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You won’t want to miss this cool collective of local brands. By Diana Elbasha
Shop the quirky-cool designs of Rachel Pfeffer, shown above, along with six other local brands at SWANK. Photograph via Rachel Pfeffer Designs.

We’re more impressed every day by DC’s emerging creative community—its growing number of designers, stylists, and artisans are changing the face of Washington with each fashionable event. Morgan Hungerford West is a prime example. Panda Head’s editor, also a stylist, studio owner, and Topaz + Arrow cofounder, is at the forefront of some of the city’s coolest collaborations, supporting and bringing together the best of Washington’s creative talent. Next week, she brings back SWANK, an awesome ten-day pop-up shop that showcases the works of seven local jewelry makers.

Held at Monroe Street Market’s Wild Hand Workspace, which West co-owns with photographer Victoria Milko, SWANK returns for a second time with a refreshing new group of DC-based brands, some of which you might recognize from Etsy: DigDogDigElaine BBeth LaurenMallory ShelterNMCParis Air, and Rachel Pfeffer. The jewels will be arranged in gallery-like fashion at the studio from April 24 through May 3, shoppable by appointment on the weekdays and publicly from 11 to 4 on weekends.

The event kicks off with a cocktail reception Thursday, April 24, from 6 to 9, at which you’ll be able to mingle with the designers over drinks and small bites.

SWANK. April 24 through May 3. 716 Monroe St., NE, Studio 8.

 

Posted at 02:32 PM/ET, 04/18/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
And it could be yours for just $14,225. By Diana Elbasha
A rare Hermès Togo Birkin tote (actual bag shown above) is for sale on Current Boutique's website. Photograph courtesy of Current Boutique.

In a goldmine moment for consignment, the local Current Boutique has just snagged one of fashion’s hottest commodities: an Hermès Birkin bag.

Hand-sewn in France and available only at Hermès boutiques and through personal shoppers—often with significant wait times—the Birkin bag was created and named by Jean-Louis Dumas for ’80s It-girl Jane Birkin. It’s notorious for being one of the world’s priciest, most sought-after accessories, priced up to the hundreds of thousands for the most luxurious options. This particular bag, a 35-centimeter Togo Birkin tote, retails for about $20,000.

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Posted at 09:45 AM/ET, 03/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The girly pastel appears on countless accessories, shoes, and more this season. By Diana Elbasha
This week we’re inspired by Gal Meets Glam author Julia Engel’s monochromatic ensemble.

Perhaps our favorite annual sartorial transition happens between winter and spring. The drastic change in temperature means retiring the blacks and navys of our cold-weather closet for more dazzling accessories and brighter hues. 

Pastels are a great way to ease into the change of seasons. With fashion month in its final days and the world’s eye on street style, we’ve taken a particular liking to blush—a fresh, chic shade of pale pink that flatters all skin tones and styles. We were particularly taken with Gal Meets Glam author Julia Engel’s stunning use of monochrome, using varying shades of the pink to create a very sophisticated look—one that is both winter- and spring-appropriate (and that prompted us grab the next book clutch we could get our hands on). Click through the slideshow for a look at 14 pieces we’re coveting in the girly shade.

Posted at 02:20 PM/ET, 03/06/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The chic baking duo curated a 12-piece collection for the site—and created special cupcakes to match. By Diana Elbasha
Does life get any better than cupcakes and jewelry? Photograph courtesy of RMO Wetherly.

As if Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne—the sister masterminds behind Georgetown Cupcake—weren’t doing enough by churning out DC’s most popular confections, they’ve found a way to combine the treats with another of our favorite things: jewelry.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the duo has partnered with jewelry powerhouse BaubleBar to create a custom line of whimsical statement necklaces, drop earrings, and stackable rings. The 12 pieces, available on the website through the end of the month, incorporate flirty, feminine details such as blush florals and mint gemstones—reflecting what the sisters describe as a combination of their personal styles and the Georgetown Cupcake aesthetic. As a bonus, they’ve created three special-edition cupcakes inspired by the line (more on that below!), available at all locations beginning tomorrow. We spoke with Berman and LaMontagne to hear more about what inspired the collection.

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Posted at 04:04 PM/ET, 02/10/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Carry your stuff in style no matter where you’re headed. By Sarah Title

With the holiday season about to launch into high gear, you’re probably wondering how your social calendar got so busy. Between the parties, happy hours, and date nights, you’re going to need more than just that one trusty little bag. Lucky for you, we’ve found five great clutches—all available at local shops—that will easily take you from one event to the next (and the next after that). Check this list to find your perfect pick.

For the office holiday party: This Gatsby-ish beaded clutch will let you stand out for all the right reasons. Jasper & Jeera fringed fanfare clutch, $78 at Anthropologie.

For happy hour with your coworkers: Step up your workday ensemble a notch with a structured python clutch. Just stash it in your day tote in the morning. Snakeskin leather clutch, $99.90 at Zara.

For girls’ night out: Whether you’re headed to drinks and dinner or the hottest new club, this glittery gold minaudière will have your BFFs green with envy. Glimmerdust box clutch, $25 at Charming Charlie.

For date night: Ready to ravish in red? Grab this flirty fringed leather bag on your way out to meet your man. Milly Nikki fringe clutch in papaya, $350 at Bishop Boutique.

For . . . anytime: This bag wins for versatility. We love the crisp black-and-white chevron pattern, and the intricate-yet-playful beading means it can be dressed up or down. Moyna beaded clutch, $140 at Cusp.

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Posted at 12:58 PM/ET, 11/20/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
None of which cost a fortune. By Michelle Thomas

For as long as we can recall, the fuzziness of haircalf was a style seemingly reserved for feline-inspired prints. Not this year. Lately, the tactile material has popped up in all sorts of styles—yes, there’s still the ever-lovely leopard, but there’s also camo. And dalmatian. And oxblood! You get the picture. The thing is, this luxe look tends to come with a hefty price tag. And while we may lust over certain pieces (ahem, Milly bag, Jenni Kayne coat, and Helmut Lang top), dropping a month’s worth of rent is not the only way to get in on the trend. Click through the slideshow for 15 gorgeously cozy finds that’ll give you the look for less.

Posted at 12:54 PM/ET, 11/13/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Meet Cameron St. Clair Archer, the creative spirit behind this Bloomingdale-based jewelry biz. By Michelle Thomas
All photographs by Andrew Propp.

Cameron St. Clair Archer’s designs for her namesake jewelry line are a study in perfectly chic contrasts: Blend one part industrial (she works with reclaimed metals) with a dash of tough (hello, spikes and chains), and mix in a bit of earthy, organic beauty (thanks to the raw stones and delicate gems). Finish with a healthy dose of asymmetry and some lush color, and the result is that sweet spot between sculptural cool and endless wearability. Archer launched the line in 2010 after teaching herself to rework her own jewelry, and now it’s a full-time job.

We stopped by her Bloomingdale workspace recently to see where the magic happens, and chatted with her about why she likes working in DC, and how abstract concepts like spontaneity and adventure inspire her designs. Read on for the scoop—and peep her seriously gorgeous creations.

Tell us a little about your background. How did you end up designing jewelry? 

I’ve always been pretty crafty, and I love using my hands—the dirtier the better, be it painting, sanding, drilling, refinishing, gluing, you name it. I suppose the jewelry came about from a real lack of creative expression at a previous job. I was hungry for it, and started to take apart/recreate jewelry I already owned just to see if it was something I enjoyed doing. I did some research and started buying simple starter materials. I would stay up very late designing, and I’d wear my creations the next day. I started getting compliments, and women would ask me who the designer was and where they could buy pieces. Thus, Saint Clair Jewelry. There’s something equally meditative and invigorating about designer jewelry—the combinations truly are endless.

How would you describe the Saint Clair customer? 

The Saint Clair woman is not afraid to take risks. She stands out in a crowd; she is a leader, a thinker, an empowered woman who knows what she wants. She appreciates and practices openness and inclusiveness. She is a risk-taker, she’s goofy—unapologetically so—and, more important, she is confident, which is the most beautiful piece of jewelry anyone can own. 

How has your work evolved since you started designing? 

I definitely take more risks. I lean more toward asymmetrical designs, and I don’t stick to one genre. I also am not so obsessed with following the latest and greatest trends, which I’ve learned can really inhibit creative freedom. I make things I like—things that feel right—and I put myself out there. Like I said, design possibilities are truly endless, and if you limit yourself to one genre, it becomes a bit sticky. 

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Posted at 02:29 PM/ET, 11/05/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Can creepy be chic? These styles point to yes. By Michelle Thomas

Credit Alexander McQueen with taking skulls beyond the territory of grizzled bikers and goth teens. These days, you’ll find the macabre motif adorning everything from delicate chain bracelets to slender rings. And what better day than Halloween to sport the spooky-glam look? Stick to the tried-and-true skull—or branch out to a bone-link ring or spidery cuff. Click through the gallery to see 15 eerie styles we love.

Posted at 02:27 PM/ET, 10/31/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Wallet-friendly alternatives to our runway favorites. By Diana Elbasha

1) For everyday: A bucket bag (or mini backpack)
As seen at: Jerome Dreyfuss, $1,900
Get yours for: $79.90 at Zara

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Posted at 12:43 PM/ET, 09/06/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
It’s basically jewelry—so have fun with it. By Michelle Thomas

Maybe you’re a devoted, never-without watch wearer. Or perhaps, like us, you don one just for looks—and then check your iPhone for the time. Either way, why be boring about it? A timepiece is, when you get right down to it, a pretty solid opportunity for some killer accessorizing. Into oversize styles? Delicate bangles? Wraps? We have a watch for that.

WrapsLa Mer Collections Odyssey Case leather wrap in rose gold, $102 at Shopbop; Marc by Marc Jacobs Amy double-wrap white and gold leather watch, $175 at Piperlime; Sara Designs chain wrap watch, $330 at Shopbop.

Statements: Nixon the Time Teller camo watch, $150 at Bloomingdale’s; Karl Lagerfeld Edge Zip studded leather watch, $350 at Net-a-Porter; Runway stainless steel black watch, $180 at Michael Kors.

Bracelets: DKNY spotted calf-hair bangle, $175 at Nordstrom; Coach Legacy animal-print bangle, $278 at Nordstrom; Kate Spade New York Lights Camera Action carousel bangle with “steal the show” inscription, $250 at Bloomingdale's.

Posted at 03:12 PM/ET, 08/29/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()