Two of Ivania Stack's expert tips for last-minute costuming. Top: Modcloth Put on a Show Sunglasses ($14.99) and ModCloth Right Black Cat Ya Headband ($12.99); Bottom: Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner ($20) and Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow ($21).
Thinking about skipping out on dressing up for Halloween this year? Maybe you don't think you'll have enough time, or perhaps you don't feel like putting a lot of money—or, let's be honest, effort—into your costume. But don’t concede to spending next Friday couch-surfing with the candy stash just yet. We asked local costume designer Ivania Stack—who’s designed wardrobe for productions at Woolly Mammoth, Studio Theatre, and MetroStage, among others—to spill her secrets for last-minute costuming. Read on for her tips.
1) Remain neutral. "Whenever we have an actor or actress who's playing a lot of different characters we'll typically dress them in neutral colors," says Stack. This one’s easy for everyone. Who doesn’t have a host of neutrals stashed in their wardrobe? Hues like cream or gray can easily be the base of a whole variety of looks, and they transition easily from workwear during the day to costume come evening. Try this: Pair a gray suit with a trench coat and a hat to turn yourself into Inspector Gadget. Or don all black, and you can be a mime, a beatnik, or—with the addition of ears and a tail—the ever-popular black cat.
2) Always accessorize. "Accessories are the easiest to work with," Stack says. The difference between nailing a costume and not quite pulling it off is sometimes as easy as having the right accessories and props. And you probably already own pieces that can work as a costume. Got a few strings of pearls and big sunnies? You’re Holly Golightly. Fedora and a red carnation? A 1920s gangster. Take those same sunglasses and add a fur coat, and you can be a movie star (or Rachel Zoe).
3) Focus on the face. Stack suggests focusing on hair and makeup first, especially if you’re short on time, because that’s what people will see first. Halloween is one of the only nights during which you can get away with over-the-top looks that would be too extreme on a regular night, so don’t be shy. Try easy tricks like smudging a red eyeshadow under the eye for instant creepiness. If you’re working a historic character, go for period makeup such as a 1960s cat eye, ’80s-style hot pink lipstick, or a ’20s-inspired pin curl. And don’t forget about the power of eyeliner—it can be used to add a mustache or animal features in a pinch.
4) Think power in numbers. Don’t forget about your friends! "Group costumes can be some of the best costumes," says Stack. Sometimes dressing as an iconic character last-minute can be too difficult to pull off well. But when you amplify an idea with a friend or two, the look stands a better chance of translating. Here’s an easy (and local!) idea: Put a few friends in power suits. Instant Scandal.
5) Explore your resources. Your closet isn’t the only place to find inspiration for costuming. If doubts over skillfully painting on the perfect cat eye are what’s standing between you and your inner Amy Winehouse, YouTube has your back. Try checking your favorite thrift store for costume potential. Urban Outfitters often stocks some seasonal silly specialty pieces. And, of course, there’s always Google. Do your research to see how others have pulled off a costume idea, then replicate as needed.
Spa Week at Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Salon
This week marks the tenth annual National Spa Week, and Elizabeth Arden's Red Door Salon invites you to get in on the pampering: The spa will offer three luxe spa treatments priced at $50 each, including a body treatment, facial, or pedicure; you can also go for a haircut or color treatment as a special bonus. Through Saturday October 26. 5225 Wisconsin Ave NW. Check the site for more info and to sign up.
Fashion Art Design Georgetown Featuring Advanced Style
The Georgetown Business Improvement District presents the second annual style and culture event Fashion Art Design. Explore the neighborhood's fashion, art, and design stores, and snag special discounts, treats, and trunk shows along the way at such stores as Urban Chic, Madewell, and Karen Millen, among others. Shopping isn't the day's only draw: The event also spotlights the Washington region's premiere screenings of fashion documentary Advanced Style, based on the blog of the same name. Post-film, your ticket includes a panel discussion with director Lina Plioplyte and one of the film's stylish seniors, Debra Rapoport. FAD, Saturday noon to 10. Georgetown. Free. Advanced Style screening, Saturday 3 and 6 PM. Get 15 percent off the $18 ticket price with promo code FADWASHINGTONIAN. Check the event's website for details.
Marco Bicego at Tiny Jewel Box
Italian fine jewelry designer Marco Bicego presents his latest line of hand-made artisanal jewelry at Dupont's Tiny Jewel Box this weekend. Meet the designer while ogling his textured 18-karat-gold creations. Saturday, 11 AM to 3 PM. Tiny Jewel Box, 1147 Connecticut Ave., NW.
On Thursday, October 16, Saks Fifth Avenue hosted an in-store presentation of the DKNY Fall 2014 collection. The event was held at Tysons Galleria with an exclusive DKNY runway presentation hosted by Washingtonian's associate fashion editor Valeria Boucas and DKNY's Peggy Kitsch. The event offered special gifts, refreshments, and sweet treats to guests as they shopped.
It's become a seasonal rite of passage: Everyone becomes obsessed with pumpkin this, pumpkin that. And yet, we're still pondering our new-season wardrobe. The solution? Combine the two by working some harvest-inspired hues into your look. Here are three ways to do it—plus some spicy scents and autumnal lipstick to offset the clothes perfectly.
The Power Look
Bring all the warmth of the seasonal favorite to your professional wardrobe by pairing sophisticated neutrals with cranberry accents.
Jumpsuit ($99.90) and beige lambskin studio coat ($399), at Zara; Yves Saint Laurent Opium, $60 at Sephora; Berry Good Harvest necklace in autumn, $24.99 at ModCloth; Vince pointed toe D’Orsay flats, $295 at Bloomingdale's.
Sweeten up your weekend outfits with relaxed, effortless pieces and a flirty boho vibe.
Dinner Date dress, $88 at Free People, $88; Hassick bootie, $90 at Aldo; Lexie beaded necklace, $12.90 at Alloy; Ecote tool barrel bag, $59 at Urban Outfitters; Philosophy Fresh Cream shampoo, shower, and bath gel, $17 at Ulta.
Looking to really spice things up? Instead of going with the standard black and tight for evening, try something lighter and less structured combined with a dash of edgy sparkle.
Nude slip dress, $79.90 at Zara; Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Fig, $20, at Sephora; cognac leather bomber jacket, $59.95 at H&M; Via Spiga Darby wedge, $195 at Aldo; Ariana Rock-Crystal hard clutch, $228 at BCBGMAXAZRIA; Elizabeth Cole Aeryn earrings, $73 at Shopbop.
Who: Erin Clarke, 34
Chef de Cuisine at Casa Luca
What I do: "I am chef de cuisine of Chef Fabio Trabocchi's restaurant Casa Luca. You can find me in the kitchen between 9 AM and 10 PM pretty much any day of the week except Sunday. I cook, clean, create, and attempt to organize and direct a kitchen full of high-spirited cooks and a dining room full of some of the most talented people I've ever had the pleasure of working with."
My work style: "At work I'm usually in clogs and chef whites—not much room for anything else except an apron. Most mornings, I throw on work pants, my boyfriend's sweatshirt, and moccasins. They're super soft, broken in, and you don't have to lace them up, which makes changing into my uniform a breeze. Honestly, I'm half dressed before I get to work, but I always keep a blazer, a tailored pair of jeans, and a button-down collared shirt hanging up in the office just in case. It's my uniform."
In the Kitchen
"I purchased these Minnetonka moccasins when I lived in Charleston, South Carolina. Nights were cold, and there was always broken glass on the ground in the kitchens, so these were the perfect shoes to wear. They're also great on plane trips."
Out of the Kitchen
"I love this Theory blazer—I've had it for more years than I can remember. It's a label I stick to; classic, tailored pieces that last a lifetime. The scarf and earrings were a gift from my mother, who also happens to be my fashion mentor. I have no idea where she bought the scarf, but the earrings were brought back from a recent trip to Santa Fe. I'm also never without my Ray Ban sunglasses when I'm outside; I feel strange without them. I'd leave the house without keys or a phone before I left without my Ray Bans. These booties are also some of my favorites. They're a rare online purchase from a website I no longer remember, but they're versatile, comfortable, and not heels—everything I look for in a shoe."
Theory blazer, Hudson jeans, Mea Shadow boots, Ray Ban sunglasses.
All photographs by Andrew Propp.
Think you or someone you know deserves a chance in the What I Wear to Work spotlight? E-mail email@example.com with pictures and a job description for consideration.
Men of the Cloth Film Premiere
West End Cinema hosts the DC premiere of director Vicki Vasilopoulos’s film Men of the Cloth, a documentary on Italian master tailors Nino Corvato, Joe Centofanti, and Checchino Fonticoli—and the impending demise of their craft. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Vasilopoulos and Sofio Barone, founder and head designer at Sofio’s Custom Clothiers and Tailors in Tysons Corner, and moderated by blogger Grant Harris of Image Granted. Tuesday 7 PM. 2301 M St., NW. $10.34 online at West End Cinema.
Saks Fifth Avenue’s 16th Annual Key to the Cure Kickoff and Weekend Events
To help raise money and awareness for breast cancer, Saks Fifth Avenue Tysons Galleria pairs up with the nonprofit Tigerlily Foundation to host a kickoff event for the store's Key to the Cure shopping weekend, during which 2 percent of participating vendor sales will go to George Washington University Hospital. The evening features a runway presentation, shopping, hors d’oeuvres, and cocktails. Wednesday 6:30 to 9:30 PM, 2001 International Dr., McLean. Tickets, $50 at Tigerlily Foundation.
Washingtonian’s Kate Bennett and DKNY at Saks Fifth Avenue
Join Washingtonian's fashion editor, Kate Bennett, and guest hosts Andrea Rinaldi and Deana Mary at Saks Fifth Avenue for an exclusive presentation of DKNY’s fall collection. Shoppers will snag a special gift with a DKNY purchase of $300 or more. Thursday 6 to 8 PM. Tysons Galleria. RSVP at RSVPTYSONS@S5A.com.
Topshop Opens in Springfield
The wait is over: Our area's first Topshop finally debuts this week as part of the redeveloped Springfield Town Center's grand reopening. The British fast-fashion chain celebrates its arrival with special opening-day festivities, including goodie bags for the first 200 customers, a special gift with purchases of more than $80, an in-store photo booth, and a contest dubbed Win the Wardrobe, during which one shopper will go home with the contents of the display window. Friday 10 AM to 7 PM. Springfield Town Center.
Todd Reed Trunk Show
Local fine jeweler I. Gorman invites bauble lovers to sip bubbly while scoping out the sparkles during a trunk show featuring Todd Reed. Friday 1 to 7 PM and Saturday 11 AM to 5 PM. 1133 20th St., NW.
Fall in Style Fashion Exchange
Ready for a closet clean-out? Heels and the City and Futuristic Branding host a style swap, during which participants are asked to bring eight pieces of stylish, clean clothing in great condition to trade for new-to-them items. The event will also include: pop-up shops, mini makeovers, a style session, and door prizes. Saturday 3 to 7 PM. Residence Inn, 1456 Duke St., Alexandria. Tickets $8 to $14.50. For tickets and more information, visit Eventbrite.
Thanks to Olivia Pope, Elizabeth Jennings, and Claire Underwood, Washington's style revolution has been televised. Here's our interpretation of their power looks.
Tackling the dirty secrets of Washington's power elite apparently requires an arsenal of pantsuits. For Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington's character on the ABC series Scandal, subtle hues work best, from camel and gray to light pastels. The Silhouttes are strong, but Pope's silk blouses, towering pumps, and designer handbags say she's still a lady, albeit one who can take care of business.
1. Plum Perfect: Ellie Tahari silk blouse ($268) and Boss by Hugo Boss blazer ($595) and suit pants ($245), all at Bloomingdale's.
2. Pretty Pout: Tory Burch lipstick in "Call Me," $32 at Sephora
3. Braced for Success: Trina Turk enamel bracelets, $98 each at Sassanova (Bethesda)
4. Fine Wine: "Carola" pump by Via Spiga, $225 at Bloomingdale's (Chevy Chase).
5. Get a Bead On: Gold necklace by Asha, $395 at Sassanova.
The 1980s were a dicey sartorial decade, but our retro romance with Keri Russell's KGB agent, Elizabeth Jennings, on FX's The Americans is owed in large part to her way with jewel-tone separates, bow-tied blouses, leather boots, and cropped jackets. Fans can relive the best parts of the era—gold hoop earrings, textured knee-length skirts, floppy felt heats. Just skip the shoulder pads.
1. Top It Off: Helene Berman felt hat in Brodeaux, $138 at Bloomingdale's (Chevy Chase).
2. American Beauties: Diane von Furstenberg optic-plaid blouse ($275) and 7 for All Mankind black skirt ($198), both at Bloomingdale's.
3. Kick Start: "Rigby" leather bootie by Joie, $375 at Bloomingdale's.
4. Hoop Dreams: Ralph Lauren gold hoop earrings, $44 at Bloomingdale's.
5. Arm Candy: Tortoise bangle bracelets, $36 each at Sassanova.
House of Cards
Like everything else Claire Underwood does as a scheming spouse on Netflix's House of Cards, her wardrobe is an exercise in calculation. Precisely tailored dresses? Check. Severe yet smart black-white-and-grey palette? Check. A hint of sex appeal, but nothing vulgar? Absolutely. Add in Robin Wright's pixie haircut and Claire is a stylish femme fatale we devilishly admire.
1. Best Dressed: Altuzarra sheath dress with cobalt insert, $1,725 at Relish (Georgetown).
2. Tiny Baubles: Grade Positano clip-on pearl-and-labradorite earrings, $165 at Sassanova.
3. Spec-tacular: Warby Parker "Winston" eyeglass frames in black, $95 at warbyparker.com.
4. No Time to Waste: Daniel Wellington watch with black leather band, $199 at Bloomingdale's.
5. Go Toe-to-Toe: Salvatore Ferragamo "Nina" metal-capped spectator heel, $695 at Bloomingdale's.
More style inspiration:
1. Time Will Tell: Movado "concerto" watch with diamonds and mother-of-pearl dial, $2,495 at Fink's Jewelers (Dulles Town Center).
2. Haute Tote: "Saffiano" handbag, $2,950 at Prada boutique (Tysons Calleria).
3. Shady Lady: Burberry sunglasses, $260 at Sunglass Hut.
4. Get the Boot: Gucci horse-bit ankle boot, $1,195 at Saks Fifth Avenue (Chevy Chase).
5. Missing Links: Ralph Lauren necklace, $198 at Bloomingdale's.
This article appears in the October 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
Anyone who rolled up to a particular corner of 15th Street, adjacent to the White House, yesterday evening at around 4:45 would have noticed a gathering of about 45 people. Upon closer inspection, the group would have revealed itself to include just about every major name in the fashion world. Seventh Avenue was clustered in an insanely chic huddle waiting to enter a Michelle Obama-hosted East Wing reception, part of her daylong, first-ever Celebration of Design.
Eventually a couple hundred other notables arrived, the gates opened, and a who's who of fashion's elite—including Anna Wintour, Prabal Gurung, Zac Posen, Vera Wang, Joanna Coles, Thakoon Panichgul, Georgina Chapman, Reed Krakoff, Alexis Bittar, Jason Wu, Mary Alice Stephenson, and Thom Browne—strolled inside, greeted by a hallway display of mannequins sporting Mrs. Obama’s most important gowns. It was, without a doubt, the biggest cluster of truly fashionable folks ever to visit Washington in one fell swoop.
For the next two hours or so, a veritable barrage of heavy-hitters noshed at several stunningly adorned buffets (spotted: fashion people eating!) and enjoyed the intimate White House affair, which marked the close of a day of workshops and panels held to inspire the more than 150 fashion students invited to participate.
While we can’t divulge particular details of the private event, we can say the fashion industry on the whole has major respect for Mrs. Obama, whose ensembles have boosted emerging designers, touted the need for sartorial individuality, and championed the business of making clothes. She, in turn, has quite often paid homage to the creativity and artistry of the profession, and last night was no exception.
In short, the First Lady threw the most memorable party any fashionista worth her Manolos (one designer who, sadly, was not there) would give her right arm to attend. So, while icons such as Jenna Lyons of J. Crew took selfies with guests (snapping them herself and adding her own selection of filter) and supermodel Naomi Campbell posed for pics with Lazaro Hernandez (one half of fashion “it” boys Proenza Schouler) and Diane von Furstenberg, for one glorious night, DC’s style cred trumped New York, London, and Paris.
Find Kate Bennett on Twitter at @katebennett_dc.
Who: Denise Nguyen, 27
Marketing manager, Occasions Caterers
What I do: “I manage all branding and communications for Occasions Caterers and our sister companies, MENUS Catering and Protocol Staffing Services. This includes the development, strategy, and overall execution of all content marketing, both online and off. Website launches, social media, new business development, and media relations are part of my everyday; I also support tastings and community-related efforts, such as our mural project with Sitar Arts Center, a three-year partnership resulting in a 90-foot student-made mural. I also enjoy working with great talents producing video and photography, as well as styling shoots."
My work style: “I have an ongoing affair with structured versus unstructured. That’s really my style in a nutshell. I’m mad for pairing the tailored with the relaxed. It also describes my work, as someone who wears many hats and is constantly multitasking. I need structure to stay sane, but flexibility is also key. I like to update traditional looks with just a glimmer of edge: an unpredictable color or texture. I prefer flair on my feet, instead of jewelry. A good shoe really does live forever. I tend to shy away from busy prints; I find them limiting. But prints that can act as neutrals? Now that, I can get behind.”
Where I shop for workwear: “A bit of everywhere. I’m more focused on fabrication, flexibility, and whether I can see it living in my closet for a long while. Or if the piece has great verticals—can it be dressed up and down? Nothing pains me more than purchasing something that’s ‘trendy' and then chucking it at the end of season. If I have to name some places, my usual online sites are Gilt, the Outnet, and Barney's. Go-to-brands? Theory, A.P.C., and Tibi. I can always find staples with some edge.”
Working an Event
“If I’m working one of our events, it’s generally for photography, media opportunities, or other special projects. Because our team’s rule of thumb is to wear black, I tend to have my fun with structure. Also, this is a terrific transition shoe. It’s an open-toe pump, but the suede lets me reach for them in both summer and fall. The color-blocking and thick front band is a nice update to what would be a minimalist open-toe pump. It gives a little edge to a classic silhouette.”
Zara waffle-knit asymmetrical sweater, H&M full pleated skirt, Narcisco Rodriguez coral suede and red leather color-blocked sandals, Alexander Wang leather tote.
Kate Spade New York's chief creative officer, Deborah Lloyd, has quite the impressive résumé. The British-born force behind one of fashion's biggest labels hails from Banana Republic, where she led their design and brand development teams, and, before that, Burberry, where she's been credited with relaunching the women's London collection and received several awards along the way. Since joining the Kate Spade team in November 2007, Lloyd has expanded the brand into a full-fledged lifestyle label while simultaneously overseeing the Kate Spade Saturday and Jack Spade brands. In town to discuss DC fashion and to formally debut Kate Spade's fall collection at Nordstrom in Tysons Corner, Lloyd arrived with Kate Spade New York's brand stylist, Brad Goreski (of The Rachel Zoe Project fame) in tow. The duo touched down for less than 24 hours to meet with press and show off the new collection. We got right down to it and asked them our burning questions about the partnership and their thoughts on DC fashion.
When did you start styling for Kate Spade?
Brad Goreski: I think it was three years ago. I had the opportunity to work with Deborah on the ready-to-wear presentation that we showed to press at the New York showroom, and we just clicked. And the brand for me just makes sense because it’s so in tune with many things I believe in: whimsy, color, fashion. I love the Kate Spade girl, too, everything that she stands for—her philosophy on life and fashion.
So in your own words, Deborah, who would that girl be?
Deborah Lloyd: I always say the Kate Spade girl is quick, curious, playful, and strong. And it’s really not about an age, it’s about the state of mind she has. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. She loves fashion but doesn’t let it dictate her. She wears it the way she wants to wear it, she likes to wear pieces that make her stand out, and she’s very comfortable being herself.
And she definitely does stand out. Kate Spade has always loved color and is never afraid to mix and match. Where does the inspiration come from?
DL: It comes from all over, and every year we have one big idea. This year, it’s the year of places to go and places to see. The collection is inspired by areas I’ve either traveled to or that one day I want to visit. The September collection was inspired by Shanghai, and I did spend quite a bit of time in the far east. (Hence, the month before was Tokyo.) But in the Shanghai-inspired collection you’ve got the beautiful Chinese reds, the fans, the take-away box. I'm inspired by everything I see when I travel—the local marketplace or just wandering around alone. There's a beautiful place called the Bund, a waterfront area in central Shanghai that was full of gorgeous Art Deco hotels, so there's sort of an Art Deco influence to some of the jewelry and other pieces you'll see.
Is there an all-time favorite place you’ve been?
DL: Oh, I have so many it’s hard to choose. My husband took me on a surprise trip to Alaska once. I love the open spaces there, but it’s hard to choose because everywhere I go you try and look for something interesting. I just came back from Paris, which I have to say is my favorite city.
How does your role play into the brand, Brad?
BG: I style the ad campaigns.
DL: He styles everything! Including me! Every girl needs a little help.
BG: Ha! Well, I come in after the design process, when it’s all together. I’m a big part of the editing process—taking everything that’s been created for each season or delivery and pulling together, with Deborah’s help and a few other people, of trying to really create what the story is going to be. To fine tune it. Because they have the overall ideas and the theme, and I come in not really knowing much, and we just go through and say, "Yes, yes, no, no!"
DL: We’re doing this next week for the summer collection. We’re constantly working together whether it’s the fashion show presentation a month ago, so there’s a continuity there.
It’s obviously working, because the partnership has continued through several seasons.
DL: It is! You know, the first time Brad styled, that was it for me. It was like, "Oh, wow! He can finish my sentences for me." So he takes it to a place I don't see on my own. When you’re designing a collection you get so down in the weeds, so involved in it, that it’s really nice with Brad because he steps away and makes me look at it with different eyes. He makes it look exciting and turns it into reality, as well, because I can get stuck in my own little designer world imagining that people are going to wear it one way and then he comes in and says, "Wake up—she’s really going to wear these types of shoes," and "Look at it this way." It’s been a really wonderful collaboration.
So while you're in town and walking around observing fashion on the streets, do you think of specific items from the collection that would do well in DC, above some of the others?
DL: The coats. A good statement coat, because we know it’s going to get cold, and we have to brave the winter in style.
BG: I think this season there’s so many great hats in the collection, from fedoras to beanies to the little caps. They're a nice way to put a personal spin to your outerwear—and your inner-wear!
What are your thoughts on DC fashion?
BG: Am I going to get in trouble for saying this?
No! We want honest opinions here, good or bad.
BG: Well, it's not bad, but when I think of DC fashion I just think of the First Lady. Michelle Obama. Her, or Olivia Pope.
Do you watch the DC-set TV shows like Scandal and House of Cards?
DL: Yes, absolutely. But actually today, just walking through the malls I’ve been to, I’ve seen many women very dressed up for the day—moreso than I see in New York, even.
If you could dress the First Lady, what would you put her in?
DL: I think she’d look kind of wonderful in our fluffy dress with the bow in the back.
BG: Oh that’s a good one! Very chic. I like the idea of a circle skirt on her too, with a very simple top.
How would you describe your own personal style?
BG: I used to describe it as geek-chic with a little bit of showgirl. I try really hard, and Deborah has seen me do this, of pairing down my look, but I just can’t help it. I have on these blinged-out Louis Leeman sneakers right now that I was worried would set off security on my flight over here this morning. It was a big struggle to take off the sparkle when I was getting ready. So I left it on!
And for you, Deborah?
DL: I think it’s always been polished. Like Brad, I try to dress it down a bit, but it’s still done in quite a chic way. I can’t completely dress down, but I like simple shapes with some really good jewelry.
Find Valeria Boucas on Twitter at @valeriaboucas.