Finding the perfect venue in which to send off 2013 and ring in the new year is challenging enough. Add the stress of figuring out what to wear, and that can just put you over the sartorial edge. With obscure host-enforced dress codes (festive casual, anybody?) and freezing temperatures, attempts at being fashion-forward may seem futile. Which is why we are embracing the season of giving—and sharing 20 of our favorite party dresses that are perfect to wear no matter where your night takes you. To the slideshow!
It’s been an eventful year here in the fashion department of Washingtonian. As the year winds down, we’re taking some time to reflect on the past 12 months of unforgettable experiences: from a very fashionable Presidential inauguration, to a field trip to Fashion Week, to endless photoshoots. Here are some snapshots of some of our best moments in 2013.
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2. When Tadashi Shoji made an appearance early this year at Marymount University’s Fashion in Motion show, associate fashion editor Irina Grechko stopped in to pick the designer’s brain.
3. A beautiful, patriotic dessert greeted us at the California State Society and Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s Inaugural luncheon, held at the Ritz-Carlton.
4. Eveningwear designer Kevan Hall showcased vibrant gowns at the luncheon, just in time for gala season.
5. In the presidential suite of the Mandarin Oriential, Aerin Lauder gave us a sneak peek of her spring beauty collection.
6. Fashion Editor Kate Bennett sat front and center at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation's third annual Great Ladies luncheon and fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue, featuring the stunning designs of Jason Wu.
Fashion-wise, one of the first showstopping moments on Scandal was in the show’s third episode, when Olivia Pope arrived at a swanky state dinner wearing a white gown. Gone were the bleak grays and blacks that until then dominated her pantsuit-filled wardrobe, and out came a gal who we’d very soon find had impeccable taste in style.
For DC’s working ladies—particularly those in government fields—gala season is the time of year to let their glamorous side take the spotlight. In a town where pencil skirts, neutrals, and minimal makeup abound in the workplace (though, definitely not all workplaces), Washington’s black-tie affairs provide us the opportunity to show the world we can be simultaneously elegant and edgy. In honor of the increasingly stunning gowns that are making their way onto the screen (we recently spotted some refreshing Rubin Singer, shown above) here’s a look back at the eveningwear our style crush has worn throughout the show.
Of the stylish power-fixer she plays in Scandal, Kerry Washington once noted, “All of her bags are Prada. Every single handbag—unless it’s a flashback episode. And they’re all stunning.”
The DC native is no stranger to the Italian superlabel herself. From the custom fall ’13 Prada gown (above) Washington wore to Scandal’s season premiere to stylist Lyn Paolo's real-life purse that made it into the show simply because the actress loved it, it seems our girl is taking some style cues from her character.
So today we’re offering an ode to the outstanding accessory that defines Olivia Pope style: the Prada handbag. From dark ruffles to sleek, structured pastels, here are five bags she’s worn throughout the show’s two and a quarter seasons—along with some more affordable look-alikes you can snag for yourself.
Erika Schrieber’s debut collection is proof that minor upgrades to a piece of clothing can have a transformative impact. The nine-piece line, dominated by midi skirts with ever-so-slightly flared hems, flowy shift dresses with drop waists, and sleek blazers with ultra-wide lapels show us how one can look simultaneously sophisticated and edgy—something that holds particular weight in Washington, where striking the right balance of style and professionalism is a never-ending challenge. Schrieber’s full spring/summer 2014 collection, produced right here in DC, just launched online, and she has even bigger plans for the future. We caught up with the 25-year-old designer to hear about how she got started in the industry, where she finds inspiration, and favorite local shops.
Call it our voyeuristic side, but there’s little we love more than peeking into the closets of DC’s stylish set to see what they’re loving—and wearing. This season we got one step ahead of those nosy instincts: We asked a few of our favorite local tastemakers to share their fall must-buys. Read on to see what’s topping their wish lists now.
Kelly Ferenc, owner of Bishop Boutique
“My fall wish list is quite long, because I am obsessed with absolutely every trend this fall: the dramatic deep tones, leather everything, booties, and statement jewels. Plus the party attire—hello, jumpsuits and skater skirts!”
1) “Let’s start with the tootsies and work our way up. It is the year of the bootie, so get your boo-tay on board. During the day I’ll be rocking the Loeffler Randall Frankie bootie ($425), but for my night look I must have these Ivanka Trump Mina booties ($185).” Both available at Bishop Boutique.
2) “Whoa, leather! This great dress by Karen Millen with leather detail will be mine.” $299 at Bloomingdale’s.
3) “Can we all take a collective sigh for the jumpsuit? I am literally running home to my mailbox every night praying that my backordered DVF Lucy jumpsuit has arrived. Y’all will see me doing cartwheels down King Street when it finally shows up.”
4) “Statement jewels are a great way to top off any look. My favorites pieces are Loren Hope’s Carina necklace ($165) and Perla earrings ($138)—they give you that ooh-la-la moment.” Both available at Bishop Boutique.
5) “My bag of choice would be the Milly Watersnake crossbody, which can quickly be ready for a night out on the town by removing the strap! Total clutch move.” Milly bag, $301.50 at Amazon.
’Tis the month of high-end fashion blogger appearances. First came Man Repeller at the W Hotel. Next weekend, Bryanboy and Robin Givhan host a trend presentation at Tysons Galleria. And now Scott Schuman, the acclaimed street style photographer and author of eye-candy central the Sartorialist, is headed our way.
Early this year the Council of Fashion Designers of America indefinitely canceled Fashion’s Night Out, the annual block-party-like event that brought stores, salons, and designers together for a weekend of fashion events. The event, which originated in New York and was organized in partnership with Vogue, was nixed nationwide, much to the dismay of fashion-addicted Washingtonians who viewed FNO as a way to come together with their creative peers (and shop, obviously). Thankfully, the Georgetown Business Improvement District stepped up to the plate, and has organized an entire FNO-like weekend full of soirees and shows—including major sales at local shops, something the original event often lacked. The three-day event, dubbed FAD (short for Fashion + Art + Design) is poised to be an impressive replacement for its reputable predecessor. Here are six reasons to check it out.
Catherine Malandrino for Kohl’s DesigNation
The Parisian designer brings a ladylike line of dresses, pants, and blouses in blacks and whites—like this cutout leather dress seen on Olivia Palermo—to Kohl’s for its third DesigNation collection, all priced under $130. Previous collaborations involved Derek Lam and Narciso Rodriguez. Launches September 27.
L’Wren Scott at Banana Republic
The edgy designer brings a stunning palette of deep reds, violets, and black to a collaborative holiday collection at Banana Republic, launching this winter. The line will boast faux-fur accents, playful prints, and dazzling gems on its 50-plus dresses, pants, blazers, handbags, and more. Launches December 5.
If you’ve already seen this year’s Style Setters feature in our September issue (coming online soon!), you know there’s some seriously swoonworthy fashion on display. Like Meg Biram’s red two-piece Katie Ermilio ensemble. And Dionna Dorsey’s embroidered, leather-trimmed Valentina Shah coat. Or how about the dapper pinstriped Suitsupply getup on Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez? It’s all pretty fab. But those ten shots weren’t the only looks we snapped at Meridian House back in July. Exclusively here for your style-hungry eyes, scope the rest of the standout styles—from Ian Fay’s bright red tux to Rosa Rai Djalal’s stunning Indonesian-made kaftan—plus a few playful moments, too.