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Peter Pilotto x Target launches on Sunday. Are you ready? By Diana Elbasha
Designer Peter Pilotto debuted his Target collection Thursday at New York Fashion Week. It officially lands in stores this weekend. Photograph by Diana Elbasha.

After weeks of waiting for a new product line to launch, there is perhaps no feeling more defeating than arriving at the store to find the blouse you’ve been dreaming about already sold out. Such is often the case with Target’s notorious affordable designer collaborations—and its latest, with print master Peter Pilotto, was met with massive crowds and ultra-competitive customers at a pre-launch in New York this week, leading us to believe the actual release this weekend will be just as chaotic. But don’t give up now—just follow these six tips for getting the most out of what can easily be an overwhelming shopping experience. 

1) Prepare to lose some sleep.

Just as with tickets to a highly anticipated event, you should be ready right when Target’s doors—or website—opens to have the best chance at getting what you really want (the Columbia Heights store opens at 8 AM Sunday). The most in-demand items in past collections have sold out within minutes of launching. The Web launch time hasn’t yet been announced, but based on previous occasions, it’s likely to be between midnight and 5 AM. Be sure to check Target’s twitter account Saturday evening for the announcement. On that note . . .

2) Stay on top of social media. 

Make sure to follow @TargetStyle on Twitter, as this account will spew out details regarding launch times on, and will be your resource for any website-related issues, of which there have been many with previous designer collabs. You’ll see conversations surface between customers on Facebook and Twitter that will give you insight into when people have found sizes available (stock is typically added gradually throughout the morning). And checking out Twitpics beforehand will give you a reliable sense of what products people are coveting most—and therefore what’s likely to fly off the shelves soonest. 

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Posted at 04:24 PM/ET, 02/05/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The British retailer announced its first Washington location Wednesday. By Diana Elbasha
We'll be seeing this sight pretty soon in Washington. Photograph via Bocman1973 /


For many long months, eager shoppers have agonized over the teasing rumor that British retailer Topshop will be opening in Washington—a very big deal considering the store’s limited number of American outposts. Today, we can excitedly announce that the speculation wasn’t for naught: The casual-cool store is officially headed our way.

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Posted at 02:24 PM/ET, 02/05/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The purveyor of upscale resortwear begins welcoming customers this week. By Diana Elbasha
Photograph courtesy of Shadow PR.

If you’ve taken a stroll down M Street recently, you’ve probably noticed the lavender-covered windows between 33rd and 34th streets, Northwest, at the former site of Georgtown’s AT&T store and the defunct Salon Rafik. The signature hue means only one thing: Calypso St. Barth is opening soon.

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Posted at 11:38 AM/ET, 02/04/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your guide to the week’s most stylish events. By Diana Elbasha
Crystal City's annual Crystal Couture event, beginning Tuesday, features sales and runway shows by a variety of local and national designers, like Nzinga Knight. Photograph via Nzinga Knight's Facebook page.

Crystal Couture Show & Sales

You may not think of quiet Arlington neighborhood Crystal City as a fashion destination, but its annual Crystal Couture event brings together countless Washington-based brands, boutiques, and vintage collectives for five days of local shopping, including major discounts. Head to the massive event space just off the Crystal City Metro stop for sales by more than 50 local labels, a multi-designer runway show, and more. See the list of participating designers online. Tuesday through Saturday 6 to 8. 251 18th St. S., Arlington.

Bella’s Treatment Day: Phyto

This Bethesda salon’s quarterly treatment day takes place this Wednesday, when experts from natural hair-care brand Phyto visit to perform complimentary scalp analyses and custom conditioning treatments. Blowouts are discounted to $15 with the treatment. All day Wednesday. 4733 Elm St., Second Floor, Bethesda.

Pearls & Pumps: A Spey Soiree

On Thursday the St. Regis hosts a chic cocktail celebration of fine jewelry (namely pearl) purveyor Spey, which recently opened a retail location downtown. The brand’s founder will be on site, and luxury items by Chanel, Alberta Ferretti, and more will be raffled off. Cocktail attire is recommended, and tickets ($35) can be purchased onlineThursday 6 to 9. 923 16th St., NW.

Urban Chic Charity Happy Hour

In partnership with the Young Ambassadors Council, Urban Chic holds an in-store happy hour at its Georgetown location to raise money for WINNter Affair, the third annual gala to benefit the Children’s Inn at NIH. Guests can enjoy seasonal cocktails and treats from a dessert bar while shopping the girly boutique, which also raffles off a pair of earrings and offers a special gift with purchase. Bonus: WINNter Affair ticket holders receive 35 percent off cocktail dresses—perfect for the charitable occasion. Thursday 5 to 8. 1626 Wisconsin Ave., NW.

The Blues Jean Bar at Bishop Boutique

Bishop’s first trunk show of the season begins this Friday, when preppy clothing brand the Blues Jean Bar sets up shop at the boutique for two full days. Get 10 percent off all BJB items, which include jewelry and tops in addition to a wide selection of denim. The brand’s expert “jeantenders” will be on site as well to help you pick out the perfect-fitting trousers. Friday and Saturday 10 to 7. 815-B King St., Alexandria.

Posted at 11:14 AM/ET, 02/04/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your guide to the week's most stylish events. By Diana Elbasha
At LivingSocial's "Best of DC" trunk show, shop the collections of local brands, like Saint Clair Jewelry, at 25 percent off. Photographs by Andrew Propp.

Style Speaks Seminar: All About Accessories

Don’t know what to do with all your old jewelry? Need a lesson in styling your newest scarf or handbag? Arlington-based wardrobe consulting firm Style Speaks takes over Periwinkle boutique Tuesday evening to answer all your accessories-related questions. Learn from consultant Cathy Starnes while you sip Champagne, enjoy 25 percent off all full-price Periwinkle merchandise, and shop an on-site Stella + Dot trunk show. (Word on the street is there’s a packed swag bag for attendees, too.) Tickets ($79) can be purchased online. Tuesday 7 to 9. 1557 Potomac Greens Dr., Alexandria.

Pop-Up Art Gallery at Frye

The brand new leather goods store in Georgetown has rescheduled its pop-up gallery, originally slated for last week, for this Thursday. Head to the flagship store to enjoy a cocktail kickoff celebration with drinks by Catoctin Creek and live entertainment by U.S. Royalty’s John Thornley, all while perusing the works of stellar local artists such as Martin Swift, Jim Darling, Jessica Lancaster, and Amber Mahoney. RSVP required; e-mail Thursday 6:30 to 8:30. 1066 Wisconsin Ave., NW.

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Posted at 03:55 PM/ET, 01/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The old Filene’s Basement space, vacated three years ago, is finally getting a new tenant. By Diana Elbasha
Here's to more lunchtime shopping in our futures. Photograph by Lauren Joseph.

It’s been an eventful year for the buzzing little corner of downtown Washington that houses the Shop Around HQ. In the past ten months, the Farragut neighborhood has welcomed Nordstrom Rack, blowdry salon Blowout Bar, Turkish suitmaker Sarar, and accessories boutique LouLou to a street that was until April lined almost exclusively with office spaces and coffee shops. We were pleasantly surprised this morning to hear the development isn’t stopping there—H&M will be the next to join the neighborhood.

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Posted at 03:02 PM/ET, 01/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The bold, print-laden collection launches February 9. By Diana Elbasha

Since mass retailers such as Target began rolling out affordable collaborations with designers, there have been some major hits (Missoni) and some unfortunate misses (Neiman Marcus). But somehow—even with the seeming ubiquity of these collaborations nowadays—the thrill of scoring a piece with a high-end designer label for a fast-fashion price hasn’t gotten old. The next up, London-based pattern master Peter Pilotto for Target, is no exception. The bright, colorful line, comprising a whopping 70-some pieces, looks like a designer’s typical resort line, with bathing suits, beach towels, and summery totes in addition to the usual tops, skirts, dresses, etc. The best part? The most expensive piece is still under $80. Scroll down to see some highlights from the much-anticipated lookbook before the collection hits Target stores,, and Net-a-Porter next month.

1. Dress in purple floral print, $69.99; pictured atop long-sleeve shirt in green floral print, $19.99.

2. Shirt dress in light blue floral/check print, $34.99; bikini top in black/white print, $22.99; bikini bottom in black/white print, $22.99; slip-on shoe in black/white print, $29.99.

3. Dress in red floral/stripe print, $39.99; slip-on shoe in black/white print, $29.99.

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Posted at 04:41 PM/ET, 01/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your guide to the week’s most stylish events. By Diana Elbasha
Creative Capitol III is expected to turn up some of Washington's most stylish young professionals. Pictured: three street style shots from Creative Capitol I. Photographs by Lauren Joseph.

Pop-Up Art Gallery at Frye

The brand new leather goods store in Georgetown displays the artwork of Martin Swift, Jim Darling, Jessica Lancaster, and Amber Mahoney in a pop-up gallery, launching with a cocktail celebration on Wednesday. Head to the flagship store to enjoy drinks by Catoctin Creek and live entertainment by U.S. Royalty’s John Thornley while perusing the works of some stellar local artists. RSVP required; e-mail to Wednesday 6:30 to 8:30. Due to inclement weather, this event has been rescheduled for Thursday, January 30. 1066 Wisconsin Ave., NW.

Mona Assemi Trunk Show

The formerly DC-based jewelry designer Mona Assemi—whose pieces can be found at such high-end retailers as Henri Bendel in New York City and Harrod’s in London—brings her gems to the W Hotel for a trunk show. Begin your shopping experience with the opening party on Thursday evening, then explore the collection of minimalist and statement pieces all day Friday. RSVP to Opening party Thursday 6 to 10; trunk show Friday noon to 10. Living Room, W Hotel, 515 15th St., NW.

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Posted at 04:41 PM/ET, 01/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A look back at the First Lady’s most stylish moments from the past 12 months. By Diana Elbasha
Michelle Obama stunned America last February by making a video cameo at the Oscars, where she wore an embellished Naeem Khan gown. Photograph via the official White House Flickr.

She makes headlines across the world by sporting a new hairstyle, sends crowds to the mall to get their hands on her accessories, and shatters the stigma of a fashionless Washington with her gala attire. It goes without saying at this point that Michelle Obama is a major style icon. From White House business meetings to black-tie affairs to pop-culture appearances, the First Lady always finds a way to wow us with her bold taste in designers and all-around fashion-forward wardrobe. In honor of her birthday, here’s a look back at some the most eye-catching fashion moments of her 50th year.

All photographs via the official White House Flickr, unless otherwise noted.

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Posted at 05:36 PM/ET, 01/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Stuck in an office-look rut? Try a fresh spin on suiting with these updated work essentials. By Kate Bennett

As a second-year associate at Patton Boggs, Dalia Abu-Eid is just starting her career. Which means she has a lot of suits ahead of her, in both the legal and the fashion sense. “While I’m not required to wear a suit every day, I still tend to wear one a few times a week,” says Abu-Eid, 29, who grew up in Northern Virginia and now lives in DC.

“Patton Boggs tends to be on the less conservative side of the big law firms,” she says, but reflecting personal style in her work attire is still tricky. For inspiration, she turns to her favorite stores and designers. Abu-Eid relies on Zara and Anthropologie for off-duty looks, but she heads for Calvin Klein, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom for work ensembles, which she shops for two to three times a year.

“I like to think of myself as urban-chic when it comes to clothes,” Abu-Eid says. “I’m lucky to have two very fashionable sisters.” One is a fashion designer in New York City, the other a vintage-clothing aficionado in San Francisco. “They have definitely influenced my style for the better.”

We helped Abu-Eid try a few of the season’s trendsetting cuts and shapes to spice up her ever-growing suit supply. We’ve also included choices with a casual feel, a day-to-night bent, and a dressy look perfect for cocktails.

Photograph by Tim Coburn.

1. Peach Perfect
“Jack” blazer, $248, and “James” cropped pants, $138, at BCBG stores. “Violet” silk top, $250 at Thomas Pink (1127 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-223-5390). “Eryn” cap-toe kitten heels, $128 at Ann Taylor.

Photographs by Tim Coburn.

2. Pretty in Pink
Valentina Shaw “Giovanna” jacket, $1,350, and “Vittoria” skirt, $525; similar styles at “Keslyn” silk blouse, $198 at BCBG; “Kirby” booties by Tibi, $525 at Saks Fifth Avenue (Chevy Chase).

3. Luxe Tux
Stretch-velvet tuxedo-style blazer, $498, and satin pants, $345, at “Juliette” ankle-strap heels, $128 at Ann Taylor.

Photographs by Tim Coburn.

4. Classic Pinstripe
Rachel Zoe “Christina” jacket, $425, and “Rachel” pants, $250, at Hysteria (125 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria; 703-548-1615). Rachel Zoe “Leighton” blouse, $225; similar style at Cusp (Georgetown).

5. Time to Shine
“Becca” jacket and skirt, $795 each, and “Vesper” silk shirt with crystal embellishment, $395, at “Kirby” booties by Tibi, $525 at Saks Fifth Avenue (Chevy Chase).

This article appears in the January 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 01/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()