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Because you needed more $80 t-shirts in your life. By Caroline Cunningham
Photo depicts the inside of Kit and Ace's Vancouver shop. Image courtesy Kit and Ace.

Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s wife and son, Shannon and JJ Wilson, teamed up to launch a “technical cashmere” brand that has all the stretch, comfort, and machine-washable-ness of yoga pants, embodied in high-end, luxury apparel.

There are currently only seven boutiques worldwide, but the founders intend to open 50 retail shops by the end of the year—one of which will be located in Washington’s Shay development. The DC store, as with all Kit and Ace shops, will draw on its surroundings—local artists, craftsmen, and designers—for the boutique's design.

“We are excited to come to DC and bring a beautiful space in which customers can access our clothing, but also come away with a deeper sense of our brand. What we offer is far more than apparel; it’s an evolved retail experience,” said JJ Wilson in a press release.

The shop will market the brand’s minimalist designs—men’s and women’s apparel in shades of gray, blue, black, and white, including soft and drapey t-shirts, scarves, and blouses that are priced in the $80 to $120 range.

Kit and Ace is slotted to open on October 15 at 1924 8th St., NW.

Posted at 12:48 PM/ET, 03/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Twin sisters Sara and Chellie Zou opt for comfortable dresses for their rides cross-country in the C-SPAN Bus. By Caroline Cunningham
All photographs by Andrew Propp.

Who: Sara Zou, 26, and Chellie Zou, 26

Marketing Representatives, C-SPAN

What we do: We promote C-SPAN and our resources around the country on the C-SPAN Bus. The bus is an interactive, mobile demonstration studio. We have all kinds of technology on board that we use to show people what C-SPAN is and how to use it. When in DC, we are in the office planning our next trip and sometimes attending events to market C-SPAN.

Our work style: Classic with a twist. We both have a very similar sense of style and share many pieces. We like to use our outfits as a creative outlet, and putting together a look is all about the silhouette and colors. We've collected style tips along the way, but most of our love for fashion stems from our parents! My mom always dressed us in trendy, fun outfits. Our parents bought us our first suit sets and our mom always taught us to invest in shoes since they will last and you want them to feel comfortable and look polished.

Around the Office

Sara: “C-SPAN has a standard dress code policy--it's professional. I like to do my own interpretation, avoiding black and going for colors! This look has all the pieces of a typical suit, but a twist with color.”

Sara (left) wears a Brooks Brothers blazer, and H&M blouse, a Banana Republic skirt and Zara pumps. Chellie (right) is in an Express blouse, a Primark skirt that she bought while abroad in Scotland, and Aldo patent leather heels.

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Posted at 09:00 AM/ET, 03/26/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Doesn’t get more legendary than this honorary guest. By Sarah Zlotnick
Photograph by Paul Morigi.

Ready for a serious case of fashion FOMO? Last night a special book signing and reception was held in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winner Robin Givhan’s new book The Battle of Versailles, a detailed dive into the night Parisian haute couture went head-to-head with the buzzy new looks and designers coming out of the United States.

The undoubtedly chic affair was hosted by Ambassador Gerard Araud, French Ambassador to the United States, at the French Residence. Givhan was there to sign books and receive accolades from DC’s well-dressed set, and former Vogue Editor-at-Large (and our favorite American’s Next Top Model judge) Andre Leon Talley was the special guest for the evening. TAA PR's Aba Kwawu co-hosted the fête alongside sponsors Mazza Gallerie, T.H.E. Artist Agency, and Moet Hennessy.

For those who more closely follow fashion history than fashion blogging, that is a lot of star power in one room. What do you think was discussed? Were any impromptu history lessons given? For the complete low-down (and pictures!), be sure to check out Carol Joynt’s detailed recap.

Posted at 04:09 PM/ET, 03/25/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Carry a pop of color by your side to transition your outfits for the warmer months. By Caroline Cunningham

Washington weather hasn’t yet decided whether it’s winter or spring, and consequently we’re all caught in wardrobe limbo—wearing boots one day, open-toed sandals the next.

But even though you may not be ready to pack away all your dark winter clothes, that doesn’t mean you can’t start transitioning to spring. Pick up a new bright work tote to pair with the remnants of your winter wear, and take the first step towards a warmer, sunnier tomorrow.

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Posted at 05:05 PM/ET, 03/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
And other stylish events this week. By Caroline Cunningham
Image via Shutterstock/Malgorzata Kistryn

Jewelry Trunk Shows at Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s is hosting a couple of trunk shows this week to help you get decked out for spring: iBeautiful by Mia Elliott’s couture jewelry collection (March 25 through 28) and Valerie Nahmani Designs handmade gemstone and semi-precious bead jewelry (March 24 through 29) will both have their lines on display in Chevy Chase. Shop the trunk shows for Mia Elliott’s bold statement pieces and Valerie Nahmani’s elegant accessories featuring all-natural stones. Bloomingdale’s, 5300 Western Ave., Chevy Chase; 240-744-3700.

SEE Eyewear Spring Trunk Show

Check out the new eyewear in stock for spring at SEE in Georgetown this weekend. Snack on small bites and try out the collection of unique glasses with bright pops of color and funky frame shapes. While you're there, grab a new pair of sunnies for upcoming vacations—all sunglasses are $99. SEE Eyewear, 1261 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-337-5988; March 26 through 29.

Saks Fifth Avenue Handbag Happy Hour

Stop by at Saks Fifth Avenue for cocktails, light bites, and the latest handbags, presented by Saks Fifth Avenue’s head handbag buyer from New York, Hilary O’Shea. Find out what’s hot in handbags this season and scoop up some of the newest styles. RSVP by calling 240-497-5253. Saks Fifth Avenue, 5555 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; 240-497-5317; Thursday, March 26, 5 PM.

Urban Chic Celebrates Relaunch With Trunk Shows

Now in its 11th year, Urban Chic decided to refresh its offering for the spring, bringing in new designers and focusing on curating an on-trend boutique. The new Urban Chic will celebrate its launch on Thursday, March 26, with a private event, followed by weekend trunk shows to display the boutique’s new wares. There’s a Merritt Charles trunk show on Friday, March 27, Donna Mizani on Saturday, March 28, and Gypsy05 on March 29. Urban Chic, 1626 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-338-5398.

Haute Closet Pop-Up

This online resource for men and women’s apparel, accessories, and jewelry will be popping up in Polished of Georgetown salon on Saturday, March 28. Shop the Haute Closet collection while snacking on cupcakes, then sample some of the salon’s services for a bit of mid-shopping spree pampering. Polished of Georgetown, 1425 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-7877; Saturday, March 28, 10 AM to 4 PM.

Posted at 03:19 PM/ET, 03/23/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Sephora’s FLASH service is either very good, or very, very bad for your wallet. By Caroline Cunningham
Photograph by Shutterstock/Sorbis.

With services like Amazon Prime offering free two day shipping at the cost of membership, shoppers are becoming accustomed to getting their products delivered quickly and without another seven or so dollars tacked onto the price. So in January, Sephora introduced FLASH, which allows the beauty company’s customers to pay ten dollars for a membership that grants them free two-day shipping for a year.

FLASH is a product of Sephora’s Innovation Lab, a program within the company that uses the collective brainpower of Sephora employees to generate new offerings and technologies for the brand. Bridget Dolan, vice president of Innovation Lab, says that FLASH is part of an effort to make their dotcom business just as seamless and convenient as an in-store experience.

“We hope that FLASH will give our clients faster access to the products they love and meet the demands of our growing online sales,” says Dolan.

FLASH comes free for the real beauty-obsessed: Sephora’s VIB Rouge insiders who spend $1,000 or more a year on Sephora products, who are also granted access to limited-list events, new products, and complimentary services at the company Beauty Studio. But with free two-day shipping available, it may not take beauty junkies long to hit that thousand dollar mark.

Enroll for FLASH here.

Posted at 02:51 PM/ET, 03/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
And other fashion-related events to check out this weekend. By Caroline Cunningham
Image courtesy Shopfeed.

Mobile Salon Coming to DC

If you spot a trailer with a number of women coming out looking better than they did going in, there’s a good reason. The Mobil Salon, packed with style experts, will be stopping at the Sally Beauty Supply stores in Alexandria Thursday 4 PM to 8 PM, Fredericksburg on Friday 11 AM to 3 PM, and Woodbridge Friday 4 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by recording artist Ledisi, the Mobile Salon will market her favorite Design Essentials Natural products and conduct 15-minute makeovers.

March 19 through 20, Sally Beauty Supply, multiple locations.

Launch of App Created by Three Local Women

After a successful soft launch over the holidays, Shopfeed celebrates its official east coast launch on Friday. The work of three local women, Antonia Thorber, Alice Berman, and Doris Steere, the app allows users to enter their preferences to create a feed of curated web articles that feature products that women can purchase through the app. Shopfeed has been named “the Buzzfeed for Shopping,” allowing women to catch up on the latest trends and shop them from their mobile device.

Lunch at Lilly

Ring in the arrival of spring at Lilly Pulitzer with a party at all area stores on Saturday. Each Lilly Pulitzer boutique will feature a live DJ, cocktails, small bites, and a number of exclusive gifts with any purchases, such as a $600-value earring, bracelet, and mystery gift set or a $1,400 overnight bag.

March 21, Lilly Pulitzer, multiple area locations.

Washington Designer Trunk Show

Shop the runway at this trunk show by the designers who showcased their collections at DC Fashion Week. Shop the womenswear, menswear, bridal, and jewelry by local designers, and support more local businesses at the pop up vendor market at the Crystal City DoubleTree hotel. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.

The Washington Designer Trunk Show, March 21, 7 to 10 PM, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington.

Posted at 03:02 PM/ET, 03/19/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
This local startup has us swooning over their on-trend pieces. By Caroline Cunningham
Images courtesy Hanuel.

With it’s delicate accessories and very affordable prices, there’s little not to love about Hanuel, the online jewelry shop that launched this September. The site is the brainchild of two local women, Cynthia Kim and Jen Eun, who decided last fall to bring this collaboration to life.

Read More

Posted at 03:55 PM/ET, 03/18/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
We found the wallet-friendly alternatives of designer splurges. By Kate Bennett
Photograph of Valentino sandals by Jeff Elkins

“My Way” watch, at Neiman Marcus

Kate Spade New York
“Metro Grand” pavé watch, at Bloomingdale’s

Burberry London
Camel cotton-twill trench, at

Beige trench coat, at H&M

“Rockstud 1973” sandal,at Hu’s Shoes (Georgetown)

Trina Turk
“Titus” thong sandal, at Nordstrom

Butterfly-sleeve dress in fuchsia, at Nordstrom

Jersey dress in pink, at H&M

Victoria Beckham
Asymmetric wrap-effect crepe dress, at

Rebecca Taylor
Double-face jersey dress in chalk, at

Aviator Flash Lenses in violet mirror, at Sunglass Hut

“Metal Brow” aviator sunglasses, at Topshop

Max Mara
“Zoe” leather envelope clutch, at Max Mara (Tysons Galleria)

J. Crew
“Parker” leather cross-body bag, at J. Crew

This article appears in our March 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 12:28 PM/ET, 03/16/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Check out the designer's hand carved and painted lucite jewelry. By Caroline Cunningham
Images courtesy Alexis Bittar.

After presenting for the first time at New York Fashion Week this February, jewelry designer Alexis Bittar is on a role. He made a name for himself with his carved lucite jewelry, a line which has expanded into 12 retail boutiques across the globe.

This week, Alexis Bittar opened his first store in the area. His soft opening at CityCenterDC took place on March 12, and there’s a grand opening slotted for April 9. The boutique will sell Alexis Bittar’s fine and fashion jewelry, including his chunky cocktail rings and his hand carved and painted lucite bangles and statement necklaces.

Alexis Bittar, CityCenterDC, 984 Palmer Ally, NW; 202-842-2804

Posted at 05:26 PM/ET, 03/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()