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: DigDogDig, Elaine B, Beth Lauren, Mallory Shelter, NMC, Paris 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.
Now that spring weather has graced the area with its presence, we’re eager to take our shopping outdoors. You’re already familiar with local staples such as Eastern Market and neighborhood farmers markets—but for those seeking a fresher experience, where to go on a beautiful spring Saturday in search of antiques and decor? Vintage frocks? Handmade jewelry? Read on for a primer on some of the area’s best spring retail markets, from returning outdoor pop-ups to trendy out-of-town newcomers. Tip: Mark your calendar for April 5, when many of the events kick off.
Dock 5 at Union Market, 1039 Fifth St., NE
When: April 4 from 1 to 7, April 5 from 11 to 7, and April 6 from 11 to 5
Union Market’s second pop-up retail experience returns to Dock 5 for three days, featuring temporary installations of such esteemed local brands as Politics & Prose, Mutiny, and St. Clair Jewelry. A few national names will also be in attendance, as well as a new showcase dubbed Here & Now of up-and-coming fashion brands. See our original post for more info.
The lot at 1514 15th St., NW
When: 11 to 5 on the first Saturday of every month from April through November
Organized by husband-and-wife team designer Virgnia Arrisueño and street artist Kelly Towles DC MeetMarket aims to showcase the works of emerging local craftspeople and business owners. The market’s 40-plus vendors include beauty, fashion, kids’ clothing, and jewelry brands, in addition to food trucks, live music, and a slew of DC-based artists. See the impressive list of vendors online.
Last fall, Union Market hosted an experimental pop-up shopping event, Thread, in which 24 indie brands came together for a three-day extravaganza at the up-and-coming venue. Showcasing such coveted local labels as Saint Clair and Hugh & Crye, as well as emerging national names, the inaugural event proved a huge success, attracting upward of 5,000 visitors daily. Thus, round two was quickly put into the works—and will debut at Dock 5 in just a few weeks.
In search of a custom suit for less? Here’s how you can get one: Starting next Thursday, the affordable made-to-measure suiting brand Indochino returns for another ten-day pop-up shop at LivingSocial’s 918 F Street venue.
Experts from the Canadian-born brand will be on site from 8 to 8 each day to take guests’ measurements and style full looks using pieces from Indochino’s new spring line, which includes 11 new suits with lighter fabrics and tons of new color, monogram, lapel, and vent options. Casual pieces, such as the brand’s best-selling chambray (in seven shades!), will also be available at the pop-up. Suits start at the comparatively low price of $449 and arrive at your doorstep within six weeks of ordering.
Appointments are available in 15-minute intervals, and anyone who books online will score a free dress shirt with any suit purchase.
Indochino. 8 to 8, March 6-16. 918 F St., NW.
It’s back: The twice-yearly shopping extravaganza hosted by our favorite flash sale site is upon us. The Gilt City Warehouse Sale, a two-day shopping event that fills Shaw’s Long View Gallery with a seemingly endless stock of discounted designer apparel, shoes, handbags, and jewelry, returns to Washington March 8 and 9. Enjoy gratis cocktails, refreshments, and music while you scour an impressive array of goodies by such coveted labels as Missoni, Zac Posen, and Valentino at discounts of up to 90 percent. (Case in point: at a previous sale, we scored this RED Valentino handbag, regularly $495, for $90.)
There’s nothing like a new destination with fresh vendors and hand-selected designs to kick off the holiday shopping season. That’s why I’m thrilled that Thread, Union Market’s three-day pop-up of small-biz local and national retailers, is coming to town this weekend. I got to preview the offerings and came away with a wish list of covetable favorites.
1) Grid Shibori pillow in blue, $200 at Rebecca Atwood
Inspired by the textiles of Japan, Brooklyn-based artist Rebecca Atwood creates handmade items for the perfectly appointed home. The modest imperfections from the dyeing process make each of her items one-of-a-kind.
2) Mia wool camel coat, $255 at Anthom
This online boutique of modern fashion and accessories offers a great selection of carefully curated styles. I particularly love the edgy detail and deep V opening—it adds a little something extra to the closet staple.
3) Fingerless armwarmers, $42 at DeNada
I like Virgina Arrisueño’s DeNada line so much I would wrap myself in the soft Peruvian alpaca knits in the peak of summer. These fingerless armwarmers are a great layering accessory—and easy on your wallet, to boot.
4) Gold metallic printed python folded clutch, $575 at Emily Cho
It’s the holidays; sometimes you just have to splurge. This shimmery clutch, by New York designer Emily Cho, is ideal for holiday parties—I love the chic foldover detail.
5) Buggy Back L’Enfant blazer, $245 at Hugh & Crye
I started drinking the Hugh & Crye Kool-Aid a few years ago thanks to the brand’s semi-custom, perfectly fitted shirts—bonus that it got local men on board with the tailoring trend, too. Now the company has started offering blazers in lightweight, slim-fit styles, just like the shirts. Pick up one of these versatile, partially lined blazers for the man in your life.
For more information on the retailers, hours of operation, or the Walkmen concert happening in conjunction with the event on Saturday night, visit the website.
As if you needed another reason to make your way toward Union Market, this Friday kicks off the revived marketplace’s first foray into the non-edible with a 24-vendor pop-up retail concept. The weekend-long market will play host to a stable of our favorite local brands, including some you’re already familiar with—such as DeNada Design, Anthom, Saint Clair Jewelry, and Hugh & Crye—plus several you’re probably not. Here are a few of those vendors (both local and otherwise) we’re most excited to shop. We suggest beelining their way.
Elaine B. Jewelry
The purveyors of hand-crafted cool at Topaz + Arrow turned us on to this jeweler from Charlottesville, whose geometric 3D designs combine wearable simplicity with sculptural modernity. We’re particularly smitten with her slender hexagon rings and edgy take on classic (faux) diamond studs.
Part retail brand, part art piece, this local collective takes an unusual approach to product curation, crafting a collection meant to reflect the “brooding man with a meaty intellect.” What that means: simple, well-crafted, and perfectly rugged pieces—many made right here in DC—that range from pencils and literature to apothecary and clothing.
The Boston-born beauty store takes a health-conscious yet style-savvy approach to skin care, hair products, and cosmetics, stocking high-end natural brands such as RGB, Rahua, Ilia, and Jane Iredale.
This brand makes its pairs by hand in its Richmond showroom, using raw selvedge denim from a mill in North Carolina. There’s only a handful of styles—mostly slim and straight cuts—but Shockoe’s small-batch sensibility fits right in with Union Market’s concept.
Meg Biram Shop
Fans of Meg Biram’s eponymous blog probably already covet the shopping finds she posts on her site (and her Pinterest, and Instagram, and . . .); but her recently launched e-store transforms those picks into something shoppable. Her booth at Thread means this is your chance to peruse her carefully curated selection in person for the first time. Leather turbans, snake hand coils, and fringey bags? Yes, please.
This menswear line, based in New York, prioritizes craftsmanship and form-meets-function for the brand’s carryalls, ties, and shirts.
Luxe and modern, this NYC-based handbag line stands out for its high-end construction and sleek designs, with a focus on bold-yet-sophisticated colors and textured leathers.
Thread at Dock 5. Friday 1 to 8, Saturday 11 to 8, and Sunday 11 to 5. Union Market, 1305 Fifth St, NE. Get more information online.
In the spirit of the season, let’s take a moment to give thanks for the major uptick in awesome menswear options that have flooded Georgetown in recent years. These days, there’s pretty much no excuse for our guys to still be donning ill-fitting suits and balloon-like shirts—and for that we are grateful.
Doing their part to help the cause is Ledbury, a menswear e-shop based out of Richmond and open today for a monthlong seasonal pop-up on Wisconsin Avenue. At the showroom-style store, customers can try Ledbury’s shirting, blazers, and dresswear accessories, and the shop’s team will help place orders to be filled through the website. Expect the brand’s signature classic styles reworked with modern silhouettes, high-quality construction, and luxe fabrics. We snagged a sneak peek at the 1,000-square-foot shop this week, and among the highlights we spotted were the brand’s limited-run seasonal collection (like shirts in a super-soft brushed cotton herringbone), necessity-turned-luxe cashmere socks, and refined blazers, plus a solid selection of silk and knit ties in perfectly restrained patterns. And that’s not all: Beyond the clothes, the showroom nails a rugged-meets-dapper modern masculinity, complete with on-message taxidermy, a bourbon-stocked bar cart, and vintage midcentury furnishings provided by a Richmond antiques dealer (and available to buy, too). Read on to see more of the space and hear more about the brand straight from cofounder Paul Trible.
Take note, holiday over-achievers: The first of the seasonal pop-up markets has arrived. Tonight marks the kickoff of the Cady’s Alley bazaar, a new seasonal marketplace featuring clothing, accessories, and home decor from local e-tailers such as Tuckernuck and Read Wall alongside Zestt, Chubbies, and new DC-based business Victoria Road. The market officially opens tomorrow, but swing by tonight for the launch party, where bloggers Lauren Wynns and Van Bloys of Necessary & Proper and Brittany Ann Cardillo of Hosting & Toasting will celebrate the shop with the featured vendors. We snagged a sneak peek at Tuckernuck’s section of the shop—read on for a glimpse at the setup. Launch party Thursday 7 to 9 PM; market open Friday through January 5. 3330 Cady’s Alley, NW.
We’ve been on the edges of our seats since last spring, when a rumor surfaced that Topshop would be a tenant in the soon-to-open City Center. And while there’s been almost zero talk since then—save for some more discouraging news—we finally recieved a glimmer of hope. Topshop rep Richard Storer neither confirmed nor denied that a standalone store is headed our way (leading us to believe the idea’s not completely off the table), though he did tell us one sure detail about its future in DC: As part of Topshop’s expansion efforts, we’ll soon be able to get the British brand’s trendy, effortlessly cool duds at what Storer calls a “store-within-a-store” at Nordstrom Pentagon City. While it’s no two-story locale (like New York’s, the closest brick-and-mortar) this is big news for us DC gals who have endured the nearly online-only world that is getting some of the best peplum tanks, chunky knits, and edgy prints out there. The new section will appear in Nordstrom early this fall; we’ll update this post as opening dates and more info become available.
Hope isn’t completely lost for guys, either: Though Topman isn’t following suit directly in the neighborhood, the men’s counterpart will also pop up this season at Nordstrom in Richmond’s Short Pump Town Center.
Could this be a test run for how well DC responds to the brand in our town? Here’s to hoping for more good news in the near future—but for now, we’ll take it.