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Baker was the star of Thursday night's Walk This Way charity fashion show, featuring Washington athletes. By Kate Bennett
Redskin wide receiver Pierre Garçon sports Gant on the catwalk (left). DC United star Chris Pontius struts his stuff at Walk This Way charity fashion show (right). Photographs by Kate Bennett.

Athletes often have particular pre-game rituals, but a booty-shaking dance on the fashion catwalk isn’t one we’ve seen before. On Thursday night, Redskins nose tackle and defensive end Chris Baker participated with several other professional sports stars in Walk this Way, a charity fashion show at the Italian Embassy presented by anti-domestic violence nonprofit Becky’s Fund.

Dressed head to toe in Gant, a sportswear label with an Americana twist and a store on M Street in Georgetown, Baker got the crowd going with his moves, soaking up the attention and showcasing his robust physique. While the rest of the celebrity athletes—including fellow Redskins Pierre Garçon, Kai Forbath, and Andre Roberts; DC United’s Chris Pontius and Bill Hamid; and a handful of area champs like boxer Jimmy Lange, Olympic rower Giuseppe Lanzone, and Olympic swimmer Kate Ziegler—did their strut-and-pose, the title of “supermodel” goes to Baker. Maybe he was still celebrating last week’s win over the Cowboys? Either way, look out Vikings—Baker’s dancing his way to town on Sunday.

Posted at 10:49 AM/ET, 10/31/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Georgetown hair salon debuts its new second-floor spa next month. By Kay Wicker
A rendering of Luigi Parasmo Spa's manicure and pedicure stations.

This fall, Luigi Parasmo's two-year-old salon will reveal the result of a recent 2,000-square-foot expansion: a brand-new full-service spa. The new digs will offer a slew of pampering services, which combines the expected nail and facial treatments alongside some more surprising options—including something dubbed "holistic oxygen therapy."

The spa has plans to supply embedded iPads at each of three pedicure stations, and a crew of estheticians, nail techs, and massage therapists will make up a team of nine. Come winter, the spa will add spray tanning to its treatment roster. And there's no need to leave the mister at home—the spa will also offer men's services that range from gentlemen's facials to waxing. The new setup is slated to open in late November.

Luigi Parasmo Salon. 1510 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-2244. Opens November 25.

Posted at 11:24 AM/ET, 10/29/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
We decipher the new codes of power and privilege. By Kate Bennett
Photographs by Jeff Elkins.

As fall settles in, it’s evident that Washington’s new sense of style has begun to change even the established uniforms of male power and privilege. Here's how to read the plumage.

Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

The Hill Honcho

Michael Steel, 37, spokesman for House speaker John Boehner

Inspiration: Sean Connery in From Russia with Love.

On Capitol Hill, a suit telegraphs competence, conformity, and a higher purpose amid the chaos of lawmaking. Cost isn’t often spared, but a staffer’s attire shouldn’t shout its price tag. “The most important thing is to respect the institution and the people we serve,” says Steel.

1. Brooks Brothers suit, in gray or navy, with white or blue shirt.

2. Hermès tie. Rank and party are often expressed in choice of neckwear—color, material, brand, even the knot. Steel wears his in a simple four-in-hand.

3. “At work, I wear a nice watch my wife gave me for our wedding. On weekends, I wear a Timex from a Walmart in Janesville, Wisconsin, on a grosgrain band.”

4. Cuff links are a personal indulgence. These are engraved with an image of the Capitol, from Tiny Jewel Box on Connecticut Avenue.

5. Negotiating the miles of halls in the Capitol or hoofing it after the speaker from meeting to House floor to smoking break argues for a sensible oxford: “Every year or so, I get a good pair of dress shoes from Sky Valet Shoes on Wisconsin Avenue—black with gray suits, brown or cordovan with navy.”

Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

The Hipster

Brandon Weight, 22, assistant events coordinator, Brightest Young Things, a web magazine and marketing company

Inspiration: “Any rapper with true street style is incredible.”

1. Creating an event in a retired embassy or throwing a dinner for a crowd is hell on clothes. “I tear things up and always have gaffer’s-tape residue on my clothes,” Weight says. “I wear H&M suits—it’s cheaper. This jacket I’ve had for a year, but I’ve already gone through two or three of the pants.”

“I’m young, so it helps to be present-able. When I came from California to Northern Virginia. I had super-long hair, highlights, I shopped at PacSun. It was really bad.”

2. How to know you’re a hipster? “I mean, I’m wearing an $8 camo shirt from Urban Outfitters.”

“I usually get off work and go to J. Crew. That whole strip [of M Street] is great—H&M, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters.”

Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

The Lobbyist

Christopher "Gindy" Gindlesperger, 33, senior director of public affairs, American Beverage Association

Inspiration: “This is going to sound polarizing, but Kanye West is a huge influence for me.”

1. Gindy’s slick wool houndstooth communicates access and the discipline to stay on message. Like many of his suits, it’s custom, from Suitsupply: “My boy Will there helps me out. He’s amazing.”

2. Thomas Pink for shirts, or Charles Tyrwhitt, English cut. “I like a two-button barrel cuff.”

3. A pocket square is the discreet fun zone, with room for polka dots or Liberty prints or a hot color.

Lobbying has been liberated from its traditional mufti of yellow ties and pinstripes. Debonair is the new brash. “I look at fashion in Washington like people look at work: Once upon a time, work was a place you went. Now it’s something you do.”

“If you’re professional, you know what you’re talking about, and you look great. That’s the recipe.”

4. “The shoes are Ferragamo. No socks.”

Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

The Academic

Aderson B. Francois, 47, associate professor, Howard University School of Law

Inspiration: “My father would always find an excuse to wear a suit. As I got older, I got used to the idea of dressing a certain way, almost like putting on a uniform.”

“There is no dress code at Howard or any other law school—in fact, most professors tend to dress extraordinarily casual. Some don’t even bother wearing a blazer, much less a suit. Some even wear jeans. I just prefer not to do that.”

1. Gant Rugger blazer.

Perhaps nowhere is dressing to impress as important as in the classroom. “Teaching is like a performance,” Francois says. “If you don’t have a certain measure of confidence, students can detect it.”

2. Buddhist prayer-bead bracelet.

Academics avoid trends in favor of eternal truths. “I shop at Billy Reid, Gant, sometimes Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus. I buy very few things but wear them for a long time—so much that they’ve literally fallen apart. But I’d still be sad if I lost them.”

His look defines a precise line between youthful panache and crisp authority. “I tend to wear Dunhill or Gian-franco Ferre, but I like a slimmer cut and al-most always end up having it tailored.”

3. “The shoes? They’re Lidfort. I got them a few years back at Barneys, I think.”

This article appears in the November 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 11:35 AM/ET, 10/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The goalie and defenseman dish on their favorite places to shop and dine out. By Valeria Boucas
Photographs by Andrew Propp.

When I think of Canadian fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is a Canadian tuxedo (think: the now-infamous look that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake wore oh so well at the 2001 American Music Awards). But when I met up with Canadian-born hockey players Braden Holtby and Mike Green of the Washington Capitals at their practicing rink in Ballston, Virginia, the day before their home opener game, I saw a very different style of denim. Neither one consulted with the other before the interview, and both turned up in denim shirts half tucked in, their sleeves rolled up to reveal tattooed forearms.

In separate interviews, each player professed to be "more of a boot guy" than a sneakerhead, and insisted their styles are very much their own with little to no outside influence from, say, their wives. Read on to find out what stores they rely on to find their favorite brands and how they like to spend their limited free time in Washington.

Where do you like to shop in Washington?

Braden Holtby: Scotch & Soda is my main go-to for casual clothes. I like to get my suits at John Varvatos, Billy Reid, and SuitSupply.

Mike Green: I do a lot of my shopping online at Mr Porter and Gilt. Gilt has great deals. I've also gotten really into Billy Reid in Georgetown, but other than that I rely on Neiman Marcus—they have a good variety of clothes.

What about favorite brands?

BH: Hugo Boss fits us hockey players really well. For standard suits, I usually go there. I like black and blue suits. On the more casual side, Best Made has cool woodsy-style clothes that I like, and the Canadian brand Roots has changed a lot. They make great leather clothes and bags now.

MG: I love John Varvatos. My favorite designer ever, though, is Brunello Cucinelli. His fabrics and clothes are incredible.

Are you into any of the shopping services that exist now, like Trunk Club?

BH: My wife and I like to shop, so not really. We enjoy picking out everything ourselves.

On that note, do your wives influence your style at all?

BH: We have similar styles, actually. We have since we met each other. Fashion was one of the things that sort of brought us together, believe it or not.

MG: My style has definitely picked up since getting married but for the most part, it hasn't changed much. My wife's an artist, though, so she sees certain things she thinks look good on me.

So if you were to sum up your personal style in just a few words, what would you say?

BH: My style reflects my personality so I kind of just throw on whatever I'm feeling that day. I really don't have one basic style or specific look; it changes all the time. But if I were to use one word, I'd say retro. Some people joke that I look more like an artist than a hockey player.

MG: You represent yourself through your clothing. Hockey players struggle with fashion the most because we're in a rink wearing suits since we're young kids.

Your beard has also become such a signature part of your look, Braden.

BH: Yeah I've always had a beard. I can't stand being clean shaven. Right now it's the shortest it's been in awhile. I actually grew it out this summer, and it was huge. No one would recgonize me back home, so it worked perfectly.

When you're not on the ice, what restaurants do you frequent?

BH: My family and I live in Old Town, so we love Virtue Feed & Grain because it's close to our house. Founding Farmers is one of our favorites also; we go there for brunch sometimes. We used to live in Shirlington, where we'd go to Busboys and Poets a lot, so we try and stop by there when we can. When our parents are in town, Vermilion in Old Town is a good spot for a nice supper.

MG: I live in McLean, but I thoroughly enjoy the restaurants in DC. When we can, we eat out as much as possible—we like Le Diplomate and the restaurants along 14th Street. When I first came to the US I lived in Annapolis, so that turned me on to seafood, and Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab is great for that. When we have time for a drink I really like Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons; it's low-key and quiet. My local watering hole is Thirsty Bernie's, a sports bar by my house.

Is there anything people don't know about you that they may be surprised to learn?

BH: I like bookstores, so I'm always trying to find as many of those as I can.

MG: In the offseason I build and customize motorcycles. I started doing this about three years ago. I learned how to weld, and once I learned that, I would cut apart the bikes, redesign them, and build them again. I do it as a hobby with five of my buddies.

Shirt and pants, Scotch & Soda; shoes, Timberland; belt, Roots.
Top and bottom wrap bracelets, MIANSAI by Michael Saiger; center, Scotch & Soda.
Watch, Shinola.
On Green: Shirt, Brunello Cucinelli; jeans and boots, John Varvatos.
Watch, Panerai.
On Holtby: suit, John Varvatos; shirt, Hugo Boss; shoes, tie, and pocket square, Billy Reid. On Green: suit, Prada; shirt, Brunello Cucinelli; shoes, Church's; tie, Wembley.

Find Valeria Boucas on Twitter at @valeriaboucas.

Posted at 10:36 AM/ET, 10/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Left your costuming to the last possible minute? Local costume designer Ivania Stack spills her secrets for transforming yourself on the fly. By Kay Wicker
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.

Posted at 10:59 AM/ET, 10/24/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your guide to this week's most fashionable events. By Kay Wicker
A scene from Advanced Style. Photograph by Ari Seth Cohen, courtesy of Georgetown BID.

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.

Posted at 12:31 PM/ET, 10/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Washington style icons and guests enjoyed the exclusive runway show presentation and party.
Photographs by Andrew Propp.

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.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 10/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Spice up your wardrobe with these autumnal ensembles. By Kay Wicker

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.

Boho Chic

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.

Sweetly Spicy

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.

Posted at 02:31 PM/ET, 10/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This culinary expert brings a hip edge to the Italian eatery. By Valeria Boucas
Photographs by Andrew Propp.

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.

The Details

All photographs by Andrew Propp.

Think you or someone you know deserves a chance in the What I Wear to Work spotlight? E-mail with pictures and a job description for consideration.

Posted at 10:20 AM/ET, 10/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your guide to this week's most stylish events. By Kay Wicker
A rendering of the soon-to-open Topshop in Springfield Town Center. Courtesy of Topshop.

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

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.

Posted at 01:51 PM/ET, 10/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()