more full, round ‘bubble butt’ and, two, the increased number of plastic surgeons who have embraced the technique of fat transfer as a viable alternative to butt implants.”

Butt implants? Bubble butts? Butt-fat transfer? It’s a lot to wrap your head around. But it’s clear that the posterior is the new “it” zone.

“Patients have moved on from simply ‘bigger is better’ to ‘bigger is better, but only if it is shapelier,’ ” says Dr. Olding.

While buttock implants have been around awhile—they’re made of Silas-tic, a rubberized silicone also used in breast implants—the newest augmentation procedure involves harvesting fat from other body parts and inserting it into the buttocks to mold a more natural-looking derriere than might be achieved with implants. This is the method Olding performs.

“It does a surprisingly good job, ” he says. “The combination of removing lower back fat, via liposuction, and increasing upper-buttock fat, via transfer, results in significant contour change.”

The expanded, more rounded shape will be immediately noticeable after the surgery, which usually takes 2 to 2½ hours, depending on contouring required and amount of fat injected. However, Olding says it can take about a year to see the final effect: “Since not all the fat survives the transfer, the immediate result will be more enhanced than the result at one year.”

As with most plastic surgery, there’s a recovery period, which for buttock augmentation may include wearing a Spanx-like garment for four to six weeks.

While the procedure is growing in popularity, Olding says to keep the statistics in perspective: “The actual number of patients undergoing the procedure is relatively small when compared to, say, liposuction.”

Liposuction ranks as the most common cosmetic-surgery procedure, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. In 2013, 11,527 patients nationally had buttock augmentation, compared with 363,912 who underwent liposuction.

Olding says Washington’s “more conservative” climate means people bring in pictures of the Jennifer Lopez look rather than the “overdone” Kim Kardashian derriere.

Depending on how you feel about inflated backsides, that may be good news. Still, if popular culture keeps shining a spotlight on bulging buttocks, expect to hear more about bubble butts.

This article appears in the December 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 11/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get details on the professional-wear brand's pop-up shop, open in DC through the weekend. By Kay Wicker
Photograph courtesy of MM. LaFleur.

Women’s professional wear brand MM. LaFleur has set up a pop-up shop in Washington this week, running through the weekend. This week Washingtonians will be treated to a sneak peek of the brand’s premier outerwear line as well as special events happening nearly every day of the pop-up’s run. We were able to catch the brand’s coufounder Sarah LaFleur during her busy week for a quick Q&A. Read on to learn about how the women of DC, a city she called home briefly during her more formative years, have inspired and shaped her views on fashion.

Why DC for a pop-up shop?

We felt a lot of love from DC—though that isn’t to say we don’t feel the love from other cities. LA is a great market for us, but there’s also a lot of fashion activity going on in LA; the same could be said of New York. We wanted to do something a little bit different, and DC has the potential to be very fashionable.

What events are happening in conjunction with the shop?

Thursday we have an event called Women in News that features Betsy Fischer Martin, formerly of Meet the Press, and CNN's Elise Labott. On Friday we have a Women in Entrepreneurship evening, featuring Mrs. Nobuko Sasae, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador to the US. I will be speaking, as well. It’s a pick-your-flavor pop-up store.

What items should we expect to see?

It’s the first time we are launching coats to the public. (We’ve only been on presale to our VIP customers.) This is the first time anyone will be seeing them. We’re also releasing a lot of our holiday gifts baskets. We have a professional woman’s gift basket. It’s a really cute case made out of beautiful coating fabric, and inside it has everything from stain remover to hand cream and sewing kits—anything that a professional woman would need. We also have beautiful pieces of jewelry. We tend to do more subdued, elegant jewelry that you could wear any day, but we’re releasing kind of bigger pieces that are perfect for the holiday season. They’re just beautiful, beautiful pieces of jewelry that are under $200, so very accessible, as well.

What about those rumors claiming you’re looking to stay here permanently?

[Laughs] That’s definitely a rumor that has legs. We are looking into a few places. We love our DC customers, and they seem to love us. In fact, they’re our second biggest market outside of New York, which caught us by surprise. We thought it might be LA or San Francisco or Chicago, but it turns out it's DC, and by a long shot. So we have a lot of love for DC. We’d love to be on the ground here.

Why do you think the Washington woman loves MM. LaFleur?

Ninety-nine percent of why our customers love our product so much is because they can see the high-end tailoring. It’s very simple things, like seams. We tend to not do side seams, which is basically a seam that runs down the side of your dress. Instead of two seams, we try to do four, which creates a more three-dimensional dress so that curves fit nicely. You don’t have to be a flat, thin person. I think Miyako Nakamura, my designer, has been able to bring a lot of thoughtful architectural elements into her design. What we hear from customers so often is that it looks like just a simple dress, and it’s not until you put it on that you realize how much thought has gone into it. With professional wear you can’t really do anything too crazy, so it’s really the simple details that can elevate a dress.

How has women’s professional wear evolved?

I think people are showing more of their personality. I think about when I was working in consulting and “leaning in” hadn’t really started as movement. In the past four years we saw so many conversations happening, and it’s funny because clothing hasn’t really taken center stage. I think the conversation about clothing is just starting to happen. I think a lot of people shy away from it—they think it’s too trivial, and they want to be taken seriously. But the truth is clothing actually matters a lot, and clothing choices reflect what you stand for and how you want to be perceived. So I think a lot of women are starting to think more about it, and getting bolder with their choices, more demanding. They don’t want to wear the same boring suit or the same kind of pants. They are looking for more options, and hopefully that’s where we come in.

What do you think of Washington style?

I have to say, the customers I’ve met from DC are very stylish—they care about good taste, and they care about good fashion. I’m inspired every time I come down to DC. There are all these hardworking women who are trying to make it in whatever industry they’re in, and they want clothes that reflect that. And I’m sure whether it’s House of Cards or Scandal, those shows play a role, too. You know, She works so hard and she looks so good. I think a lot of women want to feel that way—especially when you’re at work for 12 hours a day and that’s so much of who you are as a person. My DC customers are really inspiring, very fashionable, and not schlumpy in the least!

You spent some time here during your youth. What fashion inspiration did you take away?

My mother is a huge, huge inspiration—I named the company after her. Her nickname was Mm. She was kind of always in the limelight, being my grandfather’s daughter [he served as Prime Minister of Japan from 1991 to 1993], so she needed a lot of clothes that made the transition from day to night, from the office to a cocktail party or a reception. I grew up watching her getting dressed for work every day, and that was the kind of essence I wanted to exude with my brand: that these are women doing lots of interesting things, going from one place to another.

MM. LaFleur pop-up. District Architecture Center, 421 Seventh St., NW. Wednesday through Friday noon to 8, and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5.

Posted at 02:32 PM/ET, 11/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Richmond-based menswear brand sets up shop in time for the holidays. By Kay Wicker
Photograph courtesy of Ledbury.

When you're finalizing your shopping list this holiday season, make sure to add Ledbury: The Georgetown store has opened its seasonal pop-up shop on Wisconsin Avenue for the second time. The brand kicked things off with a private launch party Thursday, featuring craft cocktails created by James Kohler.

In addition to running for a bit longer than last year (just a little over two months this time) the Georgetown pop-up offers three shirts sold exclusively in-house. Two flannels and one twill-brushed shirt, each inspired by the nation’s capital and the men who call it home, complete the line. Ledbury’s driving force has always been its customers, which is reflected in this year’s store theme: a quail hunt the brand hosted for its top customers last month.

Throughout the holiday season there will be several store events, such as a “sips, snacks, and stocking stuffers” session during the weekend of December 20 for last-minute holiday shoppers. Keep a close watch on the brand for announcements about other potential events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

The Ledbury pop-up shop. 1254 Wisconsin Ave., NW. Open Sunday through Friday 11 to 7 and Saturday 11 to 8, through January 25.

Posted at 12:49 PM/ET, 11/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your guide to this week's most stylish events. By Kay Wicker
Calypso St. Barth store photograph via the brand's website.

Calypso Cares

We love a good excuse for a closet cleanout: This week, shoppers can bring gently worn sweaters to any Calypso St. Barth boutique (including our two area shops, in Georgetown and Bethesda) and get 25 percent off their full-price purchase in exchange for the donation. The donated items benefit Clothes4Souls, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting poverty, as part of the brand’s second Calypso Cares initiative. Online shoppers can participate through a donation portal. Through Sunday. Calypso St. Barth, 3307-B M St., NW, and 4810 Bethesda Ave., #25, Bethesda.

Gentlemen’s Night Out

Washington-based neckwear line Bull+Moose hosts a dude-focused happy hour centered on style, grooming—and whiskey, of course. The brand’s new Reserve Label collection, hand-stitched in New York from imported English tweed, will be up for purchase for the first time at the event, and there’ll be pop-up booths from other brands such as Trunk Club, Stubble & ’Stache, and Goorin Bros. Guys not in the market for new duds can snag barbershop trims and neck shaves from Georgetown’s Roosters Men’s Grooming Center and partake in a tasting of Macallan single-malt. Wednesday 6 to 10 PM. Ri Ra, 3125 M St., NW. RSVP here.

Jewelry Designer Emily Faith Visits Hu's Wear

Emily Faith’s diamond-studded geometric jewelry designs have been spotted on a slew of celebrities including Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lawrence, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift. This weekend, the LA designer stops by Georgetown boutique Hu’s Wear to showcase her latest collection; the trunk show will last throughout the weekend, but catch Faith in the flesh on Saturday only. Saturday, 10 AM to 7 PM, Sunday noon to 5 PM. Hu’s Wear, 2906 M St., NW.

Posted at 09:40 AM/ET, 11/10/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
One weekend, two of our city's best shopping events. By Michelle Thomas
Last spring's Thread pop-up. Photograph by Leigh Vogel.

Get ready to shop: Next weekend, two of our favorite (and most reliably treasure-laden) shopping markets make their return to our city, right in time for the start of holiday gift-prep.

As part of Union Market's Fifth Street Folly weekend, curated retail event Thread returns for the third time, repeating its previous format—which last November pulled in more than 5,000 shoppers on each of its three days—by spotlighting a diverse lineup of national and local vendors that includes Southern-luxe designer Billy Reid alongside Washington-based brands such as DeNada, Matine, and Native Danger. One big difference this year: The market takes place in a new spot—the Maurice Electric Warehouse, just up the block and next the the Angelika pop-up.

So what's taking up Thread's previous space in the main building's Dock 5 space? That'd be Gilt's twice-yearly Warehouse Sale, a two-day ticketed shopping party formerly hosted at Long View Gallery. This year, the flash-sale site brings its discounted designer duds to Northeast. Along with cocktails, snacks, and music, you can expect to spy racks of clothing, shoes, bags, and home decor from big-ticket designers that include Helmut Lang, Zac Posen, Missoni, and more at discounts of up to 90 percent off. (Serious scores are practically guaranteed—in previous years, we've snagged pieces from Balenciaga, House of Harlow, and Pour la Victoire at major markdowns.) This year, the event will also host a special John Varvatos pop-up boutique with price cuts on fall and winter menswear. Tickets usually sell out fast—so get moving to snag one of the limited Friday-night entrance passes.

Thread. November 14, 1 to 6 PM; November 15, 10 AM to 6 PM; and November 16, 10 AM to 5 PM. Maurice Electric Warehouse, 500 Penn St., NE. Free.

Gilt City Warehouse Sale. November 14, 9:30 to 11:30 PM; November 15, 9 AM to 5 PM. Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 Fifth St., NE. $10 to $20 online.

Posted at 10:20 AM/ET, 11/07/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The wait is over for the popular fashion label's first DC store. By Kay Wicker
Photograph courtesy of Alice + Olivia.

For those of you eager to get your hands on the sophisticated contemporary pieces Alice + Olivia is known for, the wait is over. We reported this spring that the brand was opening its 16th national brick-and-mortar boutique in Washington, and now we can confirm Saturday, November 8, is the official opening date of the 2,400-square-foot space. To celebrate, the store is hosting a party on November 15 from 1 to 3 PM with music spun by local DJ Cassidy and spot-drawings by local illustrator Elizabeth Graeber, inspired by the brand, throughout the dressing rooms. The event is open to the public.

Alice + Olivia is the third women’s boutique to announce residency on M Street in Georgetown in recent months. Kate Spade Saturday opened two weeks ago, and Rent the Runway’s store is slated to open in mid-November. In terms of building a bit of a fashion retail arsenal, Washington is coming into its own.

Alice + Olivia. 3303 M St., NW. Open Monday through Wednesday 11 to 7, Thursday through Saturday 11 to 8, and Sunday noon to 7.

Posted at 09:30 AM/ET, 11/06/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
It’s a great gift for your worst enemy. By Benjamin Freed
Photograph via the NFL Shop.

It’s about that time of the year when people start shopping for holiday gifts. But if you’re hung up on what to buy for your arch-nemesis this year, the Washington NFL team’s got you covered. Enter the Robert Griffin III Ugly Sweater.

This garish rag, featuring the name and jersey number of Washington’s oft-injured quarterback against a festive burgundy-and-gold spew, goes for $84.95 from the NFL’s online store. Besides a wrap-around pattern of brightly colored footballs and the team’s racial slur of a name, the sweater also features sleeves adorned with the Native American graphic seen on Washington’s helmets.

Also, it’s made from acrylic, so in addition to being hideous and morally repugnant, it’s also highly flammable. The perfect gift for your worst enemy.

Posted at 05:40 PM/ET, 11/05/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Forget the rules about not wearing white after Labor Day. Beat winter's chill with these crisp pieces, weather or not. By Kate Bennett
Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

1. Cream Fluff: Cashmere fringe wrap by White & Warren, at Ginger (Bethesda), $350.

2. Round It Out: Enamel-and-gold bangles by Halcyon Days, in two sizes, at Sterling & Burke (Georgetown), $185 and $315.

3. Blanc Slate: Cross-body bag with zippers, at Lou Lou, $30.

4. It's a Cinch: Leather belt by M.M. LaFleur, $60.

5. Signature Scent: Good Girl Gone Bad perfume travel spray by Kilian, at Hu's Shoes (Georgetown), $155.

6. Boldly Go: "Day Tripper" necklace by Kate Spade, at Bloomingdale's (Chevy Chase), $98.

See more fashionable white pieces in our photo gallery.

This article appears in the November 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 12:15 PM/ET, 11/04/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The nail designer and reality-show competitor talks fingertip trends and post-show plans. By Kay Wicker
Celeste Hampton competes on Oxygen's Nail'd It. Still courtesy of Oxygen Media/Lindsey Byrnes.

The journey from humble manicurist to reality-TV star has been an unusual and unexpected one for DC native Celeste Hampton. After growing up in Japan as part of a military family, Hampton attended Eastern Technical School in Georgia and largely taught herself the trade—the art lover is known for elaborate Warhol- and Picasso-inspired nail designs—before winding up a competitor on Oxygen’s reality show Nail’d It, which airs Tuesdays at 9. We chatted with Hampton to get the scoop on her favorite nail trends and what it’s like to be on a reality show.

What inspired you to go into nail art?

I've always been an artist—I got that from my dad. My dad draws, so I've been drawing all my life. That was the aspect that I loved about doing nails: trying to put something regular-size on a very small canvas.

How has your time in DC influenced your nail art?

The fashion here is amazing. That definitely inspires a lot of my nails. At DC Fashion Week, I definitely pay attention to all the different trends and mimic that with my nail art.

What's a nail trend you've seen recently?

People ask for nudes so much! It's so popular in the fashion world right now. I try to have every shade of nude. Everyone loves Swarovski crystals. I order those, like, every month because people want them all the time. They're beautiful. Floral patterns are very huge. I do a lot of hand-painted faces on people's nails.

Really? What kind of faces?

I had a client who wanted her boss's face on her nails. It was a challenge for her job. I take a lot from art, too. When I do the nails of people who are already artists, I don't want to mess up on a piece they consider their baby. I love doing stuff like that because the artists themselves are always so amazed at the extent of it.

Did you ever think you'd be on a reality show?

Never, ever did I ever think I would be on a reality show. Ever. When Oxygen reached out to me, I thought it was a joke. They found me through social networks. It was crazy.

What are your plans if you win?

I want my own salon in DC. A nail bar.

What's it been like on the show so far?

It's definitely stressful. I've never done a competition before. This is all new to me. You have to be here, and you’re under strict time. When I do nails I can pretty much map out how much time it takes for me to finish a client, but when you have a clock sitting in front of you and you're down to the second, it is stressful. But I've had so much fun doing this. Oxygen has really stepped up as far as the network is concerned. This is the first nail show in the US—the opportunity is once in a lifetime. It's been a journey, to say the least.

Posted at 10:08 AM/ET, 11/04/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your guide to this week's most stylish events. By Kay Wicker
Photograph via Loren Hope's Facebook page.

The Pink Armoire’s Fashion Truck Debut

The Pink Armoire’s hot-pink fashion bus—a new venture from the owner of sister store Periwinkle—hits the streets for its official debut this week, joined by several other on-the-move boutiques such as the Thread Truck, Tin Lizzy, Pichardo Boutique, and Street Boutique. Pink Armoire shoppers will snag 20 percent off during the event. Thursday 11 AM to 8 PM. The Village at Shirlington. Fashion trucks will be parked on Campbell Avenue.

DC Urban Style Tribes Through History

FotoWeek DC’s seventh annual exhibition kicks off at the W with a party celebrating DC fashion throughout the years. Pore over never-before-seen images culled from the DC Public Library’s archives and enjoy a live performance by the local band Furniteur, specialty cocktails, and a Brightest Young Things photo booth. Thursday 6 to 9 PM. W Hotel, 515 15th St., NW.

Trickponi’s Pop-Up Shop

Traveling boutique Trickponi brings its third international pop-up shop tour to Georgetown before moving on to Los Angeles, Kuwait, Dubai, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Sara Al-Ajroush’s seasonal shop is dedicated to spreading awareness for Middle Eastern designers, and this year’s theme is “The Mad Ones,” an homage to the designers, artists, and their creative teams. The pop-up shop will feature US designers including Christin Chang, Shosh New York, and Emm Kuo, and Middle Eastern designers Nasiba Hafiz, Bashar Assaf, Assali, and Amira Haroon. Thursday through Sunday 11 AM to 7 PM. 3210 O St., NW.

Loren Hope Jewelry Trunk Show

Old Town’s Bishop Boutique hosts a trunk show spotlighting the new fall and winter designs from jewelry designer Loren Hope. Take a peek at the line’s glittery baubles and get 15 percent off during the show. Thursday through Saturday 10 AM to 8 PM and Sunday 11 AM to 6 PM. 815-B King St., Alexandria.

Annabell Ingall Trunk Show

To kick off the holiday season, Old Town shoe and accessory boutique The Shoe Hive hosts a trunk show featuring the latest from Annabel Ingall—maker of the store’s best-selling leather tote. During the show, get the line’s classic and newest designs at 20 percent off. Thursday through Sunday 9 AM to 4 PM. 127 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria.

Posted at 01:15 PM/ET, 11/03/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()