A Night Out: Piazza Sempione Opening

By: McLean Robbins

What: Piazza Sempione Opening  

When: Wednesday, October 7.

Where: Piazza Sempione at the Collection at Chevy Chase.

Admission: Free, but it was an invitation-only event.

Around 100 of Washington’s well-heeled set showed up in Chevy Chase last night for a grand-opening fête for the Italian designer line Piazza Sempione, who opened its latest stand-alone store late last month. The party, sponsored in conjunction with Vogue magazine, included free appetizers and Champagne as well as a DJ, in-store modeling, and an exclusive spring 2010 trunk show with a 15-percent discount on purchases.

The crowd: The well-dressed crowd, mostly of the ladies-who-lunch variety, included many of Washington’s boldface names, such as BET CEO Deborah Lee; Real Housewives of DC cast member Mary Amons; Cindy Jones; Yelberton Watkins, chief of staff for Congressman James E. Clyburn; plus Lucia Riddle, Tim and Shigeko Bork, and Charrisse Jordan.  

The scene: In the mod space—formerly home to Max Mara—chic white chandeliers provided ample light, and the designer’s shoes, bags, and jewelry were highlighted in shadow boxes on the walls. Several glass tables displayed the current issue of Vogue.

The food: Partygoers, who seemed more interested in clothing than food, gingerly consumed sparkling wine and small bites from nearby Famoso Restaurant & Lounge. Most of the appetizers were of the single-bite variety: tomato bruschetta, prosciutto-wrapped melon, and mini-quiches.

The fashion: Black was the color du jour, but several partygoers mixed things up with bright pops of color. Many of the attendees sported this season’s Piazza pieces: trousers and tailored jackets in soft blacks and grays plus one fabulous lavender dress from the Spring 2010 collection worn by event publicist and organizer Aba Bonney Kwawu.

The swag: Attendees left with a Piazza bag stuffed with goodies including a custom Piazza Sempione coin purse, the current issue of Vogue, a Piazza gift certificate, and a Hela Spa gift certificate.

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